It's easy to see that the hunting experts at Taylor Creek Shooting Preserve love their job—especially considering many of them are pointers and English setters. Along with human guides, these trained dogs lead groups into the woods for guided hunts of game birds. Alternatively, the preserve's continental pheasant shoots call hunters to assemble at 12 stations encircling a 60-foot tower, where pheasants are released into the air.
In addition to these hunting grounds, Taylor Creek Shooting Preserve sets aside 20 acres for sporting clays. Towering pines and open fields set the stage for a 12-station sporting clay course, which stays open year-round to challenge intermediate and advanced clients. The terrain also encompasses a five-stand course and a skeet field.
As the name implies, the certified instructors at Basic Fitness take a no-frills approach to getting clients into shape. Their workouts don't have fancy names. They don't boast cutting-edge fad routines or diets. Instead, they rely on age-old effort, motivating clients through outdoor workouts that change daily. Clients can find themselves running on the beach through thigh-high water, doing pushups in a field, or holding yoga poses in an empty parking lot. The team extends its slenderizing efforts past workout sessions by devising grocery lists filled with healthy and tasty eating options.
The certified instructors at CrossFit Flowood write each "workout of the day" on a whiteboard. More often than not it will read "push-ups," "squats," "dead lifts," or other similarly functional exercise. To help newcomers get up to speed and learn the proper lifting techniques for the exercises, the staff schedules instructional CrossFit on-ramp classes. Even better, in an effort to create a community-focused atmosphere, the facility offers childcare services.
It's easy to see how fresh the meat is at South Alabama Custom Meats, since owner Tony Brooks cuts them right when you order. Brooks and his son continue the company's 30-year legacy of providing both exotic cuts of meat and processing hunters' venison. They package meats in family-size packs fit for any number of people, including cuts of ribs, pork chops, and their house-smoked sausages.
DriveTech engages novice and expert drivers' adrenal glands with rubber-burning racing packages. With the four-lap ride-along, thrill-seeking passengers can hop aboard a NASCAR-style stock car for in-the-action views as a professional driver whips around either raceway's half-mile track, reaching speeds much faster than the legal limits for regular roads or fast-forwarded car-chase scenes. The Shootout! experience starts off with a one-hour drivers' meeting, during which experienced instructors cover all the necessary material—including driving techniques and safety procedures—needed to tame a V8-toting mechanical beast. Afterward, participants can get behind the wheel for 15 invigorating laps as their instructor coaches them with a one-way radio, leaving their hair mussed, their eyes bulged, and their torso coated in corporate sponsorships.
On April 7, 1932, Walter and Bessie Bellingrath invited the public to peruse their private gardens for an afternoon. They expected only a handful of garden aficionados, but instead more than 5,000 locals flocked to see the Bellingrath's azaleas. The crowds were so massive that the Mobile police were called in to direct traffic. Two years later, the couple officially opened Bellingrath Gardens as a year-round attraction.
These days, new flower varieties are always blooming across the gardens' 65 acres, from chrysanthemums each autumn to more than 2,000 roses in the summer. Besides the flowers, the property hosts a 1,600-foot boardwalk winding through a bayou preserve and a riverfront grotto perched beside a waterfall. After exploring the grounds, stop into the 10,500-square-foot Bellingrath home, which still contains Mrs. Bellingrath's china collection and the basement hole Mr. Bellingrath dug to China.