For indoor and outdoor battles alike, Battle Recon Mobile Laser Tag's specialists erect customizable fields for up to 12 hours of laser warfare. They dot fields with barrels and inflatable bunkers, then supply novice players with game-play instructions and 2.2-pound handheld taggers. Then they venture off, leaving soldiers to grip their military spec stocks, aim their red-dot scopes, and zap one another’s head sensors. Afterward, resurrected armies can cool down with a 60-minute round of water tag, during which guests soak each other with quick-fill water blasters. After the pyew-pyewing has died down, specialists return in a flash of light to swiftly disassemble the field.
Wind tousles the broad leaves of vines above clusters of grapes the off-black blue of the dusk sky. Frank and Liz Vez?r, owners of Vez?r Family Vineyard, originally began growing the fruit to help fill the needs of wine producers including Ravenswood and Sin Zin. More than a decade ago, they also began producing their own wines. ?One could call it beginner?s luck,? says Touring and Tasting Magazine, ?but their award-winning streak has yet to be broken. Every single wine Vez?r has produced has won a top award or superior rating. Of most recent note, the 2007 Vez?r Cabernet Sauvignon won double gold at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and a whopping 97 points at a blind tasting at Napa?s Bay Leaf Restaurant.?
The winery adjoins the original Pony Express offices, and one can still almost hear the sound of plodding hooves and hooves frustratedly trying to apply stamps. On a copper-roofed cupola, an equine weathervane twists to face the winds above a sweeping swath of grass that fills with chatter during weddings and other events.
Napa Valley is California's epicenter of wine, and there's a definite local pride in all things grape. Signs posted along roads urge drivers to stop, taste, and experience private-label wines. The culinary scene has also risen to prominence, with chefs like Thomas Keller spearheading a haute-cuisine movement. Though hundreds of thousands of people visit each year, Napa still cultivates a small-town feel. There are a handful of big-name restaurants in downtown Napa that might have limos parked out front, but there are still plenty of eclectic, hole-in-the wall eateries serving vegan fare or barbecue.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer, known in the cleated world as the King and winner of the PGA Tour's Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, designed the undulating ryegrass fairways at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club. Ranked as one of Golf Digest’s Readers’ Choice Top 50 Public Courses in 2009, the course unfolds scenic views of rolling hills as players give their balls detailed directions, hand them compasses and trail mix, and send them hiking toward the pin. The 12th hole’s pin challenges orbs with one of the toughest locations on the course, and eight sand bunkers guard three sides of the 18th hole’s green. After working up a sweat, swingers can remove their gloves and Kevlar vests and celebrate or commiserate their score at The Grille, where diners gaze out over the greens while munching sandwiches and quaffing beer.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,678 yards * Course rating of 72.8 * Slope rating of 142 * 25 hitting stations at driving range * See helpful course map and notes
The doors of the vault, licked with rust around the hinges, still stand inside the old bank. But now, instead of waiting to deposit their money, customers relax in cozy booths with platefuls of fajitas and burritos. Paco's Mexican Restaurant still exudes the aesthetic of the building?s first tenant, steeped in rich woodwork and marble flooring. The cooks include on the menu classic Mexican dishes, from pork simmered in a mild green sauce to tilapia that is hand-battered, deep-fried, and stuffed inside a taco. Even in the early-morning hours the kitchen staff is hard at work, pairing chorizo with eggs and serving breakfast burritos to guests.
The 22 acres of Morton's Warm Springs sprawls across meadows, clusters of towering oaks, and rugged rock formations surrounding a bubbling creek, immersing visitors in outdoor recreation since 1946. The site originally served as a camp for the Wappo Native Americans, who believed its mineral waters were sacred and imbued with healing properties. Today, visitors splash through these same waters in two natural pools fed by geothermal springs. Guests can also play on baseball, basketball, and sand or hard volleyball courts, and stroll along natural paths meandering beside the creek. Throughout the park, 20 indoor or outdoor picnic sites house revelers during weddings, family reunions, and school events, and many are equipped with brick or stone grills for cooking, running water for washing, and electricity for recharging robot uncles.