Escondido Country Club's 6,140-yard championship golf course rests in the rolling landscape of the long coastal mountain valley. Players can warm up swinging arms with range balls before heading out to the first tee. Designed by Harry and David Rainville, the rolling course has challenged generations of golfers since opening in 1963. After butting heads with sand traps and zooming a cart around the path, divot-diggers garbed in appropriate attire can imbibe frothy sips of draft beer or fizzy soda in the clubhouse. Golfers can complete their recharge by knocking back Angus beef burgers and telling longwinded tales of the hole-in-one that got away.
Tom English is more than a stand-up paddleboarding instructor. He’s also a surfer, a photographer, and a dog chauffeur—he often paddles with his trusty hound, Elvis, on his board. At Aloha Stand Up Paddle, Tom imparts his skills during private, semi-private, and group lessons, teaching students to safely mount and steer a paddleboard. He also sells and rents assorted boarding equipment, such as “The Machete” paddleboard by Riviera, which comes with a 10-foot-long hip scabbard.
Artist Rae Holton sees energy. The owner of Fire & Mud Studios and lifelong arts and nature enthusiast harnesses her inimitable sight of what she calls "the vein-like serpentine flow of atoms" to create offbeat works of art in a variety of mediums. Raised among artists and craftspeople, Holton has dabbled in jewelry making, photography, cooking, and ceramics, and cultivated a love for teaching after stints as a children's ski instructor and after-school program educator. Helming her pottery-focused studio, Holton helps others unleash their inner artists through classes and workshops as students learn the history of ceramics or how to remove the head off a classical sculpture with a hedge trimmer.
PADI-certified instructors at Rick's Diving Locker teach students through a variety of underwater exploration techniques, opening up an entire world underneath the waves. After earning their PADI certifications, pupils can undertake more intensive coursework, such as wreck diving, underwater photography and search and recovery. Clients suit up with personal snorkeling gear and scuba suits, tanks, and flippers from brands such as SeaQuest, Diving Unlimited International, and Aqua Lung before setting out for undersea adventures or boudoir photo shoots. Chartered boat trips tour the local waters of Wreck Alley and the Los Coronado Islands, whereas faraway excursions to Beqa Lagoon in Fiji introduce travelers to 190 miles of coral, as well as colorful octopi and blue-ribbon eels.
Steel blades rhythmically slice the ice across two spacious rinks at Ice-Plex (formerly Iceoplex Escondido), an all-purpose facility pairing leisurely open skates with practiced instruction from director Courtney Moebs and a staff of pro figure skaters. Specialties span everything from choreography and freestyle to ice dancing and yeti dodging, though basic lessons for both kids and adults are also available. Public-skating sessions beckon amateurs and experts on a daily basis, during which skaters can emulate the moves of their favorite hockey players. Replete with a well-appointed gym, indoor pool, and jacuzzi, an attached fitness center offers classes in aerobics, aquatics, and an aquatic-aerobics class led by an off-duty Aquaman.
She Runs coordinates ladies-only races across the country, and provides weekend getaways that strike a healthy balance between fitness and relaxation. The organization's events send participants galloping across scenic courses, helping women from all walks of life unite whether or not they sing the bunny song when lacing up their running shoes. More than just a one-time endurance test, She Runs folds relaxing vacations inside retreats that are combined with group fitness classes, lectures from experts, and personalized coaching leading up to race day. A portion of each event's proceeds get poured into She Runs' mission of snuffing out diabetes.