Vibrant groves of trees and gardens provide a scenic backdrop for year-round driving range practice and miniature golf at Tualatin Island Greens. At the range, 43 synthetic hitting bays (including 25 covered and 12 heated stations) look out onto a vast field with plenty of real estate for Herculean drives and accuracy-testing target areas, including a green surrounded by a moat to keep area lawn gnomes from stealing the flagstick. The range also features target flags at 20, 30, and 40 yards to facilitate short-game practice or serve as the destination for balls hit out of the practice sand trap.
Water trickles over a tiny canyon of bedrock that runs alongside Tualatin Island Greens' mini-golf course. The 18-hole course is situated in the shade of towering pines that, paired with its well-manicured gardens, instill peace of mind as players read tricky slopes and avoid obstacles such as Lilliputian ponds, sand traps, and Olympic track hurdles. Golfers can improve their par-hunting prowess past sunset, as the entire complex has lights for nighttime use. Tualatin's Island Grill is also onsite to keep appetites at bay with burgers, chicken wings, and other savory fare.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
It's hard to believe that Portland ever lacked a dearth of quality paddle outfitters, considering the many evergreen-lined rivers and nearby coastline. But back in 1986, the founders of Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe felt there were too few options serving the area, so they launched their own garage shop. Their passion for the outdoors and paddle sports steadily built the company, and today, a staff of equipment experts advises guests on kayaking, canoeing, standup-paddleboarding, and rafting supplies. Beyond selling gear from vessels to apparel, staffers lead on-the-water classes and organize group trips. The shop also outfits customers for independent exploration with a fleet of rentals.
Barkeeps dispense 21 rotating drafts and pour out more than 500 microbrews and imported beers at Birra Pub, which derives its name from the Italian word for beer. Soups, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches concocted from local ingredients complement each hop- or malt-heavy libation. Amid a colorful interior of neon beer signs, arcade games, and a flat-screen television, the Pub hosts regular beer tastings where customers can win unique prizes, such as cryogenic freezing chambers that keep beers chilled for up to 100 years. In addition to brews in the eatery, visitors can bring home sudsy treats in bottles, cases, or kegs in a variety of brands and sizes.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
Staffed by experienced coaches and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display to get results. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.