5 Florida Adventures Designed to Thrill

    Lauren Tjaden

    In the Sunshine State, you can walk the waves, ride a Rattler, fly like an eagle, take a flying leap and jump out of an airplane – if you have the nerve. These offbeat Florida adventures are designed to thrill.

    Walk on Waves

    For an utterly unique experience, grab a flight on the JetLev, a custom-designed, water-propelled jetpack. You'll feel like the childhood superhero of your dreams, weightless and free, suspended in the sky with nothing above or below you. Hover on the water's surface, rocket across it at 30 miles per hour or soar as high as three stories into the air. You can snag a flight at the TradeWinds Island Grand on St. Pete Beach or at Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key.

    Ride a Rattler

    Zip lining features climbs up dizzyingly high platforms and speedy flights over the treetops; roller coasters feature twists, turns and drops designed to leave your stomach in another county. A combination of the two experiences more than doubles the thrills. "The Rattlesnake," the nation's first zip line rollercoaster, has just slithered into the forest at Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida in St. Cloud. You'll launch from a 65-foot platform and fly at speeds up to 20 mph as you whoop, swoop and dip through 1,000 feet of adrenaline-inducing adventure.

    Fly Like an Eagle

    Hang gliding lets you experience flying the way a bird does. You feel the air against your face and see the world shrink into a patchwork below you; you shift your weight and ride the currents of the sky. Here in the Sunshine State you get airborne by towing up to the desired altitude behind a powered plane instead of launching from a mountain. You can try tandem hang gliding at Wilotree Park in Groveland (west of Orlando), The Florida Ridge between Clewiston and LaBelle, Wallaby Ranch in Davenport and Paradise Hang Gliding in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

    Take a Flying Leap

    If you're looking for an extreme scream, try bungee jumping. At the Track Family Recreation Center in Destin, you'll tumble off a 75-foot platform before getting snapped back into space by the elastic cord. You'll spring up and down several times, ending your experience by being lowered into an oversize airbag. Cobra Adventure Park in Panama City Beach offers the Vertical Accelerator Bungee Ride. This 'reverse bungee' rockets you towards the heavens before treating you to a freefall of 160 feet. For the ultimate freefall and glide, opt for SkyCoaster at Fun Spot Amusement Park in Kissimmee. At 300 feet high, it's the world's tallest SkyCoaster.

    Jump out of a Perfectly Good Airplane

    Skydiving is the very definition of radical. First, you climb into an airplane and fly to heights of more than two miles. Next, you jump out of that perfectly good airplane. You free fall at a cheek-rippling 120 to 130 miles per hour for 60 seconds. Finally, you deploy your chute and float back to terra firma.

    With its abundance of open fields, flat terrain and mild winters, Florida is ideal for the sport. You can thrill to these Florida adventures in every corner of the state, including Skydive City in Zephyrhills, Skydive Jacksonville, Skydive Palm Beach in Wellington and the Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales.