A bald eagle soars above Florida's everglades, its eyes scanning the creatures below—ranging from an alligator to a soft-shell turtle to a large catfish just below the water's surface. At the onsite wildlife park, visitors can hold baby alligators and whisper sweet nothings into their ear openings. It also showcases exotic creatures from all over the world such as zebras, sloths, lemurs, bobcats, and monster alligators. With over 200 native and exotic animals, birds, and alligators visitors can enjoy a full day of adventure. Aromas of smoked barbecue lure visitors to the onsite watering hold Chomp House Grill, which serves everything from pulled pork to gator tail.
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.
The guides from Calypso Kayaking Tours take explorers into native wildlife habitats of the Florida inter-coastal waterway, traversing the shorelines in search of bottle nosed dolphins. The kayaks come within a few feet of the marine mammals, and patrons have an opportunity to wade in shallow waters. Guides also conduct trips to the Port Orange Wildlife Sanctuary, where Brown Pelicans, egrets, and herons play poker in the mudflats.
Manned by a Coast Guard-certified crew, a 65-foot speedboat safely whisks passengers along the beaches of Cape Canaveral during 90-minute dolphin-watching tours. The captain pulls off wave-skirting maneuvers, pausing to point out the playful sea mammals, who enjoy swimming, jumping, and high-fiving in the wake of the boat. Flying fish may whiz by the stern, and sea turtles have been known to lazily approach the hull of the docked watercraft. The captain also discusses Port Canaveral's history as passengers snap photos of military ships and submarines in port.
The educated and certified guides at Ripple Effect Ecotours not only lead ecotours, but educate tour-goers, too. Teaching a Florida Master Naturalist class, guides specialize in informing visitors about the region's coastal ecology. Visitors can experience these coastal habitats, which serve as the homes for many species of wildlife, marine life, and birds. Paddling through the waterways, kayak tours give participants a chance to quietly explore the nature that surrounds them, exploring in groups of up to three.
The Native Vacations crew constantly views their surroundings with the eyes of explorers. They see opportunity on any terrain, and they search for adventure while aiming to preserve the landscape. On land, the crew coordinates horseback-riding tours that wind through the Withlacoochee Forest. As hooves beat a lazy drumroll in the dappled sunlight, riders watch deer and sherman fox pups as they dart between trees. In the waterways, Native Vacations leads kayaking tours, airboat rides, and snorkeling adventures. Kayak paddles leisurely stir waters populated by dolphins while bald eagles slip through the warm air, and airboats tear across the surface of the Crystal River with the metallic purring of RoboCop drinking warm milk. In the waters of King's Bay, guides teach snorkelers the basics of breathing underwater and allow them to pet any of the elephant-gray mammoths that approach.