Kayak & Canoe

View of Pine Island Sound

Our favorite canoe and kayak trails: Best kayaking spots in Florida

This is your first step in planning adventures for the coming cooler weather. We’ve paddled dozens of Florida waterways and here’s our pick for the best places to kayak by region plus a few “unsung” favorites we recommend you discover.

Gilbert's Resort, the first lodging once you cross into the Florida Keys, is a great place to watch a Florida Keys sunset. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

36 hours in Key Largo: Gilbert’s Resort and kayaking the wreck at Garden Cove

For a quick trip to the Keys, consider Gilbert’s Resort. The upgraded 1950s-era motel and tiki bar is the first lodging you reach on the road to Key Largo. Then, kayak nearby Garden Cove and discover its picturesque sunken barge, a good place to snorkel.

Five favorite places to paddleboard in Tampa Bay area

Five favorite places to paddleboard in Tampa Bay area

For paddle boarding, it would be hard to find a better destination than Tampa Bay. In addition to beaches and bays, you can paddle amid mangrove islands, in tannic rivers with alligators and, within a two hour drive, one of the most spectacular clear spring runs in Florida.

Emerald Cut

Rock Springs Run, interrupted

Scenic Rock Springs Run is a legendary paddle trail through a stunning sub-tropical wilderness. But the popular 8.5-mile journey is on pause — Fallen trees are blocking passage.

Photo courtesy Kyle Peterson via Flickr.

Kayak under a full moon in 2018

Take advantage of a full moon to go on a night-time adventure in Florida. Many kayak outfitters around the state organize full-moon paddle outings.

You could spend an hour just browsing all the stuff at the Grumbles Antique and Garden Shop in Dunnellon. (Photo: David Blasco)

More than the Rainbow River; Dunnellon is a good base for exploring

Dunnellon is known for its spectacular Rainbow Springs and River, especially during tubing season. But there are more reasons to visit in cool weather, including another exquisite river– the Withlacoochee — several good restaurants, and trails for both hiking and biking.

Weeki Wachee Springs: Kayaking, manatees and mermaids

Weeki Wachee Springs: Kayaking, manatees and mermaids

The Weeki Wachee is being overwhelmed with visitors. It’s partly because of a viral video of people on SUPs watching a herd of manatees float by. But it is also because of this: It is SO BEAUTIFUL, as I was reminded when I paddled it last week.

Kayaking the Rainbow River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Rainbow River: Pure spring water makes kayaking, tubing tops

Rainbow Springs and the Rainbow River are among Florida’s top tubing and kayaking spots. People love this waterway because of the pure, clear water and the spectacular natural setting. In winter, it’s a peaceful place to kayak and perhaps see otters and birds. In summer, it’s full of tubes doing a four-hour float through a cool paradise.

Marsh campsite

The Talbot Islands: Paradise on the edge

Windswept beaches, pristine back country waterways, a mile-long fishing bridge and a shady, scenic campground.

The view from the diving platform at Wakulla Springs. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Wakulla & St. Marks: Out of the way, this Big Bend area is full of discoveries

The Big Bend area of Florida around St. Marks and Wakulla Springs is rich in things to do and see: Kayaking, biking, historic sites, springs, lighthouses. Yet, it is a less visited area off the tourist trail.

Lafayette forms two beautiful pools of water, each lined with limestone rocks, surrounded by hard packed earth and separated by a natural limestone bridge.  (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Springs & the Suwannee: Two northwest Florida parks are great bases for exploring

Remote, rural and picturesque, northwest Florida rewards your long drive with sparkling springs, the beautiful Suwanee River and scenic rural roads. Two state parks with cabins and campgrounds make great bases to explore the region.