Bryan Freeman wanted two things out of his career: to meet new people and spend time outdoors. With this in mind, Mr. Freeman's path seemed obvious. He would start giving bike tours. A self-described "fact guy," the expert guide draws upon his extensive knowledge of the Venice area to delight both tourists and California natives. From the Venice canals to the spacious mailboxes of celebrity homes, the expert guide tells stories about famous locations and uncovers some of the area's hidden gems. "Everyone always says they had no idea the tour would be so exciting," he says. "People think Venice is just the beach, but just a block away there is so much more."
Mr. Freeman doesn't keep his groups confined to the seats and cowboy saddles of bicycles. He frequently points out ideal spots for photo ops and occasionally pauses for activities, such as letting groups spray paint their names onto a legal-graffiti wall. He also supplies optional helmet cams that capture videos for souvenirs.
Adventure Helicopter Tours parades sightseers about the skies above Los Angeles for aerial appreciation of the city's many landmarks. The outfit hosts 12 separate tours around southern California, including those that fly over the homes of celebrities, providing ample opportunities to pass judgment on their backyard barbecuing skills. Other options include a romantic sunset excursion, and a route that flies past the Hollywood sign. Every passenger on an Adventure Helicopter Tours excursion enjoys window seating and a two-way MP3 stereo headset for easy communication with fellow sightseers.
For more than two decades, the FAA-certified flight instructors at Orbic Air have maintained an impeccable safety record while escorting sightseers and pilots in training through the sky aboard a reliable fleet of Robinson helicopters. With Van Nuys Airport as a home nest, casual travelers can charter a scenic ride to Los Angeles, Big Bear, or Las Vegas in order to make a flashy entrance or rescue a kitten stuck on top of the Luxor pyramid. The Orbic Air flight school sees enrollees from first flights all the way to commercial-pilot certificates with guidance from expert instructors.
Living up to their slogan "Excellence in Aviation," Rotor F/X runs the gamut of flight-related services by selling and repairing rotorcraft, in addition to offering flight training, transportation, and quick aerial tours of the Los Angeles area. As a prop company, Rotor F/X has a reputation of building believable cockpit mockups, aviation sets, and scale models of planes and helicopters. As a testament to their ability to enhance stunts, effects, and camera shots with their replicas, the crew of the History Channel's Modern Marvels asked them to construct a experimental helicopter that not only lifts up into the air, but travels back in time to prevent the original Star Trek from being canceled.
Owner and sommelier Jeff Bernstein enjoys getting to know his clients’ personalities, but he might confess that he is most interested in their tastebuds. Bernstein keeps running palate profiles of his customers, seeking out the selections that satisfy their wishes for bold flavors, delicate aromas, or grape jelly in a really nice bottle. He specializes in discovering hard-to-find varieties from boutique winemakers, and visits vineyards himself to turn up unique finds and tasting room exclusives. Should clients request additional grapy guidance, Bernstein can arrange wine tasting parties in their homes with samples and appetizers.