The crew at Kayak Valet has one mission: to get more people out and enjoying the local waterways and scenery via kayak or paddleboards. Since storing, hauling, unloading, reloading, and potty training their own kayaks can deter people from boating, the team sets up shop to cancel out such deterrents. They take care of nearly every task, bringing all equipment necessary for a leisurely paddle on puddles of all sizes right to the launch site. Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee Counties are popular launch sites that the crew will pick up and deliver equipment to. Keeping the experience accessible, the shop rents only kayaks and paddleboards that can be piloted by anyone, experienced or not. Additionally, they give aquatic adventurers tips on paddling and safety techniques and sell new kayaks, paddleboards, and accessories.
Champions of safety, the owners of Indoor Shooting Company opened their range with the hope to provide a space where people could learn about firearms from certified instructors. Since 1996, people have been pointing handguns directly down the six climate-controlled lanes of their 10-meter Olympic range. Electric target retrievals assist marksmen in taking a closer look at their shots, and certified instructors fluent in English and Spanish assist gun handlers of all skill sets by promoting firearm safety at classes. There, first timers can learn proper gun cleaning and firearm-handling techniques, and experienced shooters can improve their aim in marksmanship-qualification programs or monthly challenge contests.
For first-time tandem jumpers, the experience of free falling from 11,000 feet is an unforgettable experience. But just in case, Skydive Orlanpa, in partnership with Jump Florida Skydiving, can document tandem jumps with professionally produced videos set to music. A preflight interview on the ground gives way to footage shots inside the plane as jumpers and their tandem instructors make their ascension. From there, videographers capture the entire free fall as participants take in the scenery and attempt to block out the chortles of condescending geese. The parachute then deploys, and jumpers and their instructors return to terra firma. Meanwhile, friends can watch dives from the ground in a large spectator area or tag along on the plane ride and watch the leap firsthand.
An award-winning restaurant and full-service bar supply participants with snacks and drinks after their dives. Patrons can even make a weekend of their dives by staying in one of Skydive Orlanpa's 26 guest rooms replete with cable TV and WiFi.
David Morejon has completed three Ironmans and more than 90 triathlons, but arguably his most impressive feat has been bungee jumping from 150 feet—in a bull costume. David's passion for fitness, adventure, and animal outfits shines through in The Hog Wild Mud Run, which he co-owns with Adam Morejon. Participants are encouraged to wear creative costumes during the events, which pair tests of strength and endurance with slogs through waist-deep mud. Each mud run closes with a party where a DJ spins while athletes celebrate with beers, rather than by drinking leftover mud with festively colored straws.
Featuring more than 6,000 yards of immaculately manicured landscapes, The Claw at USF is a par-71 course that challenges club clenchers with narrow fairways lined by towering trunks of oak, cypress, and pine. The USF men's golf team and USF women's golf team call The Claw home, sharing it bunk-bed style with a population of alligators, deer, and spoonbills. Prepare for your 18 holes of terrain domination by taking to the grass-tee driving range ($5 for small bucket) or navigate your clubs to the putting and chipping green, where you can practice your precision stroke and pendulum swing.
Located near I-75 at 11315 N. 46th St., the annual fair (now in its 32nd year) features 20 entertainment stages, plenty of food options, and a host of vendors in the merchant marketplace. Shop for old-fashioned wares including leather, metal, and musical instruments, or gorge on traditional turkey drumsticks, ye olde foot-long corn dogs, and roasted corn. This year's festival marks the introduction of the Medieval Monster Museum, where guests will come face to face with fairies, trolls, and vampires while marveling at archaic creature-fighting weaponry. Prolong merriment for an additional fee at the Pirates' Feast, offering a three-course meal and live entertainment, or head to the Royal Smoker for an early-evening, adults-only soirees with snacks, cigars, sips, belly dancing, limericks, comedy, and sounds.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.