Wind tousles the broad leaves of vines above clusters of grapes the off-black blue of the dusk sky. Frank and Liz Vez?r, owners of Vez?r Family Vineyard, originally began growing the fruit to help fill the needs of wine producers including Ravenswood and Sin Zin. More than a decade ago, they also began producing their own wines. ?One could call it beginner?s luck,? says Touring and Tasting Magazine, ?but their award-winning streak has yet to be broken. Every single wine Vez?r has produced has won a top award or superior rating. Of most recent note, the 2007 Vez?r Cabernet Sauvignon won double gold at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and a whopping 97 points at a blind tasting at Napa?s Bay Leaf Restaurant.?
The winery adjoins the original Pony Express offices, and one can still almost hear the sound of plodding hooves and hooves frustratedly trying to apply stamps. On a copper-roofed cupola, an equine weathervane twists to face the winds above a sweeping swath of grass that fills with chatter during weddings and other events.
For indoor and outdoor battles alike, Battle Recon Mobile Laser Tag's specialists erect customizable fields for up to 12 hours of laser warfare. They dot fields with barrels and inflatable bunkers, then supply novice players with game-play instructions and 2.2-pound handheld taggers. Then they venture off, leaving soldiers to grip their military spec stocks, aim their red-dot scopes, and zap one another’s head sensors. Afterward, resurrected armies can cool down with a 60-minute round of water tag, during which guests soak each other with quick-fill water blasters. After the pyew-pyewing has died down, specialists return in a flash of light to swiftly disassemble the field.
Napa Valley is California's epicenter of wine, and there's a definite local pride in all things grape. Signs posted along roads urge drivers to stop, taste, and experience private-label wines. The culinary scene has also risen to prominence, with chefs like Thomas Keller spearheading a haute-cuisine movement. Though hundreds of thousands of people visit each year, Napa still cultivates a small-town feel. There are a handful of big-name restaurants in downtown Napa that might have limos parked out front, but there are still plenty of eclectic, hole-in-the wall eateries serving vegan fare or barbecue.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer, known in the cleated world as the King and winner of the PGA Tour's Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, designed the undulating ryegrass fairways at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club. Ranked as one of Golf Digest’s Readers’ Choice Top 50 Public Courses in 2009, the course unfolds scenic views of rolling hills as players give their balls detailed directions, hand them compasses and trail mix, and send them hiking toward the pin. The 12th hole’s pin challenges orbs with one of the toughest locations on the course, and eight sand bunkers guard three sides of the 18th hole’s green. After working up a sweat, swingers can remove their gloves and Kevlar vests and celebrate or commiserate their score at The Grille, where diners gaze out over the greens while munching sandwiches and quaffing beer.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,678 yards * Course rating of 72.8 * Slope rating of 142 * 25 hitting stations at driving range * See helpful course map and notes
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch socked striplings into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, guardians can rest assured that their charges will stay safe, and each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the floor and ceiling by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.
The inimitable Dolly Parton beams her bright gifts of immaculate song-craft and prodigious showmanship at concertgoers, illuminating and delighting audiences as she embarks on her Better Day World Tour. Ordained with the power to wring tears from stoic Cyclopes and smiles from sour chuck wagons, this Appalachian renaissance woman has wowed music fans with her boundless talents for more than four decades. From Coat of Many Colors to her new album Better Day, Dolly’s songbook unspools like a palm-reading of America that forecasts joy, as she puts on an extravagant show laden with hits and costume changes. Purchase up to eight of today’s Groupon and bring the whole clan or treat rival bobsled teams to a night of sing-along splendor.