American Self Storage specializes in secure storage, with facilities ranging from climate-controlled units to covered parking for RVs and boats. While the company was founded in 1985, it's kept up to date on its technology. Video surveillance anchors the premises, and all units are alarmed which is more effective than a sign that says “Only Lame Stuff In Here.”
At Ostrich Land, visitors quickly learn that ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand—they'd much rather bury them in a bowl of food that you hold out in front of you. They're also not fond of waiting their turn, and at any given moment, you might have four beaks dipping into your supply. The experience is a far cry from throwing bread at ducks or pigeons. These birds are the world's largest: they can reach up to 9 feet in height and weigh 350 pounds. At top speed, they hit 45 miles per hour on their massive, two-toed feet.
Having been raised around people and trained to eat from outstretched bowls, the park's 50 ostriches and emus welcome spectators from their savannah-like enclosure. They're also celebrities in their own right, with bit roles in the film Sideways as well appearances in a Santa Maria Times video feature and a tongue-in-cheek homage in an episode of The Simpsons. Dispensing the animals' supper is only one way in which guests can get close—a stop inside the gift shop reveals shelves of ready-to-cook ostrich and emu eggs, ostrich feather dusters, and savory ostrich meat shipped in from a separate farm not affiliated with Ostrich Land. Also in stock are vials of emu oil, a substance with anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties that can soothe the skin.
From under the brim of a ten-gallon hat, the stern face of a rifle-toting man peers out across a table laden with liquor bottles. Despite appearances, this isn’t Wyatt Earp. Rather, he’s the subject of a signature old-time photo taken at The Solvang Photographers and Photo Gallery. Here, modern-day subjects slip easily into the period garb of Southern belles, gun slingers, bar ladies, and outlaw cacti to pose for sepia-toned photographs. Started by Geoffrey T. Grant in 1976 and now helmed by his daughter and her husband, the family-run business welcomes subjects of all ages into its camera’s scope for unique portraits of families, couples, kids, and friends.
The championship course at Avila Beach Golf Resort hugs a tidal estuary that empties into the scenic San Luis Harbor, offering players dramatic views of the Pacific as they work their way through 18 holes. Designers Olin Dutra and Desmond Muirhead keep players on their toes with two distinct nine-hole sides, with the front nine draping over hilly terrain and the back nine traversing the coast and all of its singing fish. Throughout rounds, players corral their golf balls over kikuyu-grass fairways in pursuit of bentgrass greens, each mown short to produce quick-moving putts.
Course at a Glance: