"You're up." At more than 200 AMF Bowling locations across the U.S., that message is passed between friends as they heft a ball, step to the line, and take aim. Now synonymous with bowling, the AMF Bowling Co. was founded in 1901 as American Machine and Foundry. It wasn't until 1946 that the company made a splash in the bowling world, when it introduced the automated pin spotter to the public.
Today, AMF's nationwide network of bowling centers is a source of year-round entertainment for people of all ages. Outfitted with a classic bowling alley design, the centers also feature advanced scoring systems, upgraded interiors, laneside video walls at select locations, and a delicious menu of traditional American dishes and snacks.
Montebello Barnyard Zoo's animals are like rock stars, touring local homes and meeting places for one-on-one encounters and shows. Pony rides headline this traveling attraction, which also incorporates a petting zoo with various farm animals: goats, sheep, chickens, and even a llama.
The animals still spend the most time at their home venue, however. Here, fenced off areas contain larger animals such as cows and zebras, who always show up to work wearing the same black-and-white outfits. Bales of hay, wooden barrels, and a large, red barn create a rustic setting for picnics and birthday parties. Nearby, a merry-go-round spins endlessly and a truck?decorated to resemble a locomotive?pulls train cars on a tour of the grounds.
Whether they're seeking a casual night out with friends, a private nightclub experience, or a formal banquet, diners find the setting?and the Mexican cuisine?they're looking for at Antigua Bar & Grill. Servers at the family-owned restaurant deliver color-splashed dishes to linen-swathed tables: ceviche, homemade mole sauces, and sizzling fajitas all make appearances on the menu. In the dining room, high arches frame rustic chandeliers and windowed walls. Meawhile, in the nightclub area, a stage shimmers under blue and pink lights, and in the banquet room, a spacious clearing facilitates mingling between bites of shrimp tostadas.
While many golf instructors compete on professional tours, few can also include the title of “TV star” on their resumés. John Lepak of Renaissance Golf Academy is one of those few: in addition to touring for the better part of a decade, he appeared as a contestant on Golf Channel’s reality show Big Break, which awards pro-tour exemptions to the winner of the show’s various challenges. Students of all levels can gain from John’s expertise and see if he really looks 12 feet tall off camera by enrolling in lessons at his private academy, where they’ll hone putting strokes on a 6,000-square-foot putting green and shore up full swings on the 16-tee driving range. Each lesson incorporates video analysis, providing immediate feedback of golfers’ swing mechanics.
Since it was built in 1965, Pico Rivera Golf Course has attracted challengers hoping to bag birdies and dodge bogies on its nine-hole layout. After a significant renovation in 2012, the course features wide emerald fairways dotted with sandy bunkers, glimmering ponds, and mature, 40-year-old trees to challenge shots. Play can continue even after dark, as both the course and driving range are lit by overhead lights until 10 p.m. to chase away the ghosts that second-guess club choices.
Even in the morning, Clearman's Steak 'n Stein Inn takes its name seriously. The brunch menu lists five cuts that form the centerpiece for steak-and-egg platters, and the steak lover's omelet comes filled with three: filet mignon, new york strip steak, and rib eye. As for the "steins," drafts of Hefeweizen and Stella Artois begin pouring as soon as the restaurant opens.
Evening heralds the arrival of the restaurant's romantic side. A circular fireplace warms a ring of plush crimson benches, and soft, amber lighting illuminates the dark wood and brick interior and its stained-glass windows. An open charcoal fire roasts steaks, fish, and chicken for ample entrees, from the 16-oz. boneless rib eye to the Australian lobster tail dinner. Combination dinners allow guests to sample both steak and seafood without taking their backyard grill on a fishing trip. Supper ends with carefully hand-fired desserts, such as cr?me br?l?e cheesecake.