A boat zips along through the water, trailing behind it an open parachute elevated to almost a quarter-mile in the air. This isn't a scene from a spy movie, but rather a scenic parasailing tour from California Parasail, whose lines can lift patrons up to 1,200 feet above the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. As parasailers relax into their harnesses and take in breathtaking panoramic views, they can also take comfort in knowing they're in safe hands––all captains hold a US Coast Guard license and all crew members adhere to the practices of the Water Sports Industry Association. They operate runs throughout Avalon and Catalina Island, as well as Balboa Island, Newport Beach, and Long Beach, allowing patrons to glimpse views of different coastal areas and befriend cumulus clouds with varying regional dialects.
The vessel, Shoreliner, is no stranger to the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Originally built in 1960s to speedily shuttle ferry passengers to and from Catalina Island, Greg Watson Sr.—a seasoned captain with 35 years of seafaring experience—purchased the vessel in 2013 and completely refurbished it to better provide a luxuriant experience for private parties as well as tour groups. The 65-foot, aluminum-hulled vessel slices through the water at a cruising speed of 14 knots, leaving the coastline behind while as many as 130 guests can enjoy the views from the indoor seating section, the upper-deck seating, or the bow or stern areas. For private parties, the Shoreliner features two flat-screen televisions and a DVD player in its main salon, as well as a fully stocked bar that can help keep spirits high throughout the cruise. The crew also offers educational cruises in the form of two-hour, whale-watching tours, which give invaluable insight into the local marine life while providing opportunities for passengers to actually see gray whales, blue whales, bottlenose dolphins, and even hitchhiking mermaids depending on the season.
Just off the coast of Southern California in the waters surrounding Catalina Island resides an underwater civilization as awe-inspiring as the city above. To see it, the experienced divers of Diving Catalina outfit explorers of all skill levels to swim over the marine landscape, leading journeys into the protected Casino Point Underwater Dive Park and the kelp forest. In addition to guiding tours, Diving Catalina also rents snorkeling equipment and leads classes that range from introductory dives to advanced, postcertification scuba training to become the next Aquaman.
"Barracuda" isn't just a classic rock song by seminal rock band Heart—it's also a fish often caught on fishing trips with 22nd Street Landing Sportfishing. The waters near 22nd Street Landing are brimming with a variety of fish including barracuda, rockfish, whitefish, yellowtail, calico bass, and halibut. Guests head out on expeditions aboard one of the company's many charter boats, reeling in an array of fish or relaxing on the deck and daydreaming about sushi dinners.
Nobody leaves the Splash Dash 5K dry. A series of splash stations equipped with massive showers, shallow pools, and careening water balloons litter the 3.1-mile course, waiting to soak every participant before they cross the finish line. Down one straightaway, runners may confront a gang of volunteers ready to blast them with water guns, only to turn a corner and face the deluge of a fire hose. After braving the watery gauntlet, runners of all ages celebrate their victories at the Splash Dash Bash after party, where prizes are awarded for the best costumes and finish times as runners dance to music and attempt to dry off by matching the speed of their washer's spin cycle.
Tango San Pedro gets students stepping during beginners' and mixed-level group lessons, as well as private sessions for individuals and couples. But the dancing doesn't stop there. Outside the classroom, the business organizes special events, including weekly gatherings fueled by traditional tango music and art exhibits. Tango San Pedro also host Social Tango Dance events called Milonga which includes snacks and wine with an entrance fee.