The nine holes of Rancho Sierra Golf Course dot across the arid landscape northeast of Lancaster, forming an emerald oasis among the vast, flat expanse. Once upon the terrain, players send their golf balls hurling down wide fairways and tumbling over smooth greens en route to vanquishing the 2,452-yard course. With three lakes, several creeks, and one Super Soaker–wielding caddy on its grounds, water comes into play on seven of the nine holes. Players can traverse the facility’s peaceful confines year-round, either to play a round or polish their skills on the driving range.
Course at a Glance:
PickUp USA takes the infamous pitfalls of pickup basketball—uneven teams, sloppy play, and incessant arguing over fouls and whose mama gives the best hugs—and replaces them with officiated and organized game play without the restrictions of a league. Its members hit the courts in a pristine 17,000-square-foot space, which features a lounge, a stretching area, and courts built by the designers who create them for the NCAA and NBA. Here, California Basketball Officials Association–trained referees officiate one-on-one to five-on-five games every day and night of the year. Though they are unscheduled, the matchups unfold in an organized, staff-guided fashion, a scoreboard keeps track of points, and a constantly running clock keeps games rotating.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Throughout her 15 years as a certified personal trainer, Karyn Graham has earned an unusual nickname: “The Butt Queen.” The moniker references her signature workout, the Karyn Technique, which firms glute muscles without bulking up thighs. Karyn teaches her eponymous classes at RPM Fitness Studio, a boutique workout venue she co-owns with her sister, Cynthia. The duo finesses clients’ physiques with rigorous spinning classes, whose minimal joint impact renders them ideal for injured athletes and knee models. Complementary Pilates classes, conducted on mats or Reformers, streamline physiques by building long, lean muscle. Five-week Slimfit Bootcamps fuse Pilates with cardio-kick, boxing, body-fat analysis, and nutrition counseling.
In 1938, Kurt and Max Laemmle, the nephews of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle, opened their very own movie house dedicated to Hollywood and foreign pictures alike. Though it's since grown to encompass seven locations, Laemmle Theaters is still a family-run business that remains dedicated to its original mission.
A mix of blockbuster and art-house flicks are projected digitally into auditoriums with stadium seating, and share showtimes with special events such as premieres and one-night screenings. To spotlight smaller films, the Sneak Preview Club features upcoming movies for free, an easier way to see new releases than changing your name to Steven Spielberg. Complement each cinematic voyage with one of Laemmle Theaters' classic concessions, such as popcorn drenched in real butter.
Epic voyaging need not be reserved for classical heroes who speak in dactylic hexameter. Just as Odysseus slayed the hurricane from aboard his inflatable raft, you too can conquer vengeful waters with today's Groupon to Gold Rush Whitewater Rafting. For just $50, you'll go on a heart-pumping, rapid-raging tour of the South Fork of the American River (44% off a $90 value).