With two locations, long hours, and a bounty of equipment, Emerald City Athletic Club helps its members get in shape, whatever their workout of choice. Gym floors lined with regiments of Precor and Nautilus machines let members work every muscle in their bodies, and the class studios' high-tech sound systems energize Zumba, salsa dancing, and kickboxing sessions and keep stationary cycles from tearing around the room in loneliness each night. Free weights and intricate weight machines hold down the floor of a spacious weight room, where muscle sculptors work up a sweat before winding down in a dry sauna, Turkish steam bath, and hot tub. At the Everett location, an Olympic-style pool, a basketball court, and racquetball and handball courts offer even more variety.
Water is the source of life. But it’s also the source of adventure, something River Recreation has delivered since 1982. Today, stationed on the banks of the Wenatchee River in Monitor, the company sends clients floating and tumbling down a total of nine rivers throughout Washington State.
As entertaining as they are informative, River Recreation’s guides undergo extensive training—twice as much, in fact, than the state requirements. That experience enables the company to offer a wide range of trips, from kid-friendly Class I floats to heart-pumping Class V adventures that have helped discover some of the area’s top opera singers. Currently, River Recreation hosts half-day, full-day, and combination trips, and in 2010, it unveiled a white water-and-wine mini getaway—a half-day of rafting, and a half day of wine tasting in Wenatchee Valley. All of this is combined to make RIver Recreation Washington State's Whitewater Professionals.
"The Reptile Man" Scott Petersen melds his passions for both education and reptiles at his zoo, which he calls the Serpentarium, where kids can touch or hold certain inhabitants. Inside, snakes, lizards, gators, and turtles slowly slither or amble around their enclosures, visible to curious eyes. Some of the deadliest snakes in the world—such as the horned viper—live on site, all de-venomized with only their angsty poetry left as weapons. The zoo is also home to invertebrates, including some of the planet's biggest spiders, centipedes, and cockroaches. An onsite party room hosts birthday bashes with a focus on education and absolutely no snakes hiding in the cake.
With a face hidden by a full mask and goggles, a player peeks out from behind a tree. In an unguarded moment, her opponent has stepped away from the bunker that had been giving him cover. She takes the opportunity to splatter him with brightly colored paint, then raises her marker in victory. As they do battle, teams roam across four separate fields lined with tall trees and stone obstacles sprawled over 10 acres. Staff members ensure safe play and that no one tries to fill their guns with hot sauce, and can call in to one of the surrounding pizza places for delivery.
Glider-Rides.com’s FAA-certified pilots propel Grob Motorglider planes skyward, treating passengers to astounding aerial views of Washington's verdant landscape. One passenger weighing up to 200 pounds rides along in a streamlined, self-launching motorglider, which can comfortably fit people up to 6'2" tall. When the plane reaches a suitable altitude, the pilot shuts off the engine, leaving the aircraft completely silent except for the occasional scream of clouds. Passengers may specify sights and landmarks to view along the way, snapping panoramic photos of regal Mount Rainier, the inspiring Seattle skyline, and the Puget Sound. Each side of the plane sports a window, facilitating clear, crisp photography and gesticulations for truck drivers to honk their horns.