Scotty Bumbalough was first introduced to standup paddleboarding while living in Maui. Having mastered various other watersports, he sought a new way to navigate the shoreline—one that leant itself to leisurely exploration as well as a great workout. As soon as the island’s locals told him about paddleboarding, he was in the water learning from none other than the sport’s originators. An enthused Scotty decided to share his new discovery with fellow Floridians, and, upon returning home, he founded Maui B’s. With lessons available in locations such as Orlando, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, and Cocoa Beach, Maui B's continues to spread Scotty’s appreciation for paddleboarding across the Sunshine State. The company’s experienced instructors are always seeking out new ways to utilize their paddleboards; along with lessons for beginners, the crew regularly leads eco tours, on which groups can take in the region’s natural splendor while spying on manatees or Dan Marinos snoozing in the sun. Fitness classes and paddleboard yoga get bodies in shape for solo adventures with rented boards and paddles.
As Tommy, one of Howl at the Moon’s piano players, explains on the club’s website, “Every night…we try and throw a party, regardless of whether it’s a Tuesday night or a Saturday night.” The bar’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of these nightly celebrations; patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Stella Artois and Dos Equis.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
The only way to get into Gatorland is to walk straight into an alligator's toothy maw. The giant mouth provides entrance to 110 acres of marshy wildlife preserve––home to a vast ecosystem populated by thousands of alligators, crocodiles, and birds, including rare wading birds and four rare white alligators. Among these, more than 130 gators splash and lounge in the park’s breeding marsh, which visitors can view safely from a three-story observation tower or while sitting on the shoulders of Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Yet one of the biggest thrills of Gatorland is the reptile's raw power. Visitors can see this on full display during the Gator Jumparoo show, where alligators leap four to five feet out of the water to snag food directly from a trainer’s hands, or during the Gator Wrestlin' Show, where a handler demonstrates survival skills. True thrill-seekers can even dangle over the breeding marsh while riding the 65-foot-tall Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. And to experience the unsettling sensation of stumbling upon a swamp filled with alligators at night, the Night Shine takes participants deep into gator territory armed with only a flashlight and a few hot dogs.
Lying face down, the students press into their hands into the floor, lifting their heads and shoulders toward the ceiling into cobra pose. As the studio's 100-degree heat pervades their muscles, students feel their spines lengthen, their shoulders broaden, and their chests open. The instructors of Bikram Yoga West Orlando lead participants through this and Bikram‘s 25 other postures every day, combining them with two breathing exercises in a specific sequence that strengthens and lengthens muscles and joints while pumping oxygen-rich blood into the organs, glands, and internal hard drives. Every 90-minute class follows the same routine and challenges participants of all ages and practice levels. Bikram also encourages dedication—the more students practice, the deeper they can go into each pose, reaping benefits including decreased blood pressure, relief from back pain, and lowered stress levels. In addition to their yogic discipline, Bikram Yoga West Orlando's team also arranges spa services, including massage and skincare.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando was founded to give those who share the Jewish tradition a communal setting in which to exercise, play, and learn with one another. Between them, the two locations boast full fitness facilities, tennis courts, and an outdoor pool. Group exercise classes and a gymnasium aid adults in acquiring fitter bodies, and sports leagues provide a venue for grownups to compete and ceremoniously dump sports drinks on each other. The center also puts on its own full-blown theatrical productions.
The center’s staff tailors certain events to the needs of senior citizens, helping them with exercise regimes such as yoga. Staff members also assist the Senior Nite club in organizing trips to new restaurants or the theater and help pintsize guests by helming a preschool, kids' camps, and extracurricular programs. Staffers can even pick up youngsters from school and ferry them to one of the facilities for afterschool development programs, which, like backyard mazes, are designed by the child’s parents to challenge young ones.