Seaward Action Charters offers a sport fishing opportunity for brave boaters to reel in the fish of their daydreams. Gird your nautical forearms and cruise around the ocean on a four-hour fishing trip that ventures no farther than 10 miles from the shore. As USCG-licensed Captain Mark Gorges pilots his trustworthy 30-foot Grady-White, which is powered by twin 275HP Mercury Verado four-stroke engines and guided by GPS and radar, guests plant their feet firmly on the deck and harvest piscine fare from the ocean. Whether awaiting the strike of a Spanish mackerel, a flounder, or simply playing catch-the-Spam-can with a blue marlin from the bow, there will be plenty of fun for every rod-wielding bait-chucker. In addition to high-quality fishing tackle, the boat boasts modern amenities such as an electric toilet and a sink.
A Cape Fear naturalist with a master's degree in environmental science and captain's credentials from the United States Coast Guard, Captain Joe Abbate is just the guy to follow into North Carolina's swamps and coastal waterways. Joe and his nautical team at Wrightsville Scenic Beach Tours lead expeditions along the Atlantic coast that range from birding tours to sunset expeditions to excursions in which passengers learn to talk like a pirate from Don Juan Cortez, a swashbuckling historical reenactor. The company's fleet consists of two ships: Shamrock, a 27-foot, motorized catamaran that can carry up to 22 passengers, and Island Hopper a 22-foot skiff that can navigate both the open water and marsh grass.
At Rennegade Fishing Charters, US Coast Guard?licensed Captain John Renn leads fishing trips out of sunny Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, also serving the Southport, Oak Island, and Bald Head Island communities. A Cape Fear native and lifelong waterfarer, John specializes in inshore, live-bait trips that seek out red drum, flounder, and trout. During charters, he shares his deep knowledge of the area and extensive angling wisdom with his visitors, even helping them by coaching them as they bait hooks and reel in fish. And, as fishing is a year-round activity, Rennegade Fishing Charters is open all year long.
In the more than 30 years that Odysea Surf and Kiteboard School's instructors have been surfing and lifeguarding, they've witnessed time and again the importance of proper safety procedures. So, it comes as no surprise that owner Kevin Murphy and his team incorporate safety precautions into each of their lessons, covering the local surf laws and the dangers of rip currents and long shore currents. Once these basics are touched upon, the instruction focuses on fun. Students learn to surf, standup paddleboard, or kiteboard within private or group lessons or weeklong camps, each held at local beaches.
A personalized fitness assessment determines which areas of the gymnastic sciences you need the most help in, allowing you to focus on problem subjects during your month of no-holds-barred gym access. O2's facilities play host to a variety of playground equipment for the adult-child at heart. Burn your calories in style on more than 100 pieces of individual cardio equipment. Each apparatus is decked out with a personal entertainment screen that doubles as a futuristic magazine tray or vertical forehead-rest. In addition, a full selection of free weights and strength machines allows you to tone and sculpt with Michelangelic precision.
At The Children's Museum of Wilmington, kids have so much fun they won't even know they're learning. In each and every hands on educational exhibit, children take a central role, scanning purchases in the grocery store, giving teddy bears their yearly checkups, and experimenting with art-making media in the studio. Children are allowed to roam freely, as they direct their own learning experiences. Here's what you need to know before you go.
Size: 17,000 square feet
Eye Catcher: Ahoy Wilmington! features a pirate ship, where kids can fire the cannon, swab the deck, and dig for treasure
Permanent Mainstay: the Toothasaurus Dental Exhibit keeps kids up-to-date on dental health as they care for a dinosaur's enormous teeth
Don't Miss: the Grocery Store, where tots can role-play as customers or staff, even filling orders for the play diner upstairs
Hidden Gem: at the Forest Friends Toddler Treehouse, kids four and under don animal costumes, carom down slides, and put together puzzles
Pro Tip: the museum hosts birthday parties that include an educational activity and free admission for all guests
Special Programs: in addition to the hands-on exhibits, the museum hosts activities such as preschool science experiments and cooking classes for kids