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.

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.

As the sun sets over Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, kayaks are lined up ready to launch for a bioluminescent kayak trip. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

A Florida summer thrill: Night-time kayaking in a bioluminescent glow

On dark summer nights in the Mosquito Lagoon near Titusville, the water glows from bioluminescent plankton. Kayak tours help visitors see the spectacular light show.

We spotted dolphin in Estero Bay three times on our kayak trip to Mound Key State Archaeological Park. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Mound Key: Kayak to archaeological park, once center of its world

A fascinating kayak destination: Mound Key Archaeological State Park, an uninhabited island accessible only by boat near Fort Myers Beach. The ceremonial center of the Calusa people, Mound Key is one of a kind and is surrounding by waters full of wildlife.

Little Bahia Honda Island, two-thirds of a mile out in the Atlantic, has a view of the historic saddleback bridge at Bahia Honda State Park.  (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Kayaking Bahia Honda State Park: Clear water and a tiny island to discover

The popular Lower Keys park is perfect for kayak outings. You can kayak around the island or head out to tiny picturesque Little Bahia Honda Island.