Situated on a former World War II training base, Carolina Motorsports Park continues its locale’s history of tutelage with an array of racing lessons and events. The park’s 2.3-mile road-course track gives stock cars, Formula One cars, motorcycles, and street-legal vehicles an outlet to wrap tires around 14 turns and launch speedometer needles into passengers' laps. Rentable Birel N35 Rock go-karts rev their 9-horsepower Honda engines around the 0.7-mile kart track and a 0.21-mile tri-oval track for guests 12 and older. The facility, which hosts regular racing events, also boasts 24 open-air day garages and a 200-foot skidpad where drivers hone their handling and cars practice their moonwalk.
As a boy, Aerowood Aviation president Roger Wood idolized planes, trading labor for rides at his local airport. After his first ultralight flight in a muddy cow pasture at age 13, he was hooked. He eventually sought out his pilot license and bought his own Cessna. Roger now shares his passion and 3,800+ hours of flight experience with aspiring pilots looking to achieve their own childhood dreams. Students work toward a sport or private flight certification by burrowing their way through a syllabus in aerodynamics and a structured training program. A staff of seasoned pilots lead each ascent above the horizon line, while certified pilots can rent aircraft at an hourly rate.
Happy Hills Alpaca Farm celebrates all aspects of the furry alpaca, from its fleece to its general cuteness. The farm serves as a one-stop shop for people looking to purchase alpacas, pick up hypoallergenic alpaca-fleece socks or scarves, or simply watch and feed the animals. The farm holds regular events to better acquaint the public with these useful creatures, whose warm, soft, and durable coats form the basis of jewelry and clothing including baby products. Tours provide a close-up view of the alpacas and the fleece-spinning process, so visitors can learn more about sustainable farming.
James Pugliese founded Better Golf Academy with a straightforward premise: simplify the golf swing for children of all ages. This approach, he knew, would help to grow the game, not only allowing current junior golfers to more thoroughly enjoy it, but also helping beginning youngsters stick with it through the inevitable frustrations. Through an array of lessons and multiday camps, the academy teaches young clubbers the entire game of golf, from proper full swing mechanics to short-game practice to proper etiquette and safety. Students will be tested for both strengths and weaknesses in their games, and prescribed drills and practice techniques to help them shore up those areas in need of attention.
For three generations—and more than 70 years—the Nicholsons have harvested crops that complement both family farms and family tables, a tradition that Jack and Ryan Nicholson continue today. Fresh from their forest, the Nicholson Farms crew delivers and spreads pine straw of myriad varieties. Potting soil, mulch, and other landscaping materials keep outdoor areas healthy, and wood playground cushioning protects kids from the hard surfaces of playgrounds and the even harder realities of tax law. In the garden, a bountiful vineyard and orchard yields homegrown fruits and vegetables ranging from blackberries, blueberries, and watermelons to squash and peppers.
The sound of feet slapping on the padded ground and little voices twisted by constant motion fill Xtreme Play. Jeff and Julie Austin, owners of the play center, have five children, so they are familiar with the busy chorus. The duo and its staff are also well prepared to keep an eye on youngsters as they bounce from inflatable obstacles or squeal down slides. At a miniature arcade, small hands grab Wii and PlayStation controllers, simulating adventures through castles and the civil-service tests to become a castle inspector. The babble of special events drifts from private party rooms, where pizzas fuel fetes.