Where To Kayak With Manatees
At the beginning of April in Florida, there are typically manatee sightings around the area. If you plan your vacation accordingly, these docile mammals can be spotted just about anywhere. Hiding beneath the water, you might not be able to see them at first. But in time, they often emerge and waddle along with their tiny flippers. Manatees aren’t swift swimmers, and they’re easily startled. They’re also quite curious animals. This makes them a bit easier to spot by kayakers who have trained themselves to be stealthy while observing these beautiful creatures up close.
Here are some of the best places you can Kayak with manatees in Florida:
1. Blue Spring State Park in Orange City
One of the best places in Florida to spot manatees is this State Park in Orange City. This natural spring is one of the largest springs on the east coast. And it’s a manatee haven. You might be able to spot several hundred manatees at once. These gentle giants are among the most famous inhabitants of this picturesque park, and they’re easy to spot because of their sheer size and unique appearance.
2. Fort Desoto Park in Pinellas County
This is a great place to spot manatees. It should be noted that this area has a bit more privacy than Blue Spring State Park, which means that they’re a bit easier to approach. At one point, there were around 200 manatees found in the park, although now their numbers have dwindled. After all, these cute aquatic mammals also need plenty of privacy.
3. Sky Lake Springs in Waxhaw
In Waxhaw, a waterway called Sky Lake has a series of natural springs. One of these springs during the winter is known to be quite popular with manatees. At this time, they can often be spotted floating around the area. They’re not all that fast swimmers, and they generally waddle along, rather than swim through the area. However, they are warm-blooded animals, so they can’t stay beneath the water for prolonged periods.
4. Kayaking Crystal River
In Crystal River, there are also a few manatees that often make their way alongside the kayakers. The waterway is called Kings Bay, and two bridges mark it. This area is ideal for kayaking; you might see several manatees on your trip. They’re known to be quite playful, and they often try to interact with those who pass by them. In fact, they might even try to approach everyone they see in order to get some food or even just be curious about what’s going on around them. Also, kayak tours are held around the area in the summer months. And plenty more manatees will be present.
5. Kayaking With Manatees In St. Augustine
Another great place to spot manatees is St. Augustine which is one of the oldest cities in the states. This historical site can offer you plenty of picturesque sites and opportunities to see wildlife, along with manatees in particular. In the winter, manatees can be spotted at the year-round manatee sanctuary. And in the summer, they’re found throughout the area. For example, this place offers kayaking tours, and you might even stumble across one of these gentle giants while on your journey.
6. Kayaking With Manatees In Islamorada
This small island of Florida’s west coast is known for its many pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. In fact, it was listed as one of the top islands in the state. Islamorada is also known as the Sportfishing Capital of the World, and it’s easy to see why. Plus, manatees can be spotted throughout the year in this area. In fact, they’re often seen swimming alongside kayakers who navigate through this area during the winter months.
7. Kayaking With Manatees In Fort Lauderdale
One of the best places to spot manatees in Florida is Fort Lauderdale. This area has been listed as one of the most family-friendly cities in the entire country. In fact, it’s even on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of top 10 historic sites. And this is because there are a lot of manatee-friendly options here. All you have to do is contact one of the local tour companies catering to this intent. You might be able to spot them in the spring and even in the summer.
8. Kayaking With Manatees In Tampa
In Tampa Bay, manatees are often found along the shorelines. You might find them in the northern part of the area, although they’re most commonly spotted in the southern part. There’s one particular bridge frequented by many of these gentle giants, and people have been known to swim across it with their kayaks to get closer for an even better look. It’s called the Howard Frankland Bridge, and it offers quite a view of these beautiful animals.
9. Kayaking With Manatees In The Keys
The Florida Keys are a group of islands that are several hundred miles long. They’re composed of smaller islands and stretch from the tip of the state to the Everglades. At one point, these islands were inhabited by pirates and settlers alike. Now, they’re famous for their pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. Many manatees can be seen here throughout the year, especially in places like Key Largo, Marathon, and Big Pine Key. You might even stumble upon one while kayaking.
10. Kayaking With Manatees In Disney World
You might wonder if there are manatees in Florida’s Walt Disney World resort. Actually, no, there aren’t, and the bald eagles might be the only bird you can spot in this area. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t check out this picturesque area for yourself since you’re surrounded by water.
How To Spot The Manatees?
Manatees aren’t particularly difficult to spot if you know where to look. In fact, they’re quite large creatures with long tails that they use as props while underneath the water. As noted before, they’re also slow-moving creatures, so it shouldn’t be too hard to catch up to them.
As you can see, manatees can be spotted in plenty of areas throughout Florida. Whether you’re boating, kayaking, or just walking along the shoreline, it’s possible to catch a glimpse of one of these interesting creatures. They’re often quite curious about what’s happening above the water, and so they might approach anyone who gets near them. As such, it’s important to provide plenty of space while interacting with these gentle giants just to make sure that they’re safe and sound during your entire trip.
Top 5 Motorized Paddle Boards
Many appliances are becoming more and more technological, and with that comes the increased need for users to be able to maintain them. However, in order for these users to maintain them, it’s important that they take care of any problems that may arise before they become serious or even catastrophic. One appliance, in particular, is motorized paddle boards, which have seen a significant amount of increase since their inception decades ago.
What is a Motorized Paddle Board?
Generally speaking, a motorized paddle board is simply an unpowered recreational device designed for transportation on water and occasionally land (depending on what the maker’s intentions were). Mostly they are designed to put you in the water with maximum effort, and they function to help you navigate through the water. They do not employ propulsion on their own, but instead, these boards are controlled by an electric motor attached to each side or front of the board.
Top 5 Motorized Paddle Boards
1) ScubaJet Pro for Paddle Boarding
The ScubaJet Pro is one of the top, most advanced paddle boards in the world. It is fast, agile, and amazingly easy to control.
This product has all the features you would want, and it is available for a reasonable price. The design is amazing, and it has a nice portable remote. The unit only weighs about 65 pounds which makes it quite light when compared to some other models on the market. This model also has a large motor that works great on flat surfaces such as lakes or rivers. This board can go up to 3 mph without any problem, and it can do this for almost four hours before you need to charge it again.
The battery life is exceptional, and it is quite efficient.
This model has been tested thoroughly, and it has a great track record of being reliable, safe, comfortable, and easy to control its users. This unit also has an awesome power-to-weight ratio which is why it is one of the fastest models in its class. The remote controller is quite comfortable, and it is easy to pilot this board.
The ScubaJet Pro has a great design and efficient performance.
The speedometer comes in handy when you are trying to keep track of your speed while you are in the water. It would be nice if this unit could be used in both fresh and salt water, but unfortunately, that isn’t possible.
2) Bixpy Jet J-2 SUP Motor Kit
The Bixpy Jet J-2 comes from a company that is highly respected in the industry. This company has a good reputation for producing quality products, and for this reason, their motorized paddle boards are all top-notch products. The Bixpy Jet J-2 SUP is kind of like a mini version of the ScubaJet Pro. It is about two-thirds the size of the ScubaJet Pro, which makes it quite compact. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to store, then this is definitely one of the best-motorized paddle boards out there.
This unit has many unique features that make it stand out from the rest, and one of these features is that it comes with an amazing remote control. This remote can be used just as if it were a handheld unit because it has a display screen that shows the speed, distance, and time. This motorized paddle board is also very lightweight.
It is quite small, but you don’t have to worry about it being too hard to control because this unit is packed with power, and it works great in the water.
The Bixpy Jet J-2 has all of the basic features that you would expect from other motorized paddle boards, and they’re all at an affordable price.
3) Sipa Smart Motorized Paddle Board
The Sipa Smart Motorized Paddle Board is another great model because it is affordable, efficient, and extremely easy to control. This unit is great for beginners and people who don’t have any experience with paddle boards.
This model comes with a nice remote control, and you can change the speed by using this remote control from 1 to 20 mph. The unit comes with a nice battery life of about 3 hours at full force, so you can use it for almost three hours straight before you need to charge it again.
The Sipa Smart has a nice design, and there have been many people who have commented on its sturdiness.
It is not quite as fast as the ScubaJet Pro, and it does not have nearly as much power as the ScubaJet Pro, but it’s a great choice for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money.
4) JOBE E-Duna
When it comes to the best-motorized paddle boards, the JOBE E-Duna has one of the best designs on the market. This unit has a sleek and modern design, and it is completely waterproof. The JOBE E-Duna also comes with a nice remote control, but this model isn’t quite as easy to control as some of the others that are on our list. However, if you get used to this board, then you can use it just like an expert would.
This model is great for flat water situations, and it can go at about 20 mph for up to two hours. This unit has a nice price tag as well, which is why it’s so popular.
The JOBE E-Duna has a great design, and it comes with all of the features that you would expect from other motorized paddle boards.
5) Torque e-Paddle
The Torque e-Paddle is a unique unit that comes with an amazing design, great features, and all of the basic components included. The Torque e-Paddle is compact, light, and easy to control. You can take this unit anywhere you want to go and use it in any situation that you need it in.
The Torque e-Paddle has an awesome power-to-weight ratio which is why it is one of the fastest motorized paddle boards in its class.
The Torque e-Paddle has a great design, and it is one of the best-motorized paddle boards on the market.
These are Top 5 Motorized Paddle Boards that you can buy today, and they are all reasonably priced. Each of these models is unique in its own way, but all three have something to offer their users. They’re available at reasonable prices, they’re lightweight and easy to control, they have great features, and both of them are very durable. These models are all extremely popular, and you won’t regret buying any one of them.
Best Quality Inflatable Boards
Paddleboarding remains the best way to explore and enjoy your time at the lake, ocean, or river. When enjoying your time at these locations, you need a good paddleboard to enhance your kayaking or boating experience. While traditional wood paddle boards are bulky and less portable, inflatable paddle boards offer the best alternative. However, the numerous inflatable boards make it hard to choose the best one. Experts advise checking the quality, performance, and portability to get the most appropriate option. This article explores the best quality inflatable boards.
Serene Life inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board (Best Overall)
Price – $330
● Material – fiberglass or elasticized-fabric
● Size – 126*32*6 inches
● Weight – 13.9 pounds
This paddleboard unit comes with everything you require for paddling on a river, ocean, or lake. It’s 10.5 feet long and features an adjustable aluminum paddle, a manual air pump, an ankle leash, a nylon carrying bag, and a plastic fin. With a weight of 13.9 pounds, it’s the lightest and most portable option. In addition, the stability makes it good for beginners and advanced paddlers. However, this paddleboard has some durability issues due to its lightweight materials.
ROC Inflatable StandUp Paddleboard Pack (Best Accessories)
Price – $ 440
● Materials – PVC
● Size – 120*33*6 inches
● Weight – 17.5 pounds
Regardless of your experience level, this SUP remains the best option. It has several stand-out features, including the dry bag to keep your keys or phone safe and bungee straps. You can also convert the adjustable parts into a kayak paddle if you prefer sitting while boating. The 6-inch lift and 33-inch width enhance the stability and make it easy to catch speed. In addition, manufacturers create it with well-made and durable PVC materials to enhance its use. The only downside is that it’s usually challenging to fit the accessories in the bag.
Fun Water SUP (Best Price)
Price – $240
● Materials – PVC
● Size – 126*33*6 inches
● Weight – 17.6 pounds
The fun water stand-up paddleboard (SUP) is the best when having a tight budget. You can easily get this affordable alternative without sacrificing quality and durability. Manufacturers design this SUP with a leak-proof air valve and multi-layered PVC that enhances its stability. In addition, the design and material make it easy to maneuver and carry to your kayaking location. These aspects make it a solid pick for intermediate or beginner kayakers. While it’s easy to inflate it, you may find it daunting to read the pressure gauge.
Atoll 11-Foot Inflatable SUP (Best Stability)
Price – $700
● Materials – Polyvinyl chloride
● Size – 132*32*6 inches
● Weight – 21 pounds
Atoll 11-foot has features that make it an ideal option that offers stability when paddling for long distances or enjoying yoga on the paddleboard. With these features, you easily hop into the waters and get back on it while in the water. The PVC material and design make it easy to control or turn it while boating. In addition, the lightweight material makes it easy to transport or move around with the tool for your enjoyment. Most prior users have found it comfortable to carry this SUP and its accessories in the carrying bag. Nevertheless, the long nature of the appliance makes it hard to maneuver while paddling.
Nixy Newport Inflatable SUP (Best Portability)
Price – $900
● Materials – PVC
● Size – 126*33*6 inches
● Weight – 21 pounds
Whether carrying the Nixy Newport SUP by car or airplane, experts reveal that it’s the best option that offers portability. It comes with comfortable padded straps on the carrying backpack and three wheels to make your travel trouble-free. Besides the portability properties, this SUP enhances stress-free paddling. When using it, you’ll find various adventurous touches, including three handles and a multi-use mount resembling a fishing pole. Manufacturers design it with reinforced drop-stitching and a layered military-grade PVC to enhance stability by holding approximately 15 PSI of air pressure. The main drawback is the time it takes to screw the three fins at the board’s bottom.
Body Glove Performer 11’ Inflatable SUP (Best for Beginners)
Price – $ 400
● Materials – PVC
● Size – 132*34*5.4 inches
● Weight – 24 pounds
From packing the backup, riding, and inflation to deflation, this SUP is super simple. The simplicity makes it an ideal option for beginners. The 11-foot length and 34-inch width make it the best alternative for borders that want to start balancing on it. The dimensions help to provide stability without sacrificing maneuverability. Many individuals prefer it due to the inclusion of an automatic and manual pump to suit different preferences. A manual pump enhances portability while hiking into a river or lake while an electric pump offers an easy and faster pumping option. Despite not being lightweight, its maneuverability and stability make it an excellent option for beginners.
ISLE Pioneer Inflatable SUP (Best Design)
Price – $575
● Materials – PVC
● Size – 126*34*6 inches
● Weight – 24 pounds
It has a simple design with a subtle palm leaves pattern and earth-toned colors that makes it one of the best options. Besides the superior style, it’s easy to inflate and deflate the SUP when you want to paddle. You can enjoy stability and exceptional maneuverability when in the waters, thanks to the 34-inch width and 6-inch loft. In addition, the kit comes with an oversize bag where you can fit the pump and other accessories. The only drawback is that the 24 pounds make it heavy to carry around. The heavy weight makes it hard to move with the backpack around when going for kayaking or boating.
Inflatable paddle boards offer numerous advantages over traditional ones. These boards are easy to store, durable, and portable. While choosing the best quality, it’s good to focus on those coming from high-quality materials and sophisticated features like multiple fins, reinforced rails, etc. Choosing a high-quality paddleboard that meets your preferences and needs enhances your paddling experience. Whether you’re a beginner paddler or an experienced, you can invest in the above alternatives to take your paddling adventures to a higher level.
Best Kayaking Locations In Florida
Kayaking is an ancient and amazing adventure that connects you with the natural environment and water around you. Despite individuals creating the first kayaks many years ago, the adventure has become a popular recreational activity in Florida. Florida boasts many waterways, making it a prime destination for kayaking enthusiasts. From peaceful, calm rivers to thrilling ocean swells, there are countless kayaking locations you can explore. These hundreds of interesting locations make it hard to choose the best one. This article explores the top ten best kayaking locations in Florida with their contact details.
Winter Park Chain of Lakes
It offers a unique paddling opportunity and experience. The location has huge man-made canals winding through the ancient city and between attractive estates. You can enjoy a glimpse of the natural scene and Florida wildlife as you kayak. In addition, you’ll enjoy nature, from the wading birds nest around the shoreline trees to the lusty aquatic plants. These man-made canals link together six freshwater lakes having turtles, fish, and osprey. The sheltering shade in the canals relieves you from the wind and sun to enhance a relaxing and pleasant cruise.
Contact information: Dinky Dock: 410 Ollie Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 | 407-212- 7306
Fort Pierce is the best location when you wish to try an evening excursion. Why Fort Pierce? The location has various unique creatures you can’t find anywhere else. You can encounter bioluminescent comb jellies lighting the dark waters under your kayak. Many boating enthusiasts view navigating the mangrove tunnels and paddling the coves with a flashlight as the best experience for a daytime trip.
Contact information: Little Jim Bridge Park: 601N Causeway, Fort Pierce, FL 34949 | 772-206-0337
Tampa Bay: Tarpon Springs
Tarpon Springs has numerous attractive features and creatures, including stingrays, manatees, dolphins, and tarpons. If you’ve never enjoyed seeing huge fishes, you can explore this location to see these creatures as you paddle. Tarpon Springs offers seasonal tours during manatee seasons, allowing you to meet the gentle giants in the waterways. Besides the wildlife and these attractive creatures, you can enjoy exploring various historical sites, such as Victorian-style homes. The town is also famous for the Greek restaurants and waterfront shops which you can visit.
Contact information: Tarpon Springs Yacht Club: 1 Bayou Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689 | 727-265-2268
Jupiter is one of the best kayaking locations in Florida, with brackish and blue-green waters from the Indian River. This site has numerous fascinating marine animals you can see or meet while on your kayak. In addition, these Intracoastal waters also have attractive wild beaches that kayakers can stop to enjoy. With the large sandbar and shallow water spots, you can stop to check for smaller aquatic animals like putter fish, conch, and sea stars. Besides paddling, you can get out of the kayak to enjoy the cool water when it gets hotter.
Contact information: Jupiter Pointe Club and Marina: 18701 SE Federal Hwy, Jupiter, FL 33469 | 561-203-9477
Rainbow Springs State Park
Before transitioning into a state park, Rainbow Springs State Park was a huge private outdoor park. Being a private outdoor park, the location still bears man-made waterfalls and ornamental gardens. Besides these lovely attractions, you can still enjoy the surrounding mossy hammocks and natural springs while paddling. You can opt to hop into the natural springs when it gets hot while paddling.
Contact information: KP Hole Park: 9435 SW 190th Avenue Rd, Dunnellon, FL 34432 | 352-541-0115
Merritt Island National Wildlife refuge
Research shows that Merritt is the largest barrier island in Florida. The island is home to more than 140,000 acres of natural preserve and the NASA Kennedy Space Center. You can spend your time in the waterway, offering an unparalleled Coastal Florida ecosystem view. When enjoying your time, you can see manatees, dolphins, and alligators in this water. The bioluminescence kayaking makes the area the most attractive location, as you can enjoy the glowing bioluminescent planktons that create a breathtaking and eerie sight.
Contact information: 1987 Scrub Jay Way, Titusville, FL 32782 (NW Haulover Canal) | 407-212-7306
It’s a scenic and natural waterway with a series of artesian springs to enhance your paddling experience. The Rocksprings Run has crystal-clear and slow-moving water allowing you to see various freshwater species, including fish, turtles, alligators, and turtles. You can also see deer and birds in the nearby pine flatwood forests or along the shores. While enjoying the moments, you can paddle against the current in a given direction while the other one allows free movements. Rock Springs is the best alternative for beginners.
Contact information: King’s Landing: 5722 Baptist Camp Rd, Apopka, FL 32712 | 407-212-7306
The Crystal River has serene water that flows into the Jurassic Springs, Hunter, and the Three Sister Springs in the National Wildlife Reserve. While it’s a good paddling location, it opens doors only from April 1st to November 14th. Why does it have a limited duration? The authorities limit access during other times due to the endangered manatees that flock to the sanctuary. Nevertheless, during the opening days, it’s one of the prettiest kayaking locations with iconic and turquoise waters.
Contact information: Kings Bay Park: 268 NW 3rd St, Crystal River, FL 34428 | 352-834-1556
Tampa Bay: Shell Key Preserve
Tampa Bay is a huge 1828-acre preserve with a 195-acre barrier island. This untouched marine location is home to manatees and dolphins, which you enjoy seeing while paddling. You can enjoy paddling through the mangrove forests while viewing or exploring the pristine white beaches. With the authorities restricting public access to the beaches, you can only reach the shores by kayaking. Most boating enthusiasts prefer using a clear kayak to discover various sea creatures like crustaceans and starfish in the waters.
Contact information: Billy’s Stone Crab: 1 Collany Rd, Tierra Verde, FL 33715 | 727-265-2268
The Suwannee River is 246 miles long, making it a famous location for multi-day boating trips. It has natural and slow canals passing in the forested wetlands and swamps. However, experienced kayakers can explore some wild sections to enjoy whitewater paddling. For instance, you can start by exploring the Big river shoal tracts with some difficulties. Despite the enjoyment, you may require some hiking skills to reach some sites.
Contact information: 18738 SE 94th Street, FL 32096 | (352) 386-397-4331
Florida offers various kinds of kayaking opportunities. You can enjoy paddling along the attractive Florida beaches, river paddling, whitewater kayaking on fast-flowing river sections, and urban boating. The state has a lot of locations where you could explore the different water experiences. Above are the top kayaking locations that allow you to experience and explore the best of what the Sunshine State offers.
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