If you've ever tried to beat rush-hour traffic by tethering your car with helium-filled balloons, then you know that hot-air flight should be left to the professionals. The Federal Aviation Administration–certified pilots at Sky Drifters Hot Air Ballooning embark on journeys from the Sierra Nevada foothills daily, and their company has been named one of the 10Best attractions in Sacramento. Whether piloting a small group or private flight, the balloon captains show passengers a bird’s-eye view of the rolling hills, winding rivers and finely crafted comb-overs whose majesty can only be truly appreciated from above. Their aerial transports also play host to weddings in the sky and can provide a lift to those who enjoy BASE jumping from the clouds.
The press certainly likes California Family Fitness, granting the exercise venue such awards as a top spot on KCRA-3's 2012 A-List and Sacramento News and Review's Best of Sacramento 2012 Award. The press, however, isn't the top priority for the gym's staff; they believe that, to quote their about CFF page, “awards don't greet you at the door.” Instead, they depend upon their dedicated staffers at the front desk, chaperones at the Kidz Club play zone, and personal trainers to make families of clients feel at home. Certified personal trainers take aspiring exercisers of all ages through regimens that make use of the 16 available locations' ample workout machinery. Seasoned instructors, meanwhile, hold group fitness classes, free with a membership, fostering community as they incinerate calories during high-energy Zumba, step aerobics, Turbo Kick, and Hip Hop Hustle. Nine of the locations boast pools that host swim lessons taught by certified water-safety instructors.
While hitting the gym, parents can drop wee ones at childcare havens lined with playgrounds and age-appropriate investment manuals. After breaking a sweat on the exercise floor, clients can also shed excess body moisture in saunas and tanning beds.
Nestled in among the hills and trees of Fair Oaks, Rollingwood Racquet Club presents families with an opportunity to get involved and get in shape. A mini getaway, close to home, the facility boasts a lineup of year-round fitness activities, including group classes such as Pilates, Zumba, and spin. Its outdoor tennis courts are surrounded by scenic canyon vistas, and its indoor pool is heated for swimming during winter months or when a simmering pot of goulash just won't do. To further bring the community together in the name of health, Rollingwood also hosts monthly luncheons at local restaurants for members to connect and chat.
This is not a 'mainstream' zoo," notes Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary on their website. "People who 'don't like zoos' are generally comfortable here." Perhaps that's because the center is more animal sanctuary than public zoo. Since 1963, it has taken in wild animals that have been injured in the wild, orphaned at an early age, or rejected as exotic pets by their owners. The sanctuary's staff provides lifelong homes for these animals, not only keeping them fed and cared for, but also engaging their mental and physical abilities through creative enrichment activities. Of course, education is a major focus, as well, which is why they invite visitors in to meet their boarders. The black bear exhibit showcases a few of these rescued creatures. Its glass viewing panels look into the habits of bears such as Sequoia, who was dropped off anonymously at a wildlife facility, and Marty, who was shot in the hip. Elsewhere, rescued red-tailed hawks perch inside an aviary, and a canine area showcases wolves, dogs, and everything in between.
North American species such as these occupy most of the habitats, but zookeepers also rescue the occasional exotic animal. They saved Orinoco, a squirrel monkey that came from a research facility, and Misty and Pouncer, a pair of mixed species tigers rescued from an illegal breeding facility. By telling these stories, the zookeepers hope to discourage the public from keeping wild animals as pets. Instead, they invite visitors to take active roles through volunteer initiatives and a junior zookeeper program.
GTI Fitness' cycling instructor, Davidjon McFarlane, helps students spin their way toward trimmer frames with a schedule of 50-minute spinning and personal-fitness classes. Davidjon strives to maximize participation and perspiration by demonstrating how to best approach marathon cycling sessions and how to properly massage your bike's wheels after each session. Off the spin circuit, the studio's group personal-training sessions infuse high-rep workouts with light weightlifting to help students achieve their goals.
Lotus Garden Meditation Center's two-acre grounds calm nervous systems even before guests ease into their first meditative pose. A koi pond rests beside a gazebo, plants sprout from the organic garden, and waterfalls and bamboo gardens surround swimmers in the pool. Inside a barn-turned-yoga-studio, teachers walk students through muscle-strengthening Hatha yoga series, a rare 64-posture style of tai chi, and free stress-relieving meditation classes. Transcendence continues at free weekly Kirtan sessions, a form of group meditation rooted in singing and chanting ancient mantras. Free vegetarian dinners follow weekly Bhakti yoga classes, and weekend events such as vegetarian cooking classes teach students how to take holistic methods off the mat. For more sustained quietude, one- and three-day retreats combine extended meditation, philosophical talks, and vegetarian meals.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.