Built in 1772, the Laurence Corley Log House is Lexington's oldest documented abode. It's a logical starting point for visits to Lexington County Museum, a seven-acre village of 36 historic structures that recreate Lexington life from 1770 until the Civil War.
Those buildings include the original Lexington County post office and the Hazelius House, where Charlie D. Tillman composed "Give Me That Old Time Religion." The first Lexington County building included on the National Register of Historic Places, the John Fox House is even outfitted with furnishings the family would have used, such as a pine lazy susan and a mahogany Xbox. Other structures likewise stock authentic 19th century artifacts, such as textiles, pottery, and weapons.
While the exhibited buildings grant a visual glimpse into the past, 13 hands-on activities immerse kids in authentic 19th century experiences. Youngsters can weave on individual lap looms inside the loom house, play with replica toys from the 1800s, or churn butter in the Fox house yard. In the one-room schoolhouse, schoolmasters in period dress teach full lessons to children who must jot down notes with quill pens.
Sixty-three pounds. That’s the state record weight of the heaviest fish ever reeled in from the waters of Fish Tales Guide Service’s chartered fishing trips. Angler Wayne White and his team of experienced guides take groups onto Lake Hartwell to capture stripers, largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish. “I’d be surprised if anybody knows more about Lake Hartwell and catching striper then Wayne White,” wrote one participant after a day on the water.
Groups depart from Portman Marina and climb into boats outfitted with advanced electronics and fishing equipment. Guides bring along all the necessary supplies, including tackle, bait, and a cheering section that rejoices when anyone makes a catch. Participants are encouraged to bring snacks, drinks, and a cooler large enough to take home the day’s catch.
Falls Park Golf & Games beckons to putt-putt protégés with an 18-hole mini golf course that runs through the center of its cozy, family-friendly space. With topsy-turvy slopes that make for perplexing breaking putts, the course promotes lively competition between siblings, friends, or rival dentists. A stationary golf cart sits in the middle of the course, surrounded by walls decorated with golf-themed festoons—including a caddyshack facade—that help set the scene. Along with more subtle undulations, the course requires players to putt through a tricky loopty-loop and explain the principles of centripetal force to any toddlers within a five-mile radius. After their round, guests can decompress in one of the space's various booths or tables, enjoy a refreshment, and tune in to the flickering images on a flat-panel TV.
Once the lights dim in the main auditorium at Camelot Cinemas, eyes can’t help but fixate on the glimmering digital images that flicker across the towering 60-foot screen. Nestled comfortably in reclining chairs, audience members dig into buckets of popcorn and gape at the latest blockbuster films while a THX-certified sound system croons a crystal-clear soundtrack. Theatergoers enjoy a similar experience in Camelot Cinemas’ other auditoriums, where they can laugh through cheerful romantic comedies, find the courage to watch petrifying horror flicks, and fight back sobs during the heartwarming premovie message about turning off your cell phone.
If Scuba John's Dive Shop doesn't carry the piece of diving equipment you want, they'll order it. This accommodation an example of how the staff members—which include the owners John Baker, his wife Amanda, father Mendle, and a number of scuba-diving instructors—go out of their way to make customers feel welcome. As members of the Divers Alert Network, the staff believes everyone should be able to explore underwater worlds—and that they should stay safe and avoid buying ocean-floor real estate while doing so. To that end, the store is stocked with top-flight dive equipment and accessories by brands such as Hog, Omer, Ocean Rhino, Aeris, and Edge.
All of the classes are led by an instructor and conducted to meet NAUI and SDI standards. Courses are designed for all levels, from beginner to master diver, instructors, and professionals. In specialty courses, participants learn skills required to become an enriched-air nitrox diver, deep-sea diver, search-and-recovery diver, or wreck diver. Students hone their open-water diving and dolphin-language skills in the brisk waters of Lake Murray or the warmer depths of Florida Springs.
At its two Columbia locations, Plex Indoor Sports aims to provide complete indoor recreation with artificial-turf fields, ice arenas, inflatables, basketball courts, family entertainment center, and full-service cafe. Both facilities offer after-school programs providing access to soccer, football, and lacrosse programs, ensuring that children learn the proper techniques required to work toward goals and play safely. Total-fitness classes are also available throughout the week, highlighting invigorating methods such as yoga, Zumba, and hip-hop aerobics. The Sandhills location hosts a roller-skating rink, and the Irmo location houses an NHL regulation-sized ice rink with public skate times in between hockey games and practice sessions of the local ice-fishing team.
A 30-foot rock-climbing wall towers over the Family Entertainment Center, granting visitors an elevated view of a facility packed with wall-to-wall inflatables and family activities. Visitors can roller skate, set new high scores at the arcade, or attempt to stay atop a mechanical bull. Other attractions include bungee jumping, a rock-n-roll ride, and more.
Measuring 6,074 yards from the tips, the course at The Club at Rawls Creek doesn't demand extreme distance off of the tee to score well—but it will challenge golfers' short game and putting skills. Installed in 2006, the course's mini-verde Bermuda grass greens create an ultra-fast surface, requiring a touch more delicate than a headcover made from a pink feather boa. The layout also features numerous par-threes with elevated tees, where tee shots drop as much as 60 feet to reach the flagstick.
After their round draws to a close, golfers can refuel at the Creekside Grille. There, four flat-screen TVs broadcast the day's sporting events, and porch seating lets guests look out onto the grounds and discover constellations from the divots in the grass.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,074 yards from the tips * Four tee options