From the highest point of Adventures Out West's Colorado Springs hiking trips, hikers have a view of not just one mountain range, but three. The guides of Adventures Out West?currently celebrating its 40th year of tours?have created many such scenic jaunts through Colorado and Arizona that deposit participants directly into the most beautiful parts of the local geography. Whether soaring over snowcapped mountains from the basket of a hot-air balloon or ziplining over lush forested cliffs, patrons get a chance to interact firsthand with all of nature's local sights, sounds, and whoopee-cushion gags.
Amid the saguaro cactus and abundant foliage, Michelle McVey operates the Desert Palms Equestrian Center facility with a deep passion for horseback riding, a hobby and career that began when she was five years old. Michelle and her team specialize in showing every level of rider proper saddle technique, as she’s coached students ranging from first-timers to Triple Crown winners. Inside two large outdoor arenas, private lessons focus on the student’s goals, whether that’s to have vigorous exercise or to simply learn the basics. Additionally, the center holds camps throughout the year, allowing kids to get a more in-depth experience with horse riding. During these camps, students ride twice daily, and receive education on horse care, tack components, and equine physiology.
The nine-hole executive course's open fairways and flat terrain present a laid-back layout for golfers to build confidence and practice short-game skills. The course does away with many of the treacherous hazards found at larger courses, such as deep bunkers, long shots over water, or enticing offers for island green timeshares. To aid in the development of consistent golf skills, PGA professional instructors oversee the golf center's facilities, ready to enlighten new golfers on anything from proper etiquette to trick shots, which students can then ingrain into muscle memory at the driving range.
Since 1991, Aqua-Tots Swim School's comprehensive eight-level program has turned thousands of hydrophobes into probes of the aqueous abyss. Levels range from tadpoles (little swimmers aged 6–18 months) to stingrays, a level for swimmers of any age who can already freestyle independently with sidestroke and backstroke, but want to refine their skills. Class capacity never reaches more than four students in order to provide focused, individualized instruction and equitable splitting of double Popcicles. An active board member of the U.S. Swim School Association, Aqua-Tots Swim School doesn't just teach children how to swim; the rigorously trained instructors are dedicated to making a difference in the kids' lives through confidence-building encouragement and early space training to give them an edge in moon-college admissions.
Arabian and Saddlebred show horses are the stars at the Pirate Performance ranch, where trainers specialize in showing styles ranging from halter to driving. A sandy, outdoor arena––including a round pen and plenty of turnouts––sets the stage for lessons in Western, English, sidesaddle, and Dudley Do-Right riding styles, and all training is tailored to ensure a healthy riding relationship between driver and steed.