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Though their flight school has racked up some impressive recognition—including the prestigious 2012 President's Award from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)—John Amundsen and his Tailwheels, Etc. team eschew pomp and circumstance in favor of fun. According to Jill W. Tallman of Flight Training magazine, you won't "see flight instructors in epaulets. In the summertime, everybody wears shorts and T-shirts—instructors and students alike." The crew hosts weekly cookouts to promote a welcoming, social atmosphere and has created a community room where budding aviators can learn from private pilots and former military and airline pilots.

As Tallman reported, Amundsen meant to retire in Florida after his aviation career but now finds himself happily running the family business. His son Jonathan has been flying since the age of 2 and heads up the aircraft-maintenance department with the help of his wife—flight instructor and mechanic Liz Amundsen. The couple restored their 1940 Stearman Kaydet so people could experience the thrill of flying an open-cockpit biplane. Their infant son Riley is currently training for an aviation career by plotting flight paths for the airplane mobile above his crib.

Tailwheels, Etc. is one of the first flight schools in the country to be accredited by the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA). The school specializes in an accelerated, two-week private pilot-training program that gets students into the air quickly and safely.

3000 21st St NW
Winter Haven,
FL
US

The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous study facilities understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they use a four-step Sylvan Insight process to design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, one-on-one interviews.

Tutors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. SylanSync technology complements in-person tutoring sessions, allowing kids to use iPads to further their learning. After-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.

1513 6th St. SE
Winter Haven,
FL
US

Orlando Gateway Sport Pilot Aviation Center's Ramon Gil's first encountered the spectacle of aerial navigation at an early age, when his family lived near an airport. It was love at first sight. Since then, Ramon has become a flight director and works with student pilots. His partner, Roger Frechette, has logged more than 5,000 hours of flight time since he took to the skies back in the 1960s. Together they have gathered a team of experienced instructors to help spread their love of cloud wrangling and maintain a fleet of meticulously cared-for, FAA-approved aircrafts, including Cessnas and Tecnam Bravo. From their base at Kissimmee Gateway Airport, the pilots lead sport-pilot-training flights, and their crafts carry pairs of sightseers over the area's most beloved landmarks, such as Disney World and Old Town Orlando.

2073 Hwy. 92 W
Winter Haven,
Florida
US

Mattress1One's immense inventory brims with top-quality slumbering surfaces from renowned brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Serta, Sealy, and Stearns & Foster. At multiple locations throughout Florida, knowledgeable staff members roam showrooms that brim with an array of mattresses forged from such materials as memory foam, high-tech innersprings, silk, and cashmere. They also curate an online Mattress 101 guide, which includes handy tips on selecting the ideal mattress size, keeping the mattress in tiptop shape, and mounting a rock-solid legal defense in case you accidentally rip the tags off.

5937 Cypress Gardens Boulevard
Winter Haven,
FL
US

Busy Bubbles Laundromat does what it can to make laundry feel less like a chore. 25 washers and and 23 family-size dryers await in neat rows, ready to tackle dirty duds 24 hours a day, every day of the year?even National Dirty Clothes Appreciation Day. While their sullied clothes are taking a ride in the spin cycle, clients can sip complimentary coffee, watch the shop's color TV, or even make use of the free internet and on-site printer. And, for those who don't have time to do their own washing, the attendants offer a number of services to make the job easier, including dry cleaning and a wash-n-fold service with drop-off, pick-up, and delivery.

3397 Cypress Gardens Rd.
Winter Haven,
FL
US

Three sprawling fields and one exciting game—this is what brings people together at Action Paintball's 2.5-acre facility. Teams of paintballers do battle during games of Capture the Flag, ducking behind piles of sandbags and into empty barrels to hide from their enemies. Climbing atop an abandoned military vehicle gives players a good vantage point from which to spot approaching opponents and fool them by faking the call of their spirit animals. Meanwhile, picnic tables and a refreshment stand offer respite from the dusty battlegrounds.

1715 7th St
Winter Haven,
FL
US