The photogenic port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, may look familiar to visitors—it’s been the setting of various TV shows and films, among them Dawson’s Creek and Cape Fear. The pristine, natural surroundings are the ideal setting for Mahanaim Adventures, a family-run business helmed by Don and Diane Harty. They make it their job to showcase the natural splendor with which the area flourishes, such as salt marshes, loggerhead sea turtles, great blue herons, and 2,000-year-old bald cypress trees whose cousins' branches are actually covered by toupees. Together, the duo harnesses their extensive outdoor adventure experiences—and even CPR and first-aid certifications—to lead a wide range of nature jaunts, helping participants explore the picturesque rivers, shark tooth–laden islands, and verdant woods during kayaking and backpacking trips.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
True to its roots as a premiere Brazilian Jiu Jitsu center, Alliance Fitness Center offers abundant mat space for students to practice grappling and ground-fighting techniques. But the studio goes beyond the mat, offering an array of fitness machines and bags so trainees can achieve optimal fitness. Utilizing all of Alliance's amenities, instructors lead muay thai, boxing, judo, group strength and conditioning, and Brazilian jujitsu classes—the latter two also offer a women’s-only counterpart class for a more supportive environment. Jiu jitsu also offers children an opportunity to learn self defense and anti-bullying skills.
At Rennegade Fishing Charters, US Coast Guard?licensed Captain John Renn leads fishing trips out of sunny Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, also serving the Southport, Oak Island, and Bald Head Island communities. A Cape Fear native and lifelong waterfarer, John specializes in inshore, live-bait trips that seek out red drum, flounder, and trout. During charters, he shares his deep knowledge of the area and extensive angling wisdom with his visitors, even helping them by coaching them as they bait hooks and reel in fish. And, as fishing is a year-round activity, Rennegade Fishing Charters is open all year long.
With iridescent miniature golf courses in malls throughout North America, Glowgolf adds elements of phosphorescent fun to shopping sessions. Courses contain sights such as light-defying blush corals, incandescent animals, and lush foliage reminiscent of the glowing trees on Neptune. Each pass is good for three 18-hole games, giving golfers ample opportunity to get familiar with each hole's obstacles. Equipment is available on the spot, so players won't have to carry around personal clubs or seek out a bioluminescent caddie.
Holiday Art Shows gathers together a wide array of contemporary and traditional artwork for arts and crafts fairs held in Lexington, Kentucky; Wilmington, North Carolina; and St. Augustine, Florida. Visitors can shop for paintings, photography, and sculptures to decorate their homes or drape themselves in handmade jewelry and fiber art. A knowledgeable jury reviews each artist's offerings to ensure a high-quality selection.