The Golf Garden of Destin fosters putt-putt delight and club-flailing fun in a family-friendly atmosphere replete with a nine-hole executive golf course, expansive driving range, and 18-hole miniature golf course. Golfers can groom their putting stroke with a round at the putting course, where slick, faux-grass surfaces and subtle slopes coalesce to create breaks more difficult to read than a kindergartener's dissertation. The outdoor driving range keeps metal clubs and dimpled orbs on a collision course well into the evening with over 30 hitting stalls outfitted with towering lights. Duffers looking for a more immersive golf challenge can take to the executive course, where seven par 3s beckon to players still seeking their first hole-in-one and two par 4s assure that drivers and 3-woods do not abscond in search of work at the nearest sword-forging convention.
Since driving a car on water isn't possible—yet—Destin Power Boats offers a better way to transport oneself over the tides with mint-condition vessels. Prestocked with USCG-approved safety equipment, the company's fleet features Baja and Searay boats that seat up to eight riders apiece. The fleet also revs up with supercharged seadoos, which boast 215-horsepower motors and are strong enough to carry multiple passengers or tow a small island. For customers in search of a unique thrill, Destin Power Boats also offers thrilling spins on the Flyboard—a high-tech device that propels users into the sky and under the water's surface.
It's difficult to tell whether Master Thomas Gordon or Master Gregory Bledsoe would win in a fight. That's because the two martial-arts instructors have worked on the same team for more than a decade. In that time, they've developed a teaching style that has caught the attention of the local and national press.
All the attention is warranted, because Masters Gordon and Bledsoe aren't just effective instructors—they're avid students of their craft. Gordon, for example, has attended countless tae kwon do seminars and camps, and he can articulately speak about the discipline's history as well as flawlessly demonstrate its self-defense techniques. Both instructors are also acutely aware of the real-life applications of tae kwon do and hapkido. Plenty of police officers have attended their classes looking to get a leg up on the next criminal, and kids and teens use their newly acquired moves to defend against bullies or rip up impossible math tests.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
In 2005, The Funplex of Gulf Breeze opened its doors to kids looking for competitive and recreational coaching in cheerleading and gymnastics. Over time, the demand grew so much that the facility expanded to its current 30,000-squre-foot venue, which serves the community with an even bigger variety of activities. Guests of honor have several options for birthday parties, including bounce-house sessions, princess-themed blowouts, private time on the gymnastics equipment, or instruction from a stuntman coach. Even adults can get in on the facility’s fun by taking Zumba dance fitness classes.
A 5,000-square-foot splash park, 50-meter Olympic pool with diving well, covered picnic shelter, and full concession stand await visitors to PCB Aquatic Center, which invites bathing-suit clad citizens to revel in its refreshing, state-of-the-art facilities. After emerging from locker rooms with heated showers, patrons can plunge into classes on lifeguarding, water-aerobics instructing, or basic and advanced pool figure-drawing or just relax and lap alongside other swimmers in the temperature-controlled waters. As scuba-geared divers explore underwater views in certification courses, children can splash their way into swim lessons led by certified water-safety instructors, before winding down from their amphibious education by winding down one of several water slides.
For YOLO Board's team, "stand-up paddleboard" is an abbreviated term. Depending on who's taking the board out to sea, it might be a stand-up-and-surf board, or a stand-up-and-fish board—or, perhaps, just a stand-up-and-enjoy-the-view board. This versatility is part of why YOLO Board founders Jeff Archer and Tom Losee wanted to bring the hobby to Florida's coast. Another motive can be found in their business's name: YOLO, or "you only live once," speaks to their passion for adventure.
Today YOLO Board has outposts in Florida and California, as well as a line of boards and equipment available nationwide. There are even inflatable models, which makes transporting a board to the Caribbean a feat that no longer requires dressing it up as your tall, flat cousin. The sport's appeal has reached even farther, too—boarders have sent in pictures from locations such as Mozambique and Costa Rica, contributing to the YOLO World community.