Bear Creek Golf Club's 18-hole course takes golfers voyaging across 6,585 yards of rolling terrain characterized by renovated bunkers, contoured greens, and dense tree lines lining the fairways. Refurbished in July 2011, the par 72 is now carpeted with Champion bermuda grass on all of its greens to form smooth, slick putting surfaces devoid of any bumpy nettles or suspicious troll knolls. Chirping birds and whistling winds serve as the course's commentators, occasionally warning players of the scattered water hazards that reflect the skies above without ripple or wave but reveal their orb-eating desires when balls land atop their motionless surface. At the onsite snack bar, players can fuel up before rounds.
Course at a Glance:
A fourth-generation artist, Rose Handy has always made time for creating. After a rollercoaster ride of life changes and moves, Rose and her potter husband Paul opened their own gallery and class space. Joined by a staff of illustrators, quilters, watercolorists, and other artisans, the owners encourage Wild Child students to find their own artistic voices, whether they're hand-building a ceramic bowl, painting a family portrait, or fusing glass pieces together to make a new glass family. The search for new avenues of creativity also extends to the studio's class offerings; beginning in January 2013, aspiring artisans can learn the intricacies of handbuilding and wheel-based pottery techniques as part of the shop's newest curriculum.
Awash in lighting effects, an 8,000-square-foot rink accommodates roller skaters as they circle the facility to the thumping beat of contemporary pop music. Overhead, a disco ball 3 feet in diameter—featured in the remake of Footloose—further illumines the rink with its sparkling effervescence.
Meanwhile, participants clad in 78 Skate's velcro suit leap toward the velcro wall to see if they'll stick, and more than 30 arcade and redemption games challenge prize-seeking players. Gamesmanship continues at a pair of billiards tables nestled beneath two large screen televisions in the snack bar, which reenergizes customers with tasty treats and beverages. Elsewhere, a full-service skate shop equips patrons with new wheels for blading sessions in their bathtub, and twice weekly Zumba classes, led by a certified instructor, burn calories with exercise moves modeled after salsa dancing.
At the summit of Mount Yonah, hikers bask in the dying sunlight and soak up views of verdant foothills that span the horizon. Before the sun dips below the peaks, they meander back down the craggy trail toward Habersham Vineyard, where they can toast to a wholesome day of hiking. This scenic hike is one of dozens of possible routes led by Skywater Georgia Wine Hiking’s knowledgeable guides. They draw upon their knowledge of the region to showcase the best trails and wineries during daylong tours. Based on each group’s fitness level, interest, and ability to tolerate photo-bombing sasquatches, guides can plan easy-going three-hour hikes around Victoria Bryant State Park, or embark instead on a 10-hour journey up the steep foothills of Standing Indian. Regardless of the tour route, guides take time to point out local flora and fauna, and energize groups’ with a light lunch.
Certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association, the instructors at Skywater Atlanta Tennis impart their ball-whacking wisdom to students of all ages in private, group, and team settings. As protégés learn stroke basics and strategic fundamentals such as scoring, court positioning, and footwork, teachers foster a welcoming environment that encourages improvement without fear of reprisal for common mistakes such as faulting on a serve or strumming the wrong string on the racket during a mock guitar solo.