At The Aviator Casino, folks can gamble like a cowboy and eat like a king. Players sidle up to a variety of gaming options including Pure Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, 3-card Poker, Texas Hold 'Em, and Pure Spanish Blackjack—a version of the game where the gambler's blackjack always beats the dealer's—or divine the sweet, fickle whims of Lady Luck during rounds of Mexican Poker or Deep Stack Texas Hold 'Em. Famished card sharks can head over to the The Aviator Casino Bar & Grill. There, diners sample a veritable smorgasbord of international cuisine, including full-pound Angus beef burgers, 13-ounce rib eye steaks, lasagna, burritos, and teriyaki chicken. The casino is conveniently located 500 yards from the runway, so pilots and passengers can get off their jets and belly right up to the tables. GEGA #'s: 2125, 3252, 3944, 3154, 3060.
Las Flores Family Winery produces fine, handcrafted wine from local grapes. Two chums can enjoy a tasting tour (a $5 value per person) of the small boutique winery. Use the complimentary glass to taste the 2007 syrah ($16), whose liquid character sparkles with the honorable tastes of peppery spice, vanilla, and darkish berries, pairing perfectly with beef, lamb, veal, or hard cheese. The One Night Stand—a blend of merlot, tempranillo, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon ($20)—takes its name from the winery owners’ bedroom, which only has one nightstand. A superb all-purpose table wine, it features flavors of cherry, black pepper, and oak. Tongues will gladly wrap themselves around the light and fruity 2008 chardonnay ($17).
The 5K Fun Fest helps runners stay active, but it also channels running for a good cause, inviting racers to test their endurance while raising money and awareness for special-needs support groups and programs. Participants are invited to walk, run, or bunny hop the 5K at their own pace, which puts an emphasis on the importance of enjoying the journey, as opposed to finishing the fastest. A special-needs parade follows the 5K, and other event highlights include food, entertainment, and a community fair.
The promoters behind Valley Comedy draw from a rib-tickling lineup of local comedians and touring funny folk to host monthly shows at Shamrock's Irish Pub in Bakersfield, Silver Dollar Hofbrau in Fresno, and the venerable Western-themed Old Town Saloon in Clovis. Valley Comedy also works with the community to arrange public and private events, dispatching standup comedians to fundraisers, corporate events, parties, and glum parent-teacher conferences throughout the Central Valley.
Designed by international golf architect Robert Dean Putman, the challenging 18-hole course spans more than160 acres. During the game (up to a $20 value per person), golfers refusing to hitchhike can navigate the terrain in one of Valley Rose's quality golf carts (up to a $10 value), finely tuned for scaling hills, making sharp turns, and morphing into a time traveling robot should the need arise. After conquering the course's lush landscape and tricky topography, golfers are encouraged to visit Valley Rose's Pro Shop to compare their scores with other recent players, or wind down in their clubhouse which features a restaurant, meeting rooms, and banquet facilities.
Tucked amid the shadows of eucalyptus trees and mexican palms, Buena Vista Golf Course roams across 6,710 yards of dramatically undulating terrain. Throughout the par-72 layout, golfers grapple with uneven lies wrought by the hilly topography, as well as large, contoured greens that require a soft touch with the putter. As players make their way from tee to green, hillcrests offer glimpses of the surrounding farmland, the two lakes that comprise Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Center, and distant mountains as they ripple out into the horizon and hide the unsightly edge of the earth. Guests looking to polish their game can consult Buena Vista's two PGA Class A professionals, who offer private lessons and club-fitting services.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-72 course
Total length of 6,710 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 72.9 from the back tees
Slope rating of 124 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole