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.
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.
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.
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.
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.