Somewhere in the mountains of Chattanooga in 1928, Garnet Carter patented the first miniature golf course, inciting a nationwide pastime that brought families and friends together around pintsized putting surfaces.
Inspired by the local history and an indoor golf course visited while on vacation, Nathan Brown and his friends began fantasizing about their own miniature golf course, either building one in their hometown or patenting the first ever zero-gravity moon course. After tireless efforts and multiple failed rocket launches later, Scenic City Mini Golf opened its indoor greens in November 2010.
Dimpled balls roll along verdant turf that simulates real grass, while beige and blue turf mimic sand and water traps, adding strokes to scorecards for errant shots. Hole 14 requires golfers to double back and hit golf balls around, then beneath the hole's rough and toll troll, while hole 17's two-tier design draws shots into one of two preliminary holes before they can approach the green below. Pre- or postrounds, golfers can cool off with Blue Bell ice cream from the snack area, enjoying their frozen treats in a cone or as a milkshake, malt, or float.
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.
The Chattanooga Zoo opened its doors in 1937 with an exhibit containing two rhesus monkeys. Pretty soon, it had expanded to include bobcats, lions, and gators, until eventually becoming the venerable non-profit institution it is today, supporting conservation efforts for rare and endangered species around the world.
In the zoo's forest area, chimps, wildcats, and tortoises roam their habitats to the sound of churning water beneath two waterfalls. Red pandas scurry around a Himalayan habitat, and spider monkeys spin gossamer webs in the jungle area. Kids can play with goats and sheep at the petting zoo, or take a few revolutions on the carousel. With a refurbished frame from 1927, it spins guests on the backs of hand-carved seats fashioned after endangered animals such as snow leopards and low lying gorillas.
Behind the scenes, the zoo's caretakers work to rehabilitate hundreds of animals each year so that they can return to the wild. They also lead conservation efforts for rare species—including snow leopards, fennec foxes, and cotton-top tamarins—and educate thousands of students annually with interactive events catered to school curricula.
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.
Mr. & Mrs. M sets Macbeth and his lady free from the bonds of history by transforming Shakespeare’s power-hungry power couple into noir characters complete with black bow ties and blood-red lipstick. Under Scott Dunlap’s direction, the conniving twosome weave through murderous plans like characters from Fritz Lang or Orson Welles while starkly lit and backed by a dissonant soundtrack of techno and swing music. Eerie visuals inspired by the films of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch flesh out the production, which was inspired in part by ghosts spotted in Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s historic corridors. Timeless themes trail through the juxtaposition of several different eras, including morality's demands on the conscience, the terror of embracing one's free will, and the eternal search for a product to keep a bloodstained dress from turning all the laundry pink.