With expansive state parks and a national wildlife refuge plus several attractive county and city facilities, Jupiter offers many excellent places to kayak, hike, bike and learn about native wildlife. Within a two hour drive of 6 million people in South Florida, it’s a good getaway for lovers of the outdoors .
Cabbage Key is reachable only by boat. It’s popular as a lunch-cruise destination. But stay overnight in the inn or cabins to discover its true charms. On our visit, we also found it’s a great base for exploring by kayak.
The Manatee River is wild, natural and serene in its eastern section. Just a half hour from downtown Bradenton, the Upper Manatee Paddling Trail is another world. Your trip can include a stop at a preserve where a pioneer cemetery marks the site of an early town.
You’ll discover a natural world without traffic and crowds when you’re kayaking Deer Prairie Creek in North Port. This tributary of the Myakka River is quiet, off-the-beaten track and not widely known outside its neighboring area.
Kayaks and canoes are one of the best ways to surround yourself in the Everglades. Here’s a guide to the trails in the national park.
MacArthur Beach State Park offers one of my favorite kinds of kayak trails – a trip to an island reachable only by boat. To make it better, historic Munyon Island has an interesting story and great scenery.
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.