The veteran captains at Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center promise tour-takers a 99% chance of spotting bottlenose dolphins during excursions in Boca Ciega Bay. That’s because the bay is home to more than 700 resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, along with manatees, and tropical sea birds.
During voyages, guests cruise in comfort on a US Coast Guard–inspected vessel. The boats serve complimentary soft drinks and water, and beer and wine are available for purchase.
Boats dance and glide over the crisscrossing wakes carved into Tampa Bay, each craft anxiously revving toward its respective dock to arrive before closing time. All the while, a handful of boats remain on the open water, swaying atop the undulating waves as its passengers continue to enjoy the fiery sunset reflecting off the bay's surface. These select aquatic vehicles carry Lotto Boat's boat club members, who have access to a slew of exclusive perks, such as extended marina hours. Stationed at Harborage Marina, Lotto Boat's 45 rental vessels include kayaks, paddleboards, WaveRunners, and power boats equipped with GPS navigation systems. After hopping aboard a vessel, landlubbers can go jet-skiing, drift over to nearby tiki bars for dinner and live music, or take in scenic views of downtown St. Petersburg. Once patrons make their way back to one of Lotto Boat's two docks, staffers thoroughly cleanse the boat of interior debris and exterior mermaid hitchhikers to prepare for the vessel's next excursion.
Fun Unlimited rents high-octane outdoor equipment to adventurers interested in waverunners, boats, and their own brand of standup paddleboards, among other items, and also leads jet-ski and paddleboard tours. Rental periods can last from one day to one week, so clients have enough time to whittle a whole family of mannequins out of balsa wood and take them on a cross-country road trip before returning the equipment to the stores conveniently located beach adjacent storefront.
Feet First is a specialty shop dedicated to running and walking—that’s why rows of athletic shoes line its walls. Working under this niche’s umbrella, the staff tends to a selection of shoes, athletic apparel, and accessories from brands such as Asics, Merrell, New Balance, and Nike. Customers can visit the Tampa or St. Petersburg location and peruse insoles and socks that are designed to help reduce the wear and tear on both human and shoe heels.
An avid bike-racer since age 12, Rick Fidanzato became skipper of ABC Bicycles at the young age of 23. In the 10 years since, Rick has opened another store and once helped a patron craft an ultra-high bike that put the rider’s seat well above the rooftops of passing cars. During the rare free moment, Rick tinkers with his '60 Cadillac and keeps plenty of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Rolling Stones mixed into his stores' eclectic playlist.