Six Taste co-owner Jeff Okita succinctly described his TripAdvisor Top 10 Pick tours to the Daily Trojan in 2011, calling them "a way for people to connect to different communities through an accessible medium, which is food." During four-hour excursions, in-the-know guides walk with fellow explorers through iconic Los Angeles–area neighborhoods—including Little Tokyo and the heart of downtown—stopping into gems to sample the eatery's cuisine and learn about the area. This cultural education is paramount for Jeff, who told the Christian Science Monitor in 2010 that "we choose the restaurants based on their story and what they add to the understanding of a neighborhood, its people and its history."
Guides currently lead more than 15 tours a week through eight different neighborhoods, with most tours meeting between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the regularly scheduled excursions, the staff also leads specialty outings that focus on more adventurous cuisines, including intensely spicy dishes in Thai Town and lost seafood recipes in Atlantis.
Justin Fassio earned his personal-training certification during his time in the military, when his passion for exercise landed him the chance to lead a physical training program for an Air Force–operations group. Once his time in the force was up, he didn't leave his love of fitness back at base—he brought it home with him. Today, he leads outdoor fitness programs for all citizens.
Nutritionist Rachel Bowman has a background in Clinical and Holistic Nutrition, offering a wide acumen of current nutritional research. Her career now emphasizes weight management in all walks of life, ranging from digestive health to healthy eating while traveling. Her sports enthusiasm has also forged professional relationships with athletes and key athletic trainers.
The partnership of the two is ideal at San Diego Core Fitness, where staffers emphasize that fitness and nutrition always work hand-in-hand. The varied boot-camp workouts fuse fun and motivation with functional training techniques designed to help build up neglected core muscles and regain muscular balance. Personal-training sessions are supplemented with nutritional advice and lifestyle counseling, and keeps semiprivate training sessions small so that each participant can receive individual attention. During outdoor boot camps, groups make use of whatever the locations offer as equipment—depending on the scenery, they wade through deep beach sand, run up open-air stairs, and bench-press park benches.
At her first ballroom-dance lesson, DeeLynn Fields learned, "If you can spell, you can dance." Working through tango steps, she stopped and unpacked t-a-n-g-o. By seeing the word for its individual parts, she reasoned that she could do the same with the dance. Soon after mastering each step, Fields felt them flow together, and a smile bloomed across her face.
That moment—when a student begins to grasp a dance and cracks a smirk—is what Fields lives for and now endeavors to cultivate at Crystal Ballroom Dance Studio. She and her fellow instructors teach beginning and intermediate-level dancers both smooth and Latin forms of ballroom dance, including tango, foxtrot, and other dance forms named after military lingo, and the team's expertise has garnered multiple awards, including a Best of Silicon Valley award from San Jose Mercury News in 2013.
The thick September fog haunts the water like a lonely ghost, obscuring the boat’s passengers’ view of everything but their fellow riders. Convinced that they’ll see nothing more that day, Captain Joe Nazar turns his vessel around and heads back to shore when suddenly, out of the brume, a graceful hulk breaks through the rolling waters. The boat has unwittingly happened upon a pod of humpback whales, and everyone––including the seasoned naturalist guides aboard––suddenly falls into a stunned silence as the majestic creatures spout water and dive into the mist. Fostering humbling, awe-inspiring interactions with nature such as this is Captain Joe’s raisons d'être and the driving force behind the founding of San Francisco Whale Tours.
San Francisco Whale Tours demonstrates the beauty and diversity of the Bay’s bustling ecosystem with regular nature tours that trawl the coast. Captain Joe––aided by his expert crew and sage naturalists––shares his passion for aquatic adventures with his guests via leisurely excursions through the waters of the Farallon Islands aboard the Kitty Kat, his trusted watercraft. The catamaran ferries its curious passengers in style with a sun deck and enclosed cabin, and its low wake and gentle underwater noise make it a model marine houseguest. Aiding the crusade to preserve whale populations, San Francisco Whale Tours donates a portion of profits to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
With their charter and instruction services, the experienced staff at Memley Aviation assists customers in traveling the skies and chasing their piloting dreams. Captain Alan Memley mans the cockpit of a pair of charter Eclipse 500 business jets, comfortably carrying up to four passengers at speeds of up to 425 mph. Weather updates, GPS navigation, and geese that have swallowed compasses also aid Alan in steering guests toward their destination in a timely, safe manner. If you crave your own opportunity to navigate the skies, Memley Aviation instructors dispenses their expertise at private pilot and instrument rating courses. At a pace tailored to their needs, lessons imbue students with piloting know-how as they earn airborne hours in a Cessna or Piper Cherokee.
Under the guidance of an experienced team of yoga instructors, students of all abilities come to Arden Hot Yoga's expansive practice space seven days a week to increase their flexibility, strengthen their muscles, and reduce stress. Classes available include Bikram yoga, power Vinyasa flow, yin yoga, and Barre Fit, a fusion of yoga and Pilates techniques that helps build core strength using a ballet barre. Arden is now located in a larger facility, housing two studios and offering free childcare for specific classes.