More than one million fossils and artifacts were unearthed during the construction the Diamond Valley Lake reservoir in Hemet. These time-swept relics make their home in the Western Science Center's museum complex, creating a bridge between ancient eras and the scientific advances of the future. The campus itself is steeped in advanced design tactics, making it the first museum in California to earn a Platinum LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. A rooftop covered with 3,000 solar panels provides more than half of the museum's power needs, and a combination of heat-resistant windows and forced-air circulation keeps the interior cool while spending less energy on air conditioning and ice sculpture maintenance.
A journey through the ages begins from the moment visitors step from the parking lot and under the Life on Earth Timelime, a 156-foot corridor of geologic time rings from Pre-Cambrian to Holocene that leads to the museum lobby. Inside, they explore permanent and temporary exhibits, including "Max," the largest mastodon skeleton found in the Western United States and the Discovery lab highlighting the tool contemporary architects use every day. Crowds can take a seat in the immersion theater with a 270-degree screen to watch a pair of short films about the time when giant creatures roamed California and how the region was excavated and preserved.
Though it's surrounded by the rolling hills of Riverside County?and even has "hills" in the name?the course at Seven Hills Golf Club is a relatively flat affair that's welcoming to golfers of every stripe. The lack of steep inclines and writhing snake pits makes the links easy to walk, and the wide, welcoming fairways mean most players hopefully won't have to stray too far from the short stuff. After dispatching with every tree-shrouded shot and confidently navigating the small greens, players can continue to work on their cuts on the grass driving range, chipping green, and practice bunker, or head into the Cafe on the Greens for a post-round bite.
The Ranch aims to make motocross accessible to all. And though their goal isn’t literally spelled out in the dirt of their six different courses, the countless number of tire tracks raked across them sends a similar message. The difficulty of each course varies, starting with the kid’s PeeWee track and advancing up to the SX track, a challenging course designed for licensed riders, pro-am racers, and people with tires for feet.
At Powerhouse Gym, a great fitness experience is available 24 hours a day during the week and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends. Along with the personal training and nearly 150 weekly group fitness classes that include everything from indoor cycling to yoga and Zumba, the newly remodeled facility features top-of-the-line equipment, plus a 16,000-square-foot outdoor sports arena for basketball and soccer camps. Two swimming pools let guests train for triathlons while a unique cardio cinema entertains land-roving athletes. After workouts, exercisers can soothe hard-working muscles with massages at the gym's spa, which includes a jacuzzi and a sauna. And clients can find sun-kissed satisfaction in the selection of tanning booths, whether gearing up for a bodybuilding competition or simply trying to obtain a golden hue to better hide in a barrel of lucky cats. Spray tanning is also available along with childcare six days a week as well as senior discounts through SilverSneakers and Silver & Fit programs.
Framed by views of the San Jacinto Mountain Range, the Country Club at Soboba Springs has stumped some of the world's best golfers. Not long ago, it was home to the PGA Tour's Soboba Classic. Today, sporting a newly renovated, 32,000-square-foot clubhouse, the course leads visitors along a sculpted layout that barrels through a forest of cottonwood and palm trees. Water comes into play on 11 of 18 holes, and 78 bunkers filled with white sand lie in wait to snatch up errant shots or slow down golf carts that get off their leashes. Players should watch out for the 15th and 16th holes, especially, which are surrounded by water and used to give professionals fits as part of an especially challenging back nine.
Course at a Glance * Designer: Desmond Muirhead 1966; Redesigned by Cary Bickler 2005 * Lauded by Press Enterprise: Best round of golf 2014 * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total of 7,101 yards from the back tees * Three tees per hole * Course rating of 73.3 from the tips * Course slope of 131 from the tips
Soboba Mountain's steep face and large, flat landing area make it seem as though it were made for the sport of speedflying. The adrenaline sport is similar to paragliding, but?as the name implies?is much faster. Speedfliers launch themselves into the air from the top of a mountain and zoom down its face attached to a parachute-like wing that they steer. But unlike paragliders, they remain close to the slope the entire way down to preserve their momentum and keep the journey exciting.
Speedfly California introduces total beginners to the sport with a variety of comprehensive classes, too, plus traditional paragliding classes. Some run for a full day, while others, in which students earn their P2 and M1 solo flying ratings, might take around a week. Each session is taught by an experienced speedflier and gets participants into the air for hands-on practice.