Sports & Recreation

Readers’ choice

<b>Grant Napear</b> <br>It’s no surprise that SN&amp;R readers voted longtime Kings man Grant Napear their favorite sports announcer. An infamous Sacramento play-by-play guy who plays a smart-mouthed Tom Sawyer to Jerry Reynolds’ world-wise Huck Finn, Napear is hands-down the best announcer in local sports. He now works officially for the Kings Broadcasting Network—i.e., he gets his paycheck directly from the Maloofs instead of in a proper journalistic arrangement—but that doesn’t seem to have changed how he calls the games. Long live Napear.

Grant Napear
It’s no surprise that SN&R readers voted longtime Kings man Grant Napear their favorite sports announcer. An infamous Sacramento play-by-play guy who plays a smart-mouthed Tom Sawyer to Jerry Reynolds’ world-wise Huck Finn, Napear is hands-down the best announcer in local sports. He now works officially for the Kings Broadcasting Network—i.e., he gets his paycheck directly from the Maloofs instead of in a proper journalistic arrangement—but that doesn’t seem to have changed how he calls the games. Long live Napear.

Photo By Jill Wagner

Best Kings player

Mike Bibby

2. Ron Artest

Best Monarchs player

Yolanda Griffith

2. Kara Lawson

Best River Cats player

Dan Johnson

2. Hiram Bocachica

2. Charles Thomas

Best sports announcer

Grant Napear
Kings broadcaster, television play-by-play; www.nba.com/kings

2. Jim Kozimor
Kings broadcaster, www.nba.com/kings

Best gym

24 Hour Fitness
various locations, www.24hourfitness.com

2. California Family Fitness
various locations, www.californiafamilyfitness.com

Best bowling alley

Country Club Lanes
2600 Watt Avenue, (916) 483-5105, www.countryclublanes.com

2. Folsom Lake Bowl Sports Bar & Casino
511 East Bidwell Street in Folsom, (916) 983-4411, www.folsomlakebowl.com

Best billiards

Blue Cue
1004 28th Street, (916) 442-7208, www.paragarys.com

2. Players Sports Pub & Grill
9729 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Fair Oaks, (916) 967-8492; 4060 Sunrise Boulevard in Fair Oaks, (916) 967-8492; www.playerspub.net

2. Hard Times Billiards
5536 Garfield Avenue, (916) 332-8793, www.hardtimesbilliards.com <hr>

Urban jewel

I love Sacramento for its increasing sophistication with a still-rural ambience. The American River Parkway is a scenic and recreational jewel that originates within the city. The climate is mostly mild, and with so many aquatic activities to enjoy, the summer heat is bearable. In addition to the Sacramento and American rivers, there are nearby lakes Folsom, Berryessa and Clear Lake. The ocean is a half-day’s drive away. The tree-lined streets and beautiful Capitol Park engender enjoyment rather than a desire to escape the urban environment. Sacramento is the most livable large urban area in California.

—Paul Fisher

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Best picnic spot

William Land Park
4000 Land Park Drive

2. McKinley Park
3330 McKinley Boulevard

Best place for a family outing

Sacramento Zoo
3930 West Land Park Drive, (916) 264-5888, www.saczoo.com

2. William Land Park
4000 Land Park Drive

Best martial-arts studio

<b>Kovar’s Satori Academy of Martial Arts</b> <br>Kovar’s isn’t just about kicking butt. At the many Sacramento-area schools, men, women and even toddlers focus on building respect for others, self-esteem, goal-setting and coordination—which, we assume, leads to better butt-kicking.

Photo By Larry Dalton

Kovar’s Satori Academy of Martial Arts
various locations, (800) 645-3676, http://kovars.cmasdirect.com

2. Capoeira Arts Academy
1811 Del Paso Boulevard, (916) 641-2988, www.adbcapoeira.com

Best public basketball court

McKinley Park
3330 McKinley Boulevard

2. Roosevelt Park
1615 Ninth Street

Best public tennis court

McKinley Park
3330 McKinley Boulevard

2. Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Boulevard, (916) 558-2111, www.scc.losrios.edu

Best playground

McKinley Park
3330 McKinley Boulevard

2. Southside Park
2115 Sixth Street

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Loving a good cause

I would like to write a love note to the wonderful people at the Bicycle Chef. In addition to being a low-key, friendly and locally owned shop, they have been doing a ton in the community lately, including: donating a bike to the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center’s silent auction; donating bikes to Kevin Johnson’s St. Hope foundation; purchasing tools at cost for the Bicycle Kitchen, a new bicycle-repair co-op in Oak Park; and donating parts and services to help the Pipeworks bicycle club put together a fleet of bikes to be used by families at Quinn Cottages. It’s hard to find businesses these days that are so willing to give back to the community. Bicycle Chef, I love you!

—Natalie Kuffel

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Best place to swim

American River

2. McKinley Park— Clunie Pool
3330 McKinley Boulevard

Best golf course

Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
3645 Fulton Avenue, (916) 481-GOLF, www.hagginoaks.com

2. Ancil Hoffman Golf Course
6700 Tarshes Drive in Carmichael, (916) 482-3813, www.empiregolf.com

Best place to bike

American River Bike Trails
connecting Old Sacramento and Folsom Lake

2. Salmon Falls Trail
along the south fork of the American River

Best dog park

<b>Howe About Dogs Park </b> <br>Notice a little sluggishness in your schnauzer? A little loneliness in your lab? Maybe a sad-eyed, depressed-puppy face on your pug? Well, that’s just how pugs look, but the rest of the depressed might need a little extra off-leash time to romp in the last of the late summer sun. Here’s the place to take them.

Photo By Larry Dalton

Howe About Dogs Park
2201 Cottage Way

Partner Park
5699 South Land Park Drive

2. Granite Park
on Ramona Avenue near Power Inn Road (closed; will reopen across Ramona Avenue this fall)

Best exhibit at the Sacramento Zoo

3930 West Land Park Drive, (916) 264-5888, www.saczoo.com

Primates

2. Red pandas

Best annual public event

California State Fair
1600 Exposition Boulevard, (916) 263-FAIR, www.bigfun.org

2. Jazz Jubilee
www.sacjazz.com

Best race/walk for charity

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
www.sackomen.org

2. Sacramento Valley AIDS Run/Walk
www.sacvalleyaidsrunwalk.org

Best skate park

28th and B Skate Park at Sutter’s Landing Regional Park
28th and B streets

2. Granite Regional Park
Ramona Avenue off Power Inn Road (opening this fall)

2. Rusch Park
7801 Auburn Boulevard in Citrus Heights

Best athletic-shoe selection

Fleet Feet
2311 J Street, (916) 442-3338, www.fleetfeetsacramento.com

2. Nike
Folsom Premium Outlets; 13000 Folsom Boulevard, Suite 401, in Folsom; (916) 985-7313

Best workout wear

Fleet Feet
2311 J Street, (916) 442-3338, www.fleetfeetsacramento.com

2. Sports Authority
various locations, www.sportsauthority.com

2. Target
various locations, www.target.com

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Even Sacramento’s neighbors are lovely

Dear Orangevale,

As I pass through the intersection at Greenback and Hazel, I know I will get to stop at one of your Starbucks later that night. But after all my thinking, I decide Adalberto’s is the way to your heart. Then we’ll make a quick stop at WinCo on our way to Almond Park, where we can swing together under the North Star until the tweakers come out to play. Then we’ll have to run away. During the day, I know I can ride with you at the Orangevale park, where we can also play Frisbee golf. The Casa high-school kids are biking through, but none of them compare to you. We can drive on Cherry—slow, because fast it’s scary. Oh no—look out! It’s Carrie! We spend our time on Greenback, even though back streets are badass, and before it’s through we’ll go to Dairy Queen too. But wait—I didn’t even think. Jan’s Cocktail Lounge is right across the street! Every night when you drink, I take you home to the Cottages, and I have to stop and think. Why do I love you so much, Orangevale? My hometown, the best place to be; when I’m in you, I am completely free.

—Suzie Greene

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Best outdoor- equipment store

REI
various locations, www.rei.com

2. Sports Authority
various locations, www.sportsauthority.com

2. Copeland Sports
various locations, www.copelandsports.com

2. Big 5 Sporting Goods
various locations, www.big5sportinggoods.com

Best bike shop

Bicycle Chef
2409 J Street, (916) 447-9118, www.bicyclechef.com

2. City Bicycle Works
2419 K Street, (916) 447-2453; 7885 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights, (916) 726-2453; http://citybicycleworks.com

Best daytrip: ski resort

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
629 Sugar Bowl Road in Norden, (530) 426-9000, www.sugarbowl.com

Squaw Valley USA
1960 Squaw Valley Road in Olympic Valley, (530) 583-6985, www.squaw.com

2. Sierra at Tahoe
1111 Sierra at Tahoe Road in Twin Bridges, (530) 659-7453, www.sierraattahoe.com

Best daytrip: spa treatments

Mellow Me Out
various locations, www.mellowmeout.com

2. Calistoga
various spas, www.calistogachamber.com

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Even better than the Kings

To Jerry Reynolds.

I love your hair, man. I watch your hair more than the Kings game.

—Jay Nagin

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Best daytrip: hiking trail

American River Parkway
stretches from Discovery Park east to Hazel Avenue to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery

2. Horsetail Falls, Lake Tahoe
along Highway 50 at Twin Bridges

Best daytrip: winery

Bogle Vineyards
37783 Road 144 in Clarksburg, (916) 744-1139, www.boglewinery.com

2. Villa Toscano
10600 Shenandoah Road in Plymouth, (209) 245-3800, www.villatoscano.com

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Can you beat this, San Francisco?

What better way to spend a day than immersing in the American? Alternating between diving and swimming like an otter and sunning on the sand is great sport—and healthful. Add a bike trip to hit the favored swimming spot, and it’s close to heaven. Odd that something so simple is so bloody nice—and available to Sacramentans in our own back yard. Name another city where people can do this. Not San Francisco or Los Angeles!

—Doug Desalles

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