Since 1981, Sacramento State Aquatic Center has rented fun and educational water vessels to local aquaphiles looking to skitter along the surface of Lake Natoma. Choose from several options for your hour of water-top fun: enjoy the natural landscape at a leisurely pace by cruising out onto the lake in a person-powered canoe, or opt for a tandem or cabo kayak rental for a slightly more X-treme canoe-like experience. If a missed morning spinning class has your legs feeling underworked and lazy, launch onto the lake in a hydro bike and ride over the waves on the pedal-powered pond skimmer.
Donna Hunter started whitewater rafting as a hobby, but after spending 15 years as a social worker in San Diego, she was drawn back to the river as a career. With a few friends for support and a goal to start a rafting-adventure company, she went to night school and honed her business skills. Today, with some of her staff boasting more than 20 years experience leading tours, Donna orchestrates trips down various forks of the American, Merced, Kings, and Tuolumne Rivers to pit participants against rapids as high as Class V. Certified guides lead these tours in Hyside self-bailing rafts and inflatable kayaks, with some rafts holding up to eight people.
Wilderness guides also connect their guests with civilization, often combining rafting excursions with wine tastings and trips to local vineyards. On these overnight trips and other multi-day rafting excursions such as family gold-panning trips, they build relationships with their guests, garnering a clear idea of their paddling skills and the amount of time they've spent practicing in their washing machine.
The company’s camp boasts tent cabins—with names like Eagle's Nest and Falcon's Nest—which populate riverside clearings between picnic tables, swimming holes, and volleyball courts. A camp shop prepares guests with river gear, and hot-water showers let them wash off river water. When not seeking action on the river, staffers organize camp entertainment, such as live music, games, and visits from a local gold panner who demonstrates his craft.
Corner Pocket takes its title as a sports bar very seriously. Hooked up to 15 satellite receivers, the nearly 10,000-square-foot bar's 35 flat-screen televisions constantly air games, from baseball and hockey matches to ultimate-fighting bouts. The TVs surround eight balls sinking into the pockets of 16 billiards tables and darts striking the bull’s-eyes of six dartboards. Not to mention balls rolling into goals on a foosball table, pucks gliding along a shuffleboard and gamers competing on Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation consoles.
But amid all its emphasis on sports, Corner Pocket never loses sight of its bar duties. Domestic and imported beers from 14 taps pour into pints, mugs, pitchers, or directly into patron’s mouths. Along with wine, the brews complement Corner Pocket's classic approach to bar food, which includes Angus beef burgers, chili-cheese corn dogs, and housemade potato chips. The bar stays open until 2 a.m. daily, so patrons can celebrate their team’s win until the wee hours or dance the night away to karaoke on Sundays and Thursday or live music on Saturdays.
Before making his mark in the bowling world and landing in the PBA Hall of Fame, hometown hero Steve Cook grew up practicing his craft at Fireside Lanes. Today, he serves as the proprietor of his old stomping grounds, fostering a friendly, supportive community built around his favorite sport, with youth and senior leagues alongside birthday parties, families, and groups of friends. A staff of PBA champions and trainers at The Strike Shop suits up serious bowlers with equipment tune-ups and lessons. After long sessions of knocking down pins and telekinetically keeping balls out of the gutter, guests chow down on sandwiches and burgers at the bar and grill, or immerse themselves in the racing games and air hockey tables of the nearby arcade.
Artistic Edge celebrates art in all its forms with a selection of more than 1,000 custom frame options as well as creative classes. During two-hour art classes for preteen Picassos, held Saturdays at 10 a.m., veteran elementary-school art teacher Linda Howell leads students ages 6–11 through a different project each week. The sessions, which include materials, may cover a range of traditional techniques such as drawing, painting, sculpture, or swaddling skyscrapers in orange fabric.
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