Winter-sports enthusiasts have coasted the slopes of Mt. Waterman since 1939, and today the venerated mountain sports more than 30 runs for skiers and snowboarders of all experience levels, including a sizeable number of advanced areas. Located just 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, the resort's three chair lifts transport visitors to runs across the 325-acre grounds, including well groomed slopes for beginners and yeti-infested wilderness for seasoned pros. Non-skiers are welcome to take advantage of the views from the lifts or lounge at the warming hut. The hut soothes exhausted skiers with a cozy fireplace and a restaurant, which serves up hot burgers, sandwiches, and poached snowmen.
For Urban Outdoor Skills staff Pascal Baudar and Mia Wasilevich, living sustainably is more than just talk. Baudar has been sourcing his own food since his childhood in Belgium, and Wasilevich—a self-taught chef—lives off her own urban garden. Together they run Urban Outdoor Skills, teaching their students self-reliance through classes where they pickle and can their own foods or make organic soaps from wild aromatic plants. Underlying every session is a bounty of expertise in foraging from the surrounding mountain wilderness: nettles and yucca become piquant sauces, seeds become breads and crackers, and flowers become wood-sprite birthday cakes.
From scary movies to haunted houses, Halloween entertainment often errs more toward the trick end of the holiday's trick-or-treat spectrum. RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns, however, embraces treats with its scare-free, family-friendly walking trail, which showcases more than 5,000 hand-carved and illuminated Jack O'Lanterns. Each unique piece is the work of local artists and sculptors, who spend anywhere from a few minutes to upwards of 20 hours on their designs. Alongside mountains of real pumpkins, the show also spotlights a few gourds standing around 3 feet tall.
Those images are arranged according to theme along the trail, leading guests past groupings of pumpkins carved with everything from characters on The Big Bang Theory to Tim Burton creations, all accompanied by corresponding songs. 200 hanging lanterns, 75 floodlights, and a few fireflies just hanging around illuminate the 1/3-mile path, and on select nights, guests can see live carving demonstrations with artists featured on Food Network and the Travel Channel.
The raw nature of Southern California is a painting turned into reality. Mountains kiss the sky, hills roll across the horizon, and canyons cut deep into the region's red, cherry-hued rock. SoCal Adventure Company's guides take groups to all of these destinations. With gear and healthy snacks in tow, they lead beginners and experienced adrenaline junkies alike on day trips ranging from rock climbing to canyoneering, a mode of adventure hiking that mixes in some thrilling rappels.
The guides lead groups on hikes through the mountains, help them climb top ropes, and rappel down cliffs through waterfalls. Occasionally, they even pause to swim through the pools at the canyon's bottom. Additionally, SoCal Adventure Company's guides always look for new ways to explore. To that end, they lead a trip of the week with an ever-changing itinerary.
Forty acres at the Flintridge Riding Club is scarcely enough room to contain all the accolades earned between Martin McAllister Training's Jenni Martin McAllister and Steve McAllister. The husband and wife boast illustrious careers in the sport of show jumping, highlighted by Jenni's wins at the Farmington Grand Prix and Saratoga Cup. Today, the duo passes on their expertise to new show-jumping recruits, stressing the timing, precision, and strategy necessary to succeed in the sport. They start the future phenoms as young as age 4, imparting basic horsemanship skills and riding techniques through beginner and advanced lessons in the English discipline.