Healdsburg Golf Club carves through Wine Country, loping over undulating terrain marked by mature fir trees and views of Dry Creek Valley. Before taking the course, limber up on the all-weather driving range, with 18 stalls spread over three tiers that allow golfers to smack 300-yard drives or attempt to sink a two-story practice putt. The nine-hole course wraps well-manicured fairways around doglegs and surrounds greens with an entourage of bunkers and rolling mounds. Though suited for beginners, the course is a test for players of abilities, challenging golfers to hit a variety of shots, from long drives down par 5s to bicycle kicks past the goalkeeper on the eighth green. Golfers can relax after their rounds with a relaxing meal at the club’s bar and outdoor patio. The elevated patio overlooks the course as it fades into a sea of trees, misty mountains lining the horizon, and a wormhole leading to a secret nine-hole course on the moon.
Course at a Glance
The spider-like staffers at Vertex Climbing Center support customers of all climbing abilities as they scale a variety of faux rock faces. During ClimbTime classes, experienced instructors belay and handle equipment while climbers focus on mastering walls and top-of-the-mountain yodeling routines. A collection of 35-foot walls jut skyward at varying difficulties, from steeply inclined slabs to fully inverted overhangs. Following supervised climbing lessons, patrons can move on to more advanced classes or take a belay test that qualifies them to guide friends indoors and brag to retired sailors about knot-tying superiority.
The independently owned Roxy Stadium 11 regales patrons with the flickering pictures and digital sounds of the latest blockbusters and the sizable snack bar. A colorful lobby greets guests as they meander past towering pillars that stretch toward an arched ceiling swathed in neon lights and bold swaths of royal blue. Aisles of cushioned auditorium seats allow moviegoers to choose the spot closest to the screen or furthest from the person sobbing emphatically during coming attractions. High-tech projectors digitally unspool films in each theater, with RealD 3-D technology transmitting some flicks in three vibrant dimensions. To silence distracting mid-movie hunger pangs, staffers in the concessions area whip up fresh batches of Orville Redenbacher popcorn and Nathan's hot dogs alongside other traditional theater fare.
A stress-shedding family-friendly sport for splatter soldiers of all types and stripes, paintball grants its combatants the perfect backdrop for one-on-one duels or group-oriented maneuvers. Spread out your tickets over six solo sessions, or round up five friends, coworkers, or NBA starters for a fast-paced adrenaline-fueled jaunt across a unique outdoor terrain dotted with challenging obstacles and hiding spots. Each trek arms guests with a battle mask and goggles, semiautomatic paintball marker, hopper and tanker, and orientation that lays out the rules, safety precautions, and the symbolism behind to Jackson Pollack’s early work. Reservations are always recommended and are required for groups of 10 or more.
Picking a criminal out of a lineup is hard, but at Bodega Bay Sailing Adventures, the staff knows that picking a plant out of a lineup is even harder. On the company’s naturalist tours, naturalist Katja Svendsen arms passengers with comprehensive ID cards, printed with pictures and descriptions of local flora and fauna. As they identify the plants as well as the whales and seals native to Bodega Bay’s hamlet, Svendsen explains topics such as the causes of tides and human’s impact on the bay. Meanwhile, US Coast Guard-licensed captain Rich Crumley steers the sailboat. Crumley can also captain the 33-foot vessel during traditional tours, supervising passengers while they steer to ensure they don’t turn in a tiny circle forever.
More than 2 miles above the Russian River, a skydiver jumps from a plane, quickly accelerating to racecar speeds of 120 mph before a canopy opens above and glides the diver to earth amid views of neighboring clear waters, sprawling vineyards, and the San Francisco skyline. Located in the heart of wine country, NorCal Skydiving's professional staffers make it their mission to pass on these thrills to each customer regardless of skill level or ability to fly his or her own plane. During tandem jumps, experienced instructors and novice divers conjoin and jump together from a plane 13,000 feet in the air. Once students are hooked, instructors can coach them on advanced techniques, such as canopy flight, and then help them become licensed skydivers. Additionally, NorCal Skydiving's staff regularly parajumps into the U.S. Parachute Association to work as safety and training advisors.
For more than 40 years, the stratospheric surfers of Crazy Creek Air Adventures have ridden the waves of the wind, chauffeuring sky-struck passengers through celestial cloudscapes. Grab a fellow flyer, strap into a glider, and escape gravity's greedy grasp as a plane tows you up and off the runway. While passengers drink in incredible, fog-free views of the Mayacamas mountain range during the approximately 20-minute flight, an FAA-certified commercial pilot steers the craft through thermal currents, races paper planes, and harmonizes with cacophonous flocks of geese. Geothermal steam clouds rise from nearby geysers, rustic vineyards teem with sun-darkening grapes, and the remnants of an ancient volcano evoke an untamed primordial landscape, forming an unparalleled panoramic feast.