The Hollywood sign looks a lot cooler when you’re parallel with it. Hollywood Air Tours provides aerial views of this and other famous LA landmarks that range from the Staples Center and Pacific Palisades to Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, and Will Rogers State Historic Park. The expert pilots, who double as tour guides, provide a variety of tours that include flights over Malibu Beach and celebrity homes, as well as the mega tour, which covers almost every conceivable landmark, from UCLA and the Sunset Strip to Dodger Stadium, city hall, and the Playboy Mansion.
Bryan Freeman wanted two things out of his career: to meet new people and spend time outdoors. With this in mind, Mr. Freeman's path seemed obvious. He would start giving bike tours. A self-described "fact guy," the expert guide draws upon his extensive knowledge of the Venice area to delight both tourists and California natives. From the Venice canals to the spacious mailboxes of celebrity homes, the expert guide tells stories about famous locations and uncovers some of the area's hidden gems. "Everyone always says they had no idea the tour would be so exciting," he says. "People think Venice is just the beach, but just a block away there is so much more."
Mr. Freeman doesn't keep his groups confined to the seats and cowboy saddles of bicycles. He frequently points out ideal spots for photo ops and occasionally pauses for activities, such as letting groups spray paint their names onto a legal-graffiti wall. He also supplies optional helmet cams that capture videos for souvenirs.
Moving about the shelves of wine- and beer-making supplies at Simi Valley Home Brew are the business’s team of brew masters, vintners, cheese mongers, and industry experts whose passion is to share their expertise with beginners. They do so in two- to three-hour 101 classes, during which students receive hands-on training on how to ferment beer, bottle wine, and create mead at home from scratch.
Being raised in Saint Helena and schooled with makers of renown California wines, John Hamilton used his knowledge of the wine business to envision a different industry design moving into the 21st century. By exploiting the vastly different results in grapes from year-to-year, and by taking other factors such as micro-climates and soil composition into account, John specialized in creating unique custom wine blends. It was this craft that lead to the creation of J. Hamilton Wines.
Capitalizing on satisfaction of visitors, customers can flock to a tasting room called Flight, located in an industrial complex. Reminiscent of a beatnik-era San Francisco speakeasy, patrons can sample varieties of J.Hamilton's sparkling, white, and red wines from Thursday through Sunday.
With a list of vendors representing celebrated local wineries, restaurants, jewelers, beauty shops, and more, the Food & Wine Lovers' Festival is a catered carnival of Dionysian deliciousness. Vino-sippers can sample fermented grape nectars from dozens of wine and spirit makers, while sweet teeth can get their fix from fine confectioneries. Accessory shops share space with craft designers and cigar slingers, giving smoke blowers an array of stylish vessels to store their stogies in until man lands on the moon for real. Additionally, a portion of the event's proceeds will go to the Ventura County Food Share, a local organization that distributes food to the hungry throughout Ventura County.