|Whether you want to try your hand at sky-diving, sand-sculpting, glass-blowing, or baking the perfect key lime pie, Florida is the place. Here are just some of the many skills you can learn on holiday in the Sunshine State.
Roll up, roll up…to Sarasota, if you fancy mastering the skills of the circus. Under the watchful eye of circus professionals, anyone aged six and above can learn how to fly through the air on a trapeze, tread the low wire, juggle, and even try their hand at clowning around at the Circus Arts Conservatory. Once the headquarters of the Ringling Bros Circus and the home of the renowned John and Mable Ringling, Sarasota has a strong circus heritage, so it’s the perfect place to get in the ring.
Greater Fort Lauderdale
At Hollywood Hot Glass in Greater Fort Lauderdale you can walk-in, sign-up, and work one-on-one with expert glass artists to make your very own piece of glass art to have and hold forever. Whether you’re a seasoned glass artist or have never touched a blowpipe, you’ll have hands-on fun in the beautiful studios making a special holiday souvenir, from small bowls to large vases. Just make sure you wrap it carefully for the flight home.
Learn a new water-based skill, such as stand-up paddle boarding, skimboarding or kitesurfing, in St. Pete/Clearwater, a magnet for board sports enthusiasts. While challenging to learn – requiring skill, strength and balance – with expert tuition you could soon be riding the waves in the local hotspots, near the stunning Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Fort De Soto Park, or paddle boarding through the mangrove islands.
The Florida Keys & Key West
Learn how to make Florida’s famous Key Lime Pie in a fun, ‘Bake Off’ style experience with the Key West Key Lime Pie Co. Suitable for anyone age five and above, it’s perfect for families. Or, build a sand sculpture with guidance from sand sculptor and local artist Marianne van den Broek at the historic waterfront Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort also in Key West.
Fort Myers & Sanibel
Learn to sail in the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico with Offshore Sailing School. Packages are available to suit everyone, from beginners to advanced. The school, founded by 1964 Olympian Steve Colgate, has recently launched women’s only courses too. Departures onboard luxury yachts and catamarans are available from Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral and Captiva.
New Smyrna Beach
Home to a vibrant community of artists, New Smyrna Beach is the perfect place to hone your artistic skills. From music and art to yoga and wellness, head to The Hub on Canal, an arts enclave in a studio-style gallery that hosts exhibitions and workshops from more than 70 local artists who will share their passion for painting, ceramics, photography, sculpture, glass, and more.
Get a taste of marine biology on board the 30-foot catamaran Dolphin Explorer and learn all about the resident bottlenose dolphins that reside in the waters around Marco Island on Florida’s Paradise Coast. You’ll help spot dolphins in the water then assist the research team by identifying each dolphin according to its unique dorsal fin. Your ticket helps pay for valuable research.
Experience free-fall adventure and the adrenaline rush of a tandem skydive at Skydive DeLand, half an hour from Daytona Beach. You’ll be paired with an experienced instructor who will jump with you out of a plane at 14,000 feet up. As you glide down all you have to think about is the exhilarating rush of the fall and take in the amazing views.
Observe and learn all about the birds and wildlife that flourish in the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, bordered by the magnificent St. Johns River and the Ocala National Forest. It’s a veritable birder’s paradise, with 230 bird species and a wide variety of native wildlife, and attracts avid ornithologists from all over the world. Take a guided river tour and get some insider tips from the resident experts.
Getting around Florida is easy when you hire a car from Hertz. The recently launched ‘Full on Florida’ US Road Trip Planner route will help you navigate around the best of what the Sunshine State has to offer. Simply pick up your car from any of the 300+ locations across the State.