Destin Emerald Coast

Coolest Place to Go Wild!

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Emerald Coast Zoo

So, you ask, what makes this zoo so special? Well…it’s the people! Yep. The people. Last year Rick de Ridder (Rick the Reptile Guy) from the A&E TV show “Wild Transport” heard about the Emerald Coast Zoo and how it was in danger of closure by government agencies. He knew that if the zoo closed, many of the animals there would be euthanized, and he just couldn’t just sit back and let that happen. He sold his home and all his belongings and purchased the zoo. How about that for making a difference and taking action!

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Of course, he couldn’t do this without the blessings of his wife Sara and their three kids David (better known as Tarzan to the locals), Suzy, and Betsy. They purchased a large camper and moved their family of five onto the zoo property, and there they live. We can't think of many families that would even begin to make an idea like this a reality, but that's what this family does.

With the de Ridder’s love and passion for the animals they acquired comes a new passion to make the zoo survive. Many locals have rallied around them with a progressive Go Fund Me page to help with the building of the required larger, new enclosures. For the community it brings a new awareness that there is this super cool zoo right here in our backyard that so many never even knew about

The de Ridders have started new programs to bring awareness such as summer camps, goat yoga and many amazing animal encounters. Rick makes himself available to go to church groups, schools and events to educate, entertain and inform. 

This non-profit, family-owned and operated zoo is not out of the woods yet. It takes a lot of money to feed the lions and tigers (which zoo workers actually held and played with when they were just little cubs some 15 years ago) and all the other wonderful animals at The Emerald Coast Zoo. With new enclosures still being built, the zoo is asking for assistance as they are truly in need of money to improve it. With everyone’s help, they’ll be able to reap the rewards of seeing these animals live in environments more natural to them and will have continued access to these amazing animals who, for the most part, were all hand-raised at this very zoo. 


To contribute, please visit the Go Fund Me link at https://www.gofundme.com/manage/p5kmr-please-help-us-help-them


Cool Factors: So many hands on encounters, Passionately owned family non-profit, The big cats.


Emerald Coast Zoo

5262 Deer Springs Dr

Crestview, FL. 

850-682-3949

www.emeraldcoastzoo.com

Coolest Way to Catch a Wave

JetSurf Destin

10 Harbor Boulevard

Destin

(850) 900-7873

www.jetsurfdestin.com

Yyyyeeewww!! Tyler and Tyler, the co-owners of Jetsurf Destin, are here to bring the waves to you with motorized surfboards! Originally invented in Czech Republic by a professional surfer, the JetSurf board can reach speeds up to 37 miles per hour.  Yes...you heard that right! In other words, right here in Destin Florida, YOU can carve, grind, and fly on this board at record speeds. Jetsurf is one of a kind, and, after seeing this sport on a YouTube video, the Tylers decided to quit their jobs and move down to the beach to be the first and one of the only to bring the board to America and offer it for rental.

Though Jetsurf can be a seriously competitive sport, anyone over the age of 14 can enjoy the easy-to-ride board.  From lessons to couples surf to stunt surfing, the Tylers have created an inviting environment for everyone to enjoy. JetSurf Destin offers a full experience for those who want to learn and ride or simply chill out on their boat and giant inflatable paddle board.  In other words, we can guarantee a phenomenal time whether you are ultra competitive or just along for the ride. Tyler and Tyler are enthusiastic and committed to making JetSurf Destin a highlight of your year. Born from a need to push the limits of conventional water sports, this company is new and thriving, and with the opportunity to try a brand new and rare sport right here on the Emerald Coast, how can we pass it up?

Cool Factors:  Bragging rights for riding the best and fastest motorized surfboard in the world, Tyler and Tyler, surf with no wave