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.
The Peabody annually features touring Broadway shows, music and dance, concert artists, civic programs, and juried competitions. Situated in a historic beachside neighborhood, the Peabody Auditorium is a favorite venue for a host of returning performance artists and production companies.
Sting Rays Sports Saloon's menu is helmed by a hearty selection of classic American favorites to complement the fully stocked bar with 19 beers on tap. Bask in the salty downtown flavor while luxuriating on Sting Rays expansive outdoor patio, munching on a crisp, bacon-topped Stingrays wedge salad ($7.99) or onion rings that double as swanky beach bracelets ($6.99). Bun enthusiasts can mollify maws with an eclectic array of burgers and chicken sandwiches ($7.99–$9.99) or exhibit their love of exclamation points with a Hot Diggity Dog! ($7.99), an all-beef, meat-encased flavor tube served on a grilled hoagie roll and sprinkled with chili and cheddar for an additional charge. Tiny diners can gratify gullets with a selection of children's fare ($3.99–$5.99), and those looking to fill their hourly meat quota can sink knives into a juicy, Midwestern-raised 12-ounce ribeye steak ($14.99).
Although the 12-ounce Delmonico steak is the house specialty at The Blue Grotto, the baked stuffed flounder is the owner's favorite dish on the menu. Guests have their choice of sitting in the azure dining room, where the decor is inspired by the Blue Grotto sea cave on the island of Capri, or the dog-friendly outdoor deck that overlooks the marina. The venue turns into a nightclub in the late-night hours, with DJs, dancing, and free drinks for manatees.
The Golf Hub is helmed by teaching professional and owner Steve Roberts, a player who has championed a number of section PGA tournaments over his career. Roberts lends his time-earned expertise to golfers looking to improve through lessons or the outfit's offering of irons, apparel, and accessories by such brands as Nike and Titleist. During individual instruction, Roberts analyzes each player's personal swing profile with TrackMan technology, identifying issues in skills such as backswings and follow-throughs. The Golf Hub also punches up each ball's individuality by performing custom labeling onsite, emblazoning orbs with anything from personal photos to company logos to lost-cat flyers.