Tranquil boating, swamp skimming, seaplane splashing always fun thrills.
Ahhhh. Springtime in Lake and Sumter counties is a glorious time to be outdoors, in the fresh air, or better yet to feel the gentle breeze out on the water.
Maybe you’re like me in relishing a relaxing pontoon boat ride at night to see a breathtaking sunset, or savor a lazy afternoon gliding along Lake County’s Dora Canal, long billed as the “most beautiful mile of water in the world.”
The thrill of a fast airboat ride into the marshes of Sumter County is another favorite of mine that never gets old, followed by the tranquility of experiencing a slower ride into the swamps to see the beauty of 2,000-plus year-old cypress trees draped with Spanish moss. It’s also a delight to spot herons, egrets, turtles, bald eagles, and of course alligators along the banks. One unforgettable sight a few years back was seeing a baby alligator sunbathing on top of his momma.
My favorite water adventure—so far—is a seaplane ride over Lake and Sumter counties.
The unforgettable experience begins with the thrilling adrenaline rush of the pilot skimming on top of the water for the takeoff and flying low in certain areas for amazing bird’s-eye views of Central Florida’s wilderness and beauty. And when the pilot lands the seaplane onto the water, it’s another exhilarating moment and the finale of a very fun ride. To me, a seaplane flight is far more enjoyable than conventional flying.
Jones Brothers Air and Seaplane Adventures in Tavares offers longer tours that I’m eager to try, including tours of popular tourist attractions and gator parks, to spring-fed, crystal-clear waters, and the St. Johns River, noted as Florida’s longest river and “the only other North-flowing river in the world other than the Nile,” says Jones Brothers president Peter Closi, who also savors flights over this area.
“Lake County is also home to some of the most beautiful sunsets; it’s simply breathtaking to see from the air,” Peter says.
That’s another picture-perfect sight that sounds simply amazing. I’m adding it to my ever-growing bucket list of things to explore in our beautiful Sunshine State.
I believe the pandemic kept many of us homebound for too long. The opportunity to savor nice Florida weather is providing some much-needed normalcy in my life, and I hope it does for you, too, this month and beyond.