Swimming in Eustis

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While most people’s biggest water-related fear might be sharks, Phil Pektas's was children. Not the kids themselves, of course, but the prospect of teaching them. This terror first surfaced when he was tapped to fill in for the Pre-K instructor at the swim school where he taught. Fortunately, he conquered that fear during the very first lesson and 20 years later is still introducing young people to the necessary skills for ensuring safe, aquatic fun. Pektas and his staff of American Red Cross–, CPR-, and First-Aid- certified instructors use activities, toys, and analogies to improve performance in the pool. With games such as Bird Catcher, kids will learn how to control their breathing and hunt for sub-aquatic fowl indigenous to chlorinated pools.

1201 Black Lake Boulevard
Winter Garden,
FL
US

Surrounded by 9,000 acres of conservation land, the Wekiva Falls RV Resort campground immerses visitors in nature while providing access to water-recreation areas and modern creature comforts. Sites for RVs and tents can give owners views of the river, while picnic tables can be kept primitive to facilitate a rough wilderness experience or get decked out with electric and water hookups. The campground also rents canoes and kayaks so visitors can paddle up and down the adjacent Wekiva River taking in the lush shoreline scenery. In a separate swimming area fed by a large sulfur spring, guests splash around a 40-foot waterfall or plunge down dual tube slides, and they can also lounge in a heated outdoor pool in the event of cooler temperatures. Alternative forms of entertainment are also available including a bar that serves beer and wine, crafts sessions, themed parties and dinners, and day trips to local golf courses.

30700 Wekiva River Rd.
Sorrento,
FL
US

As an ex-NFL athlete, Danny Tolbert Jr. has trained fellow gridiron stars, including Terrell Buckley, Brandon Jacobs, and Johnathan Joseph. Through 24CoreFit, Danny helps craft fitness programs that use small daily changes to produce healthier and happier lives. After an initial 15-minute phone conversation, Danny can help craft a fitness program, then lead long-distance training sessions through Skype. Danny also helms blistering boot-camp sessions and can lend his expertise for nutritional counseling, meal planning, or stress-management programs.

274 Cranes Roost Blvd
Altamonte Springs,
FL
US

Trickling waters and shrieking giggles fill the air at CoCo Key Water Park Orlando's tropical-themed playground, a Rube Goldbergian array of twisting slides, jungle gyms, and waterfalls. The 54,000-square-foot superstructure includes attractions for all ages, such as Coral Reef Cove, Minnow's Lagoon, and a pool hangout designed for slightly older kids. Lilliputian play area with a shallow pool, water cannons, and four slides tailored for kiddos. A trinity of signature slides awaits more daring visitors, including Over the Falls, an aquatic roller coaster that ends with a high-speed corkscrew, and Boomerango, a two-person tube ride with a near-vertical descent that will convert even the most ardent of gravity-deniers. As youngsters enjoy an adrenaline-filled respite from the Florida sun, adults can unwind at a poolside bar.

7400 International Dr.
Orlando,
FL
US

Imagine for a moment diving into the ocean, resurfacing with not only memories of the sub-aquatic environment, but a full reel of photographs, too. Underwater photography is just one of the many courses offered at Scuba Quest, a family-owned company that has shown students how to safely explore the seas for more than 25 years.

Scuba Quest began as a single shop, but has since spread to six locations across the state of Florida. At each, the company?s NAUI-certified instructors lead refresher courses, beginner classes, and comprehensive certification programs. Rather than climbing into fish tanks while pet-store clerks are on break, Scuba Quest's students can put their new skills to the test in unfamiliar waters during the company?s exotic diving excursions around the globe.

8092 S Orange Blossom Trl
Orlando,
FL
US

For more than 25 years, The Dive Station has led PADI-certified scuba courses and graduated more than 3,500 students. Their courses range in scope, and include open water certification, advanced open water certification, nitrox diver, rescue diver, and specialty diver courses. They also lead divemaster courses for aspiring pros who wish to take scuba to a professional level, and cave-diving courses for explorers who wish to chart the unknown and possibly glimpse a grizzly bear taking a bath. The Dive Station stays active in the diving community, leading guided diving trips to local spots and exotic international locales such as Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Turks and Caicos.

3465 Edgewater Dr
Orlando,
FL
US