Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is no ordinary repository of fish and aquatic mammals. Since its founding in the early 1950s by marine researcher J.B. "Brandy" Siebenaler and scientists at the University of Miami, the park has become a place where guests engage with creatures from around the world's waterways. As they explore the grounds, guests might see penguins and otters romping in chilly waters, spy an alligator basking patiently in the sun, or have up close and personal encounters with dolphins and stingrays. In addition to facilitating fun, the park is also dedicated to education; members of the park's animal care team host chats and shows throughout the day.
For an inside look, check out this behind the scenes video tour.
Emerald Coast Science Center has 8,000 square feet of gallery space filled with eye-opening, family-friendly exhibits on principles of biology, physics, earth science, and technology. In the robotics exhibit, eight interactive stations teach kids about the use of robotics in underwater and space exploration, cybernetics, and medicine. At Color & Light, you can interact with mirrors, colorful lights, and a domesticated rainbow. And in the Critters room, kids get to meet such museum residents as Tickles the Snake and Rosy the Tarantula.
The professional pilots at Timberview Helicopters ferry passengers high into the clouds aboard a sky-scraping whirlybird during flight tours through Destin and Kansas City. Having chartered flights for National Geographic and the Travel Channel, these pilots expertly navigate planes toward sweeping, picturesque views, allowing sightseers to steal glances of Fort Walton Beach, downtown Kansas City, and Key West's ocean views from a perspective normally reserved for birds and astronauts with binoculars. Additionally, their high-definition videos grant guests a lasting commemoration of their in-flight experience. When they're not chartering tours, they teach budding pilots the gravity-defying tricks of their trade through pilot training and lug precious shipments from port to port with their cargo-lifting services
Working from an in-house frame shop and employing high-quality materials, the master framers at Geana's Art Gallery & Custom Framing prepare virtually any item for permanent display. Selecting from an extensive collection of mouldings, an experienced framesmith encases photographs or World's Greatest Doggy-Paddler certificates behind a protective pane of glass (roughly $125 on average), or tears down and refits previously framed pieces to replace broken glass (roughly $50 on average). Alternatively, framers can mount projects on acid-free foam core or stretch canvases (roughly $299 on average) to properly display paintings and prevent torn cotton ligaments. Though prices vary according to size and difficulty, almost any framing challenge is fair game, from shadowboxes and plasma-TV surrounds to priceless uniforms and custom mirrors, both oversize and enchanted.
The National Naval Aviation Museum stands as the largest of the U.S. Navy's official museums?but there's much more here than what's typically seen on an aircraft carrier. Its indoor and outdoor displays pay tribute to the flying heroes of the
Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, both past and present.
Size: more than 150
restored aircraft across 350,000 square feet
Eye Catcher: a seven-story glass-and-steel atrium, with four A-4 Blue Angel Skyhawks displayed in a diving diamond formation
Crown Jewel: a full-size replica of the aircraft carrier USS Cabot?s island and flight deck
Don't Miss: the Cubi Bar Caf??where more than 1,000 squadron and unit plaques have been relocated from the Cubi Point in the Philippines
Beyond Airplanes: more than 4,000 uniforms and other artifacts
Hands-On Activities: full-motion flight simulators and aircraft cockpits where visitors can climb in and take the controls
Pro Tip: The Blue Angels can be seen practicing in the skies on most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March?November
The Pioneer Museum of Alabama invites visitors to step back to a simpler time through its hands-on exhibition of pioneer heritage. At the museum, 22 historic structures stand on more than 40 acres of landscape and wetlands that abut the Conecuh River. In these buildings, costumed pioneers lead demonstrations of frying cornbread, churning butter, and weaving cotton. For a touch of nature, stroll through the nearby trails and examine native flora and woodland fauna or hop on a horse-drawn wagon for a quick jaunt across the grounds.