The history of wine in the Livermore Valley spans 250 years. Spanish missionaries planted the region's first grapes in the 18th century, and Robert Livermore sowed the first commercial vines in the mid-19th. These early efforts led to America's first international gold medal for wine at the 1889 Paris Exposition, when California grapes beat out bordeaux in the annual race to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The guides at Livermore Valley Wine & Cycle Tours lead cyclists into this historic, scenic valley in which some 40 wineries currently reside. Rides between them follow moderate routes, letting peddlers soak in views of the canyons and ridges that rise and fall between the clustered rows of vines.
Aboard their 24-foot pontoon boats, Bay Area Party Boats LLC's captains take passengers on floating parties through the California Delta. Music blasts from the boat's 450-watt stereo as groups nibble sandwiches and reach into a built-in ice chest to retrieve cold bottles of beer. The festivities continue outside of the vessel, where passengers can swim or test how their hair functions as a sponge. Alternatively, customers can drive wave-runners or rent wakeboard boats, balancing atop boards as they speed across the water's surface.
Delta Discovery Cruises' yachts give voyagers shimmery views of the California Delta from every seat in their climate-controlled main salons, but the company also makes the cruise itself an adventure with a variety of themes and entertainment. The champagne brunch cruise backs its lustrous brunch menu with live jazz music, while the popular Blues and BBQ cruise does the same with tangier vittles and more soulful self-pity. For a more romantic backdrop to a first date or an elaborate billionaire impersonation, dine on a gourmet meal backlit by the glowing pink and orange hues of the setting sun with the sunset dinner cruise. Avian voyeurs on the bird-watching lunch cruise can do a little sparrow spotting from the ship's open-air upper deck, which also allows plenty of space to practice mating dances. Military buffs, meanwhile, will get to tour the historic U.S.S. Iowa battleship during the Mothball Fleet World War II History cruise. The murder mystery cruise adds an extra layer of fun with an interactive Caribbean-themed whodunit, which you'll get to solve as you munch on Jamaican jerk chicken and key lime pie. Attendees are encouraged to dress like pirates—both for the purposes of a costume contest and for raiding nearby merchant vessels.
C.J. Easter understands the value of physical fitness. As a former defensive back who faced some of college football's most fearsome offenses during a four-year stint with the Stanford Cardinal, he could only be as effective as he was lean. With visions of sleek physiques in mind, Easter earned his personal-training certification from the American Council on Exercise, founded Performance Science Training Institute, and set to work devising a fitness system of his own.
The gym's exclusive Cardio Resistance Core (CRC) System is the result of all that hard work. Designed to torch calories and tone up muscles, the system combines the most effective aspects of three different training styles. Cardio sessions hikes heart rates and boosts stamina, strength training increases balance and posture, and resistance work builds muscles with the help of dumbbells, bands, and clients' own body weight.
The institute's team of instructors also augment CRC exercises with counseling on how to make responsible nutritional decisions and set goals that are both challenging and achievable. This all-over approach doesn't simply help people get fitter; it helps them remake their entire lives in a healthier, happier image.
The Day of Discovery Festival provides patrons with the opportunity to kick back in a lush winery setting, while knocking back estate-grown grapey goods to the melodious offerings of 18 bands, including some Bay Area acts, on three different stages. Headlined by Luce, the festival also features the Bacchus Brothers, The Ferocious Few, and seven acoustic acts. Food, wine, and beer will be available for purchase all day and doors open at noon, with music starting at 1 p.m. Wente Vineyards offers an intimate viewing environment by each stage, ensuring that any spot you set down your blanket will give you a good view of the stage action, allowing you to shut off your internal bionic opera glasses.
At Tamas Estates, sippers swish the vineyard's award-winning varietals fermented with sustainably grown grapes. Epicureans sit at the bar swirling four vintages in one of two different tasting flights. Bouquets range from the pinot grigio's citrus hints and the zinfandel's berry hints to the Double Decker red's plum and crossword-puzzle hints. Visitors are encouraged to pair their vino with a picnic lunch, brought from home and savored on a scenic outdoor patio. Tasting duos come away with a bottle of Tamas Estates' 2008 barbera, whose crisp, fruity finish and vanilla hints stimulate taste buds and distract the mind while the heart goes on an emotional rampage.