Crepes in San Francisco. Butter chicken in Toronto. The organizers behind Dishcrawl connect people with the local dining scenes of cities across the United States and Canada. They do this in two ways—first, through Dishcrawls, which are self-guided tours to an array of restaurants. As guests saunter between establishments, special performers—from interpretive dancers to improv comics—enliven the journey. Dishcrawl's second method highlights single restaurants through special dinners, giving chefs a chance to dazzle visits with their favorite dishes.
Founded in 2001 by a group of enthusiastic thrill seekers, Recreational Rentals helps customers hug curves or crest waves behind the controls of Can-am Spyders or Sea-Doo personal watercrafts. When not riding themselves, staffers replace their old equipment every two years to keep their inventory current and their drag-racing alter egos secret. They also maintain, repair, and upgrade recreational vehicles in a 10,000-square-foot warehouse space.
Largely self-taught, Shannon Jane Morgan has spent the last 19 years firing up her furnaces and creating delicate, one-of-a-kind works of glass art as the owner and founder of Girl Glass. Her pieces include gracefully curved vases; pigment-dappled paperweights; and whimsical, translucent pumpkins. In private classes, Morgan shares her years of carefully cultivated expertise with students, delving into the nuances of molten glass with tutorials on blowing, shaping, and creating goblets strong enough to survive an operatic high note.
During his 17-year-long professional paintballing career, Micah McGlocklin clinched five championships, including one with Sacramento XSV, a team he formed in 2003. He has more than 12 years of experience operating paintball fields, and this technical expertise paired with his obvious passion for the sport is evident in the facilities at Davis Paintball. Eager to introduce others to the joys of chromatic chaos, Micah and his staff walk novices through the game’s rules, equipment, and safety tips. Newbies are then organized into teams for refereed bouts on one of nine fields spread across 40 acres. As tenderfoots test out their paintballing skills on fields such as Four Corners and Center Castle—where a roomy distance separates opponents—advanced players can compete in more compact spaces at two hyperball fields, an airball field, and a paint-soaked broom closet.
The signature workouts at Pilates for Bodies stretch "beyond the core" with dynamic group routines that blend strength training with aerobic conditioning. The instructors helm a lively regimen for full-body toning, segueing through fast-paced maneuvers such as snap crunches and pelvis pushups to engage the entire muscular system. Students practice atop sprung, joint-friendly floors as sunlight illuminates the brightly painted yellow and blue walls and destroys any vampires masquerading as regular people. With three levels of class difficulty, ranging from just a little difficult to challenging, they can test their physical limits from the safety of their respective comfort zones.
The nonprofit Heidrick Ag History Center harvests the rich history of agricultural machinery and transportation through an extensive collection of vintage tractors and trucks. The 130,000-square-foot space houses both the Hays Antique Truck Museum—home to such artifacts as a one-of-a-kind Breeding steam-powered truck and broccoli steamer from 1916—and the Fred C. Heidrick Antique Ag Collection, an assemblage of olden-day iron horses and golden cows collected over a period of 60 years.
Using skills acquired from his childhood days building his own planes and combines from scraps of wire and wood, Mr. Heidrick himself restored most of the equipment—some of which was formerly little more than heaps of rust—to its original condition. Palettes of green, red, and yellow pop from John Deere tractors from the 1930s to the 1950s, a Deering reaper machine from 1891, and a 120-horsepower Holt built in 1917 to tow artillery during World War I.