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.
Reel Kind Fishing charters boats on which adventurers explore backwater wetlands, protected freshwater, and saltwater regions that are home to diverse marine life. Along with licensed and experienced captains, the company supplies rods, reels, tackle, and bait, ensuring that even novice fishers can participate. Tour-takers might nab snook, redfish, spotted seatrout, and tarpon, the four of which can be housed together in a jumbo aquarium for a fish reality show, as long as a sassy blowfish joins the mix. Each boat seats up to three people for half-days, three-quarter days, or full days, with the vessels heading either inshore or offshore near the Gulf of Mexico. Explorers might bring a hat, sunglasses, snacks, and jackets, according to the weather, and smocks depending on how neatly their co-tourists can eat.
The energetic and certified instructors at Dance Yourself Fit Zumba know how to make a workout into a party. They offer 30- and 60-minute Zumba classes in a variety of styles designed to torch 500-1000 calories an hour while keeping clients motivated and having fun on the dance floor. Check out the 60-minute Zumba for Beginners class, where students learn the basic, easy-to-follow steps of this aerobic dance workout set to hypnotic Latin beats, or try a new style of class, such as the Zumba Hula Hoop session or Zumba Step. Tighten muscles Zumba Tone, dance with seniors in Zumba Gold, or just hone in on new moves in the intermediate class. With a schedule full of classes and a social atmosphere in each session, working out at Dance Yourself Fit Zumba becomes an exercise in fun.
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.
Aboard the 105-foot Naples Princess yacht, passengers live like royalty. They can tan on the upper sun deck, relax in the air-conditioned cabins below, or feast on lunch buffets and gourmet dinners. Passengers can explore local waterways during tours, which often catch glimpses of marine animals like dolphins, seabirds, and other wildlife, along with views of Port Royal's luxury homes and the Gulf of Mexico's majestic sunsets.
Home to a fleet of luxurious wave-tamers, Sailboats Unlimited has been making the warm blue waters accessible to would-be mariners for more than 25 years. With a two-hour sunset sail, cruisers will sally forth on the 40-foot center-cockpit sloop, Danmark, which is Coast Guard–certified and fully crewed for up to 18 passengers and their extra pairs of sea legs. Erstwhile sailors are encouraged to assist the crew in manning the vessel if they so please, and pleasure seekers are free to relax on deck, lounge under the shaded bimini and dodger, or whistle jazz-fusion sea shanties in the spacious salon. Guests can take in the beautiful ocean sunset while feasting their eyes on a menagerie of wildlife. Cruises will be scheduled as they fill based on expressed interest and available dates.