Mac?s Sports was born as the Beach Store in 1938, a general shop that supplied visitors of the neighboring beach with groceries, newspapers, fishing gear, and snack food. After the owners and their kids moved to New Mexico during World War II, the shop was renamed Mac?s and became a hit with youngsters due to its sought-after candy bars and heroic staff of swamp things. Though the original owners would soon repurchase their former business, its new name stuck, and the store would eventually evolve into Mac?s Dive Shop with a renewed emphasis on watersports and outdoor recreations. Mac?s has since opened two more in locations in Tampa and Clearwater, and its team boasts well over a century of cumulative scuba-diving experience.
Underwater jaunts remain the central focus of the shop, where instructors help students earn their gills with conveniently scheduled scuba-diving courses. After graduating from the open-water certification program, beginners can finally pull back the kelp curtains of their suspiciously private aquatic neighbors, and experienced divers can seek advanced education in higher-lever diving techniques and digital underwater photography. Group classes and guided dives take place nearly every day.
Since 1988, the instructors at Scuba Haven have equipped underwater explorers with essential knowledge and certification to brave the aquatic frontier. Their certification classes grant access to equipment rentals and exclusive admittance to starfish speakeasies at the bottom of the sea. They lead classroom and hands-on sessions in local pools and open water, allowing students to execute learned techniques in safe and practical environments. Scuba Haven carries essential tools for students, including air tanks, regulators, and wetsuits. Divers are required to supply their own personal gear, including masks, snorkels, weights, belts, and jet-powered fins, with a student discount is available.
The state of Florida was once entirely underwater—and Florida Eco-Adventures’ tours explore the parts that still are. Founders Mac and Suzanne McCormick lead adventurers through waters such as Kings Bay that, thanks to its 72-degree waters, is a wintertime refuge for West Indian Manatees. The Silver River, meanwhile, hosts a more eclectic array of wildlife, ranging from gators—although they’re too shy and skittish for regular sightings—to sunfish and rhesus monkeys.
Mac's Tavern may be far nicer than Paddy's Pub from It?s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but they do have one thing in common?Mac's is owned by?Rob and Kaitlin McElhenney, who play Mac and Dee Reynolds on the show, along with a small group of their friends.
The building's house-like fa?ade has long been an Old City fixture. In the 1700s, it was the Skinner?s Dry Goods Store and served such famed customers as Benjamin Franklin, even though it refused to accept payment in the form of bills with his face on them. These days, more than 17 draft beers rotate through the taps behind the stained wood bar and a jukebox sets the background score.
Though the tavern itself is historic, Mac's dedicates itself to modernity, as evidenced by a seasonal menu that might list a roasted beet salad in a balsamic-caramel gastrique or buffalo chicken cheesesteak, a twist on the hometown staple. And every Sunday, the brunch burger arrogantly bestrides mealtimes with its topper of smoked bacon, a fried egg, and a seven-cheese sauce.
The U.S. Coast Guard?licensed captains at Island Ferry whisk passengers off the mainland and along the coast for scenic pleasure cruises in luxury watercrafts. Far more than simply modes of transportation, their charter boats boast spacious interiors and plush seating, feeling more like a limousine than a boat. In these vessels, they host watery adventures that include two-hour romantic sunset tours, dolphin-sightseeing tours, and private island getaways. Their getaways welcome small groups aboard for a trip to Egmont Key and Anna Marie Island for snorkling and exploring the beaches for an entire day, which was how long the crew from Gilligan's Island was actually stranded.
Eric, Mitch, and Julie Audit head up a crew of "wannabe pirates and friends" at Island Life Charters. Their armada of kayaks are equipped with quiet electric motors, carries visitors out on self-guided excursions and tours, where they can take in views of mangrove trees teeming with birds, as well as manatees and dolphins. For a different boating experience entirely, the fleet's crown jewel is Islandicity, a 30-foot Chaparral boat that comfortably seats 12 passengers on a deck equipped with a powerful stereo system, a wet bar, and a Coast Guard-deterring scare-Poseidon.