Surrounded by 9,000 acres of conservation land, the Wekiva Falls RV Resort campground immerses visitors in nature while providing access to water-recreation areas and modern creature comforts. Sites for RVs and tents can give owners views of the river, while picnic tables can be kept primitive to facilitate a rough wilderness experience or get decked out with electric and water hookups. The campground also rents canoes and kayaks so visitors can paddle up and down the adjacent Wekiva River taking in the lush shoreline scenery. In a separate swimming area fed by a large sulfur spring, guests splash around a 40-foot waterfall or plunge down dual tube slides, and they can also lounge in a heated outdoor pool in the event of cooler temperatures. Alternative forms of entertainment are also available including a bar that serves beer and wine, crafts sessions, themed parties and dinners, and day trips to local golf courses.
As an ex-NFL athlete, Danny Tolbert Jr. has trained fellow gridiron stars, including Terrell Buckley, Brandon Jacobs, and Johnathan Joseph. Through 24CoreFit, Danny helps craft fitness programs that use small daily changes to produce healthier and happier lives. After an initial 15-minute phone conversation, Danny can help craft a fitness program, then lead long-distance training sessions through Skype. Danny also helms blistering boot-camp sessions and can lend his expertise for nutritional counseling, meal planning, or stress-management programs.
At Daytona Beach Parasail, flightless humans can highlight day trips to Daytona Beach with a parasail adventure. After taking off from the flight deck of a boat piloted by a USCG-licensed captain, customers soar 2,000 feet in the air, which is the perfect height for catching scenic glimpses of the world-famous shoreline. No previous knowledge of parasailing is required. The entire excursion takes about 45 minutes, which includes the boat trip out and back. Single flights last about 8 minutes; customers can team up with Groupon-bearing friends for a tandem flight, which will keep them floating for 14–16 minutes. Pack your camera if you want a friend to snap pictures of your airborne antics. Ferry customers receive free shuttle service to and from the boat.
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.
Trickling waters and shrieking giggles fill the air at CoCo Key Water Park Orlando's tropical-themed playground, a Rube Goldbergian array of twisting slides, jungle gyms, and waterfalls. The 54,000-square-foot superstructure includes attractions for all ages, such as Coral Reef Cove, Minnow's Lagoon, and a pool hangout designed for slightly older kids. Lilliputian play area with a shallow pool, water cannons, and four slides tailored for kiddos. A trinity of signature slides awaits more daring visitors, including Over the Falls, an aquatic roller coaster that ends with a high-speed corkscrew, and Boomerango, a two-person tube ride with a near-vertical descent that will convert even the most ardent of gravity-deniers. As youngsters enjoy an adrenaline-filled respite from the Florida sun, adults can unwind at a poolside bar.
While most people’s biggest water-related fear might be sharks, Phil Pektas's was children. Not the kids themselves, of course, but the prospect of teaching them. This terror first surfaced when he was tapped to fill in for the Pre-K instructor at the swim school where he taught. Fortunately, he conquered that fear during the very first lesson and 20 years later is still introducing young people to the necessary skills for ensuring safe, aquatic fun. Pektas and his staff of American Red Cross–, CPR-, and First-Aid- certified instructors use activities, toys, and analogies to improve performance in the pool. With games such as Bird Catcher, kids will learn how to control their breathing and hunt for sub-aquatic fowl indigenous to chlorinated pools.