Drawing from the more frightening pages of the area's history, Carolina History & Haunts? guides lead lantern-lit tours of eerie and haunted locales. The ?Nightmares Around Elm Street? tour sends groups through the specter-laden streets of Greensboro, while the Beyond the Grave tour braves uptown Charlotte?s paranormal avenues to learn the fates of the less fortunate and possibly even witness a prankster ghost grabbing a dog's tail as it's chased.
Carolina History & Haunts partners with local businesses to give tour goers discounts on accommodations and food, and large groups are eligible for discounted pricing and private tours.
Grape ranchers Phil and Dianne Nordan preside over a rotating flock of wines, which fuel the sounds of clinking glasses in their treehouse nestled high in the arms of a towering oak on their land. A treehouse aficionado from an early age, Phil decided to build a treehouse for adults on his farm in 1999, equipping it with furniture, an indoor fireplace, and phone. Later, after growing vines on the farm’s land for more than 50 years, the duo decided to plant a vineyard in 2004, and thus Treehouse Vineyards was born.
Many of the Nordan’s wines are culled from native grapes, including one strain claiming centuries-old lineage from the Mother Vine in Manteo. Nurtured with organic fertilizer, the vineyard’s crew ultimately fills bottles with concoctions ranging from its Crystal Creek magnolia muscadine to the bolder Tack Shack Red, perfect for toasting a special occasion or christening a spouse’s shoe before they go to work. Other varietals include cabernet sauvignons, merlots, and dulcet riesling. Down the hill overlooking the pond rests Papa’s Dream Treehouse, one of the property’s two secluded treetop bungalows straight from the pages of a child’s imagination. Available for overnight rentals only, the treehouse boasts a grill, kitchenette, and lofted bedroom for an all-encompassing visit.
Elizabeth Schafer and winemaker Jeffery Oliver, owners of Southern Medley Wine Cellar in Uptown Wadesboro, bring their respective talents together to create a tasting room that is at once vintage and modern. The lounge and wine-making facility's decor and menu are inspired by the couple's historic 1837 house. Each of the seven wines, which the couple make on-site in small batches, are named for aspects of the home and its original owners, Joseph and Elizabeth Medley. The Cellar provides regular tastings to help guests explore each wine, and the brick-face building with black awning makes this business easy to locate.
Know Your Farms began in 2008 with a mission of building a more sustainable local food system for the Charlotte community. Since then, it's blossomed into a food-delivery service based off the principle of community-supported agriculture (CSA). Its members now pick up a box of fresh produce each week at a community location, taking home fresh, in-season ingredients from more than 30 area farms. Acting as a bridge between farmers and the community, Know Your Farms hosts an annual farm tour and runs a kids' summer camp, which teaches youngsters about cooking, nutrition, and gardening.
In 1971, Larry and Evelyn Hilton took it upon themselves to try making a few gallons of wine. Although they battled a difficult climate, the Hiltons used their small 3-acre plot of land to plant french-hybrid grapes, and somehow they survived. Today, they make a long list of wines from fruits grown at their vineyard and winery.
The instructors at Open Water Adventures reach out to swimmers of all levels with watery exploration from kids’ swimming classes to international scuba-diving trips. Alongside a dive-simulator pool for scuba students, the indoor heated pool hosts swim lessons in lanes along a 2-foot ledge for younger swimmers. Through it all, the experienced instructors—inspired by the likes of Jacques Cousteau and their childhood rubber duckies—impart tips on managing scuba equipment or doing the backstroke. The year-round swimming lessons educate youngsters of all abilities aged 3–12, drawing from the Swim Schools International program's standardized teachings, which focus on water safety and proper technique. After taking a dip, swimmers can scurry to club-style bathrooms with lockers and showers, or head to the onsite shop that sells gear from swim caps to guaranteed scuba equipment.