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Photo Credit: Steve Wolf

Photo Credit: Steve Wolf

Lounging on the beach doesn’t work for everyone. For those who want a little more “bang” for their vacation buck, these travel hot spots are literally exploding with adventure.


Pyro School in Austin, Texas

On the outskirts of the live music capital of the world, one man is teaching the delicate art of creating explosions for film and television. Steve Wolf, a special effects coordinator who’s worked on films like The Firm, Redemption Road, Hustle and Flow and Colombiana, passes on his vast—and we mean vaaaast—knowledge of on-set explosions in a one, three or five-day pyrotechnic training camp. Covering everything from creating realistic bullet wounds to fireballs to mounting a full-scale car explosion, Pyro School focuses just as much on the safety aspects of special effects as it does the flame factor.


Civil War Adventure Camp in Dinwiddie County, Virginia

This fantasy camp held in Pamplin Historical Park for campers ages eight and up takes participants back in time by showing them how to live in the days of North versus South. Campers dress in period clothing throughout their experience, learn to communicate using signal flags, master basic medical treatment of the time and get a crash course in firing muskets.


Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in West Point, Kentucky

Every April and October, gun enthusiasts of all kinds flock to Kentucky to celebrate all things automatic. A mishmash of gun collectors, enthusiasts and onlookers gather to test out weapons ranging from Uzis to AK-47s and to test out their accuracy on targets armed with pyrotechnic charges that are guaranteed to create “fireballs from hell.” Those with a sporting streak can enter the subgun, assault rifle, old military bolt action rifle, pistol or shotgun competitions or simply check out the latest weapons on the market.


Drive A Tank in Kasota, Minnesota

You won’t be able to shoot from a tank, but you will be able to drive an FV433 Abbot SPG, FV432 Armored Personnel Carrier, a Russian T-55 Main Battle Tank and/or FV4201 Chieftain Main Battle Tank through a specialized driving course and fire up to five different guns. Drive A Tank offers a wide range of day packages, some of which include the opportunity to drive a demilled tank over one or two equally decommissioned cars.

Tagged: Austin

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Christina Couch

Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a permanent traveler who moves to a different place every few months. Her writing work can be found in Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine,, Hemispheres Magazine and Time Out Chicago. Follow her on Twitter at @couchcs.
Christina Couch

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