In more than 100 locations around the country, ThrillZown's staff facilitates adrenaline-filled excursions full of extreme water, air, and land adventures. Under the supervision of experts, brave souls defy gravity as they skydive, hang-glide, bungee jump, or play films of apples falling off trees in reverse. On land, crews harness the power of horses, stock cars, and snowmobiles; in the water, groups navigate whitewater rapids or explore aquatic depths as they scuba dive or surf.
Orlando Gateway Sport Pilot Aviation Center's Ramon Gil's first encountered the spectacle of aerial navigation at an early age, when his family lived near an airport. It was love at first sight. Since then, Ramon has become a flight director and works with student pilots. His partner, Roger Frechette, has logged more than 5,000 hours of flight time since he took to the skies back in the 1960s. Together they have gathered a team of experienced instructors to help spread their love of cloud wrangling and maintain a fleet of meticulously cared-for, FAA-approved aircrafts, including Cessnas and Tecnam Bravo. From their base at Kissimmee Gateway Airport, the pilots lead sport-pilot-training flights, and their crafts carry pairs of sightseers over the area's most beloved landmarks, such as Disney World and Old Town Orlando.
With free wine tastings all day Monday through Saturday and beer tastings on Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons, Tapping The Vine lubricates taste buds with its extensive collection of lesser-known libations and globally imported specialty wines and craft beers. Browse aisles brimming with fermentation favors and malted liquid gold while the friendly staff offers helpful suggestions to determine if customers' palates might prefer the tarty taste of a Wallace Brooks pinot gris ($16) or the bittersweet chocolatey Charles Smith Velvet Devil merlot ($16), among other white, red, and dessert wines. Barley buffs can analyze the feel of various brews, such as the flavorful Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar ($6.99) and organic Scarecrow golden pale ale ($4.69). Like the mouths of famous rappers, Tapping The Vine wouldn't be complete without an assortment of accessories, including professional-grade bottle openers ($9) and champagne stoppers ($5).
Nestled on the shores of the eponymous southern Florida lake, Lake Okeechobee Resort is an ideal base camp for outdoor recreation. Popular pursuits here include bass fishing, boating, and hiking or bicycling along a segment of the 1,400-mile Florida Trail that wends around the lake’s perimeter. You can set off into the lake from the resort’s 100-slip marina. From its location on the southeastern side of the lake, the resort has a spot to watch sunsets over the water.
For those camping, Lake Okeechobee Resort has especially long lots for oversized RVs or sleeping bags designed for giraffes. An onsite restaurant, public bathrooms, and pool take the edge off of roughing it while staying at the campground or in the cabins.
Situated in the center of a cluster of lakes, Chain of Lakes Kayak Rentals grants adventurers quick access to scenic nautical exploration. Half- and full-day tours expose visitors to local sights and waterways, giving them ample time to admire the lake’s verdant shores. Alternatively, hourly rentals of single and tandem kayaks let guests venture out at their own pace, paddling to the tune of their own drum or the drum their partner is beating instead of helping with the paddling.
Nicole Almeida has been dancing since she was two years old and competing since she was nine. As owner of the newly inaugurated Studio 6 Academy of Dance, Almeida seamlessly blends her competitive dance background with her fitness training experience and education in exercise science and nutrition to offer students a place to fuel their passions for dance and fitness. Almeida strives to instill self-confidence and discipline in students of all ages as she, along with her team of instructors, leads a variety of dance classes including hip-hop, jazz, and ballet. Fitness courses include Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and P.U.S.H. boot camp, which combines group-exercise classes with personal training.