Surrealist murals of outer space—complete with orbiting dolphins and bowling pins—look down from overhead as customers topple pins on the 32 USBC-certified bowling lines inside Planet Fun. This cosmic theme extends throughout the 50,000-square-foot family entertainment center, and kids and adults flock to its many attractions. At the two-story indoor laser tag arena, epic sci-fi battles are fought with focused beams of light amid spirited debates over hypothetical confrontations between the Enterprise and a Star Destroyer. The nine-hole mini-golf course allows guests to immerse themselves in the black-lit glow of the sea, accompanied by sights of giant neon oysters, starfish, and divers. To refute theories that life isn’t all about games, Planet Fun also boasts a redemption arcade stocked with more than 100 titles. After exchanging tickets for prizes, players tackle stomach rumblings at the on-site Starz Grill, which serves up a family-friendly menu of steaks, salads, burgers, chicken, pasta, and all-you-can-eat crab legs.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology. At Curves, estrogen-touting exercise mavens move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can. The Curves Circuit with Zumba Fitness incorporates the Curves philosophy within the moves of Zumba, a Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that focuses on free-form movement instead of belligerently counting reps over the music.
You might have been ziplining before?but chances are it wasn't on a skateboard. Luckily, Go Ape is ready to remedy that oversight, offering ziplines ridden via specially wired boards at some of its parks. It's part of Go Ape's ongoing effort to make its courses unique from any others in the country. For starters, you don't just zipline?you conquer a course that includes rope ladders, swings, bridges, and other crossings. As you navigate the courses, you're heading higher into the treetops, seeing parks from vantage points that would otherwise be inaccessible. Thousands of feet of zipline bring you back down to Earth more effectively than trying to build an elevator in a nearby tree.
Safety is just as important as adventure. Each excursion begins with a 30-minute safety briefing, and instructors constantly patrol the grounds. Guests can move at their own pace, making a trip to Go Ape an ideal team-building adventure for corporate and school groups. And every zipline trip helps the environment as well?Go Ape gives a portion of their proceeds to the public parks they call home.
When Skydive Myrtle Beach’s instructors say that their careers are plummeting, they aren’t being pessimistic about their employment prospects—they’re telling the literal truth. Many of these professional plungers boast a background in the military and Special Operations, putting their extensive airborne experience to work helping civilians learn the art and thrill of free falling. They provide one-on-one instruction on the ground for new skydivers before loading them into a Pilatus Porter airplane for a 15-minute ride to altitude. At a height of a little more than 2 miles, they strap onto their students and execute a high-altitude jump, reaching speeds of 120 miles per hour before deploying the chutes. The resulting drift to earth lasts about five minutes, allowing students the perfect opportunity to capture photos of Myrtle Beach or very incautious birds.
With more than 170 participating courses stretching from New Hampshire to Georgia, MyGolf’s membership card grants golfers stationed throughout the Atlantic coast an opportunity to tour the region’s diverse links. Specific discounts vary from course to course, but all participating links honor the discount for members as well as their playing mates, encouraging social play while freeing up funds to send serrated sand wedges to culinary school. Affiliated golf academies prepare players for their rounds with discounted lessons, and clubbers can upgrade their equipment at participating golf shops. Along with cut-rate pin-hunting expeditions, the membership facilitates golf-centric vacations with discounts at restaurants, hotels, and Cold War-era bomb shelters near participating golf courses.
At Azalea Sands Golf Club, a waterless hole doesn't come into play until the tenth hole, and only three are found throughout the course. However, those players piqued by the prospect of challenge will find their niche along the 18-hole layout. First opened in 1972 and revamped in 2009, the course pits players against its mix of ponds, fairway- and green-side bunkers, and surrounding forest—a natural setting unmarred by the presence of housing developments or busy streets filled with traffic of escaped golf carts.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,902 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72.5 from the back tees * Slope rating of 123 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard