Family owned and operated since 1923, Metropolitan Theatres unspools blockbuster and art-house independent films at 19 locations in the U.S. and Canada using superior film presentation and digital sound systems. Theatre concession stands dole Coca-Cola products and detonate kernels of popcorn to fill bellies and share with encroaching Godzillas. Snacks in hand, customers sink into seats inside conventional or stadium-style theatres to laugh, gasp, and grimace at star-studded titles, such as The Grey, War Horse, or Hugo. Independent films such as The Artist and The Descendants appease creative tastes.
The sailing aficionados behind Pacific Sailing want as many people as possible to experience the thrills of traveling to untouched islands and docking inside giant wine bottles. That's why they charter sailing tours and eschew the cost of boat ownership with a sailing club, granting members access to boats for a certain number of sailing days each year. Pacific Sailing also trains new captains during one-on-one lessons that cover both basic and advanced techniques.
Its fleet, which includes boats up to 34 feet in length, sails up the coast of Ventura Harbor Village and takes 14-mile trips to Channel Islands National Park. Here, five picturesque islands grant sailors views of lush foliage and wildlife such as blue and humpback whales.
We have been around for 100 years in Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara polo club offers polo playing as well as viewing options; we hold games every friday and sunday from April to October (although tournaments do not start until May).
Like most of the 400-plus other creatures at Santa Barbara Zoo, Duncan runs, blinks, and growls. Unlike his fellow animals, however, Duncan isn't real. The life-like adolescent Tyrannosaurus Rex stars in the zoo's 15-minute stage show "How to Train Your Dinosaur," where zookeepers demonstrate the special care given to each actual animal. This compassion is on display throughout the 30-acre zoo, where critters such as female Asian elephants, California condors, and Chilean flamingos roam in open, naturalistic habitats.
Elsewhere on the grounds, guests can ride around the zoo's perimeter in replicas of C.P. Huntington trains from 1863, marvel at stunning Pacific Ocean views, or hand-feed domestic sheep and Baringo giraffes. More hands-on experiences are afforded through the zoo's behind-the-scenes packages, such as the Keeper for a Day program, where visitors work alongside pros as they train and clean up after animals. Along with the daily sights available during visiting hours, the zoo hosts events, camps for youngsters, and overnights, where participants can sleep beside the lion exhibit, across the street from the beach.
At tastings held daily from June to August, Jaffurs Wine Cellars tempts oenophilic tongues with five Rhône varietals. Growers in the fertile Santa Ynez, Santa Rita, and Santa Maria wine regions carefully cultivate the future intoxicants on small lots, observing high farming standards and ancient Bacchanalian rituals. With a limited production of about 5,000 cases each year, Jaffurs' winemakers can thoroughly inspect each individual grape, screening out overripe fruitlets and anthropomorphized raisins. The results are red and petite syrahs, grenache, and mourvedre wines that play pleasantly atonal chords of fruit across the palate, an aromatic white viognier with floral and peach intonations, and other varieties that croon seductive verses to receptive taste buds. A private tasting appointment, necessary for groups of more than six, may incur an additional fee ($5/person).
On its website, Key 2 Fitness asks, “Tired of the overcrowded atmosphere and corporate ‘machine’ of the big box gyms?” With an uncommon approach to the typical gym experience, Key 2 Fitness offers an alternative. Every member receives a key card that grants them access to the facility 24 hours a day, seven day a week. Once inside, visitors can grab a complimentary towel and migrate through the rows of cardio equipment, free weights, and strength-training machines. During certain hours, experienced personal trainers are available for one-on-one workout sessions. On the gym’s loftlike upper level is a small classroom with wooden floors, where members can take advantage of TRX suspension-training gear and 1% less gravity.
State Street Ballet's lithe dancers gracefully pirouette to masterfully choreographed ballet routines during performances modernized with special effects and digital technology. The season's final show celebrates the company's 16th year of deft tiptoeing with excerpts from classical works, brand-new premieres, and more costume changes than a pile of Madonna calendars. Onlookers can toast to Grand Finale's awe-inspiring footwork with complimentary glasses of champagne, wine, juice, and other refreshments. The en pointe performance takes place among the ornate adornments of the recently renovated Grenada Theatre, which boasts Moorish-inspired geometric patterns on its golden walls and decorative niches imbued with Old World grandeur.