Nestled beside a crystal clear, spring-fed lake, Flamingo Lake RV Resort sprawls across 50 acres of scenic landscape. Guests park their RVs at one of the resort’s 288 full hookup sites, and then kick back for some quality time with nature enhanced by amenities including a playground, pool, exercise room, and bonfire area. They can spend the day soaking up sunlight on the beach, or wake up with the birds to watch the sunrise while casting a line for large-mouth bass and bluegill. The onsite Sunrise Café serves up steaming cups of coffee to accompany trips to nearby attractions such as the Jacksonville Zoo, beaches, military bases, or Alltel Stadium. Additional amenities include a general store, laundry room, and bathhouse, as well as rental cabins and a banquet hall for hosting special events, such as a ceremony honoring the hawk you captured and taught to speak English.
On father-son fishing trips, Bart Swab’s dad taught him not only how to cast his line but also how to treat the aquatic ecosystem surrounding him with respect. Now a licensed and insured guide, Swab helps other fisherman appreciate the open water’s beauty, helming kayak trips through Florida’s pristine saltwater marshes. After arming prospective kayakers with safety tips and familiarizing them with their fishing equipment, Swab guides lead paddlers into the water. They maintain a 3-inch draft that allows students in kayaks to sneak up on fish without having to glue sequins to their skin to look like scales. Kayakers can also gaze through binoculars at the diverse fauna roaming the area’s shores. Trips range from a half day to a full day, and for a more structured route, participants can opt for destination trips to seasonal hot spots, where they can search out fish such as black drum, sheepshead, and tarpon.
Nestled amid a tangle of scenic tributaries and the boundless Intracoastal Waterway, Cast and Cruise Boat and Sport furnishes adventurers with the requisite vessels for nautical exploration. Setting out from the Vilano boat ramp, kayakers can paddle along the gentle cerulean waves, spotting the pods of dolphins, flocks of seabirds, and the manatee dance troupes that inhabit the area. Those who prefer to sightsee from a higher vantage point and prefer distance from the salty spray can take the motorized reins of a sprawling pontoon boat replete with drink coolers, a radio, and sunny or shaded seating for up to 14 people.