You might be tempted to go a traditional route for gifts this holiday season. But, you know what’s better than giving your friends and loved ones a well-intentioned tchotchke (that’s destined to be another bit of unwanted clutter)?
Experience gifts have grown in popularity over the last few years. With more people wanting to *do* rather than to *have*, it’s likely that many people on your holiday shopping list are looking for something a little different.
Unsure of what types of experiences to give? Located close to the South Carolina / North Carolina border, the Skydive Carolina team has explored plenty of neat places across the region. Check out our list of ideas for the top experience gifts in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Looking for experience gift ideas in North Carolina? There are a ton! Here are some of our favorite experiences in the Tar Heel State!
As skydivers, we’re admittedly drawn to physical, adventurous activities. Enter: Inner Peaks Climbing.
Inner Peaks Climbing is an indoor rock climbing gym where we’ve spent many an evening. Inner Peaks has two locations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area – one in Matthews and the other in South End. The South End location features 17,000 square feet of climbing and 40-foot vertical climbing walls. The Matthews location is a bit smaller with 8,500 square feet of climbing and 25-foot vertical climbing walls.
At either location, you can try bouldering or hit the tall walls for top rope, lead, or auto-belay climbing. Both feature a comprehensive fitness center complete with cardio equipment, weight racks, kettlebells, medicine balls, and free weights. If you’re looking for something a little milder, last but certainly not least, both Inner Peaks locations offer yoga classes!
With two locations in Asheville, North Carolina, Navitat is a high-flying ziplining adventure. They’ve created perfect elevated playgrounds for treetop tours, sky bridges, timber stair climbs, and rope descents. And they practice environmental stewardship – Navitat not only offers ziplines integrated into the natural setting, but they also seek to keep conservation as a primary focus. Suitable for first-timers and thrill seekers alike, Navitat is a unique way to experience the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Take a walk on the wild side with a visit to Tiger World in Rockwell, North Carolina. Tiger World Endangered Wildlife Preserve is a nonprofit animal conservation and educational center. See big cats and a menagerie of other endangered animals playing, eating, and interacting with handlers in a natural setting. Offering guided and self-guided tours, Tiger World provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about these animals up close and personal.
Does someone on your shopping list have a need for speed? Treat them to an experience gift in North Carolina that should be the perfect fit: a trip to Victory Lane Karting. Zip about the track in the best karts in the industry, built for speed, safety, and reliability. Tackle the original “Orange Track ” of acute turns and straightaways, or challenge yourself with the “Blue Track” – a slick-surfaced, technical high-speed track.
After you finish the race, there’s plenty to do at Victory Lane Karting. In addition to go-karting, there is also a bowling alley, arcade, axe throwing, a virtual reality Omni Arena, and an escape room!
While North Carolina experiences may get most of the attention, South Carolina has plenty of experience gift opportunities to offer too!
Do you have someone on your shopping list who doesn’t mind getting a little dirty? If there’s a rough-and-tumble friend or family member you’re shopping for, a pass to Carolina Adventure World might be just the ticket.
With 100 miles of ATV, UTV, and dirt bike trails covering 2,600 acres, Carolina Adventure World is the place to ride! The park also offers mud bogs, a rock crawl, a Welcome Center with dining, a camp store, merch and Wi-Fi, barbeque pits, a bathhouse, RV sites, tent camping, log cabins, and yurt rentals. With so much to do, why not stay and play for a while!?
Don’t have your own ride? No worries, Carolina Adventure World also has plenty of side by sides, ATVs, and dirt bikes for rent!
Located just 15 minutes from Skydive Carolina is SouthTown Wake Park.
Typically, wakeboarding requires being pulled along a body of water by a boat. Don’t have a boat? No problem. SouthTown Wake Park riders are pulled by an innovative overhead cable ski system.
Never been wakeboarding before? SouthTown Wake Park offers introductory lessons, private lessons, and even slow-ride clinics where you can ride slow-speed and receive coaching with other beginners.
In addition to wakeboarding, SouthTown Wake Park also has an Aqua Park with an inflatable obstacle course, slides, and jumps. Guests to the park can also use stand-up paddle boards and kayaks for a little easygoing fun on the water!
Naturally, we can’t leave ourselves off the top experience gifts South Carolina list!
Located between Charlotte, NC and Columbia, SC, Skydive Carolina is the number one rated skydiving center in the Carolinas. Offering tandem skydiving, Accelerated Freefall Training, and sport skydiving, Skydive Carolina is a premier dropzone providing world-class skydiving near NC.
Trust us: there’s no experience quite like skydiving. If you really aim to impress your friends and family, surprise them with a gift certificate to go tandem skydiving.
The tandem skydiving process is fairly straightforward. After receiving a safety briefing, tandem skydiving students are paired with a licensed, professional skydiving instructor. When it’s time, they’ll board the aircraft, fly to about 14,000 feet, and leap in the big, Carolina blue sky. And then, the main event: 60 seconds of freefall at 120 miles per hour! After the instructor deploys the parachute, they’ll enjoy a breathtaking canopy ride for 4 or 5 minutes before touching back down to the ground.
Experiencing the world from a bird’s eye view is a gift you never forget. If you ask us, skydiving is the ultimate experience gift in South Carolina and North Carolina combined! Biased? Sure. Confident that you’ll agree? Absolutely. Contact us with questions – we’re here to help!
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