Emerald Coast Tours' knowledgeable guides champion the Segways as Pensacola's ideal mode of transport. They strive to serve as ambassadors to city visitors, customizing tours to suit travelers' interests and happily recommending travel destinations to patrons seeking daylong rentals. Their shop's Segways prove ideal for coasting down city streets and laying siege to sand castles along the coastline.
Pensacola's oldest surviving house located on its original site, the Quina House was built in 1810. The shingled-frame cottage was made of local pine, cypress, and oak with a double-fire chimney, butterfly roof, and a portico with columnettes. Its namesake, Desiderio Quina, bought the house in 1821, had seven children with his wife, Margarita Bauve, and ran an apothecary business. In the same year, the Spanish Floridas were incorporated into the United States of America⎯the official event was presided over by Andrew Jackson just a few blocks from the Quinas’ front porch. Desiderio and Margarita’s presence remains in the house today in their historical furnishings, which include a horse-hair sofa and a sleigh bed from 1830. Today, the Quina House Museum sponsors date-night house tours, monthly luncheons, and walking tours of the Seville Square Historic District so that visitors can experience life before fruit roll-ups.
Just off the white-sand coastline of northwest Florida, Lanier Sailing Academy teaches students to captain their own aquatic adventures with classes in cruising, chartering, and navigation. Classes include programs for beginners to advanced students, starting with the Practical Sailing for Basic Keelboat Certification course, in which novice navigators learn to steer boats, trim sails, and avoid swashbuckling sea otters. While working toward certification in various programs, students explore the Intracoastal Waterway and its bounty of dolphins, rays, blue pelicans, and myriad fish. Lanier Sailing Academy’s experienced members earn membership into the Buccaneer Sailing Club and are able to rent and sail 22- to 25-foot boats at their leisure.
The Daedalus welcomes travelers aboard its decks to drink in the scenic Gulf Coast landscape and admire marine animals in their natural environment. With more than two decades of sailing experience, the ship's captain inspires patrons to swap their land limbs for sea legs on cruises that set sail every day, weather permitting. Dolphin-watching expeditions allow customers the chance to scope pods of the only mammals capable of acing the SAT underwater. Soothing two-hour sunset cruises feature a star-making performance by our solar system's sun, which is enriched by complimentary beer, wine, champagne, and soda.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Staff captains set sail on boats that have been outfitted to provide passengers with unforgettable views of wildlife and chances at making a big catch. Throughout the year, dolphin cruises take place aboard the Sunny Lady, which can hold up to 133 passengers and is equipped with a glass-bottom viewing area, snack bar, air conditioning, and restrooms. Alternatively, the 65-foot, walk-around Tropical Winds takes anglers out into the Gulf of Mexico on fishing charters, where they can catch mackerel, red snapper, or amberjack, depending on the season.
Under the right guidance, the clear blue waters around Destin's harbor become visible from every angle—the air, the surface, or deep below. Destin Snorkel leads a comprehensive roster of area adventure tours, granting guests total flexibility to join or leave their excursion at any time. Guides steer one of three boats through the bay, keeping all their participants' needed snorkeling or snuba gear onboard and unhaunted by pirate ghosts to allow frequent plunges into waters rich with seashells and wildlife. When not pausing at shallow-water dive sites, boats embark on day cruises for dolphin sightseeing tours or at night to showcase fireworks over the harbor skyline. Sea kayaks also allow visitors to venture off on their own into the waters around Crab Island and Holiday Isle.
Alternatively, FFA-certified flight instructors provide a different perspective, soaring over the coastline in beach-discovery flights. During any of the cruises and tours, guides may expound on the local ecosystem and the harbor's history, revealing whether the town's first civilians ever taught dolphins how to open their eyes above water.