Established in early 2000 as a non-profit animal sanctuary, Northeast Florida’s oldest wildlife rescue began by saving and reintegrating large exotic cats that were originally kept as pets. Today, the sanctuary houses a slew of felines including Siberian tigers, lions, cougars, black leopards and bobcats, as well as coatimundis and arctic foxes. Most come from zoos that have shuttered, federal confiscation programs or private owners who can no longer care for the animals. Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary holds frequent events, tours, feedings and public school educational programs about these rescued animals as well. Tours of the facility are run in the afternoons and last approximately 45 minutes.
Pecan Park RV Resort, located on Jacksonville’s north side, is conveniently close to both the airport and Pecan Park Flea Market. With spacious 70' x 40' concrete pull-through pads, campsites have full hookup including city water, electricity, cable, city sewer and free wireless Internet. Situated on a large mouth bass fishing lake, there’s a pool, meeting facilities, a sun deck and club house with a full kitchen, plus grills and a dump station. Out-of-towners just passing through will enjoy the palm trees, grassy picnic grounds and local birds like herons and ibis that frequent the nearby waters. A convenience store is located on site, and staff is always on hand to direct you to area attractions and eateries, which are many.
Fresh Spirit Adventures offers hiking and kayaking excursions in five tranquil locations: Lofton Creek, Eagans Creek, Edwards Creek, Eagans Greenway, and Cumberland Island. Expert guides lead participants through watery channels and wetlands abounding with birds, fish, and even the occasional dolphin.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies to promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Each 60 minute Jazzercize class incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training (with handheld weights) to a total-body workout complete with cardio, strength training, and stretching techniques. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, simply review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
As a nurse, fitness trainer, and avid marathon runner, Pamela Kato understands that building a strong and healthy body isn’t about locking yourself in a gym. Everyday activities can inspire workouts like the ones she guides at Bodyworks of Northeast Florida. Feet pound sand or pavement in BeachFit and BuggyFit classes. In the former, participants perform cardio and calisthenics exercises in beach sand; exercisers in the latter sweat through boot-camp sessions while pushing their babies in strollers down the street. Individual sessions include lessons in aerial fitness on silk hammocks and ballet-barre work, and Bodyworks also offers consultations and nutrition plans that focus on long-term goals for health and wellness.