Air rushes past you at 120 miles per hour while the California countryside unfolds thousands of feet below. Blue sky and empty space surround you, and the voice of your U.S. Parachute Association–rated instructor is the only sound you can hear above the wind. At 4,500 feet, the instructor pulls the parachute cord, and the two of you gently drift down to land in 32 acres of open, unobstructed grass. This is what divers experience during tandem skydives or jumps as a part of the Accelerated Freefall program at Skydive Sacramento.
Pilots at the helm of a 15-passenger King Air twin turbine, a four-passenger Cessna 182, or a five-passenger Cessna 206 take students to altitudes of up to 13,000 in as few as 15 minutes. Fitted securely with harnesses and chutes, participants can ask their diving instructor questions about the sport before plunging from the plane in a hands-on free fall and canopy flight, during which they learn steering and hot-air-balloon-avoidance tactics. Though the instructors cater to first-time divers, they also coach more experienced students toward their skydiving license. Instructors, many with 2,000 dives under their belt, also teach students to land in a main grass landing area or a high-performance area with swoop pond.
Copses of serene pines, oaks, and redwoods cluster along no fewer than 36 rye-grass fairways at Lincoln Hills Golf Club. Even after creating its first 18-hole Hills course, designed by professional golfer Billy Casper and famed course architect Greg Nash, the club decided it wanted another. Its ambition created a second par 72 layout—the Orchard course—giving golfers a choice between two courses where large greens nestle amid rolling hills and naturally occurring wetlands.
The older Hills course unfurls over 6,876 yards. Its second hole demands a tee shot over a lake and onto a tight fairway before players even begin to aim at a green guarded by a bunker on the left. The newer Orchard course also makes golfers sweat at the second fairway, its hardest, which earns a par 5 by coming in at 598 yards and offering a plethora of sand bunkers as well as a 75-foot slope from the tee box to the green.
Instead of smashing cell phones to make rudimentary compasses, golfers navigate the course in GPS-equipped golf carts. The club also entices players with an 8-acre driving range, a practice area for putting and chipping, and individual or group lessons with professionals Steven Treadway and Patty Snyder—a former LPGA Tour player.
Susan Jansson, the owner of Lincoln Fit1, wants to spread fitness to the entire world, and her 10 different fitness clubs in California and Oregon are an impressive start. Along with her bodybuilding, martial-arts-practicing, ACE- and ACSM-certified head trainer, Herb Tanton, she designs and teaches a variety of programs to help clients achieve their fitness goals. Susan and her team offer group fitness classes that range from cycling and Zumba to boot camp, Pilates, jeet kune do, and body-sculpting classes.
The STAR Enrichment Center and Star Eco work in tandem to enrich the lives of children, adults, and animals. When animals are rescued from dangerous living situations or seized from the hands of smugglers, STAR Eco Station provides them with second chances at peaceful lives. But the facility doesn't just serve as a haven for more than 200 rescued animals. Perhaps just as importantly, it also educates the public as an environmental science museum. During public tours, guides lead guests through exhibits of rescued exotic animals, such as parrots, pythons, and wildcats, while explaining the habits, history, and New Year's resolutions of each creature. The recipient of multiple awards from media and government agencies, STAR Eco Station also provides educational outreach programs to more than 40 California school districts and works in concert with conservation organizations such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Paw Project, and Heal the Bay.
At the STAR Enrichment Center in Beverlywood, learning enrichment takes center stage for adults and children alike. Here, dedicated teaching professionals offer courses in STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), child development, visual and media art, and language. Through courses that range from pre-natal workshops to parent and child classes, the center has earned a reputation for hosting engaging curriculum for all ages. The Enrichment Center is also home to the STAR Prep Academy and STAR Preschool.
The press certainly likes California Family Fitness, granting the exercise venue such awards as Best Gym on KCRA-3's 2012 and 2014 A-List and Sacramento News and Review's Best of Sacramento 2012 Award. The press, however, isn't the top priority for the gym's staff; they believe that, to quote their about CFF page, ?awards don't greet you at the door.? Instead, they depend upon their dedicated staffers at the front desk, chaperones at the Kidz Club play zone, and personal trainers to make families of clients feel at home. Certified personal trainers take aspiring exercisers of all ages through regimens that make use of the 18 available locations' ample workout machinery. Seasoned instructors, meanwhile, hold group fitness classes, free with a membership, fostering community as they incinerate calories during high-energy Zumba, step aerobics, Turbo Kick, and Hip Hop Hustle. Nine of the locations boast pools that host swim lessons taught by certified water-safety instructors.
While hitting the gym, parents can drop wee ones at childcare havens. After breaking a sweat on the exercise floor, clients can also shed excess body moisture in saunas and tanning beds.
Operating under the mantra ?experience the difference,? Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park rockets jumpers of any age, shape, or physical ability across 3-D trampoline courts, which were awarded a US patent for their uniqueness. Inside the air-conditioned facility, trampoline-covered walls absorb and ricochet bodies, demonstrating real-life instances of "bouncing off the walls" to both kids and puzzled ballistics students. Aerial amusement disguises calorie-burning fitness during open-jumping sessions and competitive games, such as ultimate dodge ball and Sky Zone the Sport with goals rotating 360 degrees. Bouncers renounce gravity and their fear of ceilings with trampoline shoes or while soaring toward the rim on the SkySlam court. SkyRobics trampoline classes motivate visitors to whip into shape with calisthenics and core exercises as they joyously reach for the skies. To ensure bouncers stay safe and follow the rules, court monitors supervise the high-flying fun at all times.