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.
Covered in jagged faces and colorful tape, the climbing spaces at Urban Rocks Gym challenge mountaineers of all skill levels. More than 100 top-rope and lead-climbing routes rise up to 35 feet, with both relaxed vertical paths and grip-testing overhangs. A separate kids' wall offers lower altitudes for aspiring climbers, bolstering their confidence once they reach the top. Topped by an amphitheater-like roof, the 3,000-square-foot top-out-bouldering area enables participants to live out their dream of becoming a stalactite with a 60-degree wall, overhanging arêtes, and a maximum height of 14 feet. Those returning to the gym will find that its routes are regularly recalibrated, with 15 new top-rope routes and 25 new boulder problems every week.
Over the course of 50 to 55 minutes, the Missionary Ridge Local takes train-spotters on a 6-mile travel through time along Chattanooga's original rail lines. Once the classic, old-timey steam or diesel locomotive has chugged its way out of Grand Junction station, it will pass through the Missionary Ridge Tunnel, which predates both the Civil War and its disappointing sequels, Civil War Reloaded and Civil War Revolutions. When they arrive at East Chattanooga Depot, locomotive looky-loos will also witness the two ways to turn around a train. One involves the more familiar turntable method, and the other uses a wye, resulting in a maneuver similar to a three-point car turn that doesn't involve slamming into the trash cans in an alley and waking the neighbors. The Missionary Ridge Local runs on a limited schedule Tuesdays through Fridays in the spring and a full schedule on Saturdays and Sundays.
Music Instruction Studio's university-educated teachers dispense harmonious how-tos during music lessons for students 6 years and older. Offering instruction in pop, jazz, and classical styles, the instructors equip vocalists with belting skills, teach pianists masterful ivory tickling, and inspire bassists to lay down funkier grooves than Bootsy Collins retiling a bathroom. Music Instruction Studio stocks its interior with instruments as well as an entire library of sheet music that students can purchase at an additional cost; pupils may also rent out equipment for at-home practice. After stepping up their skills, students can draw on MIS's extensive music studio to showcase newfound abilities and hair-metal power slides during semiannual recitals at no additional charge.
Initially established as a social outlet for aspiring exercise participants, Scenic City Boot Camp has since successfully coached hundreds of un-trained students of all ages prepare for major fitness events. During one-hour classes, which are held indoors and outdoors, weather permitting, a seasoned instructor guides students through an ever-changing routine of moves inspired by methods such as interval training, proper breathing, running, and recovery techniques. To keep campers accountable and motivated, some classes offer nutritional food plans, track their progress with before-and-after measurements, and occasionally test their reactions to sneaker-shaped inkblots.
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.