Between the 1820s and the 1940s, ships chugging down the Apalachicola River turned Blountstown into a bustling settlement. Today, 18 buildings from those days still bear witness to the joys and trials of pioneer life in the form of Panhandle Pioneer Settlement’s living museum. There, visitors can admire such structures as an 1860s-era round-log structure and an 1820s hewn-log cabin whose dovetailed joints marked carpenters' transition away from holding wood together with scotch tape. Nearby, a horseless carriage and antique fire engine nestle in the firehouse, and an antique piano rests in the Red Oak Methodist Church. Housed in a shotgun-style abode, Doctor Dowling’s Office sheds light on medical practices of the day, and the two-room school makes students grateful they don’t have to chisel their answers into marble scantron tablets anymore.
The settlement also strives to preserve knowledge of pioneer trades with educational programming and classes that preserve the arts of blacksmithing, basket weaving, and jam making. Additionally, the settlement welcomes the public at events ranging from an annual peanut boil and hog-butchering demonstration to hand-stitched quilt shows, which remind audiences that there are cozier alternatives to today’s blankets woven from discarded computer motherboards.
Movies 8’s towering vertical sign flashes its red letters and pastel colors at passersby, enticing them to step inside and enjoy a night at the cinema. In the lobby, black-and-white checkered tiles, pink and orange walls, and neon signs hark back to the 1950s, when ladies often wore polka-dot dresses and gentlemen still slicked back their pompadours with crude motor oil. Before feasting their eyes on recently released blockbusters stretched across the silver screen, moviegoers line up at the snack counter, where an old-fashioned menu displays the theater’s bounty of popcorns, snacks, and drinks. Once movies let out, guests can test their button-mashing mettle in Movies 8’s arcade, which has its own separate nook.
Xtreme Skydivers yokes each leapster to an experienced instructor who guides them through the ups and downs of tandem sky-scaling, and ensures that parachutes deploy at the right time for safe landings. Thrill seekers don jump suits, tie their teachers to their backs, and hop aboard an 18-person Grand Caravan airplane that shuttles them 14,500 feet into the sky. When conditions permit, the teacher-student tandem tumbles through cloud caves, screams hello to beachgoers, and adds emoticons to skywriting before landing delicately on a soft bed of sand.
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When approaching Tallahassee Paintball Sports, players can already hear the popping sound of paintballs raining down on the woodsy battleground. As shooters duck below multicolored crossfire, the grassy fields’ inflatable geometric bunkers create challenging scenarios for opposing teams and soft surfaces for midgame naps. For those without their own equipment, Tallahassee Paintball Sports equips players with paintballs and a stockpile of rentals, including markers and protective gear.
Designed by the late Dean Refram, a former PGA Tour pro and course architect who worked with Arnold Palmer, The Golf Club at Summerbrooke's 18-hole, par 72 course bounds over a diverse landscape of rolling hills, dense groves of trees, and waterways and ravines. Measuring 6,845 yards from the farthest tees, the course begins with a relatively open, par 4 first hole, graciously letting duffers find their groove before hitting into tighter fairways and treacherous tree lines. An 80-foot-deep ravine surrounds the green of the par 3 15th, which marks the beginning of the three-hole Contemplation Corner, a climactic gauntlet that challenges clubbers with forced carries, bottomless ravines, and burbling water hazards. A relaxing finishing hole, the par 5 18th settles the nerves, letting golfers swing freely as their pin-hunting odyssey draws to a close.
Course at a Glance: