Imagine for a moment diving into the ocean, resurfacing with not only memories of the sub-aquatic environment, but a full reel of photographs, too. Underwater photography is just one of the many courses offered at Scuba Quest, a family-owned company that has shown students how to safely explore the seas for more than 25 years.
Scuba Quest began as a single shop, but has since spread to six locations across the state of Florida. At each, the company’s NAUI-certified instructors lead refresher courses, beginner classes, and comprehensive certification programs. Rather than climbing into fish tanks while pet-store clerks are on break, Scuba Quest's students can put their new skills to the test in unfamiliar waters during the company’s exotic diving excursions around the globe.
It?s not uncommon to stumble upon fake alligators as you make your way around a mini-golf course. But at Smuggler's Cove's locations, live American alligators snap their jaws in exhibits nestled amid the miniature fairways. With an old-fashioned bamboo pole players can dangle a treat above 20?50 of the predatory alligators, which leap from the water to snatch their treat. Between feeding frenzies, games take place on Smugglers Cove?s 18-hole outdoor courses, where balls roll past rushing waterfalls, into caves, over mountainous terrain, and into a hole in a pirate ship.
Designed by Ted McAnlis to take advantage of the area’s natural wetlands, the fairways at The Preserve Golf Club are riddled with water hazards and marshy areas. Water comes directly into play on 9 of the course’s holes, and players end up traipsing across 11 bridges as they hit their way from beginning to end. Many stumble at the 3rd hole, whose aim-blocking sabal palms earn it a handicap of 1, or at the course’s signature 17th hole, which drowns balls left and right. The course’s greens are newly recarpeted with ultradwarf bermuda grass, and pines, oaks, and palms line the fairways, their branches grasping at stray balls like nature’s catchers' mitts.
Before tackling the aquatic mischief of the championship course, golfers can take aim at the island target greens of the aqua driving range, where 40 hitting stations let players gear up for the watery course. After facing down the fairways, players select from a deli-style menu at Ryder Cup Grille, which features live music from artists such as Larry Crane, longtime guitarist for John Mellencamp.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,000 yards * Course rating of 74 * Slope rating of 141 * Three tee options * See the scorecard
A glance up at the high canopies of TreeUmph! Adventure Course's 14 forested acres yields views of beautiful flora, birds, and... humans. Though the people aren't native to these trees, most of the activities here are set high up in the foliage, giving groups a chance to see what the birds see. Among the attractions, you can speed down the woods' biggest obstacle, the Triumph zip line: a 650-foot cable that starts 60 feet high and descends toward the forest floor. The five age-appropriate elevated courses here complement the low-height Climb-On course with flat, netted walkways, a zip line, and monkey bridges meant to challenge customers with progressively more difficult courses. After completing the first four courses, course-goers can be cleared to ascend to the Summit.
Then there's the most challenging Summit course, which features the park's most demanding obstacles. But these attractions aren't just designed to thrill: they're also designed to challenge, both mentally and physically, and to be entirely environmentally friendly. Aerial platforms are secured by compression rather than bolts, which allows the trees to continue growing unobstructed and roots are protected by winding trails and barriers.
As an International Show Jumping Professional and a Grand Prix rider who holds National Equitation and Hunter titles, Brock Clermont and his staff run the show at Clermark Equestrian. He relies upon his winning ways as he marshals an equine operation that includes grass and sand rings, groomed trails, and the onsite Aguilar Riding Academy. Students of all ages and skill levels glean pointers as they learn to safely and effectively control their mounts, in the hopes of one day competing on the A-level circuit or earning an approving wink from the mayor.
If you turned off the music in the spinning room of Go Legs Cycle Studio, you'd think you were in the middle of a raging windstorm. An instructor sits at the head of the dimly lit room, encouraging students up mountains and navigating them down winding paths as the two 92-inch video screens play music videos. Students control their own resistance and speed, enabling cyclists of all levels to pump away on the pedals together.