Grand Prix Tampa's sprawling grounds host adrenaline-spiking activities including go-karting, miniature golf, and a ropes course. The big track's tire-bordered speedway invites drivers to rev through tight corners and speed-encouraging straightaways, and the family track welcomes single- or double-seat karts during more tot-friendly races. Racers can catch their breath and calm skittish fuzzy dice on one of two 18-hole mini-golf courses, where dimpled spheres roll through miniature castles and dodge fountain-speckled waterways on their way to the hole. A towering geodesic dome houses a winding ropes course, which challenges climbers to hop across bouncing wooden steps and pegs while supported by a safety harness. The turbo bungee's elastic trampolines launch tethered guests into the ether, where they can catch the wayward baseballs soaring from nine onsite batting cages. Meals at Grand Prix Tampa's Pit Stop Cafe silence hunger pangs with sandwiches, snacks, and kids’ meals, which guests can dine on beneath the Castle Arcade's twinkling panoply of claw machines and air-hockey tables.
For more than 50 years, family-owned Pin Chasers alleys have been adding perks to the bowling basics. Leagues for all skill levels, six-week lesson plans, and the immersive light shows of late-night Cyber bowling entertain families with the fundamentals. It's when the scoring systems—equipped with touchscreen consoles and customizable backgrounds—boot up or the automatic bumpers raise between turns that players might first take notice of their high-tech surroundings. As for service, the inviting staff hand out complimentary bowling shoes and socks, and will assist guests in picking out the right type of ball rather than noisily sandblasting one down to size when it doesn’t fit. The full-service cafes also manage to defy expectations by serving breakfast fare around the clock.
Friendly employees and full bars span each of Pin Chasers' three locations, but other amenities differ. Visitors can aim cues at Veterans' four billiards tables, stretch their thumbs at East Pasco's arcade, or try to count all of Midtown's 50 lanes without first extracting their fingers from their bowling balls.
Fitness studios often work hard to cultivate a relaxing setting. They might install floor-to-ceiling windows, play soothing music, or enforce a strict policy against flash mobs. But Urban Kai ramps up the relaxation to the next level. Their fitness classes take place on the Hillsborough River, where yoga groups stretch and bend atop stand-up paddleboards. The aquatic setting surrounds exercisers in waterfront architecture and open skies, which take on brilliant hues at sunrise and sunset. Dolphins, turtles, cats, and other marine life make occasional appearances as well.
Urban Kai was founded by Michael Conlee and his wife, Aimee. Mr. Conlee originally started paddle boarding as a hobby, but he quickly realized that his new pastime had toned his physique. Mr. Conlee started Urban Kai, and—along with his fellow instructors—he now teaches several on-water fitness classes. Urban Kai's yoga-on-water class, for example, helps participants build strength and flexibility, while warrior-zen workouts combine paddleboard exercises with on-land workouts. Mr. Conlee and his team also take groups on long-distance paddleboard tours.
eBoat Tampa began with a pregnancy craving: mom-to-be Anndrea Dohring wanted to glide along downtown Tampa?s Hillsborough River aboard a quiet, fume-free boat. A month after their baby was born, her husband, Josh, realized she?and other Tampa citizens?could realize her dream aboard electric boats. Together, he and Anndrea founded eBoats Tampa, an electric boat-rental company whose fleet of almost silent, eco-friendly boats can shelter up to ten people. Renters glide through the city at up to 7 mph on BYOB jaunts or custom guided tours, which often showcase waterfront sights, or search for the ice cubes that keep the river cold.
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Pebble Beach occupies a rarefied space in golf lore; its mere mention conjures thoughts of verdant fairways set against the impossibly blue backdrop of the Pacific Ocean, a golfer's paradise befitting of only the game’s greats. Though Tampa Indoor Golf does not send clients to the rugged California coastline, its golf simulators bring the course’s seaside vistas to life in an indoor setting where the temperature is always 72 degrees, it never rains, and the only way to lose a golf ball is to confuse it will a glorified jelly bean. The simulators feature precise swing-tracking and shot-projection technology, ensuring that golfers enjoy realistic ball flight whether they are playing one of more than 75 famous courses or practicing in the driving-range module. In addition, the indoor center serves as the venue for private and group lessons for players of all abilities, conducted by Tampa Indoor’s staff of golf aces. Golfers can also enlist in golf-simulator leagues in which they partner up with a fellow player, compete for league prizes in weekly matches, and argue over who wears the argyle vest in the relationship.