Master Lonny Louie, the owner of Fitness Innovations & Tae Kwon Do (FIT) has been teaching martial arts for more than 35 years. He and the FIT crew understand that different students have different needs, so they have developed multiple programs to accommodate athletes who want to train for competition, fun, or fitness. Instructors hold tae kwon do classes that equip students with self-defense and combat techniques while also focusing on discipline, respect, and confidence. They also hold kickboxing and fitness-kickboxing classes, which use muay thai principles to help students defend themselves and burn calories.
Mare Island Golf Club, whose 1892 founding makes it one of the oldest courses in the country, attracts golfers with breathtaking island scenery. Built near old Marine barracks, the course—which wasn't expanded into an 18-hole layout until 2000—originally sported sand greens, dry fairways, and a cast of unusual inhabitants including a Marine lieutenant's horse, who was drawn to the grounds by career aspirations of becoming a golf cart.
Today, the par-70 course begins with nine traditional, tree-lined holes before opening up on the back nine with a links-style layout designed by renowned Pacific Rim architect Robin Nelson. As golfers swing toward distant greens, views of San Pablo Bay and—on a clear day—the Golden Gate Bridge appear from certain vantages and sand-trap oases.
To perfect a backswing or spell out a marriage proposal with golf balls, players head to the 225-yard driving range with a bucket of balls. Patrons should arrive at least 20 minutes before tee times and can grab a bite in the restaurant or look for one of the 10 ammunition bunkers scattered throughout the course, which serve as a reminder of its connection to the military during World War I and II.
Most of the instructors at Little Dipper Aquatic Center are also Little Dipper graduates. Having earned a diploma from the swimming school, these teachers have first-hand knowledge of the Little Dipper method. Above all, they know how to prioritize the curriculum: safety instruction comes first, floating lessons come second, and cannonball tutorials come right after naval-artillery demonstrations. At the outset of lessons, teachers introduce participants to the pool, a 93-degree basin that brims with salt. Then, they guide swimmers through exercises, adjusting the level of instruction to suit the group's age or ability level—classes are available for students aged 3 months and beyond, and special-needs students are welcome. As teachers conduct lessons, parents and siblings can observe from an air-conditioned viewing room. In addition to group and private swim classes, the Little Dipper staff hosts youth parties.
As the sun rises over the emerald greens and fairways of Grayson Woods Golf Course, the shadows cast by Mount Diablo in the east recede and players tee up to test their mettle against the challenging par-27 course. Each of the course’s nine holes is nestled between trees and water hazards, raising the stakes and level of difficulty for junior, adult, and senior players alike. Alongside the main course, players develop their orb-rolling stroke on an 18-hole putting course that sits atop an ultra-modern surface free of divots, dirt clods, and rigs drilling for untapped sources of iced-tea-lemonade. The staff, which includes a PGA professional and an LPGA professional, offers private lessons to give improving players an edge at regularly scheduled tournaments such as the Junior-Senior Open and Ladies’ Day.
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: