best kayaking places in Tampa Bay

9 Best Places to Kayak in Tampa Bay

Every time I think about kayaking, I picture making my way through beaches and beautiful nature. Tampa Bay is one place that gives the beautiful scene of the beautiful gulf coast beaches and the scenic natural resources.  This place is perfect for locals and international visitors looking to have a great time. In addition to the beautiful shore, the weather is conducive for all your recreational outdoor fun activities. As a kayaker, you get to explore different sea caves and even paddle among dolphins. How exciting can that be, right? So, if you are looking for a vacation destination, you better start packing your bags. In this article, you will learn some of the best places to kayak in Tampa Bay.

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Kayaking In Tampa Bay

When looking for a perfect spot for kayaking or paddling, there are several factors you need to consider. First of all, get well vast with the destination. If you are new, you can always get a tour guide or tag a friend who is well vast with the region. Secondly, you need to consider the weather condition and season. The best time to paddle is during the summer. You get to enjoy the beautiful sunshine, and you can even participate in other activities like swimming.

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Additionally, it is also wise to consider the number of people you are tagging along with. This will help you choose a kayak better and plan on the best places to kayak in Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, the camping spots are very many. You can never get enough of the different spots. Here are some of the best kayaking places in Tampa Bay.

  1. Hillsborough River
  2. Silver Springs State
  3. Lettuce Lake Park
  4. Fort DeSoto Park
  5. Weedon Island Preserve
  6. Fred Howard Park
  7. Caladesi Island
  8. Myakka River
  9. Rainbow River

Hillsborough River

Hillsborough River is located in Hillsborough County. If you are looking for a perfect spot to test your skills and enjoy a day kayaking or canoe, then this is the place. The river has large stretches of flat water, and once in a while, you get to enjoy Class II rapids. It doesn’t matter whether you are an expert kayaker or just started kayaking; this is the best place to be.

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It is one of the greenest rivers in Florida, and its surrounded by green vegetation. Therefore, its reflection is more green than blue. This fact makes the river an amazing spot to be at. In the flat waters, you will come across some paddlers taking photos. However, it would help if you watched out for alligators as they tend to hang out near the banks. You can also spot wild animals like wild turkeys and hogs as you sail through the river. So, if you are looking for a perfect place to relax while paddling and enjoying the beauty of nature, then this is the place to be. This is also a perfect location to go kayak fishing in Tampa bay.

Silver Springs State Park

The Silver State Park is an amazing kayaking destination. The best thing about this place is that you can tag your family along for a getaway weekend. The rentals at Silver Springs State Park are perfect, and you get to kayak through the flat waters with your loved ones. In the calm waters, you get to explore the parks attraction sites.  You can paddle in the crystal clear waters of Siver River for 5 miles or head on to  Ocklawaha River.

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You can also canoe or kayak in the dense mangrove forests. Here you will enjoy the beautiful nature, and once in a while, you can spot alligators, manatees and wild monkeys. This place is also the set of Hollywood movies like Tarzan. If you are a fan of this movie or your child is, kayaking here will be an unforgettable experience. You can also engage in hiking while here since this place has miles of hiking trails.

Lettuce Lake Park

Lettuce Park is another great kayaking destination in Tampa Bay. If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful location to go kayaking or canoeing, then this is the place for you. The treelined shores offer you the greatest view of nature, and you will be able to spot alligators and turtles basking. You can also spot different wildlife in the trees.

For explorers and lovers of nature, this is the perfect destination. You also get to see Flourida’s true landscape. This place is a unique gem hidden in Tampa Bay.

Fort De Soto Park

This is another perfect destination for paddlers and anglers. It is located in Pinellas county.

This place holds a historical story of Tampa Bay. It was first built as a fort to defend Tampa Bay during the Spanish American War. This is a quiet and peaceful place where any Kayaker will enjoy spending a day. The seven miles Pristine shoreline gives experienced kayakers a chance to enjoy a  moment of a lifetime.

The park stretches over 1100 acres, and there are different kayaking routes. These different routes give even the inexperienced and intermediary kayakers the chance to enjoy kayaking.  Other than the Mangrove forests and calm waters, you get to enjoy pools, bike paths and beaches. When visiting this historic landmark, make sure you carry your kayak, swimming gear and hiking gear and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

Weedon Island Preserve

This place is one of the many treasures in Tampabay. It is the perfect location for all your outdoor recreational activities.

The Island extends to over 3000 acres with different kayaking spots. So, with your skill level, you can always enjoy a good time kayaking in this place. This place offers the best of Tampa Bays ecosystems and historic sites. You can choose t go kayaking in the South Paddling trail and enjoy the Mangrove forest, seagrass flats and small islands. While paddling through this four-mile trail, you can spot wildlife, birds and marine animals. You can choose to go paddling with your family. Children will enjoy the calm waters and the archaeological sites like the canoe estimated to be 1100 years buried beneath this Island.

Caladesi Island

Are you looking to paddle alongside Dolphins? Then this is the place to be. You can choose to drive your way here or paddle. This is the perfect place for kayakers and paddlers looking to have a great time. It is also a great vacation destination for families. To paddle alongside dolphins, the northern tip of the Island will be the best place. The shallow waters in this region reveal different marine wildlife and seashells. You also get to enjoy mangrove forests and beautiful beaches. The place matches the description of Myrtle Scharrel, the famous Homesteader who refers to it as ‘Paradise’. There are also perfect spots where you can rent a kayak and canoe, and the different rentals offer a perfect place to enjoy your time there.

Fred Howard Park

This undiscovered place is one beautiful place to enjoy kayaking and paddling. The park is small, but it has the amenities of any other beach. If you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy the beauty of Florida, then this place has it. Besides the beautiful waterways, there is also an awesome biking path where you can go biking with your friends and family. There are two routes in this park. First, you can paddle through the mangrove forest.

This route is perfect for kayakers of all skill levels. The other route is a 2-mile route around Lake Avoca. These two routes are peaceful and perfect spots to go with family. There is also a playgroup where your children can go to play. You also get to enjoy the beautiful lake view.

Myakka River

Myakka River is located at Hardee-Manatee County. The Myakka River flows through 58 miles allowing you to paddle for miles admiring the beautiful nature. It is the perfect spot for an outdoor adventure; you get to enjoy diverse ecosystems. The river is also referred to as the bird watcher’s paradise. It is home to more than 100 species of birds. Other than the birds, you can spot different marine life and wildlife. The flat waters are perfect for any level kayaker. It does not matter whether you have experienced or just a beginner. For more experienced kayakers, you can choose to go kayaking in Class I and II rapids and test your skills.

Rainbow River

This place is an excellent tourist destination. If you are looking to experience the beauty and history of Florida, then this is the place to be. It is also perfect for any outdoor enthusiast looking to enjoy their vacation. While paddling, you get to enjoy the view of Spanish Moss, Cypress Knees and Sandy Sea caves. The crystal clear waters reflect the beautiful surrounding. Kayaking this region gives you a perfect chance to reminisce with nature and get away from the daily hustles and dramas.  There are various spots where you can launch your paddles and canoes. After a day of paddling and canoeing, you can enjoy an evening walk around the historic Dunnellon or go swimming.

What To Carry When Going Kayaking In Tampa Bay

 This kayaking list applies to anyone looking to kayak in different destinations. The first thing you need to carry is a swimsuit. When kayaking in the flat waters, you might be tempted to go out for a swim. If you have your swimsuit, you don’t have to worry. The second thing you need to carry is a pair of sunglasses. Water reflects light and causes you lasting eye problems. It’s also important to carry a water bottle and sunscreen so you can limit sunburns. Additionally, people also recommend carrying a bug spray in case you encounter bugs along the way.

Final Thoughts

Kayaking is becoming more and more popular. People are going out of their way to look for kayak destinations. It’s not a wonder to find a person travel miles to look for an amazing kayaking spot. If you are looking for to-do activities for your next vacation, then try to learn kayaking. You can always tag your family along and enjoy the day. You can choose to enjoy the calm waters, explore different challenges by trying different water classes, or go fishing. The best part about kayaking is that you can choose a portable or inflatable kayak so you can easily transport it and carry it for all your kayaking escapades.

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