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Where to make like a mermaid (tails included), from San Diego to Florida and Hawaii

Where to make like a mermaid (tails included), from San Diego to Florida and Hawaii
Kids can wear tails for mermaid swims in pools at more than a dozen Orlando-area resorts. (The Mermaid Academy)

Mermaids are the new princesses for girls of a certain age. Now anyone can realize their fantasy of learning to swim like one — from coast to coast and beyond. Tails are included as instructors lead children and grownups through underwater adventures sure to create a lasting memory.

"The attraction of swimming with a mermaid tail is the opportunity to do what so many young girls dream of," Joe O'Rourke, owner of Florida's Mermaid Academy says. He offers mermaid swims at 14 resorts in the Orlando area.

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"They have dreamt about, read about and watched videos for years about mythical mermaids, and just to be able to swim like one sends kids over the top," he says.

Mermaid fitness classes at San Diego's Hotel del Coronado are so popular that the resort had a waiting list all summer long.
Mermaid fitness classes at San Diego's Hotel del Coronado are so popular that the resort had a waiting list all summer long. (Hotel del Coronado)

But it's not just youngsters who are queuing up to don a tail and slide into a pool.

San Diego's famous Hotel del Coronado is urging adults to "embody your inner mermaid" during twice-weekly fitness classes.

After on-the-beach training, guests with a Maui water sports company swim in the ocean off South Maui.
After on-the-beach training, guests with a Maui water sports company swim in the ocean off South Maui. (Hawaii Mermaid Adventures)

"Mermaid Fitness at The Del is an instructor-led 45-minute fusion of swimming, core, cardio and strength training set to upbeat music," a news release says. It's primarily for grownups, but children 12 to 17 may participate if accompanied by an adult.

Swimming with a tail provides a good cardio workout during mermaid fitness classes in San Diego, organizers say.
Swimming with a tail provides a good cardio workout during mermaid fitness classes in San Diego, organizers say. (Hotel del Coronado)

Classes priced at $20 start 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday and will continue until the weather cools down. A spokeswoman said the sessions were sold out all summer.

The mermaid trend extends to Hawaii, where a Maui water sports company recently launched Hawaii Mermaid Adventures in the ocean off Makena.

The latest fitness craze doesn't require weights or a treadmill. Mermaid tails are what power twice-weekly classes at San Diego's Hotel del Coronado.
The latest fitness craze doesn't require weights or a treadmill. Mermaid tails are what power twice-weekly classes at San Diego's Hotel del Coronado. (Hotel del Coronado)

Since they're swimming in the sea and will want to explore their surroundings, participants are equipped with masks and snorkels in addition to fins. Guests are also to take off the snorkels and masks for photo opps. And the fins, I'm told, are unisex for any "mermen" wannabees.

The 90-minute swim costs $199 for one person and $139 each for two or more guests. Photos on the beach and under the sea are included.

Back in Florida, a $55 package includes the swim plus photos and a T-shirt. The swim alone costs $25.

"Our mermaid instructors teach participants how to put on a tail, how to use it, and lead the participants through games that include treasure diving and swimming through hoops," O'Rourke says.

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