At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park surrounds a 5-acre lake with a constellation of camping stations and activity centers. The Garcia family graciously plays host to guests who careen down the twists and turns of the park's 300-foot waterslide, play mini golf, or cast lines into the lake to catch waiting fish. Along with opportunities to connect with nature and name every tree after their fathers, the Garcias furnish visitors with space to set up tents, pop-ups, and RVs, or stay in the ground's own rough-hewn cabins. They also provide showers and laundry facilities to help campers maintain ties with civilization. The family becomes especially excited when pointing guests in the direction of North Carolina's Chimney Rock or Grandfather Mountain for hikes and breathless sightseeing adventures.
Each of YMCA of Western North Carolina's five branches and 19 childcare sites remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, caring, responsibility, and respect as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, basketball courts, and personal-training sessions. They’ve also filled their fitness centers with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during cardio-dance and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead more than 200 programs, including children’s day camps, after-school programs, and dance classes.
Marion Lake Club's parcel of fertile land borders the mighty Lake James to the north and Pisgah National Forest to the east, forming a scenic cradle for the 18-hole golf course. In fact, part of the course fills a peninsula jutting out into the lake itself, creating the potential for a water-logged round if golfers spray their golf shots off the tee or find themselves at the helm a feral golf cart. Meanwhile, Linville Gorge and Shortoff Mountain hover on the horizon, giving players better aiming points as they corral their golf balls over the Bermuda fairways and bent grass greens that line the rolling terrain.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 70 course * Total length of 6,174 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 70.4 from the back tees * Course slope of 126 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * View the scorecard
Like green spokes, the fairways of Mimosa Hills Golf and Country Club spread radially from a gleaming white clubhouse?the course's stately and welcoming hub. The layout is the work of the famous Donald Ross, one of the few course architects to achieve something approaching household-name status. His magnum opus, Pinehurst No. 2, had already been around for a good 30 years before he started in on Mimosa Hills in 1929. The architect was drawn to the site's natural layout as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains skyline that rises up dramatically above the treetops. Much like Pinehurst, the course has survived the test of time: the North Carolina Golf Panel?an association of industry professionals and critics?placed the course 69th on its 2009 list of the top 100 courses in the state.
Horses may spend most of their day standing, but at Mimosa Hills Farm, they rarely just stand around. Crosby, the farm's owner, keeps the steeds constantly occupied, making them available casual trail rides across the farm as well as regular riding and driving lessons. But just as with a ten-gallon hat with a built-in spigot never loses its usefulness, the mounts' duties extend beyond the saddle. They also help teach husbandry lessons during educational farm days and provide the natural materials for making horsehair jewelry—a popular activity at Mimosa Hills. Perhaps most importantly, the animals serve as vital companions during the regional shows in which Crosby regularly participates.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30 Minutes or Less
Brands Used: Flytec, Northwing
Pro Tip: Call ahead.
Dress in comfortable layers, bring sun protection and a friend to share the experience.
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Experience the magic of free flight.
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
To be able to share the experience of free flight
What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
At Thermal Valley, you will fly with an experienced Hang gliding instructor dedicated to making your free flight experience one you will remember for a life time.
What?s your favorite part of your job?
Sharing the joys and wonder of free flight while flying among breath taking scenery of the North Carolina Mountains
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
For more fun, take an introductory flight in our tow plane (The Dragonfly).