The ClubHouse Training Schools help aspiring baseball players reach new athletic peaks under the tuition of seasoned coaches and MLB scouts. Well versed in the arts of hitting, pitching, and yelling for bags of peanuts, the instructors hone players' skills in a 17,000-square-foot training facility, which facilitates year-round practice with indoor batting cages and a full on-site gym with free weights and stationary bikes. A regimen of fitness and performance training helps athletes stay in shape on and off the field—sure to be an asset during the ClubHouse's fall high-school baseball league, when students put their skills to the test by pitching crumpled math homework.
The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.
The San Francisco Maritime National Park Association welcomes boating enthusiasts and history buffs alike to board antique ships—including a 1930s sloop yacht, an 1890 steamboat, and a nineteenth-century wooden-hulled scow schooner—docked at piers in and around the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The association even lays claim to a pristine World War II submarine, the USS Pampanito, which sees more than 110,000 visitors every year and boasts National Historic Landmark status for its world-class example of maritime preservation. They've even restored and repaired the equipment inside to full operation for an immersive and realistic experience. Another huge draw is the Balclutha, a moored 1886 square-rigged tall ship with three massive masts.
The land-locked Maritime Museum, housed inside a WPA-built structure designed to look like an ocean liner, keeps the seafaring fun going with hands-on activities and exhibits that explore the city's nautical past. In addition to answering questions and helming educational programs, staff members also recruit volunteers to pitch in aboard and around the old ships, where they can learn firsthand how to care for museum pieces, practice public speaking skills, and memorize nautical terms that will help make their stories of pirate heritage way more believable.
Captain Josh Waldman has steered vessels over more than 35,000 miles of international ocean, but as the head of Captain San Francisco, he sticks to the homier waters of San Francisco Bay and coastal California. In luxurious sailing yachts outfitted with bunks and lounge areas, he leads chartered voyages for special events, private parties, and whales too lazy to swim their daily commute. The multitalented captain keeps his yacht in tip-top condition with his own maintenance expertise and can converse with both Spanish- and English-speaking customers.
Fewer than five years after its San Francisco debut, the Snowbomb Ski and Snowboard Festival has exploded into a multivenue event, affording NorCal-powder addicts ample opportunity to get in on a weekend of discounted winter gear and giving VIPs chances to sample locally produced beer and wine. Representatives from resorts command mountains of swag and offer tips about their slopes’ terrain and local yeti dialects. Dozens of exhibitors also show off their goods—not just winter-sports outfitters but also car companies, local restaurants, and national chains.
A lifetime of tennis has carried instructor Cliff McClain across the country—from Petaluma, California, where he was ranked #1 on the Casa Grande High School tennis team, to North Carolina State, where he played while studying. During lessons, the net specialist carefully assesses individual skills and works to improve existing form. Practical application begins as students field backhand and forehand shots from Cliff, who monitors each movement with a professional eye and provides feedback throughout each lesson, helping students learn to return balls quickly and consistently without having to swap brains with a labrador.
Every day, millions of tons of snowmelt from high up in the Sierras rushes hundreds of miles downstream and pours into the San Francisco Bay. There, it slams into a surge of seawater to form an ecosystem at once constant and constantly changing. It’s there that the photographers and naturalists of SF Bay Whale Watching set out to observe and capture stunning images on daily adventures.
Onboard the stalwart Kitty Kat, captain Joe Nazar skippers wildlife-seeking tours that might spy migrating whales, local sea lions, or killer whales. The spacious deck and large-windowed cabin make beautiful views bountiful. While a naturalist lectures, the ship sails past such landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.