Underneath the sky-blue rafters of Rockzilla's spacious indoor gym, a veritable mountain range of multicolored walls challenges climbers of all experience levels. Sheer-faced cliffs challenge the top-roping and lead-climbing techniques of both beginners and experts, and a mushroom-shaped structure builds skills in bouldering and reveals the fossil record of ancient screws and bolts. The mat-lined floor, harnesses, and dedication to belaying skills ensure every visitor's comfort and safety. In addition to hosting hangouts, parties, and team-building exercises onsite, Rockzilla crashes entire tectonic plates into customers' backyards, forming portable climbing walls available for rent.
Napa Valley Paddle teaches people to walk on water. Armed with a fleet of stand-up paddleboards, instructors get riverine explorers up and standing during a brief on-shore lesson. From there, guests have unfettered access to the exclusive northern views of the pristine and revitalized Napa River, where they glide along its reed-lined shores through downtown to see the river's natural contours.
The sport is known for its cross-training and ab-blasting benefits, and in addition to being an effective exercise, it can also double as bonding experience. To that end, Napa Valley Paddle leads educational tours or team-building excursions.
Seated in your kayak, you're surrounded by cerulean waters that stretch out into the horizon. To your left, the San Francisco skyline looms in the shimmering afternoon sun. You drift by a raucous Giants game, a village of houseboats, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Led through undulating waters by American Canoe Association– and Wilderness First Aid–certified guides, San Francisco Kayak & Adventures' nautical tour groups traverse the San Francisco Bay or Sausalito waterfront during the day, at sunset, and under the light of the full moon. The guides lead their groups through calm costal waters in sturdy, closed-deck tandem kayaks, which keep legs dry and don't require typical Flintstone-style paddling. The guides regale their group with area history while pointing out local marine life. They only shepherd about eight paddlers to keep tours intimate and personal and customize paddling instruction to the ability levels of the group.
Guides also help visitors explore the natural world on land during hiking excursions between redwood trees in Muir Woods, along a coastal trail in the Tennessee Valley, and past ghost-town buildings at China Camp Village. To expand visitors' wilderness exposure, they also lead adventures such as sailing, rock-climbing, cycling in the city, horseback riding on the beach, and sleeping in phone booths.
At the heart of Castro Valley sits Lake Chabot, a 315-acre drinking-water reservoir surrounded by miles of parklands and walking trails. At the marina, Lake Chabot Fishing Outfitters provides a complete assortment of bait and tackle, along with rod and reel rentals, boat rentals, and a café stocked with breakfast and lunch. Depending on the season, anglers can try different fishing methods to track down their desired targets. In the fall through the spring, spoon and fly fishers often reel in hungry trout, and summertime anglers are often successful with catfish, crappies, bluegill, and largemouth bass.
Armed with gear from City Kayak, guests paddle past scenic San Francisco sites such as Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and South Beach Harbor during guided or unguided treks. Visitors can navigate their way beneath the Lefty O'Doul drawbridge and catch home-run hits soaring out of the baseball stadium and into McCovey Cove, or advanced paddlers can traverse strong winds and tidal currents en route to Treasure Island. City Kayak also schedules classes, which teach students basic sea-kayaking skills, self-rescue techniques, and how to eskimo roll, an escape maneuver that one could use to avoid the songs of tone-deaf penguins. City Kayak rents out gear such as wetsuits and booties for tours and also sells a collection of kayaks, paddles, and accessories to equip paddlers for future travels.