Summer Fun With and Without Grandkids

Have you ever wanted to try scuba diving only to get cold feet at the last minute?  Are you yearning to hit the water and explore nature’s wonders by kayak?

Maybe you have always wanted to reel in a giant marlin from the deep blue sea, but never had the opportunity. Or how about mastering the game of golf? Well, now is your chance.

Now through September 30, 2006, Greater Fort Lauderdale is celebrating the “Summer of Discovery” and welcoming visitors to go beyond the everyday vacation while taking advantage of special 2-for-1 deals that can save a bundle! Choose from a wide variety of ‘Discovery’ activities such as diving, sport fishing, water sports—even enjoy deals for world-class spas where you can learn to be pampered.

“Summer is traditionally the time of year when you take it easy and relax”, said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.” That’s why we’re making it easy for visitors to discover our wide variety of leisure pursuits on and off the beach in Greater Fort Lauderdale. Our visitors might even discover a brand new favorite pastime.”

Following is a sampling of “Summer of Discovery” activities and special 2- for-1 offers. For a complete list of more than 25 deals, visit the Greater Fort Lauderdale website at www.sunny.org/discovery.

Diving and Water Sports

• South Florida Diving Headquarters. Immerse yourself with the “Try Scuba” class. One hour introductory lesson in the pool. Gear included. Add a shallow reef dive the same day for additional cost. A glass bottom catamaran takes the whole family on an aquatic adventure – guests can snorkel, dive or watch from above. 2-for-1: “Try Scuba” class or 2-for-1: snorkel or glass bottom trip at regular price. 800-771-DIVE or www.southfloridadiving.com.

• Dixie Divers. One of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s premier dive and snorkeling operators offers the Lady Go Diver for a four-hour, two-site snorkeling expedition.2-for-1snorkeling excursions including gear. 954-420-0009 or www.dixiedivers.com.

• Full Moon Kayak Company. Take to Greater Fort Lauderdale’s 300 miles of inland waterways under a spectacular full moon. 2-for-1 full moon kayak tour including all required gear. 954-328-5231 or www.fullmoonkayak.com for dates and times.

Fishing and Nature

• Action Sports fishing. Strap yourself in and reel in the big one. Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts some of the best sports fishing on the east coast. 2-for-1 inshore or deep sea saltwater fishing trip, including basic gear. 954-423-8700 or www.actionsportfishing.com

• Sawgrass Recreation Park. ExperienceGreater Fort Lauderdale’s natural wonder by airboat and get up-close and personal with alligators and other exotic Everglades wildlife. Visit a Seminole Indian village and wildlife exhibits that include a real Florida panther. 2-for-1 admission. 800-457-0788 or www.evergladestours.com

Land and Water Exploration Tours

• Stork’s Cafe Gondola Tours.Greater Fort Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America” for its 300+ miles of in-land waterways. Now enjoy an authentic Venetian Gondola ride down picturesque Himmarshee Canal, Wednesday – Sunday, 5 – 11pm. Gondola ride for two, plus two free glasses of wine with collectible glassware (21 or over). 866-737-8494 or www.storkscafe.com

• Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruises. A three-hour sightseeing tour of Greater Fort Lauderdale along the spectacular New River and sparkling Intracoastal Waterway. Two cruises depart daily, 10am and 2 pm. 2-for-1 admissions on daytime sightseeing cruise.  Not valid on BBQ Dinner Cruise or Miami Bayside Cruise. 954-462-5596

• Royal Horse Drawn Carriages. Enjoy an authentic horse drawn carriage ride for two down Fort Lauderdale’s chic Las Olas Boulevard, one of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest and most historic thoroughfares. 2-for-1 rides. 954-971-9820 or www. royalcarriagesfl.com

• Tropical Sailing. “Come sail away” on a Sunset or Island Beach Adventure sailing aboard a catamaran, Thursday through Saturday, 7:00pm – 11:00pm. 2-for-1 admission on any daily scheduled cruise. www.tropicalsailing.com or 954-579-8181

Spas and Rejuvenation

• Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. Indulge yourself with the ultimate in relaxation at this luxury resort and world-class spa, located on South Florida’s largest private beach. Purchase any 50-minute individual spa treatment and receive a complimentary deluxe Citrus manicure. 866-3030-SPA

•  The Spa on the Broadwalk at the Hollywood Beach Marriott. The natural beauty of Hollywood Beach inspired the creation of a world-class spa dedicated to relaxation and well-being. 2-for-1 on any spa treatment.954-874-3197 or www.hollywoodbeachmarriott.com

• Diamante Day Spa. An oasis of calm pampering awaits guests at the Diamante Day Spa. Complimentary Hot Stone Facial Massage with purchase of a one hour or more massage service or complimentary Hot Fudge Chocolate Paraffin Dip comes with purchase of a Chocolate Raspberry Martini Pedicure Cocktail. 954-763-1212 or www.dia mantedayspa.com

Wining and Dining

The U.S. Sommelier Association Wine School is offering three special wine tasting seminars. 2-for-1 registration (a $50 value) or half price for individuals. 954-962- 6772 or www.ussommelier.com

• The Theatre of Wine in the Restaurant Monday, June 26 from 6:30pm-9pm

• Sabering and Savoring Champagne & Sparkling Wines Monday, July 31 from 6:30pm-9pm

• The Art of Wine Blending from California Monday, August 28 from 6:30pm- 9pm

Originally Published on GRAND Magazine in July-August 2006 Issue

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