At Myakka River Ranch, a herd of majestic horses lets visitors feel the liberating rush of flying through the grass atop a sturdy saddle. Among the stable's friendly inhabitants, an American Saddlebred performs tricks, an American Paint Horse frolics in the ranch's streams, and an Akhal-Teke mare—descended from the strong, golden horses bred in Persia more than 3,000 years ago—gallops in the outdoor arena. Along with lessons that impart the basics of English-style riding, Myakka's staff leads trail rides amid the scenic landscape, where majestic oak trees and open fields distract the horses from exploring the local sugar-cube quarry.
At All Star Lanes, owner Bill Hanson and his staff keep 24 lanes glistening in prime condition, not just for casual bowlers, but also for the pros. According to North Fort Myers Neighbor, national bowling celebrities such as Walter Ray Williams and Pete Couture descended upon the slicked-up paths to victory for the 2012 Signature Series Storm North Fort Myers Open Pro-Am and Senior Pro-Am. More often, though, the lanes echo with the thunderous strikes and victorious shouts of everyday bowlers, such as those who participate in the facility's humorous "I'm Not Good Enough To Bowl In A Tournament" tournament. Hanson and his crew also use their powers for good, hosting fundraisers for organizations that support American veterans and raising awareness for childhood cancer.
After smashing out a few strikes and spares, guests refuel with pizza, wings, beer, and soda. The family-friendly center also keeps patrons entertained with glow-in-the-dark bowling, pool tables, and weekend karaoke, where people can sing or play a hollowed-out bowling ball like a spherical flute.
It?s not uncommon to stumble upon fake alligators as you make your way around a mini-golf course. But at Smuggler's Cove's locations, live American alligators snap their jaws in exhibits nestled amid the miniature fairways. With an old-fashioned bamboo pole players can dangle a treat above 20?50 of the predatory alligators, which leap from the water to snatch their treat. Between feeding frenzies, games take place on Smugglers Cove?s 18-hole outdoor courses, where balls roll past rushing waterfalls, into caves, over mountainous terrain, and into a hole in a pirate ship.
At Wheel Fun Rentals, visitors can traverse surrounding areas in fun paddle- and pedal-propelled vessels while soaking in oft-overlooked scenery. Established in 1999, Wheel Fun Rentals has since provided locals and tourists with an engaging way to sightsee while promoting a healthy lifestyle. With their $27 credit, customers are able to rent a wide range of vehicles for up to two hours, including a pedal boat, surrey, hydro bike, or double kayak. Because rental fees apply toward the entire land or sea vessel and are not per person, Groupon holders can grab some friends and rent three single kayaks for one hour, or multiple single bikes for one hour.
The 105-acre Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium entertains and educates visitors on a 105-acre plot peppered with native wildlife, an educational museum, and three trails snaking through natural habitats. Museum guests learn about the natural world as they commune with captive animals and plants, including native butterflies and a variety of tree frogs. An Audubon aviary houses injured hawks, vultures, and owls, as well as bald eagles preening for guests during breaks from modeling gigs for the quarter and $1 bill. Outside, guests can stroll along nature trails on the center’s grounds to spot all kinds of native plants and wildlife, and the Big Cypress Swamp Boardwalk allows explorers with wheelchairs or strollers to glide along stable paths. Sit back and stare up at the Media Globe dome theater's screen and learn the universe’s best-kept secrets under a breathtaking view of the stars.
Once the balmy winter retreat of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates now lets visitors roam through 20 acres of gorgeous gardens, historical buildings, and fascinating scientific exhibits. In the course of an hour, a fact-filled science sherpa will lead groups through the environment that incubated some of America's greatest inventions, including the light bulb, the modern automobile, and the fruit tree. Hands-on exhibits spark wide-eyed excitement in adults and offspring and grand-offspring alike as they hear the ghostly sounds of an original phonograph, pick up a short shift on a Model T assembly line, or create a bouncy, stretchable polymer to take home and use to cover the sinkhole in the kitchen. Finally, each party will be set loose with an orientation session, map, and self-guided audio tour to explore the entirety of both homes, the gardens, and the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory at its own pace.