Computerized scoring systems outfit each of Dunedin Lanes' 24 pin-stocked playing fields, keeping track of turkeys, strikes, and spares during the alley's weekly schedule of league and open play. Children's bumpers help wee ones roll with confidence, and during after-dark hours, adults can take advantage of a fully stocked bar, karaoke, and tunes blasted through a thumping sound system. On Friday and Saturday nights, the neon lights of cosmic bowling give the beach-themed interior the otherworldly glow of a Martian lifeguard tower. While not steamrolling a path through pin clusters, guests can play a round of pool, enjoy fare from the Chatterbox restaurant, or peruse the supply of gear in the Prestige Pro Shop. Dunedin Lanes also offers fully stocked birthday-party packages, which include bowling, snacks, and a supply of arcade tokens.
Countryside Lanes’ website refers to this bowling alley as “The new guys”—perhaps because it's the first location in Florida. But the family has owned bowling alleys in New York since 1960, and the current owner, once a national president of the BPAA and a member of that same organization’s Hall of Fame, is anything but new to the party. At Countryside Lanes, he places the same emphasis on polished lanes, well-oiled machinery, and helpful staff as he does at his northern facilities. Here, those familiar sounds of pins being pummeled and high-fives being exchanged carry throughout. Lucky’s Sports Bar provides a nice break from competition with flat-screen TVs, billiards, and pub food and drinks.
For more than a decade, John Paul Kindig has snapped portraits, averaging more than 300 assignments annually in recent years. His striking, traditional compositions—for couples, families, and corporate clients—capture minute detail in his subjects and their surroundings. He travels throughout Pinellas County to offer scenic on-location shoots at beaches, parks, and atop abandoned spaceships that have crash-landed on Earth. After shoots wind down, clients can elect to purchase prints or a DVD containing high-definition images.
Founded in 1972, Clearwater Marine Aquarium dedicates itself to preservation and educating the public on its efforts in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life. Membership grants the pass holder free yearlong access to the aquarium's vast array of animals and activities as well as invitations to private events, a 10 percent discount in the gift shop, and the ability to send whales to their home planet. The panoply of exhibits includes Turtle Cove and the Atlantis Theater, where viewers experience the rescue, rehab and release of marine life. Thrilling dolphin presentations feature Winter the dolphin, star of the upcoming kids' film Dolphin Tale, performing titillating aeronautical feats and waxing rhapsodic to James Lipton.
The Coast Guard–certified staff at Sky Screamer Parasail shows its passengers the glory of flight by suspending them from parachutes above sparkling Clearwater Beach. Pairs of pre-airborne passengers 6 years or older speed out into the Gulf aboard a steady winchboat before strapping in to a sturdy harness aboard the vessel’s flight deck. When passengers are ready, the captain accelerates the ship and extends the towline, letting the chute lift each duo lightly off of solid boatground. Familiar landscapes recede to microscopic size as the wind carries fliers 800 feet above the cerulean waves, where ears can bask in high-altitude hush or eavesdrop on gulls’ cocktail-party conversations.
Captain Bligh's Landing takes putters and dimpled orbs careening through a labyrinthine circuit of pirate-themed, contoured turf holes. Lively palms tower over the course's stone edifice, welcoming patrons to a pastiche of nautical artifacts and pirate lore, where putt-putt prodigies sink testy two-putts against a backdrop of a wooden ship, misting waterfalls, and caves teeming with buried treasures of the most popular colors of mini-golf balls. The course's 18 green corridors feature subtle slopes and strategically placed holes, which conspire to form breaks more difficult to read than a sentient rock playing poker. Patrons can put a competitive twist on date night with two-person packages, or swindle their two favorite children out of their allowance with high-stakes family competitions.