Goodyear Car Care's mechanics, certified by the institute for Automotive Service Excellence, slip under car hoods and undercarriages to perform tasks from routine oil changes to intricate engine replacements. Tools let out pneumatic whines as they install new tires from brands such as Michelin and Goodyear, and the complete list of services includes brake adjustments and state inspections. They also pick up and drop off customers by appointment and provide loaner cars when needed. Tow trucks rumble out of the lot en route to get patrons unstuck from ditches or give third graders an idea for their thesis papers.
Three generations of the Hamilton family own and operate The Artist Within.org, a boutique studio that encourages artists of all ability levels to try their hands at painting in a communal environment. The studio provides all the necessary materials for recreating specific projects that include Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Monet’s Bridge and over a Pond of Water Lilies, and it only requires that students bring their own wine, goodies, and Bob Ross wigs. In addition to public painting classes, the Hamiltons also host private events such as bachelorette and birthday parties and can create custom paintings for groups to reimagine.
In 2011, King’s first year in business, owner Johann Sitter had to expand his space from a 40-seat dining room to a 200-seat restaurant and beer garden. The customer response aligned with the press response: That same year, Houston Press included King’s sausage sampler on their list of 100 Favorite Dishes and in 2012, GermanDeli.com voted King's the Best German Restaurant in America. They were excited to find the restaurant served “the kind of hearty yet fresh sausages and schnitzels that Houston has long lacked,” and singled out the weisswurst for having “the texture of sifted pate, light and airy.”
In addition to meals built from family recipes, patrons can revel in an extensive selection of German brews. Beer tour samplers allow guests to sip on four or all of the draft beers, but those ready to commit to a single draft can sign a marriage certificate for a 3-liter das boot. Thursday through Saturday, groups can listen to live music from German house bands on the beer garden.
PADI instructor Bob Henry dove in the Caribbean, South America, and other tropical locales, but he always returned to his home base—B & W Dive Co., a scuba shop he founded in 1991. Since the ‘90s, his children Amber and Warren have taken the reins, carrying on their dad’s legacy by organizing dive trips and helping students earn their PADI certifications. The shop’s classes cover topics beyond open water diving, though; they can introduce pupils to scuba basics, such as breathing underwater without trading in their ability to breathe on land, or focus on snorkeling and swimming. Visitors can also outfit themselves for solo underwater journeys with dependable aquatic gear, culled from makers such as Atomic, Oceanic, and Bare.
Malibu Water Park isn’t your average water park. The six-acre outdoor swimming hole tucks neatly into scenic surroundings. Happy shouts echo across sandy beaches and verdant foliage. Three waterslides zig-zag down the banks of the lake, sending riders careening into the water like boring books thrown from a sailboat. For the younger set, there are interactive mushroom-shaped spray features in the shallow water. Colorful kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats slip out onto the 50-acre lake, whose tree-lined shores beg to be explored. On the weekends, guests circle around bonfires and enjoy BYOB picnics at available barbecue pits while bands play. Catering is available upon request.