Blackbeard's Family Entertainment transports visitors to magical and faraway places. One mini-golf landscape mimics the Wild West with realistic hotel and saloon storefronts, whereas another simulates pirate life, and a third brings storybooks to life with castles, moats, and sand traps filled with porridge.
It's easy to believe you're actually on a roller coaster as you sit in the virtual Cyber Coaster or that you're in a 1980s European discotheque while you sneak through the smoky, music-filled twists and turns of the XTreme laser-tag arena. To take a mock tropical vacation, head for the water slides or an adventure course that resembles a jungle rope bridge. Cap'n Kids' Rideland whisks away youngsters to a realm where gravity is irrelevant, and the go-kart tracks blur adults' everyday stresses into a whirlwind of speed.
Narrow fairways and small greens shape the layout at Airways Municipal Golf Course, an 18-hole course carved in the shadows of Fresno Yosemite International Airport. Tree lines and sand traps add scenic impediments to errant shots, and slick putting surfaces make for testy putts once golfers make it to the green. Before rounds, golfers can rehearse their swing at the on-site driving range.
Maxx Putt Fun Zone takes the rigors of an outdoor ground game and translates them into a phosphorescent indoor experience that's fun for all ages. The 18-hole course travels the glowing, blacklit globe with holes in Venice, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Great Wall of China. Once 36 hallucinogenic holes have been successfully sunk in stellar style, you and up to seven friends and/or samurai currently protecting your village can enter a four-vs.-four war in the Balladium stadium. The Balladium ball blaster system is a fast-paced shooting battle, as well as a legally acceptable method for settling intellectual property disputes in Australia's Thunderdome-based judicial system. During each five-minute game, each player uses a cannon to launch foam balls toward targets, plus any opposing players, in order to score points and win the game.
Located next to the Sierra Meadows Country Club, Sierra Meadows RV Park sits at an elevation of 2,425 feet. From that height, it surveys a variety of national landmarks and sites, including Yosemite National Park and the Bass Lake recreation area. Nestled amidst this scenic beauty, the RV Park boasts a rustic setting with a volleyball court, laundry and shower facilities, and wireless-Internet access.
Adjacent to the RV Park is the golf course at the Sierra Meadows Country Club, which is cleaved into a mountain valley populated with mature oaks, pines, and cedars, producing a spectacular course yielding a gauntlet of obstacles. Nestled between the blanket of fog of the Central Valley below and snow higher up in the Sierra Nevadas, the 18-hole course stays open throughout the year so long as the fog and snow don't engage in water-cycle turf war. The par-3 fifth hole, the course's signature designed hole, combines mountainous scenery with the treachery of a 175-yard tee shot over a lake onto a contoured green, forcing golfers to select their club wisely or risk sending the ball into the watery abyss.
Prior to a round or after a dramatic finish, players can head to the driving range's turf hitting surfaces to smash balls at targets or take aim at an unassuming mountain peak. Large putting and chipping greens provide ample space for short-game improvement.
Course at a Glance: 18-hole, par-72 courseLength of 6,389 yards from back teesThree sets of tees per hole
The nine holes of River Creek Golf Course are spread across the same granite-streaked foothills occupied by Yosemite National Park, which lies just 30 miles to the northwest. Snowcapped Sierra peaks hover above the trees as golfers contend with a John Hilborn–designed layout that welcomes golfers into its embrace with a 542-yard dogleg first hole, the longest on the course. Once players have holed out on the birdie-prone 349-yard ninth, they can head to the clubhouse, checking clubs at the door and instructing golf carts to sit and stay. Inside, the café and bar menu slakes hunger with lunch options, such as hamburgers, caesar wraps, and quesadillas, as well as beverages, including fountain drinks and premium beer.
Course at a Glance:
The mounded terrain and cavernous bunkers of Riverbend Golf Club's 18-hole, 7,374-yard course recall the windswept terrain of golf's original Scottish links. The distant peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains peek over the course's sparse population of valley oak trees, adding scenic flair to an environmentally friendly layout that houses egrets, herons, hawks, and winged divot tools. Both the front and back nine play to dramatic conclusions, as the 9th and 18th holes are the first and second most difficult on the course, respectively. The course strictly enforces a dress code, so players should dress in a collared shirt and leave behind jeans and hard-spiked stilettos, or and they can peruse the fully stocked pro shop for club-appropriate garb and new gear.