6 Best Places For Kayaking In Sarasota, Florida

kayaking in sarasota

Tampa is among the most popular destinations to be visited in the state of Florida, and with good reason. If you travel to the southern part of Tampa, you will find yourself in Sarasota, a city that appeals to surfers, kayakers, and water sports enthusiasts because of its long stretch of beaches that feature shallow waters. But there is more to the city than just the beaches. You can visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, a green oasis beautified with various plants and flowers. If you are looking to have an artsy time and want to indulge in artworks and architecture, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is your place. Back to the kayaking activity, keep reading to learn more about the best places for kayaking in Sarasota, Florida.

1. Jim Neville Marine Preserve

The first place on the list is Jim Neville Marine Preserve, which is named after one of the world’s most renowned environmental activists Jim Neville. To find the marine preserve, you need to drive to the southern tip of Siesta Key. The preserved land is known for its low elevation and clear blue waters, which is excellent for outdoor activities that include kayaking, paddling, and boating. If you do not have your own kayaking equipment, there is a kayak rental near the preserve. What is more, the place is also known for its diverse wildlife. Do not be surprised if you meet great blue herons, pelicans, and bald eagles, among others.

Jim Neville Marine Preserve

Address: ​Little Sarasota Bay, Sarasota, FL 34242, USA

2. South Lido Key Beach Park on the Gulf

2017 Sarasota Lido Key Beach 2 FRD 9567
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Fred Hsu used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Now that you have tried one place, you can move on to another. For a pleasant kayaking experience, you should try South Lido Key Beach Park on the Gulf, a popular destination for all outdoor sports enthusiasts. You can expect to see a lot of kayakers, paddlers, boaters, and even fishermen here. The clear water and sandy coastline are among the best features of the beach. After you are done kayaking, you can also enjoy a picnic, indulge in a barbecue, or simply marvel at the scenic views and take in the vibrant atmosphere of your surroundings.

South Lido Key Beach Park on the Gulf

Address: 2201 Ben Franklin Dr, Lido Key, Sarasota, FL 34236

3. South Creek Trail

Situated on Oscar Scherer State Park, South Creek Trail lets you be captivated by the beauty of the landscape first before you start indulging in any outdoor activities. This area is famous for its blackwater stream that is headed into the direction of the Gulf of Mexico. Smell the freshwater once you get started with your kayaking adventure and along the way, you will also be exposed to a saltwater environment. You can either kayak or canoe here, and you can choose from various rentals available throughout the place.

South Creek Trail

Address: Sarasota County, Osprey, FL, USA

4. Myakka River State Park

The Myakka River inside Florida's Myakka State Park 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Will Pittenger used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Of course, you have to try all - or as many - of the places for kayaking while you’re here. Why don’t you make your way to Myakka River State Park, one of the oldest and prettiest parks in Florida? Prior to kayaking, you may want to please your eyes and recharge yourself with idyllic views of the palm trees and oak trees on one of the hammocks provided in the area. Then you can start kayaking or trying different activities like fishing or canoeing. If you still have some energy left, you can enjoy biking or hiking on one of the easy trails.

Myakka River State Park

Address: 13208 State Rd 72, Sarasota, FL 34241, USA

5. Phillippi Creek Levee Trail

Find your way to the northern banks of Phillippi Creek and you will reach another amazing place where you can kayak all day long: Phillippi Creek Levee Trail. Throughout your kayaking experience, you will be surrounded by lush landscapes that will allow you to reconnect with nature. Kayak at a leisurely pace to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. You can also enjoy wildlife viewing, biking, and picnicking here.

Phillippi Creek Levee Trail

Address: 1027 Greer Dr, Sarasota, FL 34237, USA

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

6. Bayfront Park

Sarasota, FL Bayfront Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Wendyrichmondrn used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Last but not least is Bayfront Park, which is among the top-notch attractions in Florida. The green space is beloved by locals. There is a playground for kids, so if you are kayaking with your little ones, you can take them to the playground once you are done. The kayaking experience here will be unforgettable since you get to admire magnificent views of both the bay and the city. Other than kayaking, this recreation spot also allows you to do other outdoor activities, including fishing and strolling on the walking paths. There are also picnic areas and a rental venue.

Bayfront Park

Address: 5 Bayfront Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236, United States

Opening hours: 7am - 11pm (daily)

Have an amazing kayaking experience in Sarasota

You have come to the end of this article so you now know that Sarasota has some of the best places for kayaking in the United States. If you are looking for a short escape that is loaded with exciting outdoor activities, Sarasota is definitely the spot. What are you waiting for? This weekend, head to Sarasota and enjoy kayaking.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Tenissa is a content writer, translator and editor. She enjoys being a globetrotter and has traveled to many countries around the world. So far, her favourite destination is Switzerland. She looks...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Sarasota
Good things are meant to be shared!