In 2010, brothers Mike and Tommy Ponce were disappointed with the lack of resources for anglers in their area. They wanted to make fishing more accessible to people of all ages. So, they founded Fish Village. The company connects people with fishing adventures, which range from ocean day trips to long excursions across Alaska. The brothers not only connect people with other fishing-trip companies, they also lead outings themselves. For example, their kayak fishing outings search out halibut, bass, and even sharks in the waters off Dana Point. These trips come with all necessary equipment, including rod holders, gaffs, and incredibly realistic fish stories.
Nestled against the edge of the Kenai Fjords National Park, Miller's Landing retains much of the natural scenery and charm that surrounded the area when the Miller family first built its homestead on the site in the 1950s. The small community has withstood earthquakes, fires, and the Earth's transition from black and white into color to grow into a premiere camping destination where wilderness seekers can pitch tents or rent quaint cottages. The location surrounds its visitors in panoramic views of Resurrection Bay, Mount Alice, and Fox Island, inviting them to hike across its coastal trails.
Relaxing and adventurous activities complement Miller's scenic landscapes, with local experts leading boat tours and chartering fishing expeditions. Horseback tours trek across secluded terrain, whereas sea-kayak classes float in the shadow of snow and whipped-cream-capped mountains.
The Waterman's Depot is owned and operated by people who not only love the water, but have also spent plenty of time on and in it. Racks of recreational and fishing kayaks stand side-by-side with state-of-the-art stand-up paddleboards. When staff members aren't helping customers around the shop, they launch guided kayak trips and give product demonstrations. The expansive store contains aquatic sporting gear and apparel from more than 50 brands, including Oakley, Reef, and Sanuk. Available scuba gear ranges from basic fins and snorkels to more advanced gauges and computers that can tell you the number of old soggy boots buried in any fishing lake.
Envy Rentals corrals a seaworthy stable of crafts designed for adrenaline-laced sessions of high-flying aquatic acrobatics, windswept cruising, or drifting away a lazy morning. Sporting wakeboards, wake skates, and tow ropes, each 2007 Mastercraft X-2 wake boat plucks potential boarders from the land for attempted thrills and certain water-caused chills during a half-day of wake thrashing. Hauling riders across the currents with the power of 310 horses, Envy’s Mastercrafts boast a 750-pound ballast capacity that fills and empties in fewer than five minutes for quick trades between mountainous water ramps and speedy travel times. Post-boarding, kick back and absorb fresh air and cool breezes to the thumping beats from a 300-watt JL CD system, Sirius satellite radio, iPod connectivity, or the boat’s onboard a capella group.
Atop Pirate Coast Paddle Co.’s fleet of standup paddleboards, guests glide over the placid inlets of Newport Beach Back Bay in scenic excursions. The paddleboards—which look like slightly larger, heavier surfboards—offer a sturdy enough base for guests to stand upright and propel themselves with a single oar, an action that exercises core muscles better than doing sit-ups with a porpoise on your chest.
Led by a staff of nautical guides, paddleboarding tours send clients into the orange horizon during sunset paddle outings and enjoy an ocean view of the stars during full-moon SUP parties. Pirate Coast also offers private, semi-private, and group lessons. During all excursions, Pirate Coast provides boards and necessary equipment rentals, letting clients worry about how to stave off scurvy while on the ocean.
Ships in the harbor rock in the breeze, their masts gesturing into the sunny sky as patrons slip across the water from Wayward Captain Paddleboards. The wave-top transports, which originated on tropical islands, measure up to 12-feet long and sport a special hull that boosts stability and speed. From 10 a.m. until dusk, riders mount the floatables and learn basics in lessons or rent paddleboards, kayaks, and boats to cruise out onto the harbor to see the piles of water that form during low tide. As the sky’s palette fades into pinks and oranges on sunset tours, paddles splash gently against the water’s surface and races launch fleets of riders out onto the waves.