Yamaha VX110 Deluxe waverunners zip through the glittering waves of Sarasota Bay, Anna Maria Sound, and the intracoastal waterways. The speedy and maneuverable vessels are ideal for adventurous types, although the expansive rental fleet at H2O Watersportz accommodates boaters who prefer all different paces. Compact CraigCat catamarans allow pairs to recline as they coast over ripples, and pontoon boats that seat up to 14 come equipped with gear such as radios and nautical maps that identify where to find the bay of Kool Aid. For more structured journeys, clients can opt for chartered fishing trips helmed by expert guides or tours of the local waterways, with stops at landmarks such as Egmont Key and dolphin and manatee gathering places.
As an International Show Jumping Professional and a Grand Prix rider who holds National Equitation and Hunter titles, Brock Clermont and his staff run the show at Clermark Equestrian. He relies upon his winning ways as he marshals an equine operation that includes grass and sand rings, groomed trails, and the onsite Aguilar Riding Academy. Students of all ages and skill levels glean pointers as they learn to safely and effectively control their mounts, in the hopes of one day competing on the A-level circuit or earning an approving wink from the mayor.
If you turned off the music in the spinning room of Go Legs Cycle Studio, you'd think you were in the middle of a raging windstorm. An instructor sits at the head of the dimly lit room, encouraging students up mountains and navigating them down winding paths as the two 92-inch video screens play music videos. Students control their own resistance and speed, enabling cyclists of all levels to pump away on the pedals together.
Designed by Ted McAnlis to take advantage of the area’s natural wetlands, the fairways at The Preserve Golf Club are riddled with water hazards and marshy areas. Water comes directly into play on 9 of the course’s holes, and players end up traipsing across 11 bridges as they hit their way from beginning to end. Many stumble at the 3rd hole, whose aim-blocking sabal palms earn it a handicap of 1, or at the course’s signature 17th hole, which drowns balls left and right. The course’s greens are newly recarpeted with ultradwarf bermuda grass, and pines, oaks, and palms line the fairways, their branches grasping at stray balls like nature’s catchers' mitts.
Before tackling the aquatic mischief of the championship course, golfers can take aim at the island target greens of the aqua driving range, where 40 hitting stations let players gear up for the watery course. After facing down the fairways, players select from a deli-style menu at Ryder Cup Grille, which features live music from artists such as Larry Crane, longtime guitarist for John Mellencamp.
Course at a Glance: