Dolphin Paradise Tours' US Coast Guard?inspected boats whisk sightseers off into the ocean to encounter a wide spectrum of Atlantic wildlife. Long-beaked pelicans swoop for fish, enormous manatees lumber gracefully through the saltwater, and smooth-fleshed dolphins play beneath the waves. After sailing the Cocoa Beach intercoastal area, captains dock the boats at a remote island where passengers can disembark to collect seashells and children can chase skittering lizards or bedraggled shipwreck survivors across the sand. A particularly memorable part of the tour comes next: groups swim out into the water, using underwater microphones to hear the whistles and clicks of dolphins as they communicate with each other. Although groups swim at a distance from dolphins and manatees so as not to disturb their natural habitat, the animals are naturally curious and may swim closer to do some sightseeing of their own?make sure to jump through a hoop at that point. In addition to sightseeing tours, the company regularly chauffeurs passengers to deep waters for chartered fishing trips. And during the Halloween season, Dolphin Paradise Tours transports thrill-seekers of all ages to a haunted island, believed to be inhabited by the souls of people who were cursed and left for dead.
At most courses, golfers are forbidden from feeding the alligators. At Golf N Gator, it's all a part of the fun. The ancient creatures populate the swamp that lines Golf N Gator's two 18-hole miniature golf courses, where they can be found circling stealthily through the murky waters, sunning themselves on the rocks, or tricking players into trusting the wrong way a putt will break. While most of the reptiles remain at a safe distance, guests can hold some of the smaller specimen for a memorable photo op. Fish share the swamp with their more predacious friends, and Golf N Gator also houses a 7-foot, 50-pound boa constrictor.
But the scaly denizens are far from Golf N Gator's only attraction. Amidst cascades, rock formations, and tropical vegetation, putters can plumb the shadowy depths of the 18-hole Swamp Cave Course, then take a break before conquering the Gator Mountain course, an ascent that pays homage to the world's first alligators, which famously had fur instead of scales and roamed the peaks of Tibet.
Aboard Obsession Charters's party boat, experienced captains lead groups into fish-laden waters, where lines are cast out into the ocean in search of species such as grouper, snapper, and sharks. The 65-foot watercraft launches out of Port Canaveral on full-day and half-day trips across the giant bathtub disguised as the Atlantic Ocean. As fishers wield rented rods or their own equipment, staff situated in an air-conditioned galley serves up hot food and cold beer. After trips, Obsession Charters's cleaning tables let customers prep their catches. In addition to voyages aboard their signature vessel, the staff also books private charters by negotiating with the monocled whales who own Port Canaveral?s most popular fishing boats. Most aquatic exhibitions include bait, and Obsession Charters's captains also allow customers to catch their own offshore.
While leisurely paddling along the Indian River, dolphins and manatees swim beside a kayak as a guide points out some of the 300 species of native birds soaring overhead. This is the kind of memorable experience that many customers have had during Island Time Kayaking’s two- to four-hour tours of Cocoa Beach’s waterways. The experienced team at Island Time Kayaking instructs future kayak captains on the basics before launching, so even those brand new to kayaking can partake in laid-back jaunts, which include stops at remote islands where guests can dip their toes in the sand and put seashells to their ears. Kayaking equipment and mermaid repellent are included, and sunset tours are also available.
Manned by a Coast Guard-certified crew, a 65-foot speedboat safely whisks passengers along the beaches of Cape Canaveral during 90-minute dolphin-watching tours. The captain pulls off wave-skirting maneuvers, pausing to point out the playful sea mammals, who enjoy swimming, jumping, and high-fiving in the wake of the boat. Flying fish may whiz by the stern, and sea turtles have been known to lazily approach the hull of the docked watercraft. The captain also discusses Port Canaveral's history as passengers snap photos of military ships and submarines in port.
At Fired Up Fishing Charters, US Coast Guard–licensed captains Chris Cameron and Kyle Larson outfit anglers to catch fish such as mahi-mahi, tarpon, sailfish, and more Atlantic-dwelling species. Their 29-foot boat comfortably accommodates up to four fishermen or five passengers for eco and sightseeing tours and is equipped with twin Yamaha 200-horsepower motors, radar, GPS unit, freshwater shower, and restroom.