As they flock to the nearby beaches of Clearwater or the nightlife of Tampa, most tourists overlook Dunedin, a pretty burg known for its sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico. But, thanks to the segway-riding guides at Sun Glide Tours, the region’s hidden gem just became much more accessible. Astride their two-wheeled steeds, visitors can explore the Pinellas Trail that cuts through downtown, steering their segways alongside runners, bikers, and the town’s famous rollerblading squirrels.
Tampa resident and history lover Lonnie Herman’s longtime fascination with history has evolved into a broad expertise about the area's vibrant streets where newspapers are printed in three languages. The personable former executive also has the gift of being an evocative storyteller. This convergence of interest and talents resulted in Lonnie's company, Ybor City Historic Walking Tours. The guides' upbeat narration carry small groups down vibrant 7th Avenue with detailed anecdotes that reveal the complex past behind Ybor City's cigar factories, Columbia Restaurant, and the story of the eponymous Vicente Martinez-Ybor, who founded the city as a place to store his statues of himself.
Snorkel with Manatees' expert divers lead tours on underwater sojourns to discover peaceful manatees and environs beneath the waves. Offering both group and mini manatee tours year-round, the guides monitor each diver to ensure safe practice with the animals. Their Crystal River scallops tour scours the ocean floor for tasty scallops while avoiding crabs auditioning for The Little Mermaid revival, and the Snorkel with Manatees excursions explore the Crystal, Homosassa, and Chassahowitzka Rivers on airboat. They also teach the fundamentals of their craft during discover scuba-diving lessons.
Born and raised in the coastal town of Dunedin, Captain Jared Simonetti spent years exploring the surrounding gulf and bay, eventually becoming a licensed and insured charter captain at the age of 19. He now welcomes passengers aboard his 1974 Proline 20-foot flat-back boat and takes small groups on sightseeing and fishing charters. Whether visitors are looking to enjoy the Florida sunset, spot local wildlife, or reel in fresh catches of snapper, trout, tarpon, and red fish, the year-round excursions provide an opportunity to see the Tampa Bay area in a new way.
Atlantis V Charters donates all of its proceeds to the Never Say Never Foundation, which leads free sailing lessons for children. Similarly, the company's captains and crew volunteer their time and refuse payment. Instead, the expert sailors profit from fostering awareness of the ocean's beauty, wildlife, and resources. They welcome passengers aboard a 50-foot classic world-cruising sailing yacht; half- or all-day charters and short sunset tours are available. During these journeys, the captains answer questions and teach passengers about the dolphins that frequently swim alongside the boat. Using a dinghy, the crew also takes passengers around Anclote Island. If weather permits, they view an 1887 lighthouse and discover underwater habitats using snorkeling gear.
To reap nature’s bounty, the company also leads fishing trips aboard a 20-foot Proline fishing boat. With all the necessary bait and tackle, a wildlife instructor teaches beginners the basics of baiting and casting, while helping more experienced fishermen reel in their catches and enjoy the water.