Swimming in Wright

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Under the right guidance, the clear blue waters around Destin's harbor become visible from every angle—the air, the surface, or deep below. Destin Snorkel leads a comprehensive roster of area adventure tours, granting guests total flexibility to join or leave their excursion at any time. Guides steer one of three boats through the bay, keeping all their participants' needed snorkeling or snuba gear onboard and unhaunted by pirate ghosts to allow frequent plunges into waters rich with seashells and wildlife. When not pausing at shallow-water dive sites, boats embark on day cruises for dolphin sightseeing tours or at night to showcase fireworks over the harbor skyline. Sea kayaks also allow visitors to venture off on their own into the waters around Crab Island and Holiday Isle.

Alternatively, FFA-certified flight instructors provide a different perspective, soaring over the coastline in beach-discovery flights. During any of the cruises and tours, guides may expound on the local ecosystem and the harbor's history, revealing whether the town's first civilians ever taught dolphins how to open their eyes above water.

116 Harbor Boulevard
Destin,
FL
US

Destin Parasailing whisks aquanauts on a variety of adventurous expeditions on the scenic waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Chartered deep-sea fishing trips cast lines for snapper and grouper and include a fishing license for the day, and jet ski and pontoon boat rentals are available. Destin Parasailing’s captains hold certification from the United States Coast Guard, and the company’s fleet of CWS boats is checked daily to ensure it exceeds all Coast Guard safety regulations.

390 US Highway 98
Destin,
FL
US

For YOLO Board's team, "stand-up paddleboard" is an abbreviated term. Depending on who's taking the board out to sea, it might be a stand-up-and-surf board, or a stand-up-and-fish board—or, perhaps, just a stand-up-and-enjoy-the-view board. This versatility is part of why YOLO Board founders Jeff Archer and Tom Losee wanted to bring the hobby to Florida's coast. Another motive can be found in their business's name: YOLO, or "you only live once," speaks to their passion for adventure.

Today YOLO Board has outposts in Florida and California, as well as a line of boards and equipment available nationwide. There are even inflatable models, which makes transporting a board to the Caribbean a feat that no longer requires dressing it up as your tall, flat cousin. The sport's appeal has reached even farther, too—boarders have sent in pictures from locations such as Mozambique and Costa Rica, contributing to the YOLO World community.

820 North County Highway 393
Santa Rosa Beach,
FL
US

Vortex Spring, dubbed "the Mecca of dive training" by Southern Diver magazine, is more than just a scuba diver's dream destination. While its 68-degree clear spring waters and lack of weeds thrill swimmers, its picturesque grounds also accommodate landlubbers with biking trails and a bevy of camping sites. A staff of PADI-certified instructors helms the family-friendly water emporium, leading students through scuba classes that help bolster their confidence while exploring aquatic environs or searching for underwater real estate.

1517 Vortex Springs Ln
Ponce De Leon,
FL
US

The experienced instructors at USA Scuba instruct fledgling divers in the art of underwater exploration through introductory scuba-diving classes. Before earning their sea legs in the nearby springs, pupils slip into the provided diving gear as aquatic experts explain how to properly use the equipment to breathe while submerged and emit sonar signals to locate underwater Waldos. Students then take to the springs to apply freshly learned techniques for 30 minutes, first in the shallow portion and then in deeper waters. The accommodating trainers assist scuba students at every step of their aqueous adventure, facilitating future instruction with a $50 voucher good toward open-water certification.

2225 W Highway 98
Mary Esther,
FL
US

Bay Breeze Dive Center’s expert instructors attentively guide flippered pupils through scuba classes in an expansive indoor pool and the idyllic Pensacola Bay. Students submerge for one hour in the Discover Scuba class to gain a feel for aqueous activities, testing out flippers and learning how to breathe underwater without making a pact with a sea witch. Alternatively, the open-water-certification course pairs academic know-how with hands-on underwater lessons to train beginning divers in the ways of the water.

49 Gulf Breeze Pkwy
Gulf Breeze,
FL
US