Xtreme Skydivers yokes each leapster to an experienced instructor who guides them through the ups and downs of tandem sky-scaling, and ensures that parachutes deploy at the right time for safe landings. Thrill seekers don jump suits, tie their teachers to their backs, and hop aboard an 18-person Grand Caravan airplane that shuttles them 14,500 feet into the sky. When conditions permit, the teacher-student tandem tumbles through cloud caves, screams hello to beachgoers, and adds emoticons to skywriting before landing delicately on a soft bed of sand.
At the authorized Cessna Pilot Center, Island Air Express's certified pilots and instructors curate training courses, helm scenic tours, and glide above clear waters during private flights to the Bahamas. They help aspiring flyers to accrue hours for a private pilot's license, as well as prepare them to complete official flight tests with FAA–approved blindfolds for instrument ratings.
Dewsweepers Golf School’s instructors impart club-swinging know-how to golfers of all abilities in one-hour, private lessons. The well-rounded instructors (lessons are valid for any staffer except Tony Ruggiero) can help pupils hone any aspect of their game, such as adding distance to their drives, improving their short game, or bending short irons into serviceable boomerangs. At all locations, computerized video swing analysis technology augments instructors’ ability to diagnose swing deficiencies by providing slow-motion replay for each shot. After the lesson, pupils receive an email file with a copy of the video swing analysis that features voiceover instruction for players to have for later reference and play nonstop at upcoming performance reviews with the boss.
Freedom Boat Club extends the perks of boat ownership to everyone, but without having to shell out a hefty sum or learning how to clean barnacles off the bottom of the boat with a toothbrush. Sailors can take all types of watercraft—flatboats, fishing boats, pontoons, cruisers—out on the open sea whenever they like, depending on their membership.
Between the 1820s and the 1940s, ships chugging down the Apalachicola River turned Blountstown into a bustling settlement. Today, 18 buildings from those days still bear witness to the joys and trials of pioneer life in the form of Panhandle Pioneer Settlement’s living museum. There, visitors can admire such structures as an 1860s-era round-log structure and an 1820s hewn-log cabin whose dovetailed joints marked carpenters' transition away from holding wood together with scotch tape. Nearby, a horseless carriage and antique fire engine nestle in the firehouse, and an antique piano rests in the Red Oak Methodist Church. Housed in a shotgun-style abode, Doctor Dowling’s Office sheds light on medical practices of the day, and the two-room school makes students grateful they don’t have to chisel their answers into marble scantron tablets anymore.
The settlement also strives to preserve knowledge of pioneer trades with educational programming and classes that preserve the arts of blacksmithing, basket weaving, and jam making. Additionally, the settlement welcomes the public at events ranging from an annual peanut boil and hog-butchering demonstration to hand-stitched quilt shows, which remind audiences that there are cozier alternatives to today’s blankets woven from discarded computer motherboards.
Panama City visitors and natives are never more than a hop, a skip, and a parasail away from aquatic amusement, thanks to Adventures at Sea’s more than 60 locations, most stationed behind Panama City Beach's hotels and condos. The staff rents out pontoon boats for trips to Shell Island and pulls up to six riders on inflatable banana boats with a speedy jet ski. Experienced crews captain charter fishing trips and give fishers everything they need to catch trophies such as king mackerel, red groupers, and Stanley Cups that got away. After action-packed days filled with sunny memories, visitors can rent a lounge chair and soak up the sunset.