SunCruz Port Richey Casino sugars the sweet teeth of Florida's cardsharps, crapshooters, and slot-grapplers with its bounteous gambling accoutrements. The 165-foot vessel provides buoyant refuge for more than 325 token-operated slot machines, which allow bettors to select the stake of each spin ($.05–$5), finally making gambling feasible for chalcophobic elements of society and anthropomorphic pole magnets. Table games populate the floors of both decks, featuring blackjack, craps, roulette, three-card poker, let it ride, and the ever-popular pick-a-farm animal ($5+ minimums). The ship comes equipped with satellite TV and serves deli cuisine and drinks at the open top deck with bar during the trip.
Ocala Carriage’s charioteers trace idyllic routes past the leaf-canopied streets that border Marion County’s horse farms. Couples can snuggle within old-fashioned carriages and ogle horses as they gallop, gallivant, and sleuth out which one of them is a centaur in disguise. Guides highlight various breeds and local lore while traveling down winding roads bordered on both sides by open pastures. Arabian and Quarter horses race along fenced borders, their majestic manes reminiscent of pastoral paintings and ‘80s hair metal bands.
Southeastern Paranormal Investigations leads groups of intrepid explorers on paranormal tours. During each tour, guides weave tales of hauntings and paranormal investigations. Ghost-tour-goers are welcome to bring cameras in an attempt to snap any spooky appearances as they walk along on downtown ghost and history tours.
Ocala Ghost Walks and Historical Tours owner Catherine Wendell exposes skeptics and paranormal enthusiasts to the spookiness of some of Ocala’s historic locations during ghost-hunting jaunts by foot or within the creepy confines of a hearse. Ghost walk tours have stopped at such hair-raising hot spots as the Seven Sisters Inn, which has been featured on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters for its haunted happenings caused by frighteningly unreliable room service. Meeting up at 8 p.m. on Friday or Saturday evening or at selected appointment time, the outdoor tour marches through eerie locales in all weather conditions and advises guests to dress accordingly. Catherine urges tourists to bring their cameras, flashlights, and EMF detectors to help peer into the supernatural realm without having to bottle a fortuneteller’s bath water.
Captain Pat Needham of Buck N Bass Sports Center & Outfitters equips adventurers on fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities in the nearly 400,000-acre Ocala National Forest. Beneath the mounted bass and 7-foot standing black bear in the shop's interior, an array of gear inspires a multitude of outdoor adventures, from snaring largemouth bass and catfish to sneaking up on squirrels and demanding your Nutter Butters back. Soft baits, such as Reaction Strike, Warrior, and Yum ($3.75–$8.45), undulate beguilingly at the end of ineluctable hooks and tackle ($1.10–$9.99). Jig heads and bodies, such as Fire-Fly, Road Runner, and Jiffy Jigs ($0.60–$4), dance open water at the end of strong spider-silk fishing line, including Vicious, Berkley Big Game, and Sufix ($1.80–$24.10). Dedicate today's Groupon toward storybook-worthy exploits with rugged rods and reels ($10.75–$174.95), camping and hiking gear ($1.90–$200), or hunting ammo and clothing ($2.50–$300) to spur a quest for the buck that grazed insults into your lawn.
As the engine stirs to life and the vessel floats away from port, the Marine-12 doesn’t just yawn and stretch its parts. Instead, it lets out a roar, its two massive diesel engines sounding off yet another departure. The retired military patrol boat was once a command and control vessel during Vietnam, and has since traded in its war paint and oversized army helmet for more favorable features—namely, an on-board margarita machine and booming sound system. The Marine-12’s modern incarnation makes it the ideal host for Island Party Entertainment’s cruises, which coast up and down St. John’s River and soak up sunsets at The Jacksonville Landing.