Water splashes up against their toes, which are firmly planted on the board. Arm and back muscles tighten as they push themselves forward with their paddles. Thus do novice paddleboarders from Long Beach Adventure Tours ride slowly glide their way across Long Beach, from the shore of the Hotel Maya to the behemoth hull of the Queen Mary. But they aren't the only patrons out for fun in the sun. On the beach nearby, students carrying surfboards rush into the water to catch their first waves, as a certified instructor shouts out encouragement and instructions behind them. Further out in the water, a colorful arched sail cuts through the air, sending the kiteboarder holding the reigns jumping and twisting into the air. Whatever the sport or activity, instructors that live and breathe water activities unleash their expertise onto both novice and experienced students.
Flavors of Laguna's tasting tours meander to well-known Laguna Beach restaurants as well as eateries kept quiet by locals, with tastings of a wide variety of cuisines along the way. Though stops can vary, past trips have seen tour-goers dig spoons into Dolce Gelato's creamy handcrafted treats, sample sizzling dishes at La Sirena Grill, or cozy up to the horseshoe island bar at Lumberyard. (Wine or beer tastings are available for an extra fee.) Between bites, guides point out major sights during casual strolls around Laguna's streets, ensuring that tours, like city maps made of chocolate, are informative as well as delicious.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Turista Libre organizes adventuresome and exploratory day tours in Tijuana. It gathers guests into caravans for trips to local water parks or Xoloitzcuintles games, Tijuana's pro soccer team. Stops at lucha-libre matches (pro wrestling) and piñata factories are often part of the fun. All excursions provide the opportunity to sample the local cuisine and bar scene of Tijuana, the second-largest city on the West Coast after Los Angeles.
GW Tours’ fleet of segways and Scoot Coupes glides along the wet sands of Huntington Beach in both predesigned routes and custom carved paths. Before embarking, each segway participant receives a protective helmet and all the instruction necessary to handle the Segway X2, an extrarugged machine with all-terrain tires tough enough to steer away from obstacles and awkward conversations. The popular Beachcomber expedition takes segway pilots past major Surf City sites and across the hard, dark sand of the beach at low tide. While rolling, guides regale their flock with tales from Huntington Beach's storied past and snap photos of the group.
Segway riders then return to GW Tours’ stables, where they receive a photo CD with images of them shredding along like Darth Vader when he’s late to a meeting. Because almost anyone who can stand can operate a segway, tours are a wonderful gift for the young, old, and anyone else with flat-soled shoes and a sense of adventure. GW Tours also offers custom rides and caters to corporate groups.