Designed by course architect George Cobb—who has lent his fairway-carving skills to more than 100 courses, including Augusta National—Cleghorn Plantation's 18-hole course surfs the emerald waves of the Smoky Mountain foothills across 6,819 yards of kempt terrain. Fragrant Carolina pines hug fairways throughout the round, providing a sense of constancy to diverse terrain that melds together steep inclines, flat valley floors, and holes that double as intergalactic wormholes. Clubbers must also contend with water hazards on eight holes, including on the demanding par 4 on hole 11, where tee shots must bisect a narrow tract of fairway beset on both sides by ominous waters. The club helps players prepare with expansive practice facilities, including a driving range with new practice balls and a station where players can leave disobedient clubs in timeout. Cleghorn Plantation's Manor House beckons to weary golfers with the elegant trappings of a restored plantation house originally built in 1837. The House's Southern-style cooking stems hunger's tide during classy date nights or get-togethers, and a bar and grill with 12 flat-screen TVs evokes a more laid-back ambiance for postround golfers or children famished from a day of synchronized parent summoning at the outdoor pool. Course at a Glance: * Designed by George Cobb * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 6,819 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 73.0 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 132 from the farthest tees * Four tee options
Whether Big Air Aviation's students are first-time fliers or seasoned jumbo-jet pilots, they all start in the same spot: the passenger seat of Cessna 152 Sparrowhawk. Starting off behind the yoke of the small, light aircraft presents a completely different flying experience from a 747 at an airport. “A commercial jet is like a cattle prod,” says Rob Craig, the founder of Big Air Aviation. “But this thing—you can go wherever you want to go.” Once student and teacher have ascended into the clouds, the student gets the chance to chart an individual course over the green foothills of Rutherford County, speeding over treetops or slowing down to high-five hot air balloon captains.
Rob says introductory lessons are brief: an overview of measurement instruments, controls, and rotor petals is enough to equip students for a brief flight. It’s this accessibility that proves the Cessna 152 Sparrowhawk’s biggest draw, and over the years, Rob has watched many of his former students transform what began as a hobby into a full-time career.
When Lisa Muehlenbein moved from Ohio to Spartanburg in 2007, she couldn't find a suitable outlet for her yoga practice. So, as she told Belle magazine in January 2012, she decided to open her own studio. A registered yoga teacher with nearly 2,000 hours of training, Lisa oversees a squad of registered teachers leading more than 25 classes per week. In an eco-friendly studio designed with sustainably harvested hardwood flooring and mats of renewable rubber, students of all levels stretch zen-wards during classes such as YogaWall, Zen Men yoga, and Zen Kids yoga. After class, students can sustain their relaxed states with massage, acupuncture, and reiki sessions or cups of organic, fair-trade Keurig coffee and Numi tea. The Zen Garden Eco-Chic Boutique stocks a selection of brand-name clothing and accessories made with sustainable materials such as organic cotton and the hair from Tom Jones's chest.
Golfers traversing Creek Golf Club's 6,625-yard course enjoy plateaued tee boxes and fairways lined with mature trees. The 18-hole course showcases smooth, diamond Zoysia grass greens that tightly swathe the terrain's parkland-style contours like skinny jeans on the Jolly Green Giant's hips.
Golf balls fall like hail from the skies above the Club's driving range, where synthetic mats facilitate practice during inclement weather and grass tees provide a natural lie for swing rehearsals. The range serves as the classroom for lessons with PGA professional Mike Byce, who assists those looking to add distance to their drives or transition from a conventional putter to a belly putter or a sawed-off curtain rod.
After a day at the links, guests can refuel at the Club's bar and grill, which serves burgers, salads, cold-cut sandwiches, and other classic eats.
The altitude fiends at Climb Upstate entreat climbers of all skill levels to practice their vertical vernacular in the architect-designed indoor facility. Climbers clamber through a simulated cave while perfecting their mole-people dialect or emulate a bouldering adventure on more than 100 feet of continuous scaling space. Numerous routes designed for every ability take advantage of the facility’s ample lean-back walls, 35 feet of roof climbing, and top-rope stations, two of which stretch all the way to the ceiling. Between ascents, guests may relax in the party space and catch screenings of climbing movies on a 42-inch flat-screen or dust off their chalky hands for a round of table tennis on the facility's ping-pong table.
The future is now at Paradise Lanes & Family Entertainment. On Friday and Saturday nights for Cosmic Bowling, the lanes light up like an airline runway as disco lights traverse the room, painting everything in primary colors. Even in the light of day, bowlers take advantage of state-of-the-art scoring systems at each of the 32 glossy lanes. Little bowlers don't have to bring along their robot arms to send their balls down the lane either; here, they have bowling balls lightweight enough for them to roll and bumpers available on many lanes. Post-bowling, players retire for a tropical drink at the tiki bar or claim a table in the 11th Frame Diner for a burger, BLT, or some fried pickles.