Andres Kerllenevich began flying helicopters as a hobby while making a living as a lawyer. As time passed, he earned his license and left to fly tours over Alaska and New York City. He eventually settled in St. Augustine, the historical city where his wife fondly remembered vacationing as a child. Now, seven other FAA-certified pilots join him in leading tours over the coastal castles, historic lighthouses and colleges, and vibrant downtown areas of St. Augustine, Tampa, and the Florida Keys.
At the helm of Robinson R44 helicopters, the pilots soar at heights of up to 1,500 feet past Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Porpoise Point, and the towering red cross at the Mission of Nombre de Dios. They also guide tours above Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and the Florida Aquarium, while granting passengers glimpses of coastline populated by bottlenose dolphins. Pilots have also orchestrated aerial marriage proposals, during which the groom-to-be points out his question written on the beach or on a rooftop sign. The tours grant a bird's-eye view for photography and videography sessions.
After logging more than 1,000 hours of flying time, organizing six competitions, and gaining 34 years of experience, Scot Trueblood can safely be dubbed a hang-gliding devotee. His passion for flight is only matched by his enthusiasm to share the sky with others. That’s why he founded Paradise Hang Gliding Inc., which allows Scot to take novices for atmospheric tandem rides over the stunning waters of Florida Bay and the Straits of Florida.
As students soak up views of blue waters spread out beneath them, Scot teaches them the important aspects of operating a hang glider. He generally starts beginners off on the Wills Wing Condor 330, a glider with a lightweight frame and large wingspan. These attributes allow it to take off while moving at extremely slow speeds, ensuring a comfortable ride for hesitant newcomers or cowardly penguins.
After Captain Chris Gruno escaped the chilly air of New Jersey and his desolate cubicle desk, he brought the Grouchy Turtle to the Florida Keys, where he now ferries patrons through tropical waters. The catamaran, a 33.5-foot-long boat with six rooms, can sleep up to four on overnight voyages and fit up to six passengers on daytime jaunts. A blue, U-shaped bench borders the table in the saloon, and the master cabin boasts a bed big enough for a queen. The vessel is the vehicle for diverse aquatic jaunts, including kayak tours.
Driving your boat from Miami to the tip of Florida would probably damage your prop and destroy the asphalt. Get a few ticks closer to the equator with a quick roadtrip down to Key Largo, where the floating chariot of today's deal waits. For $90, you get a half-day boat rental from PonTunes in Key Largo, which normally costs an average of $275, depending on the day of week. Pick from any available boat in the fleet, based on intended use, number of people, and soup preference. Depending on the season and day of the week, you may be able to put your Groupon toward a full-day rental. Talk it over when you call to reserve your ride.