Quinn Boards’ founders, Scott Quinn and Doug Kelly, and their staff of enthusiastic standup paddlers equip riders with a Quinn Board water skimmer perfect for their size before giving them a brief lesson on how to properly glide over sparkling azure fields. After learning proper wave-wrangling techniques, boarders propel themselves through open salt waters in search of traveling schools of fish, dolphins at play, and octopi studying World Cup teams. Standup-paddleboard sessions can also tighten cores, strengthen arms, and tone legs, all while granting surfers lofty views of Naples's pristine white sands.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Parking: Parking lot
Brands Used: Ocean Kayak, Native Watercraft, Cannon Paddles, PFD's
Recommended Age Group: All ages
Pro Tip: Bring water, hats, sunglasses, and sunscrean
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: 2.5 hour kayak trip
The warm, sunny climes of Marco Island entice visitors to paddle through the waters no matter what time of year it is. The guides say one of the best views the island has to offer, though, can only be seen on warm summer nights beneath a new moon. As the waters grow warmer, they provide a home for single-celled organisms called dinoflagellates, and larger comb jellyfish. Both creatures naturally emit light, a phenomenon known as bioluminescence. When ambient light is low enough and the water warm enough, the combined presence of the two glowing critters becomes so bright, it can even cast shadows. Guides only offer these tours during the appropriate months and lunar phases, but they conduct plenty of other excursions during daylight hours. They take groups by kayak to the Barrier Islands for a picnic, show off sunsets from watery perches, and even provide the opportunity to paddle alongside manatees?sometimes called sea cows because, like land cows, they often say, "Cowabunga!"
It started with a lemonade stand. When seven-month-old Preston was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex??a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form??in 1999, his family knew they wanted to raise awareness and make a difference. Five years later, his seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, formed a lemonade stand and raised $930 for the TS Alliance. Inspired by their daughter's success, Preston's parents founded Peace, Love, & Lemonade to encourage other kids across the country to run their own lemonade stands in support of friends and family members living with the disease. So far, their combined efforts have raised more than $220,000 for research to cure tuberous sclerosis complex.
As part of these efforts, the annual Peace, Love & Lemonade Color Me Free 5k helps raise funds with a 5K walk or run through North Collier Regional Park. Participants take to the paths at 7 a.m. and they get splattered with colorful chalk as they cross mile markers. After the race, families can relax with a fossil-dig play area, an interactive playground, and park ranger tours.
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.
From catching a 5-pound largemouth bass at age 5 to spending his summers competing in offshore fishing tournaments in the Bahamas, Captain Sean Adler's proudest moments have played out aboard a boat. Now the licensed captain strives to share the thrill of a taut line with passengers of all fishing-experience levels. To that end, he and his crew monitor the tides, barometric pressure, and moon phases to inform departure times for their fishing trips. They stock their boats with ample bait, ice, and fishing equipment for all guests. Once passengers reel in their catches, the crew snaps photos which anglers can proudly display at the office or threaten ungrateful pet goldfish at home.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.