Harnessing a background in both art and education, The Pottery Studio's owner aims to create a community gathering space where kids and adults can channel their individual creative urges into decorative or functional pottery, tiles, and mosaics. Amateur artists can grab provided brushes, dip them in eco-friendly and water-soluble paints, and then coat clay in any of more than 60 hues. Idea books are on hand to help aid in the design as one maneuvers stencils and sponges across mugs and plates, or kids and pets can learn to create a lasting impression without super-gluing themselves to the garage door by making clay hand- or footprints. Once ready, the professional staff dips each earthenware masterpiece into a clear glaze, fires it inside a kiln, and readies it to be picked up within one week. The pro potters also encourage each visiting artisan to bring coffee and snacks, and during evening hours, bottles of wine can tag along to refill adults' juice boxes.
Though many outsiders know Sonoma County for its fine wines, the savvy drinkers at North Bay Brewery Tours spread the word about the region’s other specialty: craft beer. A relatively simple outfit, the company only needs knowledgeable drivers and tour guides, a fleet of buses running on eco-friendly compressed natural gas, and enough effort to organize group tours, party buses, and pub crawls. Brewery-hopping tours, their top services, head to three craft breweries each trip. One on-the-bus tour segment demonstrates from start-to-finish how beer is made.
Beer samples will be available for purchase at participating breweries, and complimentary ice-cold water or beer on the bus keeps tour takers thirsts' slaked between stops. Examiner.com recommended the tour as an excellent way to taste a variety of brews while enjoying the safety of a designated driver.
After leading expeditions in search of underwater treasure, the instructors of Sonoma Coast Divers show their students how to cook and eat the spoils—abalone. They try to conclude each of their abalone diving classes with a group picnic, where everyone can compare their catch in hopes of snagging a record-size shell. Persistent hunters can even compete in the autumn's abalone cook-off, part of a Halloween celebration that includes subaquatic pumpkin carving.
These special events highlight the dive venue's dual emphasis on community and adventure. Whether they are hosting a scuba-certification class, a Stress & Rescue course, or a simple air-fill service, the staff freely shares their passion for oceanic exploration. Their training pathways safely transform patrons from first-time pool divers into instructor-level dive masters. By filling their curriculum with specialty courses—such as night diving, wreck diving, and bubble collecting—they inspire guests to pursue different disciplines. They also plan several trips for all skill levels, guiding tours through local kelp forests and planning weeklong retreats to Caribbean islands.
Parkpoint Health Club has been a part of the Sonoma County landscape since 1983, when Bill and Lindy Buchanan opened their first health club in Santa Rosa. Over the last three decades, the club has earned its reputation with three locations, a diverse lineup of fitness equipment, a friendly and professional staff of trainers, and supplementary amenities such as massage therapy, facials, and nutritional counseling. Adults can get their sweat on in Pilates, yoga, cycling, and Zumba classes, and kids can enjoy after-school play in childcare or swimming in the pools in the summer.
At Soleil Beauty Bar, a team of aestheticians keeps customers comfortably bronzed with custom spray tans from heated Evolv airbrushes. The brushes prep skin with streams of warm air, keeping bodies warm as they’re imbued with an even, custom tan that lasts for up to eight days.
Fusion Fitness’s 25,000-square-foot facility spans two floors of classrooms and workout equipment, ranging from free weights to TRX resistance-training equipment. This workout haven brings on four independent certified personal trainers, including Cal Poly State grad Sabrina Heintz. Sabrina’s credentials—from the American Council on Exercise and the Chek Institute—are indicative of the professionalism and authority boasted by all four trainers. Fusion Fitness’s 11 group class instructors, meanwhile, boast equal per capita certification, and they teach more than 160 classes a month, such as Zumba, Body Pump, and home ec. The gym also staffs tanning beds, which teach skin how to glow. The luxurious locker rooms, equipped with a steam room and sauna, then guide guests through the process of unwinding their muscles and minds.