5 Central Florida Kayaking Experiences Every Orlandoan Needs to Have

Some times you just need to have to get absent from it all and experience character. When there are lots of techniques to get lively and enjoy Mom Nature, kayaking in Orlando is ideal for finding Central Florida’s numerous lakes, rivers, bays, and springs all though recognizing area wildlife. We have shown five concepts for your following kayaking experience below – all a realistic push from Orlando.

Current March 2022 by Dani Meyering 

1. Merritt Island Refuge Bioluminescence

Kayaking in Orlando will under no circumstances be the identical after you’ve professional this nighttime kayaking journey beneath the stars. Even the tiniest disturbances in the drinking water activate the bioluminescence creating the water around you come alive with blue gentle.

Even though you can stir up the water yourself, looking at a dolphin or fish light up the water whilst swimming is a surreal sight. To add to the pleasure, universities of traveling mullet fish congregate in specified locations and may possibly just soar into your kayak to hitch a trip.

This is a leisurely trip led by a tutorial, and you’ll have lots of time to paddle all-around at your very own rate. When you are not admiring the bioluminescent organisms, acknowledged as dinoflagellates, drift with the present even though searching up at the evening sky. One particular of my favorite kayaking tour corporations for this is A Day Away Kayak Excursions.

Travel time to the Merritt Island Refuge is about 1 hour from Orlando. Leave early to make it possible for a minimal more time to locate the start web page. Specifics will be delivered in your confirmation e-mail. Though bioluminescent tours are made available almost calendar year-round, June-early October is the very best time to take a look at.

Graphic credit: A Day Away Kayak Excursions

2. Lido Essential Mangroves

Kayaking in Orlando, and close by is good, but at times you have to have a minimal adventure. If you’re seeking for a day vacation and really don’t thoughts a bit of a push, make the 2.5-hour street excursion to Lido Crucial, south of Longboat Key. South Lido County Park is property to a collection of mangrove tunnels struggling with Sarasota Bay.

Though kayaking in the shallow mangroves might at 1st appear a little bit intimidating (and you may possibly be concerned about the likelihood of receiving dropped, I know I was) the tunnels are surprisingly effectively marked and quick to navigate. The currents will do most of the do the job for you, producing this an effortless paddle even for inexperienced persons. If you are fortunate, you could even spot a manatee.

Opt for from a guided tour or hire kayaks for a 50 percent working day and take a look at on your possess. Both is a terrific option for having fun with the scenery.

mangrove-kayakingImage credit history: Stephanie Patterson

3. Crystal River/Kings Bay

Recognizing a manatee in the wild is exciting in its personal ideal, but imagine looking at a single in the water right future to you. The Crystal River space, a 1.5-hour generate from Orlando, delivers your best possibility at accomplishing just that, as it can be house to manatees year spherical. The hotter drinking water temperatures convey hundreds of manatees to the spot in the wintertime, but even when the Gulf waters have warmed in the summertime, some manatees remain.

The best time to go to is in the cooler tumble and winter season months, but manatees can perhaps be noticed calendar year spherical. Decide for a guided tour with a reliable business in its place of attempting to obtain manatees on your possess.

4. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Fewer than a 2-hour travel from Orlando, the apparent, winding waters of the Weeki Wachee River are ripe for exploring and wildlife viewing. Weeki Wachee Point out Park is also home to the famous Mermaid Show.

Soon after leasing one or tandem kayaks, the journey starts in the state park and is a self-guided, 5.5-mile vacation that will take about 3 several hours devoid of halting. Make certain to provide along water and a picnic lunch if you’d like to vacation at a slower tempo. The clear water would make wildlife sightings simple, and you might see manatees, otters, turtles, and extra.

Kayak rentals are readily available in the state park along with a shuttle company to take you back to the park just after you arrive at the specified halting stage on the river. Make absolutely sure to stick around for the Mermaid Clearly show. Park admission is $13.00 and includes shows.

Weeki Wachee kayak by Weeki Wachee kayak rental Kayaking Central Florida Image credit score: Weeki Wachee Kayak Rental

5. Wekiwa Springs Point out Park

If you want to remain near to residence, there is certainly no improved put for kayaking in Orlando than Wekiwa Springs Condition Park. Just make the 25 – 30 moment drive for a working day of kayaking the river and cooling off in the chilly spring.

As you make your way down the Wekiva River, continue to keep your eyes out for alligators sunning by themselves on the riverbank. All through specific occasions of the 12 months, you can listen to them, even if you can not see them. You will also place a lot of of Florida’s native birds, turtles, and maybe even otters.

Solitary and tandem kayak rentals are readily available inside of the park at Wekiwa Springs Condition Park Nature Adventures. The price tag for a tandem kayak is $30/hour. Two hours is loads of time for a peaceful paddle down the Wekiva River. Just after your paddle and awesome down in the springs, rejoice with a drink at close by Wekiva Island, exactly where you can also rent kayaks and swanky river cabanas.

Wikewa Springs receives specifically hectic on very hot times and weekends, so arrive early in the morning to kayak and conquer the crowds. Make positive to provide along a good deal of water.

kayak wekiwa-springs by S PattersonPicture credit rating: Stephanie Patterson

Honorable Mention: King’s Landing close to Apopka

King’s Landing in Apopka is a different Orlando spot most loved. Image a crystal-clear, stunning waterway that weaves past big oaks draped in Spanish moss. Be certain to provide your binoculars. There is no shuttle assistance with this possibility, so be well prepared to paddle again to the launch web site. You can scope out more destinations to go kayaking in Central Florida, for below $50 for two.

Additional kayaking in Orlando adventures and factors to do: