The inspiration behind Alebrijes Mexican Bistro is the stuff of nightmares—Pedro Linares’ nightmares, to be specific. At the age of 30, the Mexican artist fell deathly ill. As he lay in bed, unconscious, he dreamt of a strange world filled with brightly colored monsters—a donkey with butterfly wings and a rooster with the head of an eagle among others—all shouting “alebrijes, alebrijes, alebrijes!” When he awoke, he wanted to show his family and friends all that he had seen, so he replicated his first alebrije from brightly painted papier-mâché. To this day, his family still crafts these strange creatures to serve as unusual home accents.
Pedro Linares' monsters inspired Alebrijes Mexican Bistro's name, as well as its decor, which showcases brightly colored paintings of his nightmarish beasts. In 2012, the bistro also won the Lodi News Reader’s Choice award for Best Mexican Restaurant, thanks to its gourmet burritos and regionally inspired dishes such as oaxaca mole, guanajuato bacon-wrapped prawns, and guacamole prepared in the style of Mexico City. The restaurant also infuses their own tequilas.
Since 1972, Spare Time Clubs has evolved into a 10-club, full-service family sports club company that includes programs for both adults and children. Each location varies in size—some boasting multiple complexes—and houses amenities such as lighted tennis courts, pools, kids’ play areas, and fitness centers. At the Diamond Hills and El Dorado Hills locations, members can shine up in the onsite European spas, and the jewel of the Gold River club is a lighted stadium court encircled by a 5,000 square-foot observation deck. In the event of inclement weather or courts being overrun by ball-chasing dogs, players can schedule time at the dedicated indoor-tennis center, where eight fully sectioned-off, championship courts glow under the power of tournament-level lighting. World-class coaches develop kids’ court skills at the junior tennis academy, students of which can practice with an unlimited number of sessions at any of Spare Time’s other clubs.
Founded to provide financial support for the Micke Grove Zoo, Society provides educational opportunities and community involvement in the zoo's growth for its members. Members and their families get free access to the zoo itself, where they can visit tamarins, Madagascar tortoises, and a golden eagle. It also hosts hands-on animal encounters for families and school groups where students get a chance to learn about the behaviors and habitats of some of the zoo's denizens. Members also gain discounts in the gift shop and at other zoos and aquariums across the country.
The Headwaters owners Dan and Ashlie Arbuckle strive to make aquatic exploration accessible by providing patrons with high-quality equipment, as well as moral support from their canine companion, Henna. The shop rents paddleboards and kayaks to paddlers intent on exploring the Mokelumne River, whose waters glitter less than 1 mile away, and also organizes guided trips, exhibitions, and private or small group classes for newbies. In addition, fishing kayak packages rent out rod holders, fish finders, and scripts for tall tales about "the one that got away."
Nestled within a natural landscape of old oak trees and olive orchards, Trinitas Golf Club spirits players of all skill levels away into a verdant, scenic, and challenging course that Steve Pajak of the Sacramento Bee characterized as “fun” and “fair” in his “On Tour” article. Players and up to three swing for the green on the Club’s 6,696-yard, par 72 golf course, festooned with ball-engulfing sand traps, water hazards, and famished, famished hippos. Course navigators travel from fairway to fairway in an up to four-seat cart to save time walking between holes.