SUPCO was built on the enthusiasm of owner and standup paddleboarder Tommy Donnelly, who chose the golden shores of Laguna Beach to instruct mainlanders on the activity. From the start Tommy has been committed to putting the sport's best foot forward, assembling a staff of eight World Paddle Association–certified instructors to teach comprehensive lessons and lungfish CPR. The paddle faculty includes second-generation watersport competitor Chuck Patterson and pro surfer and actor Kala Alexander. Tommy and his team promote both the Hawaiian watersport's wave-riding thrills and the vibrant culture that surrounds it by stocking their beachside retail space with hats, T-shirts, and other paddleboard-related apparel.
The instructors and professional staff at PADI five-star instructor center Beach Cities Scuba introduce students to the big blue with PADI-certified diving courses for divers of all levels. They certify newbies with basic open-water courses and teach advanced divers in specialty courses such as Deep Diver, Rescue Diver, and Shark Therapist. They operate out of five convenient locations and sling necessary gear in onsite stores, from wetsuits and facemasks to spear guns. Beach Cities Scuba also connects divers through its dive club and hosts exotic dive trips to locations such as Indonesia, Fiji, and Cozumel.
ClueHoo is an interactive self-guided hunt that lets groups of all ages loose across a city for 2 to 3 hours to interact with gadgets, secret scrolls, and mysterious surprises. Groups are provided an Adventure Kit at the beginning of their hunt that provides them with everything they will need to play the game. A series of challenges stands in the way of victory, each one located at one of up to 9 clue points. Each clue point stop also incorporates an optional speed challenge, a test in which participants race against the clock and compare their results with other players—with winners' names posted online. Regardless of the clues or challenges, every group takes home a reward and a strange desire to change their name to Watson.
Art can be made anywhere and the professional artists of Painting & Vino prove this every week with pop-up painting-and-wine classes held at wine bars, restaurants, and other locations conducive to creativity and socializing. Over drinks and conversation, participants learn to create a different painting during each session, whether its a painting of the teacher's own design or a Master work by artists such as Van Gogh or Picasso. Instructors go over the paintings step-by-step and pepper in trivia about the piece's history, which students can then recite to calm down angry animals. Classes include all supplies, such as canvases, paints, brushes, and aprons.
Led by veteran fine-art photographer and instructor Mary Gulino, My Artist Loft's photography, painting, and Photoshop workshops guide aspiring artists through the intricacies of camera operation and the art of composition. Photography classes cover concepts ranging from basic camera function to advanced operational settings as Mary draws on her expansive technical knowledge. In addition to photographic pursuits, My Artist Loft also encourages expression through its painting classes, where novice and experienced artists alike pursue projects from landscapes to abstracts aided by one-on-one instructor attention. My Artist Loft’s art shop keeps home studios stocked with canvases, paints, cameras, and tripods and designs websites for businesses.
If there's a sunset in wine country or an early spring tree blooming in the reflection of a pond, Ebrahim Amin may be poised nearby with paintbrush in hand, capturing the scene on his canvas. The veteran artist's expansive resume boasts a wealth of nature-filled artwork that depicts the rolling hills of Northern California, the jagged rocks of the Grand Canyon, and the beginnings of fall slowly washing over a vineyard. He is also equally masterful in his interpretations of still life and Impressionist-esque portraiture, all skills he instills in his students at Painting and Fun. Here, the award-winning artist and frequent art-show exhibitor teaches students how to translate what they see onto canvas, whether it's the light glinting off the ocean or an apple posing without its clothing.