Nestled above the Northern California fog line, the pair of rustic valley courses at Diablo Grande Golf & Country Club challenge players with 36 championship-caliber holes amid breathtaking views of surrounding vineyards, hills, and canyons. The Ranch Course's rolling terrain, typified by the challenging 12th hole, tests golfers’ nerves with oak-lined fairways, ball-gobbling creeks, and roving herds of wild golf carts. The masterfully engineered Legends Course hearkens back to the refined play of old-school golf, and, along with the Space Needle, was co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and Gene Sarazen. Along the trek to 18, sphere-slingers revel in each fairway’s long, wide-open landing strips, putt over the demanding small greens, and take cover from club-snatching ospreys in the course’s numerous deep bunkers. Although twosomes may quibble over which course to play, a cart rental keeps them from arguing over traversing the course by foot or the traditional method of riding atop a Scottish sheep.
Run by fourth-generation apricot farmer Paul Fantozzi, Fantozzi Farms spends the majority of its efforts growing a variety of crops such as apricots, olives, corn, and gourds. But since 2003, the farm has also shown its love of fall by providing an autumnal corn maze. Spanning 25 acres and more than 5 miles of paths, the maze conceals 12 checkpoints for intrepid explorers to discover. Meanwhile, the courtyard holds child-friendly attractions such as a hay-bale pyramid, weekend pig races, and corn cannons—with sharpshooters winning a free pumpkin from the patch. And for those who'd like to check their heartbeats with frights and scares after relaxing at a large picnic area and visiting the farm animals, Friday and Saturday evening showcase a haunted corn maze—where visitors carrying flashlights test their wits against costumed frighteners.
It’s easy to see the imprint of Body & Soul Fitness founder Jade Reyes on his studio’s class curriculum. His specialty in dance aerobics is displayed in exotic-dance and Latin-dance-inspired Zumba classes. And his training in kickboxing informs not only classes in the same discipline, but also body-combat classes, which feature high- and low-impact moves to challenge exercisers of all fitness levels. He also specializes in spinning and knows much about massage therapy and relaxation, which explains why yoga is on the schedule and drinking Mountain Dew and screaming Van Halen lyrics is not.
Since 1978, Brenda Athletic Clubs has stood out from other gyms for its staff’s focus on offering all the amenities of a modern fitness facility while still fostering an inviting atmosphere. Its founder, Al Brenda, believed in fitness programs for all age groups, a mantra that the club continues today with youth fitness programs, including basketball clinics and yoga lessons, as well as a SilverSneakers fitness program for seniors. In addition to tennis, swimming, and standard strength and cardio equipment, the fitness centers supply its members with an ample amount of group classes including cycling, Zumba, and kickboxing.
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.
In the tradition of mixed martial arts, experienced fighter Paul Mendoza and his expert instructors fuse boxing, weight lifting, and calisthenics to create whole-body workouts in their signature Fighter Fit Conditioning program. In addition to improving heart and lung function, the aim of the classes is to create leaner, more toned bodies of both men and women in a communal atmosphere. Matted training areas cover the 8,200-square-foot facility, where heavy bags and treadmills await pounding. Locker rooms for men and women store personal items.