One of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire world, Orlando is the beating heart of Florida, best known for theme parks and other attractions. While countless people flock to the Sunshine State for these man-made tourist hotspots, many others visit Orlando and the surrounding area simply to take in all of the natural beauty the state of Florida has to offer. Kayaking is actually one of the very best activities to enjoy in this area, allowing visitors to get in touch with nature and make memories that are guaranteed to last forever.
With the Atlantic Ocean not too far away and a huge array of lakes and waterways simply covering the local area, Orlando is a kayaker's paradise. Whether you prefer coastal or flat water kayaking, Orlando is an amazing place to be, boasting dozens of beautiful nature reserves and stunning lakes all waiting to be explored and a whole lot of operators and companies running tours and rentals all around the city.
In fact, one of the best things about kayaking in Orlando is simply the quantity of opportunities and options available to you. While the Sunshine State's theme parks are known for being crazily crowded and busy, its lakes and waterways are so numerous that you can easily find a tranquil spot all to yourself for a few hours of relaxing paddling. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best kayaking spots in the heart of America’s pretty peninsula.
This state park is another super spot for Orlando kayaking adventures. Ideal for every kind of kayaker, from beginners to pros, Wekiwa Springs features calm waters and beautiful routes. Remarkable vistas all around provide a stunning snapshot of the pristine natural beauty of central Florida, with majestic oak trees towering left and right and all sorts of wildlife in the area, including turtles, fish, birds, alligators, foxes, squirrels, raccoons, and more!
Guided tours are not available in this area but it's perfectly possible to rent kayaks and head out to one of many launch sites to start your kayaking adventure. All sorts of routes are also indicated, varying in length from one to ten miles and taking in various landmarks along the way like Otter Camp, Buffalo Tram, or Katie's Landing. There are all sorts of great kayaking spots in this area, encouraging visitors to come back time and again to see and experience something new on each occasion.
Lake Tohopekaliga, often shortened simply to Lake Toho, is one of the biggest lakes in the Orlando area and a wonderful spot for kayaking in peace and tranquility. The lake is well-known among wildlife lovers and fishermen alike for its large populations of bass and birds. Dozens of bird species can be spotted in the area and anglers will always be seen along the shorelines or in their boats hoping to land a big catch.
American alligators are also spotted in this area, so only the bravest and boldest kayakers tend to set out on these waters and Lake Toho kayaking isn't recommending to newbies or youngsters. Guided tours are a great way to experience this area and the most popular excursions will often include a little trip over to Makinson Island, offering kayakers a super chance of seeing cypress trees in all their beauty and possibly even catching a glimpse of some wild deer or hogs.
Blue Spring State Park
One of the most iconic creatures every one associates with Orlando and the state of Florida in general, is the manatee. These wonderful marine mammals, commonly known as sea cows, are beloved by people all over the world and well-known for their curious personalities and gentle nature. And if you want to enjoy an Orlando kayaking trip that lets you get in touch with these lovely creatures, Blue Spring State Park is undoubtedly the place to be.
This state park is situated a little out of Orlando but some tours will start in the city or surrounding area and make their way up to the park over the course of the day. Central Florida Nature Adventures, for example, is an Orlando kayaking company offering winter manatee kayak tours in Orlando and the surrounding area. These tours, lasting anywhere from two to five hours, give guests a truly special chance to paddle and kayak alongside the manatees, getting up close with these gentle giants in their natural habitat.