The Calusa Blueway is a 190-mile long paddling trail through the Gulf Coast waters around Fort Myers. It’s not designed to be through-paddled, but it IS designed to be Florida’s best kayak trail. You can get free maps of the various paddling trails sent to you.
So many things that make Lovers Key State Park so lovable: A 2.5 mile beach lined with natural vegetation that is perfect for swimming, beachcombing and bird watching, and mangrove-lined waterways that attract both manatees and kayakers.
This out-of-the-way destination reminds us of artsy waterfront towns like Key West and Cedar Key. West of Fort Myers, Matlacha is a colorful collection of little wooden houses surrounded by good saltwater-kayak trails. Artists love this funky little village.
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.
Sanibel is more famous for its beaches and seashells, but it’s a great place to explore by bike. With more than 25 miles of bicycle trails, Sanibel’s hidden beaches, pioneer cemetery and quiet shady neighborhoods open up to you.
With a beautiful beach, free pier, beach-side restaurants and a lively downtown, this is a classic beach town. It’s frozen in time while it awaits redevelopment.
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.
Sanibel and Captive are kayak paradise, with waters full of fish, dolphins, manatees, ospreys, pelicans, herons — even otters. Here’s a guide to where and how to explore by kayak.