5 Central Florida Kayaking Experiences Every Orlandoan Needs to Have

Some times you just need to get absent from it all and expertise nature. Whilst there are a great deal of methods to get active and delight in Mom Mother nature, kayaking in Orlando is great for exploring Central Florida’s varied lakes, rivers, bays, and springs all when spotting local wildlife. We’ve mentioned 5 suggestions for your upcoming kayaking experience beneath – all a realistic travel from Orlando.

If you require to lease some gear, you can scope out far more sites to go kayaking in Central Florida, for less than $50 for two.

Up-to-date March 2023 by Dani Meyering 

1. Wekiwa Springs Point out Park

30 minutes from Orlando

If you want to continue to be close to property, there is certainly no improved put for kayaking in Orlando than Wekiwa Springs Point out Park. Just make the 25 – 30 moment push for a day of kayaking the river and cooling off in the chilly spring.

As you go down the Wekiva River, keep your eyes out for alligators sunning them selves on the riverbank. Through sure times of the 12 months, you can listen to them, even if you can’t see them. You’ll also spot many of Florida’s native birds, turtles, and maybe even otters.

Solitary and tandem kayak rentals are readily available in the park at Wekiwa Springs Condition Park Mother nature Adventures. The charge for a tandem kayak is $30/hour. Two hrs is loads of time for a peaceful paddle down the Wekiva River. After your paddle and awesome down in the springs, rejoice with a drink at close by Wekiva Island, where by you can also hire kayaks and swanky river cabanas.

Wekiwa Springs gets specifically occupied on incredibly hot times and weekends, so get there early in the morning to kayak and defeat the crowds. Make absolutely sure to deliver alongside a great deal of h2o.

kayak wekiwa-springs by S PattersonImage credit history: Stephanie Patterson

2. Merritt Island Refuge Bioluminescence

1 hour from Orlando

Kayaking in Orlando will never ever be the exact same right after you’ve skilled this nighttime kayaking experience under the stars. Even the tiniest disturbances in the drinking water activate the bioluminescence earning the water around you come alive with blue gentle.

Though you can stir up the h2o you, looking at a dolphin or fish light up the drinking water although swimming is a surreal sight. To insert to the enjoyment, universities of flying mullet fish congregate in selected parts and might just soar into your kayak to hitch a experience.

This is a leisurely journey led by a tutorial, and you’ll have a good deal of time to paddle close to at your own tempo. When you’re not admiring the bioluminescent organisms, identified as dinoflagellates, drift with the latest although seeking up at the night sky. One of my preferred kayaking tour companies for this is A Working day Away Kayak Tours.

Drive time to the Merritt Island Refuge is about 1 hour from Orlando. Depart early to allow a minor extra time to locate the start web-site. Specifics will be supplied in your affirmation e mail.

Although bioluminescent tours are provided just about yr-spherical, June-early Oct is the finest time to take a look at.
Bioluminescent comb jellies are most noticeable November – May possibly.

Best things to do in Orlando - Bioluminescent kayakingPicture credit history: A Working day Away Kayak Excursions


Far more Info: Bioluminescent Kayaking in Central Florida

2. Lido Important Mangroves

2.5 several hours from Orlando

Kayaking in Orlando, and close by is good, but sometimes you require a little journey. If you’re wanting for a day vacation and really do not intellect a little bit of a drive, make the 2.5-hour highway excursion to Lido Crucial, south of Longboat Essential. South Lido County Park is residence to a sequence of mangrove tunnels struggling with Sarasota Bay.

Although kayaking in the shallow mangroves may at to start with appear to be a bit overwhelming (and you may perhaps be apprehensive about the probability of acquiring lost, I know I was) the tunnels are remarkably effectively marked and simple to navigate. The currents will do most of the get the job done for you, creating this an quick paddle even for newcomers. If you’re lucky, you may possibly even location a manatee.

Decide on from a guided tour or hire kayaks for a half working day and check out on your personal. Either is a excellent possibility for having fun with the landscapes.

mangrove-kayakingImpression credit rating: Stephanie Patterson

4. Crystal River/Kings Bay

1.5 several hours from Orlando

Recognizing a manatee in the wild is thrilling in its possess appropriate, but think about looking at 1 in the h2o proper future to you. The Crystal River region, a 1.5-hour drive from Orlando, delivers your ideal likelihood at executing just that, as it really is household to manatees yr round. The hotter water temperatures carry hundreds of manatees to the region in the winter season, but even when the Gulf waters have warmed in the summer, some manatees remain.

The best time to pay a visit to is in the cooler drop and winter months, but manatees can perhaps be noticed 12 months round. Opt for a guided tour with a reliable corporation as a substitute of making an attempt to locate manatees on your have.

5. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

2 hours from Orlando

Fewer than a 2-hour generate from Orlando, the crystal clear, winding waters of the Weeki Wachee River are ripe for exploring and wildlife viewing. Weeki Wachee Condition Park is also house to the famed Mermaid Display.

After leasing one or tandem kayaks, the journey starts in the point out park and is a self-guided, 5.5-mile trip that will take about 3 hours devoid of halting. Provide alongside water and a picnic lunch if you’d like to vacation at a slower tempo. The crystal clear water can make wildlife sightings simple, and you may well see manatees, otters, turtles, and far more.

Kayak rentals are obtainable in the point out park alongside with a shuttle service to acquire you back again to the park immediately after you access the designated stopping stage on the river. Make confident to adhere all-around for the Mermaid Display. Park admission is $13.00 and features exhibits.

Weeki Wachee kayak by Weeki Wachee kayak rental Kayaking Central Florida Picture credit history: Weeki Wachee Kayak Rental

Bonus Notion: King’s Landing around Apopka

30 minutes from Orlando

King’s Landing in Apopka is another Orlando area beloved. Picture a crystal-very clear, amazing waterway that weaves previous substantial oaks draped in Spanish moss. Be sure to provide your binoculars. You can possibly e book a tour or start your own kayak.

Kayak all-around an animal exhibit

1 hour from Orlando

Only in Florida can you practical experience this! Head out to the Brevard Zoo on the Place Coastline for a kayaking working experience you are not able to find anyplace else. The Brevard Zoo is the only zoo in the region to present guided kayaking tours all over an animal show.

Opt for a guided kayaking tour by Expedition Africa or go off on your own adventure in the Wild Florida location.

Kayaking tickets are out there for order from Kayak Seashore in Expedition Africa or the Zoo’s key gate. Tickets for kayaking in the Wild Florida place can be ordered at the Zoo’s Cape to Cairo teach station or at the Wetland Outpost.

Young children beneath 5 are not permitted to kayak and young children under 12 should be accompanied by a paid out adult. Ages 5 & up $9.95.

A family prepares to head out for Kayaking at Brevard Zoo (Halloween 2022)Kayaking at Brevard Zoo (Halloween 2022) – Dani Meyering

Additional kayaking in Orlando adventures and issues to do:



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