With a friendly crew of chopper operators, Holmes launches scenic tours and hands-on lessons from the open pads at Sportsman Airpark, which is about 40 minutes southwest of downtown Portland. No matter which flight path you choose, the comforts of a Hiller 12-D or 12-E helicopter will be the chopper chariot. The spherical sky-mobile is designed for smooth rides and spectacular views. In flight, feel free to nudge your fellow passenger lovingly as you both admire the patch-worked wine country of Dundee Hills or the water soaked river known as the wet Willamette, depending on your chosen tour.
As the name suggests, Just Cruzin Productions specializes in events with a lot of horsepower. Guests browse more than 1,000 hot rods and classic cars at The Classic at Pismo Beach, an annual show that has been drawing droves of auto enthusiasts to central California for almost three decades. Its expertly maintained autos on display are in mint condition—they're judged based on areas from their interiors to their engine compartments, as well as on the owner's overall attention to detail, making it hard to win just by taping cardboard cutouts of a Corvette to a wagon. But the company also produces other major open-air shindigs, such as The Wagon Wheel Country Music Festival.
What unites its large portfolio of events is a passion for charitable giving. Through the Just Cruzin’ Life Foundation, it's directed millions of dollars in event proceeds to organizations including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, and the Jerry L. Pettis Loma Linda Veterans Hospital.
Reps for Life stages an all-fronts attack on flab with energetic classes, a gym filled with workout gear, and adept personal-training sessions. More than 16 group fitness classes, ranging from Zumba and cycling to intense plyometric intervals, help to drop pounds, whereas a 25-foot rock-climbing wall heightens adrenaline more effectively than bungee jumps off a bunk bed. Pelts find chic new hues within onsite tanning booths, and muscle soreness abates under the deft manipulations of Reps for Life's massage therapist. The sweat haven's expansive facility is outfitted with locker rooms for the safe storage of purses, wallets, or space-station blueprints during workouts, along with a steamy sauna and refreshing showers for post-workout fresheners.
RIley's Farm recreates the convivial, rustic atmosphere of an 18th century public house, serving up freshly baked bread, Scottish beef pies, and cider-baked ham alongside mugs of ale and glasses of wine. In the nearby orchards and berry fields, visitors can pick their own bushels of apples, pears, and strawberries, and a schedule of living-history reenactments sends audiences deep into America's past to witness scenes from the Revolutionary War and Gold Rush.
More than one million fossils and artifacts were unearthed during the construction the Diamond Valley Lake reservoir in Hemet. These time-swept relics make their home in the Western Science Center's museum complex, creating a bridge between ancient eras and the scientific advances of the future. The campus itself is steeped in advanced design tactics, making it the first museum in California to earn a Platinum LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. A rooftop covered with 3,000 solar panels provides more than half of the museum's power needs, and a combination of heat-resistant windows and forced-air circulation keeps the interior cool while spending less energy on air conditioning and ice sculpture maintenance.
A journey through the ages begins from the moment visitors step from the parking lot and under the Life on Earth Timelime, a 156-foot corridor of geologic time rings from Pre-Cambrian to Holocene that leads to the museum lobby. Inside, they explore permanent and temporary exhibits, including "Max," the largest mastodon skeleton found in the Western United States and the Discovery lab highlighting the tool contemporary architects use every day. Crowds can take a seat in the immersion theater with a 270-degree screen to watch a pair of short films about the time when giant creatures roamed California and how the region was excavated and preserved.
Cottonwood Golf Center's nine-hole executive course sharpens straight shots with one par 4 and eight par 3 holes. Duffer duets amble through the meandering fairways, launch dimpled orbs through 2,466 yards of emerald alleys, and defeat lesser opponents in pull-cart street races. The scenic course overlooks rugged hills and scraggly pines, thwarting off-kilter shots with a petite water hazard filled with foghorn-wielding ducks. Players can supply their own clubs, rent one of the facility's sets ($5), or thwack golf balls with the neighbor's flamingo lawn ornaments.