With an abundance of pristine beaches with easy public access, Hutchinson Island is my favorite destination on Florida’s Atlantic coast. Much of the island remains frozen in time, when you could cruise down A1A and pull off on the side of the road.
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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.
The new Silver Springs State Park near Ocala gives kayakers their first chance to launch at the famous springhead and paddle an exquisite waterway that has never been open to kayakers before.
This cypress-lined Alafia river has an unusual feature for Florida: Rocky shoals that create fun rapids to kayak. It’s near hiking trails, springs and a very nice paddling trail at Little Manatee River State Park.
Just 45 minute from Tampa/St. Pete, the beautiful river, state park and region is a natural haven that can keep you busy exploring for days. There’s an outfitter to make trip-planning easy, plus it offers cabins and camping.
Vast and remote, the Ten Thousand Islands off Florida’s southwest coast seems challenging to visit, a labyrinth of twisting channels through thousands of remote mangrove islands.
I’ve paddled a lot of trails in the Everglades, but so far, the Turner River is my favorite. It goes from pristine cypress swamp, through mangrove tunnels to sawgrass marsh, and it teems with birds, gators and fish. It’s everything the Everglades offers in one trip.
Between Lake Okeechobee and Fort Myers, a stretch of the Caloosahatchee River offers a taste of Old Florida — small towns, rivers ideal for kayaking and good public campgrounds.
People and birds alike enjoy the beautiful beaches and sandbars plus the pristine mangrove creeks at Bunche Beach. There are several routes for kayakers or it’s a great place for just combing the beach and enjoying the wildlife.
Not all of Central Florida’s magic is at Disney. North of Orlando is a vast ecological preserve that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities with unique exposure to Florida’s great outdoors.
When it’s chilly, you can see dozens of manatees at this free park. Even without manatees, the Orange River is a beautiful kayak trail through Old Florida scenery.
If you’re visiting the western entrance to Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands, there is a bed and breakfast that caters specifically to kayakers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts – the Ivey House Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City.