Gliding down Redondo Beach Esplanade toward the spectacular homes on the Palos Verdes hillside, segways purr almost silently along the Redondo Beach strand, which is within steps of the Pacific Ocean. Reaching speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour on the open strand below the bluffs, tour-goers effortlessly navigate scenic routes along the waterfront, the pier, and into King Harbor atop a segway PT. Guides ensure guests are comfortable with the machinery’s mechanisms for accelerating and braking before heading out on one of the daily excursions.
Pacific Pedal Cruiser's 14-person cruiser bikes help passengers work up an appetite as they power the pedal-equipped vehicle toward Hermosa Beach restaurants and bars under the guidance of an experienced driver. As tunes lilt from the bike’s iPod-equipped sound system, passengers work their way toward pit stops at bars, such as Patrick Molloys, Underground Pub & Grill, Barnacles Bar and Grill, and other area establishments, refueling with dining and drink specials before resuming their breezy cruise. Bikes welcome the collected members of a bachelorette party or birthday fete for camaraderie-filled private tours or forge new friendships between couples and people tired of waiting at the impound lot during public tours.
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Catalina Adventure Tours’ aquatic guides unlock the secrets of island living during submarine and glass-bottom-boat tours or interior land excursions. Safely submersed below sea level aboard the military replica SS Nautilus, groups of up to 45 search the waters for rapidly growing ladder kelp, boisterous fish, and reflections they think are sea spirits, and those riding in glass-bottom boats start feeding frenzies among hungry schools gliding below. Alternatively, guests can spy bald eagles and buffalo during an Inside Adventure tour or gaze over cacti speckling the foreground of sweeping ocean views from the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Gardens on the City Botanical Garden tour. Catalina Adventure Tours also runs evening missions with guides serving as curators of ocean nightlife and designated drivers for seahorse discotheques.
FrameStore's craftsmen have created more than 250,000 custom frames in the store’s 35-year tenure, designing pieces that now adorn the walls of prestigious institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Walt Disney Company. Professional designers guide FrameStore’s clients through the 2,200 moulding options that can accent paintings and treasured items while adding style and elegance to rooms. The store’s craftsmen then fashion pieces to patron specifications, outfitting frames with classic or museum-quality glass that blocks UV rays from bleaching out images or censoring pictures of the moon. Every piece goes through a 16-point inspection before it is given to patrons, and the team averages a seven-day turnaround on all of its projects.
Betty’s favorite foods are shrimp, clams, and squid. She’s a little over a year old. She has brown hair, and her nickname is “Banshee,” because she wails when she doesn’t get her way. Named for Aquarium of the Pacific sponsor and legendary actress Betty White, she’s a recent addition to the aquarium’s BP Sea Otter Habitat. Betty was discovered in early 2012, a mere pup, without a mother. The staff at Aquarium of the Pacific nursed her back to health until October, when she was well enough to join her friends in the otter habitat. The otter habitat is just one of 19 habitats at Aquarium of the Pacific, which also includes 32 focus exhibits celebrating the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Ocean. In the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, more than 12 tuxedo-clad Magellanic penguins waddle around a rocky beach where guests can spy them nesting, eating, and practicing dance routines with Dick van Dyke, and a crawl space below their swimming pool provides a closer look at the birds as they go for a dip. Outside in Shark Lagoon, some 150-plus sand tiger, zebra, and whitetip reef sharks bare their menacing grins. But in the shallow touch pools, gentle bamboo and epaulette sharks discredit stereotypes by allowing visitors to pet them. For those more interested in the science of the sea, the Ocean Science Center helps visitors explore oceanic trends through its Science on a Sphere exhibit. The globe, a creation of the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, measures six feet in diameter and displays films about subjects such as rising sea levels and the connection between ocean health and human health.