A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley at altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.
In 1960, Vin Silvia put his faith in a parachute as he dove from an aircraft for his first freefall. The rush of adrenaline continued beyond the dropzone, inspiring the creation of Chattanooga Skydiving Company. Now in its third generation of family ownership, the company mints new divers on a regular basis. As long as the skies are clear and the clouds slake their appetites on birds rather than planes, instructors give lessons or pair up with novices for tandem jumps. Chattanooga Skydiving Company abides by safety methods approved by the United States Parachute Association so that any client can experience the thrill of great heights without previous experience or access to the shoulders of an obliging tall man. A digital video recording allows customers to upload, email, and share video evidence of their celestial endeavors.
A Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers and winner of the 2009 Larry MacPhail Trophy for inventive promotional efforts in the community, the Lookouts induce crackerjack-tossing cheers thanks to a skilled roster of battle-ready bat-and-glove brandishers. Settle into an up-close lower box seat (the seating areas in green) at scenic AT&T Field, where guests can absorb majestic views of the surrounding greenery and use their souvenir program to call out the opposing first baseman's credit score.
North Shore Yoga's spacious studio is a monument to all things yoga. Instructors lead a wide array of sessions designed to include practitioners of all ages and abilities. They demonstrate meditation, stretching, and windmill-dunk techniques in calming yin-yoga classes and help build strength and stamina in energetic power-yoga classes. The studio's lifestyle center looks after little ones in the childcare area, outfits people with yoga wear and accessories from the boutique, and maintains spaces for wellness services, such as acupuncture, nutritional consultations, and massage therapy.
The weight-loss experts at Venus Med Spa dedicate themselves to supplementing body-slimming efforts with personal coaching and noninvasive treatments. Staff members operate under the no-frills philosophy that dieters and exercisers can maintain their weight with a healthy lifestyle and sensible eating. But they also recognize that sticking to a healthy lifestyle can be harder than landing a helicopter on a doghouse roof, so the team works one-on-one with clients to educate them on such weight-loss methods as HCG diets, laser-assisted liposuction procedures, and body sculpting with Venus Freeze radio-frequency treatments. To supplement new shapes, Venus Med Spa smoothes wrinkles and plumps up skin with Botox and Juvéderm injections.
Thousands of dragons glitter and glimmer within the Dragon Dreams Museum. So many, in fact, that the museum owner is working on her entry in the Guinness Word Records book for—you guessed it—the biggest collection of dragons on earth. One-of-a-kind antiques and handcrafted figurines made from silver, jade, and ivory highlight the expansive collection. The on-site gift shop can help you start your own collection as well as purchase other items such as jewelry, magnets, ornaments, and posters.