Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Old Salem Museums & Gardens whisks visitors to the cozy streets of a reconstructed 18th-century Moravian town that encompasses 100 restored and reclaimed buildings and expansive, pristine gardens. As they stroll through the 90-acre homage to early Americana, visitors can interact with hands-on activities, such as the German paper-cutting art of Scherenschnitte or the colonial tradition of libeling a governor with accusations of actually governing. Old Salem's horticultural marvels include the Miksch Garden—a living illustration of Moravian subsistence farming—and the Family Gardens of Salt Street, which demonstrate the innovative practice of seed saving. In addition to year-round attractions, special exhibits rotate through town, celebrating momentous occasions, notable people, and game-changing presidential pets. After traversing the grounds, visitors can peruse souvenirs at a number of gift shops or sidle into Winkler’s Bakery for a piece of renowned Moravian sugar cake.
Beginning as a single restaurant in Indian Trail, Bonfire Bar & Grill has since expanded to a second location in Concord thanks to its palate-popular fare, ranging from expertly grilled burgers and steaks to Old World favorites such as pastas and pizza. Every Sunday during football season, patrons gather amid the glow of flat-screen TVs to watch grown men resolve their differences on the gridiron and to feast on crispy fish ‘n’ chips, blackened-fish tacos, or barbecue-smothered pork ribs fresh off the grill. On Wednesday nights, half-price bottles of wine supply amateur singers the liquid courage to storm the bar’s stage and belt out karaoke songs. Situated next to the Sun Valley 14 movie theater, the Indian Trail location offers dinner-and-movie packages and deals, such as 10% off food with every movie stub, or 100% off food for every Oscar you've won.
Every so often, people should get in touch with nature to trade addresses and catch up on major life developments. Today's Groupon gives you access to the birds, the bees, and the boats. For $65, you get a weekend night's stay in a cottage at Lake Norman (a $136 tax-included value), about 18 miles north of Charlotte. For $40, you can stay in the same cottage on a weeknight (an $82 tax-included value).
Weaverville Yoga's passionate instructors help aspiring yogis pose, stretch, and align themselves toward physical wellness and spiritual serenity with tension-melting Kundalini and therapeutic yoga classes. The serene studio’s muted tones and natural light set a soothing stage for a robust schedule, engendering relaxation as students vogue through body-bending poses. During exhilarating Kundalini yoga sessions, students harness holistic balance and serenity through poses facilitated by meditative pranayama breathing and underscored by tranquil music. The studio's gentle yoga classes share therapeutic yogic techniques to aid pupils with limited mobility caused by age, illness, or lengthy embraces with an ice sculpture. In Flexible Yoga for the Inflexible Man, instructors walk all-male groups through classes that help students regain pliancy more quickly than a freshly buttered pipe cleaner.