The trees that shade the banks of the River of Golden Dreams have been there longer than anyone can remember, lining a mostly undeveloped area that continues to attract visitors to its natural spoils. Along with Atla Lake—which remains free of oil slicks and pollution due to bans on water-skiing, wakeboarding, and cigarette breaks for working beavers—the area still thrives with wildflowers dotting its riverbanks and bald eagles flying overhead. For the past 25 years, Backroads Whistler has done its share to help keep the environment pristine by hosting a variety of nonpolluting recreation, which include paddling sports, fishing, and cycling. Paddle past distant snow-capped mountains and bike along winding woodland trails on unguided, semiguided, or guided tours, the latter of which includes plenty of tidbits on Whistler's history and wildlife. Canoe, kayak, and boat rentals grant further access to the lake, while aluminum fishing boats come loaded with gear for catch-and-release sessions where guests can swap kelp recipes with 3- to 5-pound trout. Around nightfall, twilight tours drift down the river as wild birds and black bears emerge to greet the evening.
Cycle BC Rentals sends adventurers on two-wheeled explorations of British Columbia. Riders saddle up their preferred bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle before shooting down the open asphalt as they visit mountains, gardens, and beaches. Over the years, Cycle BC has compiled their favourite routes?complete with distances, notable sights, and celebrities most likely to be caught hitchhiking?into one extensive online database. Riders can rent adventure, sport-touring, or cruiser motorcycles, two types of scooters, as well as electronic-hybrid bicycles that give an extra umph when pedaling up daunting hills.
As avid golfers themselves, Pro Golf Discount’s staff members boast a wealth of experience and professional equipment advice. They are eager to direct shoppers through stores full of golfing merchandise from brands such as TaylorMade, Nike, and Callaway, pointing out the differences between the quality products. They lead lefties to their expansive selection of left-handed equipment, and discuss the advantages of their specialty women's gear with ladies. The master club fitters evaluate clients’ swings with advanced Launch Monitors and the Foresight Sports GC2 golf-simulation system, enabling them to recommend equipment that is suited to the customer's specific needs.
Most of the locations host golf lessons within their onsite golf theater hitting cages, where top golfers dish out expert tips and techniques. The Tacoma, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Bellingham locations feature repair centers, where technicians can spruce up clubs in preparation for upcoming tournaments or a golf vacation.
Since 1962, owner and U.S. Coast Guard?licensed captain Terry Buzzard has gotten to know the San Juan Islands and surrounding miles of water pretty well. Having hauled mail for the Post Office, salvaged wrecks, assisted in oil spill cleanups, and ferried passengers throughout the San Juan Islands, he has built quite a resum? of seafaring. This relationship with water isn't so surprising considering he began boating at the age of 3 when he was allowed to pilot a single-horsepower boat by himself with his trained rescue dog, Rusty.
Regardless of the actual job he's performing, Terry is always drawn to whales. By 1978, this fascination lead him to chartering trips specifically for whale watching, especially toward the schools of orca that made the region their home. Looking back, he's pretty certain his boat was the only one in the area at the time dedicated to the thrill of witnessing some of the world's largest and most beautiful animals. Today, the waters are spotted with various boats filled with passengers snapping pictures of the great aquatic beasts and shouting ululations whenever one smacks its enormous tail against the water, takes a playful leap, or belts a Mariah Carey song.
Terry's boat, the 110-foot Island Caper, provides generous sightlines to all passengers via its spacious outdoor deck and ample indoor viewing areas, and is decked out with a 34-speaker sound system. In business for 53 years, Island Mariner Whale Watching's unparalleled time and experience on the water offers cruise-goers an ideal experience, and also employs a seaplane to help spot whales and guide tours. With his chief navigator??a 8-year-old airedale terrier also named Rusty??Terry is right out there amid the excitement, ferrying whale watchers and sharing his life-long passion.
When viewed from the sky, the fairways at Sudden Valley Golf & Country Club resemble lush terraces descending into Lake Whatcom, like some grandiose, modern version of Incan horticulture. From a player's perspective, this visually dynamic setting makes for two very different nines. The front nine roams the flat shores of the lake, easing golfers into the round with wide fairways and large greens. A much different challenge awaits on the course's second act, as the fairways climb up a ridge and cleave through dense evergreens, demanding accuracy and smart approach shots onto smaller greens. Water hazards on 14 of 18 holes make the path to an under-par round even more treacherous, and 47 sandtraps peppered throughout the layout provide a soft landing spot for long-jump competitions in between shots.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,553 yards from the tips * Course rating of 71.5 from the tips * Slope rating of 130 from the tips * Three tee options