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.
Kayak & Canoe
This Punta Gorda creek should be better known. Its tree canopy and unspoiled Old Florida feel offer kayakers natural beauty and wildlife, all in an easy, accessible day paddle.
Telegraph Creek, a tributary of the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers, is all the things I love about kayaking destinations – out-of-the-way, uncrowded, scenic, full of wildlife. You may even see llamas, as the river winds past a farm that raises exotic animals! Good news: The best launch site just reopened to the public.
This gorgeous, wild, winding river is well-known in Florida, but can only be paddled when water levels are high enough — and thanks to recent rains, that is NOW. This river belongs on the bucket list of those who love the Florida outdoors.
If you’re lucky, you can see manatees in lots of waterways around Florida, but here are a few locations where, in winter, you can reliably admire these charming creatures — and even kayak with them.
The Ichetucknee is the most pristine spring run in the state. It has eight major springs, crystalline water, lush jungly vegetation plus plentiful birds and wildlife. It’s a shame that most visitors only experience it as a busy tubing river. It’s a fabulous winter kayaking destination in North Florida — worth a drive!
Frog Creek is a scenic kayak trail near Tampa Bay that begins in a shady Old Florida river and flows into open salt water and mangrove tunnels. “Paddles in Paradise” authors Ed and Deb Higgins share their story.
Not only is the Suwannee a stunning wild river worth exploring for its beauty, it also offers five unusual river camps accessible only by boat. The camps have screened, covered camping platforms with electricity and a central bathhouse with hot water. The free river camps provide comfy conditions for multi-day trips.
If you have one day or its your first visit to the Everglades, this guide will help you see wildlife and experience the essence of Everglades National Park. We offer tips, too, for more in-depth Everglades experiences.