Snorkeling in Tampa

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Mac's Industrial Sports Bar's kitchen wizards conjure up hearty pub grub for dinner and lunch while tap masters top off chalices with bottled brews and 27 draft beers hailing from suds factories all over the country, including the local delights of Lift Bridge and Schell's. Bolster mastication muscles without chewing on a ThighMaster by ordering one of the amply stuffed sandwiches, such as the brisket-style reuben on grilled marble rye ($9.50) or the BLAT ($9.50), which adds avocado slices to the infamous BLT lineup. Diners can add custom flare to grilled handheld eats, including burgers, with a choice of more than 20 extra toppings, such as onion rings ($1), a fried egg ($1.50), and an array of cheeses ($0.75–$1). The build-your-own pizza ($9) allows patrons to create a personalized amalgamation of meats ($1/topping) and vegetables ($0.50/topping) for a culinary construction more inviting to the tongue than a statue of Millard Fillmore sculpted from a block of Fun Dip. For earlier eats, servers unveil a variety of appetizing mouth merriments, such as a buffalo-chicken salad ($6.50) and the corn-dog snacker ($7), which consists of six mini corn dogs, french fries, and mustard sauce.

10414 N Dl
Tampa,
FL
US

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.

1805 E Fowler Ave
Tampa,
FL
US

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.

121 West Thomas Street
Tampa,
FL
US

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.

12795 Kingfish Drive
Treasure Island,
FL
US

American Pro Diving Center helps visitors and locals explore the clear, teeming waters of Florida with year-round manatee tours and diving adventures. All-equipment-included manatee snorkel tours in Crystal River or winter expeditions to Homosassa River let snorkelers rub flippers with the rivers' large population of resident sea cows. In-water guides keep the experience safe and fun for both manatees and people, and snorkelers swim in between the gentle creatures, giving them a gentle pat or a canister of whisker wax.

For deeper subterranean adventures, the center offers classes that range from Discover Scuba Diving to full PADI open-water certification, in addition to specialty courses on rescue and wreck diving. Divers can plunge into one of seven diving excursions, including night dives in Rainbow River or mermaid line dancing in the lost city of Atlantis.

821 SE US Highway 19
Crystal River,
FL
US

The Native Vacations crew constantly views their surroundings with the eyes of explorers. They see opportunity on any terrain, and they search for adventure while aiming to preserve the landscape. On land, the crew coordinates horseback-riding tours that wind through the Withlacoochee Forest. As hooves beat a lazy drumroll in the dappled sunlight, riders watch deer and sherman fox pups as they dart between trees. In the waterways, Native Vacations leads kayaking tours, airboat rides, and snorkeling adventures. Kayak paddles leisurely stir waters populated by dolphins while bald eagles slip through the warm air, and airboats tear across the surface of the Crystal River with the metallic purring of RoboCop drinking warm milk. In the waters of King's Bay, guides teach snorkelers the basics of breathing underwater and allow them to pet any of the elephant-gray mammoths that approach.

2880 North Seabreeze Point
Crystal River,
FL
US