The staff at Nashville Baseball Training Academy, has an ideal stage—stretched out across 10,000 square feet—to flex their baseball skills and diamond-smarts. Here, a seasoned team provide baseball and softball instruction, as well as speed, agility, and strength-training programs. They pair their wisdom with the facility’s amenities, including an indoor practice field, and automatic batting cages.
Professional anger and guide Mike Davis picked up his first fishing pole in his hometown of Orlando, Florida, where the swampy surroundings provided ample opportunities for reeling in scaly specimens. After high school, Mike fulfilled his childhood dream of being a meteorologist before serving a combat tour in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm, and once back in the States, he was selected as a member of the National Weather Service. While his head was in the clouds, his heart remained by the water, and he ultimately decided to make his passion for fishing his life's pursuit. Today, Mike resides in Nashville where he leads guided fishing tours on Old Hickory Lake, helping anglers of all ages and abilities catch bass, crappie, catfish, and the rare yet inedible rubber fish.
Across Xtreme Paintball's two outdoor fields, colorful salvos paint the sky as opposing gunsmiths duke it out during simulated battles. Red-and-black inflatable cover peppers the speedball field, guarding teams from enemy fire. The warzone field sets the stage for intense scenarios such as capture the flag and team elimination, during which players attempt to mark each opposing paintballer or stick a Kick Me sign to their back. Both open-air arenas play host to casual paintball outings, special events, and league play.
Xtreme Paintball's safety-focused experts monitor each 3–10 minute skirmish. The staff also checks over equipment between each game, whether players rent their gear or airdrop it in from home.
A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley at altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.
At Centennial Sportsplex, groups of laced-up gliders soar across a 200'x85' rink during public skating sessions. After strapping on chartered hockey or ice skates over thin socks, guests arc in gentle figure eights, practice salchow jumps, and carve complex polyhedrons into the smooth, icy surface. Snacks from the concession stand (available for purchase) quell seismic tummy grumbles mustered up after speed skating across the rink's frozen tundra. Visitors can store their worldly possessions in coin lockers or tote along their own padlocks to take advantage of complimentary lockers. Centennial Sportsplex recommends wearing a jacket or sweater in the rink, which at times feels as chilly as the snub of a popular snowman.
The Chattanooga Zoo opened its doors in 1937 with an exhibit containing two rhesus monkeys. Pretty soon, it had expanded to include bobcats, lions, and gators, until eventually becoming the venerable non-profit institution it is today, supporting conservation efforts for rare and endangered species around the world.
In the zoo's forest area, chimps, wildcats, and tortoises roam their habitats to the sound of churning water beneath two waterfalls. Red pandas scurry around a Himalayan habitat, and spider monkeys spin gossamer webs in the jungle area. Kids can play with goats and sheep at the petting zoo, or take a few revolutions on the carousel. With a refurbished frame from 1927, it spins guests on the backs of hand-carved seats fashioned after endangered animals such as snow leopards and low lying gorillas.
Behind the scenes, the zoo's caretakers work to rehabilitate hundreds of animals each year so that they can return to the wild. They also lead conservation efforts for rare species—including snow leopards, fennec foxes, and cotton-top tamarins—and educate thousands of students annually with interactive events catered to school curricula.