A nonprofit organization, Shoestring City Ranch is run by instructors that dedicate their time to teach teamwork and leadership skills to city-slicker kids by having them work with rescued animals. The environmentally friendly ranch hosts clinics on communicating with pets and group horseback-riding classes that teach everyone from tots to adults how to groom and ride. They also host fun events in addition to classes, such as the 5K Gallop and 1-Mile Tot Trot and a Roping Clinic 101, where a professional rodeo cowboy teaches students how to use a lasso.
Named a top place to play in Southern California by Golf Digest, the course at Rio Hondo Golf Club leads players on a zigzagging path toward glimpses of glittering lakes and waterfalls. Separated from adjacent holes by aisles of stately pine, the narrow fairways traverse rolling hills and mounds strategically placed to create tricky lies and inhibit golf-cart drag racing. When a rusty swing holds back progress, the club facilitates game improvement with a lighted, 30-stall practice range, as well as lessons with head PGA professional Steve Labarge and his band of instructors. The new 23,000-square-foot clubhouse houses the buzz of activity, inviting players to down cold beers while enjoying the emerald panorama.
Course at a Glance:
Long Beach Golf Learning Center furnishes players with everything needed to calibrate their strokes and lower their scores—especially the space to practice. On its 19-acre plot, an 11,000-square-foot putting area hones short games while more than 80 hitting spaces look out over a 340-yard-long driving range. Of those spaces, more than 20 are authentic grass and 40 come furnished with a Power Tee—an automated teeing system that saves guests the effort of leaning over to set up their ball or the bubblegum required to hire a toddler to do it. When more than space is necessary to bring about improvement, players can opt for lessons with director of instruction Eric Manley or have an expert club fitter tweak their equipment’s loft, lie, or shaft frequency at The Fitting Studio.
At City Grounds, a team of riders and cycle mechanics promote eco-friendly transportation by offering equipment and services for urban cycling needs. Knowledgeable staffers constantly seek out innovative equipment and accessories from manufacturers around the globe, stocking digital odometers by Blackburn, chains by Kryptonite, and Lezyne CO2 cartridges to combat against glass shards on city streets. They can also fit customers with bicycles for several riding styles including BMX, mountain biking, cyclocross, and commuting. Besides bike nuts and bolts, City Grounds also attends to riders' style with a selection of bold graphic tees as well as sleek backpacks and bags by Chrome, Herschel, and Manhattan Portage.
Under the tutelage of melodious maestro Andreas Mitisek, the Long Beach Opera's toughened tunesmiths bang out praiseworthy performances of works by an international array of composers. The opera's stage-bound songbirds tackle questions of morality, power, and faith during their performance of Philip Glass's Akhnaten, the third in the composer's Portrait Trilogy. Making its West Coast debut, Akhnaten follows the rise and fall of the titular pharaoh, a leader known for bringing monotheism to Egypt and owning an expansive collection of ceramic kittens. True to Glass's reputation as an avant-garde artist, Akhnaten features vocal performances in historically accurate languages—including Egyptian, Akkadian, Hebrew, and Klingon—translated into eye-catching English supertitles projected for instant understanding. The cast is led by a covey of Long Beach Opera rookies, including international songsters such as Jochen Kowalski, Oxana Senina, and Ralph Cato.