Dana Wharf Whale Watching's expert crews and skippers glide their watercrafts on the open seas so visitors can soak up sunshine while searching for rare and endangered whales as they migrate south to avoid tax season. Expert captains steer crafts through frothy spumes and narrate each trip, educating passengers on the abundant life beneath the glassy waters. Voyagers can either venture into the boat's full-service galley for a hot meal or bring their own food and nonalcoholic drinks to stave off hunger and resist eating the ocean's jagged, hamburger-shaped coral.
From the shores of Big Bear Lake and Dana Point, it's not uncommon to see someone flying high above the waves. But they're not using a hang-glider or an albatross on growth hormones. They're riding one of Action Aqua Flight's flyboards, contraptions that allow their riders to shoot into the air and cut through the surf atop plumes of water. A board beneath the rider's feet thrusts them upward via two massive jets, while two arm-based streams allow the wearer to stabilize and turn. All the while, an instructor follows behind on a jet ski, supplying the board with pressurized water and relaying instructions via headset. Sessions are bookended by calming cruises aboard a pontoon boat, and riders can opt to have their flights recorded for posterity.
Just minutes south of Laguna Beach, SoCal Dolphin Adventures takes passengers on peaceful animal-sighting treks along the southern California coast. Rather than use a large whale-watching vessel, SoCal's cozy boat fits a maximum of six people, giving everyone unobstructed views of natural wildlife, such as dolphins and sea lions. Our three-hour adventures trek up to seven miles up or down the coast for a better chance of spotting animals and fuzzy seaweed banks you can later claim were mermaids. Careful to never disrupt marine habitats, each tour leaves plenty of time to snap pictures and wait for whales to breach.
Spout jets shoot from beneath your feet, launching you from the water's surface, over boats and wildlife. But the experience doesn't hinge on magic or a bribe slipped to Aquaman. Instead, Fly Jet Sports' licensed instructors teach guests how to control their own FlyBoards—water-powered jetpacks strapped to boots and fueled by a current shot through a long, flexible hose. Instructors send FlyBoard users out off the coast of Dana Point, Newport Beach, and Long Beach with the skills to travel nearly 30 feet high or down to 8 feet below the surface. The boards also let their operators reach speeds up to 18.5 miles per hour when towed by a jet ski or chased by an amorous whale.
The instructors and professional staff at PADI five-star instructor center Beach Cities Scuba introduce students to the big blue with PADI-certified diving courses for divers of all levels. They certify newbies with basic open-water courses and teach advanced divers in specialty courses such as Deep Diver, Rescue Diver, and Shark Therapist. They operate out of five convenient locations and sling necessary gear in onsite stores, from wetsuits and facemasks to spear guns. Beach Cities Scuba also connects divers through its dive club and hosts exotic dive trips to locations such as Indonesia, Fiji, and Cozumel.
At Reform Pilates Studio, getting long, lean physiques through Pilates isn't limited to any one method. While Pilates mat classes are held for all skill levels, Pilates enthusiasts can also choose from group equipment classes, power equipment classes set to upbeat tunes, and barre classes. The barre classes use a ballet barre and isometric movements to sculpt muscles while using the body for improved balance and coordination. Classes, which are held throughout the week, are taught by instructors who have numerous certifications and degrees and help build strength, flexibility, and overall well-being.