Years ago, Olympic Game Farm was a home for actors. The bears, cougars, and big cats who lived on the premises were all movie stars?most often for Disney Studios, which worked with and filmed the farm's animals for 28 years. The farm's founder, Lloyd Beebe, served as the go-to trainer, and his bond with the wildlife was reputedly amazing. During those early years, he even managed to tame five wolverines, who would eat raw egg out of his hands.
Today, Lloyd's grandson Robert runs the farm. For the most part, the animals are no longer film celebrities?although footage of the famous waving bears has gone viral and even appeared in a Carrie Underwood video, and some animal actors from elsewhere still retire to the farm. The majority are descendants of the original film animals, or rescues. Visitors can drive through the park to see zebras, elk, wolves, and lions, then head to the petting farm for an up-close encounter. They can even feed many of the animals?whole-grain bread is an accepted treat.
A tiny ripple glides along the smooth-as-glass water, alerting captain Pete to the fact that he and his passengers are about to have company. Sure enough, within seconds a group of glossy black fins breaks through the sea in a silent, synchronized ballet. A native Washingtonian who has spent his entire life on the water, captain Pete orchestrates San Juan Excursions to grant guests the chance to go head-to-head with nature in moments such as these. As marine naturalists certified by the Whale Museum?s Naturalist Training Program, captain Pete?s crew of passionate guides take to the peaceful waters of the Puget Sound to entertain boatloads of guests with informative facts about area wildlife witnessed during excursions.
The team?s passion for nature informs its low-impact approach to whale and wildlife watching, which is exemplified in the Odyssey, the company's tour boat. Originally a U.S. Navy search-and-rescue vessel forged in 1941, the craft is fueled by biodiesel when possible and maintains a low propeller RPM to minimize the Bono moans it releases into the water column. Though San Juan Excursions specializes in whale watching, it also sends adventurers forth to explore the waters on their own steam during sea-kayak tours.
He's out there somewhere—the notorious Pirate Pete. Over every sailor's adventure, the shadow of his greed looms. But the crew of Pirate Adventures is ready. On their 50-foot ship, 12 water cannons point toward the sea, guarding the vessel from his villainy while they search Davy Jones's locker for sunken treasure. If Pete should show his face, he'll get a face full of water. If he should happen to board anyway, it'll be the plank for him.
During Pirate Adventures' 75-minute treasure hunts, children and their parents sail into this exciting world of high-seas adventure. Crew members welcome aboard new mateys with face-paint, pirate garb, and a sea-worthy moniker, such as "Black Beard' or "Esmerelda, Princess of the Dolphins." Beneath the Jolly Roger flapping in the breeze, the crews decipher maps, solve puzzles, and sing sea shanties, eventually fishing their sought-after treasure chest from the water's depths. Throughout the hunt, the Pirate Adventures crew keeps their unpatched eyes on safety. Everything is kept up to Transport Canada's code: they have all trained in marine emergency procedures, marine first aid, and safe vessel operation.
A nine-hole, executive course consisting of five par-fours and four par-threes, Royal Oak Golf Club provides tee-to-green fun for clubbers of all stripes with an approachable 1,915-yard layout. The course presents two relatively short par-fours on which long hitters can attempt to reach the green in one with a perfect drive or a well-struck golf ball punt. Those who try to overpower the course must steer clear of its water hazards, which come into play on five holes. To prepare for their round, guests can schedule a lesson with Royal Oaks' CPGA pro Bill Wakeham.
After rounds, Royal Oaks' hilltop clubhouse enchants weary golfers with a lounge equipped with two big-screen HDTVs, dartboards, and free WiFi. The Club's outdoor patio overlooks the first and seventh tees, allowing golfers to enjoy a cold beverage or scold an underperforming nine-iron.
Victoria Paintball Adventures envelops gamers in a woodsy five-acre field of play stacked with obstacles and buildings among a diversified topography. Colourful combatants can paint pointillism masterpieces on opponents while traipsing stealthily through the mazes, catwalks, lush forest, towers, open field, and hideouts. Or, paintballers can play splat tag at a faster pace, taking cover behind castle walls or trees and pelting challengers with paint from atop a fort tower or a stilt-walker's shoulders. A minimum of two staff members oversee a medley of 8 themed games throughout the day, such as the humans-versus-zombies melee and old-school capture the flag. Each 10- to 15-minute match is designed to keep field crusaders knee-deep in adrenalin while garnering enough knowledge about the colour wheel to write a biography of Roy G. Biv.
Before he founded Good Time Dave’s Fishing Charters, David Eves spent 10 years fishing off the west coast of Vancouver Island. As a result, he brings a vast knowledge of the water and extensive fishing experience to his trips, as well as a Transport Canada certification, marine first-aid training, and enthusiasm for his work. David chauffeurs patrons out onto the water on a 23-foot Sea Sport that seats four. The vessel aids amateur fishermen in their quest for the perfect catch with a variety of high-tech tools including a Lowrance colour sounder that uses sonar to locate areas with high concentrations of fish and a black box that infuses the water with an electrical current to attract salmon. While on an adventure, patrons can hunt and hook Pacific salmon and halibut, or enjoy the rocky surroundings and fill souvenir jars with crisp clean air.