In order to pursue his passion for flying, Anaheim Helicopters founder Mark Skinner left his home in England and began the journey to his current West Coast home. Now, in stable, modern, and air-conditioned helicopters, Mark stirs the air above Los Angeles and Orange County to provide passengers with views of rugged mountains and iconic buildings. During tours, Mark points out landmarks such as the Sunset Strip, the Capitol Records Building, and Dodger Stadium before soaring between skyscrapers, over famous homes, and in V-formation with migrating geese. In addition to piloting helicopters, Mark joins with a team of FAA–certified flight instructors to lead aviation lessons for aspiring pilots.
The instructors at California Survival School impart decades of wilderness-survival know-how during outdoor, hands-on courses. Participants prepare themselves to live self sufficiently off the land using both modern and primitive techniques, which can come in handy when lost in the woods or the year 1412. During the Core Survival Skills Adventure Clinic, up to 30 students spend five hours learning to create fire using only sticks, build shelters with natural materials, purify water, and feed themselves off the land. The Ancient Artisans Workshop teaches novices how to fashion crude implements from scratch with materials found in nature, and how to use them while out in the wilderness. California Survival School also offers team-building workshops and private events.
Gondoliers bedecked in striped shirts nurture romance while serenading guests during languid gondola rides along Huntington Harbour's lush waterways. Equipped with 13-foot oars, Sunset Gondola's imported Venetian vehicles stretch 37 feet from end to end. While some packages come with amenities such as chocolate-covered strawberries, guests are encouraged to bring along their own snacks and beverages. Gondola rides are also available for special occasions, including proposals, wedding ceremonies, and mustache debuts.
Certified tennis guru Rusty Miller leads a team of professional instructors who mold players of all ages into pros. Rusty’s 25 years in the tennis business and several South California–area tennis-club holdings have culminated in this newly revamped club. Players volley back and forth on 11 championship hard courts before taking advantage of numerous amenities. From workouts in the fitness center to nighttime practices held on the eight lighted courts to equipment upgrades at the pro shop, Anaheim Hills Racquet Club is designed to improve all areas of play. Single members can retrieve lobs from the ball machine, engage other members for one-on-one hitting practice, or set up intense matches with court-savvy nonmembers, such as the white line from Pong.
A sprawling multisport facility, Next Level Sports Complex welcomes athletes from all walks to train, join youth and adult leagues, or enroll in athletic clinics and camps. The complex contains 11 basketball courts, 14 volleyball courts, and 4 turf fields for soccer and other sports. When they're not participating in open-gym and league games, athletes can take advantage of the weight-training facilities or various fitness courses.
The Rinks offers both inline and ice skating for all ages and all skill levels. The Westminster and Yorba Linda centers boast NHL-size rinks, and Anaheim boasts an Olympic-size rink. In addition, Anaheim's league-certified surface is used as the official training facility of the Anaheim Ducks. Skaters can take to the ice for classes on such blade-top pursuits as hockey, figure skating, public skating, curling, broomball, and more. For the ice-averse, The Rinks has three inline-skating centers in Corona, Huntington Beach, and Irvine which play host to youth and adult roller hockey leagues, skating clinics, public skates, and more. Open-skate sessions give aficionados the chance to take a few laps with friends and family, riding atop their own blades or donning a rental pair from the front desk. On Friday and Saturday nights, rinks morph into icy dance clubs, blasting hit music booming through the speakers and projecting music videos onto a jumbo screen. Birthday packages are also available at both locations.
In 2011, OC Weekly dubbed rock 'n' roll bar The Juke Joint one of the best bars of the year. Here, 20 craft, domestic, and international draft beers are served alongside cocktails and whiskey shots. With walls painted black, the bar invites patrons to spin a few songs on the jukebox, which blasts tunes ranging from punk and rockabilly to American roots music. The bar also hosts live music on a stage dedicated to the late Nekromantix drummer Andrew Martinez. Five pool tables facilitate friendly games and official billiards tournaments, and free WiFi makes it easy to upload the photos that will be deleted tomorrow.