At Splash! Buccaneer Bay Waterpark, the sun's rays sift through tall palms and glisten on explosions of water as families rocket out of twirly slides into the pool. After shooting out of those slides, they can grab a tube and head for the lazy river, then clamber over a marooned pirate ship surrounded by cannon walls and benches made from wharf planks. A skull rock keeps watch while some take respite from the heat beneath canopies resembling sails. To keep kids 48" and shorter giggling, there's a Spray Pad Zone with fountains to run through and cascades of water, a zero-depth beach, and dumping buckets. The adjacent 25-yard pool is open to all ages, giving guests ample room to play Marco Polo or a game of underwater chess.
At the end of the day, everyone can refuel at the Big Backyard Grille. There, families dine on pizzas and burgers and keep cool with Hawaiian shaved ice. Splash! Buccaneer Bay Waterpark offers free parking, and life jackets and tubes are included at no extra charge.
Favoring small group swimming lessons targeted to all ages, The Aquatic Zone's instructors are trained in the Aquatic Concepts, Inc. method, and use positive reinforcement to teach beginning swimmers the basics of water comfort, body balance, and movement. Once budding amphibians have gotten their foot-flippers wet, they'll try out various strokes and other swimming must-knows such as wall kicks, breathing patterns, and psychic communication with sea life. Lessons are available for children as young as six months and are offered at multiple skill levels for every age group. The goals at each stage are clearly presented and taught, ensuring that the time spent in the pool is always productive and goal-oriented. Awards such as toys, certificates of completion, and surgically implanted gills are bestowed upon students when all the elements of a particular level are mastered. Sessions typically last a half hour, and the saltwater chlorination pools keep water clean without irritating eyes or skin.
For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
The instructors and professional staff at PADI five-star instructor center Beach Cities Scuba introduce students to the big blue with PADI-certified diving courses for divers of all levels. They certify newbies with basic open-water courses and teach advanced divers in specialty courses such as Deep Diver, Rescue Diver, and Shark Therapist. They operate out of five convenient locations and sling necessary gear in onsite stores, from wetsuits and facemasks to spear guns. Beach Cities Scuba also connects divers through its dive club and hosts exotic dive trips to locations such as Indonesia, Fiji, and Cozumel.
Amateur surfers are a lot like newborn fawns: they?re wide-eyed, full of life, and not so great at standing. That?s why head instructor and founder of Surfari Surf, Rick Gehris?along with his team of seasoned instructors?begins every first-time lesson by introducing a simple, achievable goal: stand. To increase the chances of success, Gehris and his instructors?well versed in Hawaiian, Californian, and Floridian surfing methods?hop right into the water to assist students as they cut into the waves. The instructors hang off the tails of their surfboards, stabilizing each board and repositioning students until they?re ready to take to the open water and try out their pickup lines on the nearest, cute-enough dolphin.
In addition to surf lessons and camps, instructors also show off their athletic prowess during standup-paddleboard lessons, which often are supplemented by independent board rentals.
With Soul Symmetric, founder, certified trainer, and nutritionist Stacie Schneider divorces workouts from the gym. Instead, her fitness classes take place outdoors, some on pristine beaches, and some in the ocean itself. Aspiring stand-up paddleboarders, for example, ride ocean waves as they hone their technique and strengthen their cores. Swimmers also practice in the ocean, which many prefer over their home koi ponds, while Pilates students stretch in the glow of the sunset during classes held right on the beach. To complement their outdoor workouts, Soul Symmetric's wellness experts also craft custom nutrition plans and administer music therapy, which can help sharpen brain function.