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 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.
The Salish Sea hosts one of the largest killer-whale gatherings on the planet. From its three large pods of fish-eating resident orcas to the pods of transient orcas that hunt for larger mammalian game, the Salish's waters often churn with a flurry of activity. Five Star's captains give passengers a glimpse of this underwater entertainment by charting courses through the sea's whale-filled waters atop stable catamarans outfitted with four separate viewing platforms. From these lookouts, guests may spot the black and white behemoths, as well as minke, gray, and humpback whales and other marine life. Between sightings, crews keep parties comfortable within the heated cabin by supplying them with complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, and liquefied Herman Melville novels.
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.
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.
After a trek down the Panama Canal, visitors stop for a brief sojourn under the Matterhorn before journeying on to the Eiffel Tower. This trip around the world comes courtesy of All Fun Recreation Park's miniature-golf course, whose 18 globally themed greens are littered with water traps and austerely dressed customs officials. Elsewhere, eight cages hurtle baseballs and softballs toward batters at 40–75 mph, and drivers accelerate across a 1,400-foot go-kart track's over and under bridge or hug the turns of a smaller oval track designed for parents and youngsters.
For more racing action, patrons can head over to Western Speedway each Saturday night in May–September for stock-car competitions on an oval track or drag strip. Westshore Motocross rents entry-level dirt bikes to riding and racing novices, and 75 RV and tenting sites give guests opportunities to yodel freely in nature. Guests can then practice licking techniques on the flower-filled patio at Mr. Tubbs Ice Cream Parlour and Family Fun Zone, or explore the Swap & Shop each Sunday, where vendors dispense copious household goods and collectibles.