Windsong Sailing Academy blends the educational and the recreational aspects of sailing. It is a formula that has inspired lifelong passions in several former students. One student abandoned his corporate life to sail the Caribbean with his son, and another couple spent their retirement as the co-captains of an Island Packet 38 sailboat, boating past Miami, the Bahamas, and several countries recently acquired by Tom Hanks. Over the course of Windsong’s 25 years of nautical adventures, Captain Dave Crumbley and his team have still sought to instill both knowledge and passion for the sport they love. With their educational courses, you’ll learn both theory and technique, and you can choose to take a program that can lead to certification with the American Sailing Association. For pure buoyant bliss, board one of Windsong’s themed outings on Lake Lanier, which have included a murder mystery, a Jamaican-music night, and a storytelling voyage.
Nestled in the high branches of Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, a network of ropes, ladders, and bridges invites amateur adventurers to scurry across their lengths. Although Treetop Quest’s ropes courses hover as high as 55 feet above the ground, guests stay safe thanks to a belay system that’s impossible to detach at canopy level. During self-guided adventures, they encounter more than 70 obstacles, whooshing along ziplines, scaling rope nets, and carefully crossing suspension and monkey bridges. Before guests ascend through the branches, instructors issue them harnesses and gloves and give them a thorough safety briefing. The courses vary in difficulty and height to accommodate all experience levels and ages, allowing visitors as young as 4 to enjoy a challenge, even if it’s just trying to sweet-talk a squirrel into sharing his stash of Corn Nuts.
Amid the excitement, Treetop Quest educates patrons on the surrounding environment through plaques and info boards at each course level. The courses operate sustainably to respect their arboreal hosts; the structures are treatment-free and don’t puncture the trees in any way.
Cleaved through forests of towering hardwoods, Hampton Golf Village’s 18-hole course ripples over the rolling foothills of North Georgia, showcasing a 6,903-yard, par 71 layout. The undulating terrain is incorporated the most on the front nine, where dramatic elevation changes give an advantage to golfers who can adjust their swing for uphill or downhill targets. Streams and wetlands intersect the fairways on the back nine, which winds through more grounded terrain to give relief to both thirsty golf carts and those with a fear of heights. After testing their skills across the two distinct nines, golfers can fuel up with a meal at the Village Grill, which serves hot dogs, hamburgers, and other traditional eats.
At Dive Educators, the team of certified instructors works to uphold the center's SSI Diamond status. That means everything from helping newcomers get their feet wet in the heated waters of the center's 25' x 50' pool to teaching more seasoned divers advanced skills such as technical diving in the pool's 20' x 25' x 10' dive well. To supplement the in-water curriculum, the instructors have two classrooms where students can complete coursework and test the waterproofness of a Power Point presentation.
Captain Doug Dixon reels in fishermen for chartered trips on a fully loaded 24 Bay Champion boat, setting out for half-day bass-chasing adventures on Lake Lanier, one of the premier fishing locations for striped and spotted bass. Fisherfolk are set to hook big ones using the provided equipment, including rods and reels, bait, and a fish call. Sportsmen and women boasting rods and reels are welcome to bring their own equipment, as long as it meets Georgia state fishing regulations. The boat, bait, and tackle will be ready before you arrive, so the scale stalking can commence immediately after a short tactics discussion and safety orientation.
Ranked in Golfweek's Best Courses You Can Play in Indiana, the course at Prairie View Golf Club is situated on 206 acres of environmentally protected land along the White River with scenic prairieland and five lakes. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design features natural wetlands with a rushing stream that comes into play on four holes, forcing players to demonstrate deft control or gilled golf bags. On the front nine, the prairie setting invites harsh winds to blow across bentgrass fairways, often knocking shots off course. As players make the turn onto the back nine, they notice a marked difference in the environment, as open prairies give way to tall sycamore, oak, beech, and cottonwood trees lying just beyond the Kentucky bluegrass rough. Across the river lies Conner Prairie, a historical re-enactment village whose elegant, 1830s-era style was adopted for the design of the course's 15,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Course at a Glance: