During a round of golf in this region, it’s not uncommon for players to see the occasional alligator sunning itself on the banks of a fairway pond. The same, however, cannot be said for miniature-golf courses, unless you’re playing at Congo River Golf, where the civilized sinking of putts coexists with the visceral carnage of live-alligator feedings. More than 25 alligators wait for patrons to feed them morsels of gator food in an exhibit beside the course. Though the course offers no chance for an encounter with the ancient, scaly species, it enchants players with waterfalls, safari-themed artifacts, and towering rock faces. In addition, Congo River Golf encompasses an indoor arcade and a gemstone-mining station, where guests dig through dirt for fossils, arrowheads, and Neanderthal’s kindergarten time capsules.
Since 2007, CARES (Community Animal Rescue & Educational Shelter) has rescued and found homes for more than 1,000 pets. CARES aims to both strengthen the bond between pets and people and enhance the quality of pets' lives through responsible adoptions, sheltering, and community outreach and education. Along with rescuing dogs from local high-kill shelters, the volunteers and staff pair pets with foster families and permanent, loving homes.
Scuba West's expert instructors impart the skills and certification needed for unsupervised journeys into the deep blue. Participants can earn their PADI open-water certifications at Scuba West’s full training facility, which features classrooms, an on-site heated pool, an open-water training site, and a retail area with equipment that can be rented or purchased. Students can further their water skills in courses or even get their PADI open-water certification, which enables them to explore most bodies of water without a manatee chaperone.
At Sam's Hudson Beach Bar & Restaurant, grill masters serve up a menu of fresh seafood and tasty burgers among tropical adornments and breathtaking sunsets. Starters compose a palatable prelude to beachside meals, with fried green tomatoes ($5.95) basking in the tangy splendor of their unripe youth and plates of lightly breaded gator ($8.95) gripping hunger pangs in their jaws and dragging them into a pool of dipping sauces. Entrees of beer-battered fish and chips tastefully combine libations and edibles ($10.95), and a marinated Island Grilled Chicken Sammy ($8.95) enraptures taste buds with a tropical garnish of pineapple, slaw, black beans, and rice. Meanwhile, beefy fare takes the form of the Paradise burger ($7.95), in which a half-pound of Angus stacks atop garden fixings to fill mouths and create ketchup mustaches.
At Monster Mini Golf, putters navigate an eerie series of glowing greens that invert the sun-soaked cheer of conventional courses. Rimmed in black-lit, neon-green barriers, the 18 holes challenge the coordination of each mini golfer with winged monsters, scowling animated trees, creepy clowns, and opponents' shockingly dazzling smiles. Sheltered from searing rain and howling wind, each indoor course facilitates play around an array of neon gargoyles and animated props year-round. An in-house radio DJ station masks the sound of pounding hearts with haunting remixes and the latest releases. Golfers looking for additional glory can win prizes by participating in regular contests or playing at the onsite arcade.
Gold's Gym opened more than 45 years ago and today houses an impressive array of next-generation fitness gadgets, a results-oriented focus, and clean facilities. With today's deal, one of Gold's Gym's certified personal trainers will develop a personalized training regimen with each client based on their personal fitness goals, willingness to belittle a punching bag, and general safety regulations. Neophyte exercisers can follow up with regular attendance at the gym, where they cultivate lean physiques in a controlled manner on elliptical machines or break a collective sweat in group classes. Visitors to the Spring Hill location can enjoy the look of its new interior face-lift, and those at the Brookville location can accelerate heart engines at the cardio movie theater.
Nature Coast SUP Stand-up Paddleboarding arms wave navigators with the paddles, vessels, and skills necessary to have safe and inspiring paddling experiences. Riders learn the basics of paddling in introductory classes before taking their boards out for peaceful traverses about the waters of Crystal River and Pine Island. Seasoned surf-goers can rent paddleboards for solo jaunts along the water's surface. While darting about, paddlers will be able to look down through the clear waters and see the local wildlife, including the possible chance to spot some of the Florida manatees that flock to the area's temperate weather and all-inclusive reef resorts during the winter.