A minor-league affiliate of the NHL's San Jose Sharks, the San Francisco Bulls made their East Coast Hockey League debut in October 2012. On game days, crowds of as many as 11,000 fans flood the Cow Palace, the Bulls' home ice and the former stomping ground of the Sharks, who played in the arena for their first two seasons in the NHL. As the team looks to establish itself as a formidable ECHL presence, it gains inspiration from the Matadors, the team's fiercely loyal booster club, and secret play calls encoded in the Cow Belles' dance routines.
Archers Joesph and Beth Snell opened Pacifica Archery as an all-purpose shop for shooters of any age. Now, the pairs stays busy supervising 15 lanes, scheduling lessons for various skill levels, and hosting league events. The Snells rent out equipment for visitors to use on the 20- and 10-yard lanes, whether they are students attending a seminar or competitors honing their form. The Snells cater to young enthusiasts with archery-development programs, which instruct 8- to 18-year-olds on the finer points of arrow-launching. The onsite pro shop furnishes patrons with long, recurve, and compound bows as well as shooting accessories. Channeling their own hunting expertise, the Snells stock camouflage gear and decoys in the shape of common game, including elk, turkey, and dartboards that have escaped from dive bars.
For more than three decades, ABC Tree Farms have provided the Bay Area with seasonal fun October through December. Summer inspires the first round of recreation in the form of Summer Fun Zones packed with inflatable bounce houses masquerading as castles and slides and fresh harvests of local cherries, peaches, melons, and other fruits. During October, they run 20 pumpkin-themed locations, some of which also feature inflatable bounce houses and other attractions. Once Thanksgiving passes, groves of Christmas trees spring up, having made their way south from Oregon and Washington. There they will stand until Christmas Eve, hoping to decorate homes or become the model that inspires a revamped line of evergreen air fresheners.
SkiMela.com facilitates skiing and snowboarding trips to seven of the areas best ski resorts, including Heavenly and Sugar Bowl. Charter buses pick up outdoor adventurers at six locations along San Francisco – East Bay and Silicon Valley – South Bay routes between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., ensuring guests get a full day’s worth of recreation and snowman heckling. The trips, held in January, February, and March, include breakfast and a movie, and SkiMela.com schedules around 60 trips per season.
As the AHL minor-league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Syracuse Crunch has primed players for the big league since 1994. They confront rivals from the Eastern Conference's East Division and beyond at The Oncenter War Memorial Arena, in front of 7,000 fans whose fiery passion for the team melts the ice beneath opposing players' feet.
Planet Fitness' massive, brightly colored edifices teem with aerobic, strength-training, tanning, and massage options, tailored to suit burgeoning buffs of all ages and abilities. After an intense muscle pummeling on the extensive selection of strength-training equipment and free weights, valiant athletes and masochistic vampires alike may bask in the unlimited artificial sunshine of the gym's tanning booths. Meanwhile, shiatsu massage chairs stand at the ready, twiddling soothing robot thumbs and waiting to coax tension from tired tendons.