Armed with just a single, generations-old cookie recipe, Great American Cookies opened its first store in 1977, and the rest is history. Today, the franchise boasts locations in malls across the country and nabbed a coveted spot on Entrepreneur magazine?s 2012 list of Top 500 Franchises in the baked-goods category. The shop?s reputation grew, and so did its menu as chefs churned out a mouthwatering roster of gourmet-cookie recipes, each created and carefully tested in Atlanta. The tempting options now include snickerdoodle, peanut butter with M&M?s, and chewy pecan supreme, as well as freshly baked fudge and cheesecake brownies and cookie sandwiches stuffed with frosting. The real showstoppers, however, are the giant chocolate-chip cookie cakes, which can be customized with sweet, celebratory messages or shopping lists penned in colorful icing.
Six water hazards supply the bulk of difficulty at Cedar Ridge Golf Course, where golfers hunt pars across a relatively flat, 18-hole layout. Golfers must evade the course’s waterways on 11 holes, giving advantage to those who trust their swings or designed tiny life vests for their golf balls. Dense trees lines loom on the edge of fairways on the back nine, and undulating greens challenge putters throughout the course. Cedar Ridge keeps its par-hunters energized for the round with an onsite snack bar.
At Dynamic Krav Maga & Fitness, self-defense comes first. That’s why the staff teaches the same martial-art discipline employed by real-life self-defenders from the Israeli Defense Forces to the Navy SEALs and US Special Forces. Krav maga combines elements from a variety of martial-arts disciplines, including boxing and self-defense techniques. These have been forged into a system capable of dealing with any dangerous situation, from defending against a single or multiple opponents to disarming and disabling a weapon-wielding assailant. You won’t find official uniforms or katas at the studio, just experienced, patient instructors and committed students.
Dance instructor Gabriela Gonzalez calls upon more than nine years of experience to lead high-energy classes that compel groups of as many as 50 students to shake, spin, and sweat while learning the principles of styles such as ballroom and salsa. Gabriela’s bilingualism allows her to conduct classes or private sessions in English or Spanish, leaving no student charged with the task of interpreting her lightning-quick body language as she teaches such skills as leading and following, dance steps, and transitions. Most group classes welcome students of all skill levels, and since no partner is necessary, they're a fantastic way to socialize. More advanced classes cater to competitive dancers and tend to focus on fancy footwork, dance-floor etiquette, and proper stage-diving form.
With a meticulously maintained Bermuda grass driving range, PGA professionals on staff, and three practice greens, Madison Golf Center has fashioned itself into a prime place to learn and get better at the game of golf. The grounds crew keeps the large, 70-tee grass hitting area in pristine condition, cutting it to less than half an inch each day to accurately recreate the playing conditions of private clubs. Once players have worked the rust off of their drives and filed the rust off of their irons, they can hone their touch around the greens in a short game practice area comprised of three putting greens and a chipping and pitching green. The center’s trio of golf professionals are always on hand to help players along their path to improvement through private and group lessons customized to each player’s playing style and goals.
Bikram Hot Yoga Huntsville's teachers lead students through Bikram Choudhury's signature series of 26 hatha postures, each using the muscles loosened by the last pose’s stretch. His technique incorporates a series of 26 postures tied together in a heated environment to aid flexibility and boost the body’s toxin-fighting prowess. Breathing exercises punctuate each class, providing time for students to relax.