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.