The sights to see across Florida's Adventures in Paradise's 36-acre wildlife refuge are innumerable. Look up and you'll spot colorful Floridian birds; glance down, and you can find all manner of turtles as they glide in and out of nine spring-fed ponds. The former gator farm (which still houses a few small gators) is home to winding nature trails, fully-stocked fishing ponds, and an ever-growing petting farm. Here, guests can interact with baby ducks, baby pigs, a miniature pony, mini alpaca, and other wonderful animals.
The farm itself is over 150 years old, with more than 200 animals to see, including ring tail lemurs, miniature horses, and Sassy the pig. Feed baby cows, play with bunnies and baby goats, and take a gander at Monty, the giant tortoise. After a complimentary hay ride, you can even purchase fresh eggs from and tilapia from the fish farm, and homemade honey from their beehives.
As the saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea—but this time, it's a lagoon, and it's meant to be interpreted literally. Cast Away Adventures gives patrons everything they need to spend a day casting, reeling, and coming up with as many fish puns as possible. Two- and four-hour excursions include boat, equipment, bait, and license, so all fishermen and fisherwomen need to worry about is catching the more than 40 species of fish that swim in the waters of the Banana River Lagoon. All legal-size fish can be kept (or caught and released if you so choose). What's more, any fish you keep will be cleaned by the staff, keeping the day as hassle-free as possible.
Shark Bait Fishing's name is a little deceiving. Sure, you might catch a baby shark out on the company's 26-foot catamaran, but you'll also have a great shot at reeling in everything from puffers to red fish to the more elusive electric pink eel. Shark Bait provides the reels, rods, and hook licenses, and out on the waves of the Intracoastal Waterway, the captain will help you bait hooks and clean your fish. That part's especially helpful if you plan on bringing the whole family, which the company happily encourages.
Merritt Island's Adventures in Paradise Tours is the great place for a sports fan to spend a Saturday, or any day for that matter.
Don't worry about packing a snack. This club has a great restaurant so you can keep the fun going.
Take the kids along too — this club is a great spot for families with activities that even little ones will love.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Adventures in Paradise Tours is calling your name! Give them a call today.
A Chat with Florida Flats Fishing
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Capt. Tom is a local born-and-raised fishing guide with over 20 years' local experience and has been featured on television two times for his fishing charters. There's only a select few in this area that know how to target huge tarpon and Capt. Tom is one of them, along with huge reds, snook, and trout
What is the experience customers can expect?
365 days a year of non-stop drag-pulling action. This area is world famous for huge redfish and there's a good reason why! Also, we get three months of the year when massive tarpon come to town. Lastly, the trout fishing is literally second to none in the state for some of the biggest on the flats.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
I was blessed to have grown up with the Banana River as my back yard, and you can just image how often I used it as a playground. My friends and I built forts and fished along its edge every day after school. I often think about how life trained me for this job … it’s like it was meant to be!
What do you love most about your job?
Watching my clients experience a trophy catch … It's like a comic telling a great joke, they feed off the laughs, and true fishing guides feed off the joy in someones face from a huge catch. I just can't get enough of that!
Growing up, Butch Finnigan frequented the Atlantic Ocean with his father and grandfather, reveling in the rush of netting a big catch. Matt Riley found similar solace atop the ocean's seemingly endless bounty, where he and his family enjoyed each other's company as they fished. More than two decades later, the veteran anglers have become captains and co-founders of Xtreme Saltwater Angler. They assemble all necessary components for fishing excursions into the big blue, including signature lures and apparel, portable lighthouses, and the expertise needed to guide fishing charters and eco-tours.
The captains and their staff switch up their charters from brief inshore jaunts into the famed Mosquito Lagoon, Canaveral National Seashore, and Indian River Lagoon system to lengthier saltwater fishing trips into the Atlantic. Close to shore, anglers snap up species such as red and black drum, sea trout, and famished free divers, while deeper waters teem with cobia, kingfish, grouper, and yellowfin tuna. The sailors also nurture relationships with nature on eco-tours that explore more than 2,100 plant species and 2,200 animal species, including some of the U.S.'s most diverse flocks of birds.