At Splash! Buccaneer Bay Waterpark, the sun's rays sift through tall palms and glisten on explosions of water as families rocket out of twirly slides into the pool. After shooting out of those slides, they can grab a tube and head for the lazy river, then clamber over a marooned pirate ship surrounded by cannon walls and benches made from wharf planks. A skull rock keeps watch while some take respite from the heat beneath canopies resembling sails. To keep kids 48" and shorter giggling, there's a Spray Pad Zone with fountains to run through and cascades of water, a zero-depth beach, and dumping buckets. The adjacent 25-yard pool is open to all ages, giving guests ample room to play Marco Polo or a game of underwater chess.
At the end of the day, everyone can refuel at the Big Backyard Grille. There, families dine on pizzas and burgers and keep cool with Hawaiian shaved ice. Splash! Buccaneer Bay Waterpark offers free parking, and life jackets and tubes are included at no extra charge.
Boot Camp H20 is not your average water-fitness class. In fact, if it were possible to work up a sweat in a pool, this is where it would happen. Each fast-paced, high-intensity, waterlogged workout combines strength and cardio training to build muscle and burn fat quickly. Led by a qualified instructor, these challenging classes—which take place in an indoor pool—incorporate swimming strokes, water polo, modified plyometrics, water aerobics, and strength exercises.
For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
Though it's changed hands, equipment, and even names over its 50+ years history, Deep Blue Scuba & Swim Center is a little piece of diving history. The scuba shop started its life as one of the first in the country, quickly came into the public consciousness thanks to a cover story in the February 1956 issue of Skin Diver magazine, and was even owned at one point by a colleague of Jacques Cousteau, Sam Lecocq.
Though a lot has changed since the early days, when Sam patented his “WaterLung” apparatus—the first single-hose regulator—Deep Blue has lead the charge into new technologies. Their state-of-the-art facility houses a heated indoor pool complete with an Eco-Safe filtration center. There, PADI-certified instructors teach landlubbers to breathe underwater in as little as two hours in introductory classes or certify treasure hunters as search and recover divers by throwing gold doubloons in the pool.
Water splashes up against their toes, which are firmly planted on the board. Arm and back muscles tighten as they push themselves forward with their paddles. Thus do novice paddleboarders from Long Beach Adventure Tours ride slowly glide their way across Long Beach, from the shore of the Hotel Maya to the behemoth hull of the Queen Mary. But they aren't the only patrons out for fun in the sun. On the beach nearby, students carrying surfboards rush into the water to catch their first waves, as a certified instructor shouts out encouragement and instructions behind them. Further out in the water, a colorful arched sail cuts through the air, sending the kiteboarder holding the reigns jumping and twisting into the air. Whatever the sport or activity, instructors that live and breathe water activities unleash their expertise onto both novice and experienced students.
Watersafe Swim School teaches children of all ages (2 months and up) the Smart Fish Method which begins with the survival roll-and-float technique that enables any children who falls into the water, even fully clothed, to roll and float on their back to save themselves. From their we focus on stroke technique.