The quote “Everything seems impossible … until it’s done!” adorns the walls of Apple Jelly Studios, inspiring the women within the private studio to achieve their fitness goals. Drawn together by a shared love of pole dancing, a quartet of women decided to spearhead the private studio, where they continue to teach dancing and fitness classes today alongside a handpicked crew of certified female instructors. Reflected in wall-to-wall mirrors, they teach students of all shapes and sizes to twirl around eight chrome poles during beginner, advanced, and intermediate pole-dancing and pole-trick classes, boosting confidence, toning muscles, and burning calories. Certified instructors also lead a variety of yoga, Pilates, and boot-camp classes upon the studio’s hardwood floors.
The studio rents its facilities out for private events, providing pole-dancing instruction, sultry red lighting, and a professional sound system for bachelorette parties, birthdays, and brazen knitting circles.
BounceU Sarasota welcomes kids to descend upon an inflatable, climate-controlled playground where they can bounce and ricochet in safety. Along with birthday parties and group outings, BounceU hosts open-bounce sessions that let sock wearers of all ages imagine they're synchronized leapers in a futuristic moon performance as they carom around the inflatable stadium, expending energy with every leap. Adults are welcome to act like 8-year-olds and join the vivacious youngsters in the playground. The inflatable arena also opens its buoyant doors to creative-themed bounce camps and programs, where boys and girls spend half their time with brain-bolstering projects such as creating their own painted masterpieces or learning to reprogram the remote to skip all news channels. After stretching the limits of their imaginations, kids then spend the other half of the day stretching the limits of their limbs on the inflatable playground.
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.
The spindly branches of mangrove trees dip into Sarasota waters, often creating channels just wide enough to admit one kayak. But despite the narrow nature of these waterways, the guides of I Kayak Sarasota—all Sarasota natives—navigate them with ease. They do this while leading kayakers on tours that uncover different aspects of the bay’s natural splendor without revealing its real secret—that it’s actually a giant’s bathtub. One tour showcases the mangrove tunnels where tourists might see manatees and dolphins, and the other grants guests views of the sunset from the middle of the bay. In addition, I Kayak Sarasota offers standup-paddleboard lessons, which incorporate balance and core fitness into wave-top adventures.
With more than half a century of history behind its name, Sarasota Lanes has seen generations of locals bowl its alleys, with progeny making sly, crouching approaches to the same lanes their parents did years ago. The tradition continues at the alley’s 36 lanes with automatic scoring, far superior to counting on the fingers and toes of fellow players. The alley's snack bar refuels bowlers with succulent chicken wings, burgers, pizzas, and drinks. At the pro shop, bowlers can gear up for future lane domination with balls, bags, and accessories.
It’s not uncommon to stumble upon fake alligators as you make your way around a mini-golf course. But at Smugglers 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.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.