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St. Pete Beach: Take a beach vacation to new heights

By Mary Thurwachter

Fly without sprouting wings? You can do it! Rent a water-propelled jetpack
that soars up to heights of 30 feet at 30 miles per hour.

TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach, named the No. 1 U.S. beach
destination in TripAdvisor’s 2012 Travelers’ Choice Awards, is the first on
Florida’s west coast to offer flights aboard custom-designed packs called
JetLevs. The uplifting experience takes riders into the Gulf of Mexico and
allows them to fly over or even walk on the water.

To watch them in action, see
Sessions are 45 minutes, with a ride time of 30 minutes. The cost is $250
for hotel guests and $285 for non-guests.

The TradeWinds is also adding electric surfboards – WaveJets – that can be
rented by the hour and include a lesson. There are various board sizes
available, including stand-up paddleboards, longboards, shortboards and
bodyboards. Riders can travel 8 miles per hour on the hands-free,
eco-friendly boards fueled with rechargeable batteries.

Call (866) JUST-LET-GO (587-8538) or see

NAPLES: Ladies Choice deal at Inn on Fifth

With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about gifts.

The Inn on Fifth in Naples suggests a Ladies’ Choice package (valid for stays
May 10-17) that includes a three-day, two-night escape complete with spa
treatment, breakfast in bed and a salon visit. This year, the inn is
offering a third night for half-price for anyone who books by April 15.

Rates begin at $294 per person and includes accommodations, a choice of spa
treatments (skin-firming facial, Swedish Zen massage, therapeutic massage,
aromatherapy salt glow body scrub, vino radiance exfoliating facial or Pinot
Noir Vino therapy detoxing wrap), in-room breakfast for two one morning,
hairstyle and makeup application for one, and dinner for two at Truluck’s
Seafood, Steak and Crab House.

Call (888) 403-8778 or see

AMELIA ISLAND: Cuddle on the beach at The Ritz-Carlton

It’s hot now, but in a few months temperatures will dip, especially in
northern Florida.

We enjoy Amelia over the Christmas holidays, when the resort is festively
decorated and the beach takes on a different but equally enticing vibe.

With cooler weather in mind, the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton is offering a
romantic fireside escape for two by the sand dunes along the beach. The
experience includes Adirondack chairs, s’mores, hot chocolate, a stargazer’s
map, telescope and warm blankets to cuddle in the cool beach air. The Ritz
also has a new coastal menu for lunch and dinner at Café 4750. The menu is
inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients from regional farms, and features
local seafood.


STOCK ISLAND, in the Keys: Just say a in a tranquil mangrove

Everybody knows what fun kayaking and scuba diving are in the Lower Florida
Keys. But there are other on-the-water offerings, too, especially if you
want to explore the natural environment while treating body and mind to some “unplugged”

One example is paddleboard yoga classes from Lazy Dog, an outdoor adventure
company at Hurricane Hole Marina, 5114 Overseas Highway, on Stock Island.

Two-hour classes are divided between paddling time and yoga practice.
Participants first paddle out to the calm backcountry waters, and end with a
paddle back to the dock. See

PONTE VEDRA: Say cheers at the Sawgrass Wine Festival

Vendors with more than 200 different wines will be on hand April 19-22 when
the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort has its wine festival. Guests can take
part in special dinners, wine and spirit tastings and seminars.

If you want to bring some of your favorites home, a retail outlet for wines
and accessories will be open. The event takes place at the Marriott Sawgrass
Golf Resort and Spa, 1000 PGA Tour Blvd., Ponte Vedra. Call (904) 285-2004
or see www.sawgrasswinefestival. com.

Mary Thurwachter is a West Palm Beach freelance writer and founder/producer of (www.inn

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