Under the right guidance, the clear blue waters around Destin's harbor become visible from every angle—the air, the surface, or deep below. Destin Snorkel leads a comprehensive roster of area adventure tours, granting guests total flexibility to join or leave their excursion at any time. Guides steer one of three boats through the bay, keeping all their participants' needed snorkeling or snuba gear onboard and unhaunted by pirate ghosts to allow frequent plunges into waters rich with seashells and wildlife. When not pausing at shallow-water dive sites, boats embark on day cruises for dolphin sightseeing tours or at night to showcase fireworks over the harbor skyline. Sea kayaks also allow visitors to venture off on their own into the waters around Crab Island and Holiday Isle.
Alternatively, FFA-certified flight instructors provide a different perspective, soaring over the coastline in beach-discovery flights. During any of the cruises and tours, guides may expound on the local ecosystem and the harbor's history, revealing whether the town's first civilians ever taught dolphins how to open their eyes above water.
The Baytowne Beer Festival pours a cascade of more than 100 beer samples amid the sounds of local Americana and roots bands. The festival’s 2010 edition featured liquid fixings from more than 30 craft-brewing establishments, including World Beer Cup Award winners Dogfish Head and Left Hand. Armed with a complimentary beer glass and wearable barrel, patrons tromp from tent to tent among glistening green grass and the boardwalk’s colorful edifices, taking samples of sippables while partying to live tunes from Americana stalwarts The Minor Adjustments from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and country rock-around-the-clock-ers The Modern Eldorados. From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., eyes can guzzle their fill at The Village on the Wharf’s Great Lawn, a collection of vintage, brand-new, and still-teething Corvettes crying out to be ogled and fed gas.
Dewsweepers Golf School’s instructors impart club-swinging know-how to golfers of all abilities in one-hour, private lessons. The well-rounded instructors (lessons are valid for any staffer except Tony Ruggiero) can help pupils hone any aspect of their game, such as adding distance to their drives, improving their short game, or bending short irons into serviceable boomerangs. At all locations, computerized video swing analysis technology augments instructors’ ability to diagnose swing deficiencies by providing slow-motion replay for each shot. After the lesson, pupils receive an email file with a copy of the video swing analysis that features voiceover instruction for players to have for later reference and play nonstop at upcoming performance reviews with the boss.
At Baytowne Adventure Zone, people take in birds-eye views of The Village of Baytowne Wharf while soaring through the sky and testing their aerial athleticism on five skybound structures. Unlike superheroes who spend hours perfecting flight patterns and padding lycra costumes, temporary flyers can confidently slip into a safe harness for a speedy cruise down the Baytowne Zip Line. Extensively trained instructors explain the airborne rides’ dynamics before thrill-seekers barrel across 300 feet of rope while dangling 40 feet over the village's blue lagoon.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Established in May of 2009, TripShock.com was founded to create an efficient search engine where visitors could find resources to fully experience the Gulf Coast. The company currently offers more than 150 tours and activities in five popular coastal cities. Activities range from Creole-inspired dinner jazz cruises along the Mississippi River and scenic helicopter tours over Panama City to surf lessons in Destin. Travel enthusiasts can also gallivant around the website to find discounts, reviews, videos, and contact information for customer-service reps who are available 24 hours a day or the time it takes a Tasmanian devil to travel around the world while spinning on its axis.