Swimming in Punta Gorda Isles

Select Local Merchants

Mid Island Water Sports set up shop along the aqua shorelines of Ostego Bay to give everyone easy access to the Gulf, while also giving them enough room to ride free. From two locations, the crew hooks up aquatic adventurers with WaveRunners for freestyle rides along sandy beaches in one of the largest riding areas in the Gulf. Longtime locals lead tours via WaveRunner to spot dolphins breaking the sea's surface and manatees playing with sea kittens. To give locals and visitors an exhilarating new way to take in the Gulf's scenic vistas, the shop's US Coast Guard?certified captain sends them soaring behind him during parasail rides tethered to his high-tech, winch-style parasail boat for an adventuresome trip along the south end of Fort Myers Beach.

5550 Estero Boulevard
Fort Myers Beach,
FL
US

Imagine for a moment diving into the ocean, resurfacing with not only memories of the sub-aquatic environment, but a full reel of photographs, too. Underwater photography is just one of the many courses offered at Scuba Quest, a family-owned company that has shown students how to safely explore the seas for more than 25 years.

Scuba Quest began as a single shop, but has since spread to six locations across the state of Florida. At each, the company’s NAUI-certified instructors lead refresher courses, beginner classes, and comprehensive certification programs. Rather than climbing into fish tanks while pet-store clerks are on break, Scuba Quest's students can put their new skills to the test in unfamiliar waters during the company’s exotic diving excursions around the globe.

37 Del Prado Blvd N
Cape Coral,
FL
US

Fish Galore's team of captains lead angling expeditions along Florida’s Gulf Coast, taking parties to fishing destinations such as Tarpon Springs and 10,000 Islands. Trips range from guided inshore and near-shore journeys to excursions that head between 30 and 40 miles offshore. With experience hauling catches including grouper, sailfish, and shark, the team has garnered praise from clients for keeping groups “always on fish” and seeing that everyone onboard feels “welcome and comfortable.” The team also furnishes equipment for independent fishing, renting out canoes and tackle so anglers can explore the area’s backwaters, canals, and the Intracoastal Waterway for redfish and trout. Alternatively, canoes give paddlers access to Midnight Pass Beach and Oscar Scherer State Park. Family-friendly eco tours are also available, with ample viewing of shore birds, shelling, and riding dolphins like rodeo broncos.

3 Shoreland Dr
Osprey,
FL
US

Siesta Key Paddleboards' staff uses paddleboards to unlock adventures across the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. They drop off and pick up paddleboard rentals at the area's sandy beaches, where groups can spend days floating atop Florida's blue-green waters and Jell-O–filled tide pools. For novices, instructors lead private and group sessions that teach the finer points of balancing on boards. The crew members also draw on their knowledge of local areas to lead tours, which pass by celebrity homes, through canals, and into hidden mangroves populated by aquatic wildlife.

Vamo Dr. and Vamo Way
Sarasota,
FL
US

Siesta Key Paddleboards' staff uses paddleboards to unlock adventures across the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. They drop off and pick up paddleboard rentals at the area's sandy beaches, where groups can spend days floating atop Florida's blue-green waters and Jell-O–filled tide pools. For novices, instructors lead private and group sessions that teach the finer points of balancing on boards. The crew members also draw on their knowledge of local areas to lead tours, which pass by celebrity homes, through canals, and into hidden mangroves populated by aquatic wildlife.

6065 Rodgers Ave.
Sarasota,
FL
US

Longwood Grill & Pub unites friends and neighbors over drinks and pub eats in a convivial atmosphere marked by nighttime events and entertainment. Diners can sample Philly’s finest with two incarnations of the classic cheesesteak—the cheesesteak Stromboli and the buffalo cheesesteak sandwich—as they recall words of wisdom from Ben Franklin, a short-lived WB sitcom about an awkward freshman senator. Inside, sporting events unfold across flat-screen TVs, and an outside patio hosts fresh breezes that carry the sounds of live musicians to awaiting cochleae. Longwood also hosts regular events including bar trivia, blackjack, and poker.

5802 Longwood Run Blvd
Sarasota,
FL
US