Mission Bay Sportscenter leads nighttime tours in high-backed, sit-on-top kayaks, and provides guests with glow sticks to chase away the dark. But the thrill of the experience doesn’t come from the shadows alone. The highlight, rather, is the nightly fireworks show, in which explosions of color burst overhead and drench the Bay in color.
Amateur surfers are a lot like newborn fawns: they’re wide-eyed, full of life, and not so great at standing. That’s why head instructor and founder of Surfari Surf, Rick Gehris—along with his team of seasoned instructors—begins every first-time lesson by introducing a simple, achievable goal: stand. To increase the chances of success, Gehris and his instructors—well versed in Hawaiian, Californian, and Floridian surfing methods—hop right into the water to assist students as they cut into the waves. The instructors hang off the tails of their surfboards, stabilizing each board and repositioning students until they’re ready to take to the open water and try out their pickup lines on the nearest, cute-enough dolphin.
In addition to surf lessons and camps, instructors also show off their athletic prowess during standup-paddleboard lessons, which often are supplemented by independent board rentals.
How does a yoga studio with no electrical outlets to plug a sound system still resonate with the tranquil ambiance of waves, wind, and wildlife? By hosting its classes on the ocean. The instructors of Paddle Board Bliss beckon students to the calm waters of Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and Mission Bay to practice invigorating yoga atop paddleboards. While balancing on their boards, exercisers progress through a series of traditional yoga maneuvers that call for them to stand for poses, sit for meditative exercises, and do cannonballs for attention. If the ocean?s soothing whispers aren?t enough, a live guitarist strums alongside students during Acoustic Flow sessions.
Although its yoga classes have received a lot of press, Paddle Board Bliss isn?t exclusively a yoga studio. It also dedicates its time to fostering aquatic exploration with paddleboard rentals, tours, and lessons.
The paddle wheels of The Sternwheelers' two signature boats churn through the blue-green waters of Mission Bay, transporting passengers back more than a century to when steamboats dominated America's rivers. Across the 100-foot-long William D. Evans, festive events with up to 600 passengers unfold under ornamental pressed-tin ceilings, handcrafted lamps, and the astronaut-crafted stars viewable on the open-air top deck. Handmade masts at the bow lead the ship's way, and its hundreds of decorative bulbs illuminate the bay at night. Bahia Belle, William D. Evans' smaller sibling, offers a more intimate space for gatherings. Its Victorian decor and architecture make way for a stained-glass skylight that beams vivid colors across its interior, resplendent with cast-iron staircases and red-velvet curtains. Weddings, banquets, and other events also take place on the boats between public cruises, each craft's rich detailing setting the tone for trips to remember.