Everglades Area Tours offers educational based walking, boating, kayaking and canoe tours within the Everglades Area. Dedicated to fun and the experiential education of students, families and travelers from Florida, the Americas and the World.
Driving a motor vehicle into a swamp generally sounds like a recipe for disaster, unless the vehicle in question is a swamp buggy. Outfitted with balloon tires and gun racks, swamp buggies originated in the 1930s as a mode of hunting in Naples’ otherwise impenetrable bogs. Years later, buggy owners started an off-season tradition to complement their hunting: swamp-buggy racing. For more than 60 years, Swamp Buggy Races has kept the tradition alive, growing from informal competitions held in muddy potato patches to a thrice-yearly event at Florida Sports Park. Drivers zoom around a track dubbed the Mile O’ Mud, dotted with sinkhole-like “sippy holes” that can only be traversed with sufficient horsepower or with help from a chivalrous man willing to lay down his sturdy coat. As buggies whir past, fans cheer on their favorite buggy from grandstand-style seats and delight in the race’s finale, the Swamp Buggy Queen’s Annual Mudbath, in which the year’s beauty pageant queen is dunked in the track’s sloppiest segment.
Two decades ago, a strip mall, parking lot, and acres of invasive plants stood on this land, hosting crowds of shoppers bustling through their daily routines. Now, serene greenery has once again reclaimed the expanse, replacing the concrete and metal with 170 acres of flourishing gardens and pine flatwoods. Naples Botanical Garden's 90-acre preserve is home to seven ecosystems, including untouched forests, marshes, and mangroves, where hundreds of animal species and more than 300 species of native and exotic plants dwell.
Cultivating a diverse array of subtropical flora, the seven garden habitats enchant and educate adults and children alike. Visitors meander along 2.5 miles of walking trails, dropping into the Lea Asian Garden to admire a northern Thailand riverside scene and relax at the Balinese--temple water garden, spying on frogs trying to have a conversation with their own reflections. Throughout the Kapnick Caribbean Garden, guests stroll beneath a vine-covered arbor and through the coconut grove, which showcases plants from Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific that had great economic impact on the islands. Wee ones splash in jets of water in the Smith's Children’s Garden, where they can visit a butterfly house, caper about treehouses, and drop by the healthy-eating garden to ask organic vegetables why there are no mummies in the food pyramid. In addition to engaging the senses, the botanical gardens enlightens minds of all ages with myriad educational programs and events.
The instructors at Bala train fledgling flexers in the flowing, powerful movements of the Baptiste style of Vinyasa yoga. The schedule doles out a daily helping of classes that cater to varied skill sets and areas of focus. A Power Yoga Basics class initiates beginners into the fundamental postures of the Baptiste system, with movements performed at a leisurely pace to ensure proper form and slow-motion replay. Students seeking to fully explore the passive power of Vinyasa are welcomed to partake in the meditation- and motion-focused Power Vinyasa class, and Slow Flow Restorative courses invite students to give into a relaxing series of poses designed to warm the body, open the joints, and prevent the body's molasses stores from hardening. Guests are welcome to rent mats and towels ($1 each) or purchase water bottles ($1), though self-furnished equipment is preferred.
The beauty professionals at Trim and Tone Spa keep bodies spry and lively with a variety of noninvasive and FDA-approved services, from body-contouring wraps to detoxifying footbaths. Owner Shelle Misiorowski brings expertise in Exilis and VelaShape therapies that smooth cellulite and slim the physique without requiring hours of exercise or corset lacing. The spa also pumps up the volume and length of natural lashes with eyelash extensions, beautifies visages with customized facials, and bronzes skin with sunless VersaSpa spray tans that can last for up to seven days, like a championship-level staring contest.
Situated along shorelines in Tampa, Naples, and Key West, Florida Marina Club keeps watercraft ready to crest the waves with docking services, fuel docks, and ship repairs. The marinas’ terra firma amenities match the refinement of their seaside offerings. Restaurants and bars home in on local flavors and international atmospheres, from the Cuban and Caribbean recipes at The Club at Key West Harbour to the weekend pool parties at Tampa’s Hula Bay Club. When not dining or enjoying drinks at Jack's River Bar or Gordon's On The River, members can sweat away cares in saunas, glide through heated infinity pools, or sketch the design for a hypothetical seventh chess piece in restive clubhouses.