Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
The Modesto Bee-praised International Wedding Festival introduces brides-to-be to the people, places, and dresses that make nuptials magical. Instead of darting from bakery to florist to photography studio atop a recently saddled butterfly, future wedders can meet all three under one roof, along with DJs, caterers, and professional event planners. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a Grab the Gown showdown unleashes a frenzy of the betrothed upon marked-down designer dresses, from brand-new gowns worn once at a photo shoot ($250–$499) to frocks with minor personality flaws ($50–$249). After entering to win a trip to the Mexican Riviera, guests can conclude their bridal adventure at a 3 p.m. with a fashion show of gowns, tuxes, and bouquets that turn into full bridesmaids when left overnight in a gallon of water.
The personal part of "personal training" at Core Fitness doesn't just refer to the studio's individual and small-group class sizes; it's also a statement about the studio's quality of instruction. Without resorting to cookie-cutter gym methods, its trainers take students through a blend of exercises drawn from Pilates, TRX suspension training, boot camps, and other approaches to fitness. Because Core Fitness keeps class sizes limited, students get the benefit of personalized lessons, and instructors don't have to rely on signal fires to explain each new exercise.
Brimming behind a curved glass exterior, painstakingly crafted bisque pieces perch on sleek black squares while original drawings and paintings cascade across the light-strewn walls of The Chartreuse Muse. Inside, local artists showcase their pièces de résistance and helm classes in the dynamic space's art school. Sessions for all ages and levels tackle a bevy of media, such as clay, charcoal, and acrylic paints, and inspire students to draw, paint, or create mixed-media collages of their tax-return documents.
The dazzling, art-deco exterior of The State Theatre sends moviegoers back in time to Hollywood’s heyday. The elegant 1934 theater eschews the big-budget productions and 3D infomercials of today’s movie industry and instead screens classic films and indie features. On opening nights, The State Theatre often hosts Skype Q&A sessions with the directors and other filmmakers.
The cooks at Sips Bistro and Wine Shop use locally acquired and organic ingredients where possible in their classic menu of small plates, varietals, and espresso drinks. The intimate bistro setting—rendered warm by colorful murals of pastoral settings and elegant wood wine racks—hosts guests as they try refined eats such as a chicken, brie, and caramelized onion quesadilla, or a brined and herb-crusted bone-in pork chop. During wine flights, vino sippers may choose their own drinks from a temperature-controlled wine bar or the frigid palms of a grape-eating sprite. The company also occasionally hosts events such as champagne Sundays and special tastings.