As friends sup quietly in a private banquet hall, chaos reigns a floor below. There, stones hurtle toward the wall, forming piles of rubble soon swept away and forgotten in the clamor. Still, the friends dine peacefully, unaware of the destruction happening under their feet. At the two-story Irvine Lanes, bowlers topple pins on the first floor's 40 lanes while the second floor hosts private parties and catered events in an elegant setting. Of course, a snack bar lets bowlers eat downstairs, too, and a full arcade, bar, and smoking patio keep outings interesting as the machine whittles new pins between frames.
A summer staple of Laguna Beach since 1966, Art-A-Fair corrals creative works from around the world, unfurling them across the apropos, color-splashed gardens of Laguna Canyon. Festival visitors meander leisurely through the web of imagination, stopping to soak up content that is as rich in quality as it is in diversity. Between brush strokes and spontaneous games of frisbee with their palette, working artists take a breather to chat about their pieces and the inspirations that drive their craft. From year to year, the festival features a wide spectrum of 2- and 3-D art, and, should one of those gems seduce the heart of a passerby, everything at the festival is available for purchase.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes by location to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks. UltraStar Play it Again Cinemas also offers a selection of Hollywood hits for patrons to enjoy in high-back reclining chairs alongside snacks from the concession stand.
Dana Wharf Whale Watching's expert crews and skippers glide their watercrafts on the open seas so visitors can soak up sunshine while searching for rare and endangered whales as they migrate south to avoid tax season. Expert captains steer crafts through frothy spumes and narrate each trip, educating passengers on the abundant life beneath the glassy waters. Voyagers can either venture into the boat's full-service galley for a hot meal or bring their own food and nonalcoholic drinks to stave off hunger and resist eating the ocean's jagged, hamburger-shaped coral.
The California coast lends a sparkling backdrop to the Dana Point Harbor Boat Show where, for the 12th year running, boat enthusiasts and marine-related exhibitors converge to discuss and celebrate the latest watery wares. Snaking along the harbor's docks, show-goers wade through a trove of exhibitor booths that includes the Ocean Institute and California and Pacific Northwest Yachts. Power and sail vessels—by such makers as Albemarle, East Bay, and Ocean—model varying modes of aquatic transport, and gadget enthusiasts get first glimpse at in-water features such as electronics, fishing gear, and apparel that emboldens seafarers to take on the angry seas or finally stand up to the office drinking fountain and its aggressively unpredictable spray.
For 21 years, CA Surf Shop has dispatched legions of wave riders into the watery blue yonder fully equipped with sturdy boards, proper technique, and plenty of sure-footed confidence. Owner Rod Greenup heads a team of trained instructors that leads private and semiprivate surfing and standup paddleboarding lessons from atop a floating lectern. Students learn the proper way to position their bodies, find their footing, and train their boards to bark at any jet skis that come to steal their waves. Back on shore, the shop's storefront supplies surfers of all levels with board rentals, wet suits, and stylish beach clothes. A retinue of meticulous craftsmen can also sculpt custom surfboards tailored to customers' skill level and surfing style.