When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Michael Dawson's resume looks a little different than that of the average winemaker. He earned degrees in biochemistry and cell biology, and went on to complete his medical degree and work in radiology. But as any grape-expert will tell you, viticulture is a scientific process?and Michael has proven himself more than up for the task. He draws on his technological background while bottling chardonnay, pinot noir, white rhone varietals, and other boutique wines for Seal Beach Winery. Those unique quaffs are available to sample in the tasting room, which also stocks bottles ready for visitors to take home and politely refuse to share. Those who aren't sure which bottle to select can opt to join the Wine Club in which Seal Beach Winery does the choosing for you. Customers can also take home merchandise such as wine-themed gift baskets, aerators, and tasting trays.
Pints Sports Bar and Grill's libations and classic American eats go perfectly with its squad of LED televisions, which air current sporting events, including football games and the local squirrels' logrolling competitions. Bartenders manage a seasonal cocktail list and rotating selection of draft beers from craft breweries as Stone Brewing Co., Avery Brewing Company, and Oskar Blues Brewery. These drinks complement chef Craig Orell?s creations, which include made-from-scratch pretzels, ahi poke, and braised short ribs.
The guides at Sunseeker Tours don't just take you to celebrities' stomping grounds?they make you feel like a star, too. Tour goers meet up at Long Beach, where they climb into a luxurious Mercedes Benz coach bus and hit the road. Over the course of a full- or half-day tour, they might hit up Venice Beach, where Jim Morrison got his start and where Elijah Wood currently calls home, or literally follow in the footsteps of stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At the Kodak Theater, guests can recall the most exciting moments from American Idol, and Mel's Diner might remind them of the hamburgers from their favorite Tarantino movies.
Green grassy slopes, white-sand beaches, and gently waving palm trees give way to the cerulean surf of the Pacific Ocean. Along the sun-soaked highway, convertibles and SUVs topped with surfboards change lanes to make room for an English double-decker bus. Big Red Bus?s drivers lead their tours from the helm of either an open-topped or close-topped bus with a converted lower-level bar. All buses are outfitted with stereo systems and painted bright red, signaling to monster trucks that they?re poisonous.
Drivers may take passengers on tours of local breweries, pubs, and wine bars, excursions to kayak or surf along the beach, or tours of southern California?most often driving along the coast to offer unobstructed, panoramic views of the ocean and city skyline. They also let passengers customize their own excursions around topics such as special event shuttling, weddings, or beer and wine tours.
Eureka is a fitting name for Airship Venture's 246-foot-long zeppelin, an astounding aeronautical innovation. Longer than a Boeing 747, the gentle behemoth takes to the skies after filling its hull with nonflammable helium gas. The great ship is run by husband-and-wife team Brian and Alex Hall, who channeled their entrepreneurial spirit and love of aeronautics into the US's first and only zeppelin. The airship soars over San Francisco regularly on tours of the city and surrounding area, and can even do long-distance flights to Los Angeles, the Sonoma Valley, or Never Never Land. Intrigued passengers can also take the ground tour to see the zeppelin and its inner workings up close.