These unique tours offer paddlers a peaceful encounter with nature and on some occasions, a new perspective of big city skylines. This list of kayaking tours around the country covers the widest range of ecosystems available in one place.

The variety of locations offers kayak enthusiasts choices between places like the rugged terrain of the Florida Everglades and Louisianna swamps to the cityscape skylines of New York and Austin, Texas. Whether by sea or by lake, kayaking brings everyone closer to nature.

1. Sea Quest Expeditions, San Juan Islands, Washington

Sea Quest Expeditions, San Juan Islands, Washington
© Sea Quest Expeditions

Sea Quest Expeditions provides the greatest whale-watching kayak tours around Washington’s scenic archipelago with the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the south and the Strait of Georgia to the north. Guides construct the ideal adventures taking into account the changing weather, tides and currents, and expectations of the guests to ensure an unforgettable and educational experience. Knowledgable tour guides increase the likeliness of spotting river otters, orcas, and bald eagles. Tours can also include hiking, snorkeling, and learning about the natural history of the area. Sea Quest Expeditions has been successfully providing memorable kayaking vacations to visitors for over 25 years.

2 Front St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, Phone: 360-378-5767 or 888-589-4253

2. Jenny’s Eco Everglades Wilderness Tour, Everglades City, Florida

Jenny’s Eco Everglades Wilderness Tour, Everglades City, Florida
© Oporty/

Jenny’s Eco Everglades Wilderness Tour offers guided tours of the Florida Everglades by a former U.S. Park Ranger and Master Captain of the U.S. Coast Guard. Jenny loves to share her passion for the natural beauty of the ecosystem she calls home. The paddling tour takes guests through the grasslands, mangroves, and flowering bromeliad along the coastline. Morning tours give visitors the opportunity to witness the wildlife awaken with the sunrise, see birds flutter off for the day and perhaps spot an alligator stirring in the water. Meanwhile, sunset tours provide a mesmerizing sky filled with birds returning to nest and alligators on the hunt.

PO Box 228, Everglades City, FL 34139, Phone: 239-719-0565

3. Rookery Bay Kayak Tours, Naples, Florida

Rookery Bay Kayak Tours, Naples, Florida
© Olaf Speier/

Rookery Bay Kayak Tours takes visitors through the tunnels of the mangroves in search of sea stars, birds, dolphin, and oyster reefs. Tours are led by professional kayakers who are also local biologists and certified naturalist. These educational excursions teach paddlers the ins and outs of this unique ecosystem along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Through an exclusive partnership with Rising Tide Explorers, Rookery Bay Kayak Tours provide treks that are ideal for first-timers or offer a challenging adventure for experts. Tours launch from one of two locations and take guests the tranquil waters of the bay, paddling around islands and through the creeks of southwest Florida’s treasure trove of nature.

1 Shell Island Rd, Naples, FL 34113, Phone: 239-530-5972

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4. Kayak Excursions, Fort Meyers, Florida

Kayak Excursions, Fort Meyers, Florida
© Alberto Masnovo/

Kayak Excursions guides guests on one of three kayak tours or a guided stand-up paddle excursion. This area of southwest Florida is a maze of mangroves and shallow bays with raw, secluded beaches. Flourishing with wildlife, paddlers will encounter dolphins and turtles, spot bald eagles soaring overhead, and watch herons diving towards the water catching prey. The manatee tour offers a close encounter adventure focusing on this gentle sea creature. Colder weather brings them closer to the shore increasing the number of sightings. The moonlight tours offer guests the chance to experience the tranquility of nightfall as birds return to roost and the sun dips down into the cool waters.

17950 John Morris Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908, Phone: 239-297-7011

5. Gulf Coast Kayak, Matlacha, Florida

Gulf Coast Kayak, Matlacha, Florida
© Gulf Coast Kayak

Gulf Coast Kayak rents equipment for visitors to journey the waters of the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve. They offer a range of kayaks to choose from including tandem, sit-on-tops, and fishing kayaks. Their guided tours are led by certified instructors and Master Naturalists who are well-informed on the ecology of Florida’s central Gulf Coast and have a keen eye for spotting wildlife. Gulf Coast Kayak books a variety of tours including sunrise and sunset excursions that offer insight on the habits of area wildlife. They also provide mangrove maze adventures, eco-tours that enrich and enlighten, and full moon outings for romance and serenity.

4120 Pine Island Rd. NW., Matlacha, FL 33993, Phone: 239-283-1125

More ideas: Best Florida Lakes

6. Sea Life Kayak, Sarasota, Florida

Sea Life Kayak, Sarasota, Florida
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Sea Life Kayaks gives visitors the choice of guided or self-guided kayak adventures with morning launches at 9:30 and afternoon tours beginning at 1. Guests who choose self-guided excursions can choose between the 4-hour half-day or the full-day tour of 8 hours. The wildlife paddlers will encounter in these gulf waters of Florida’s west coast include pods of dolphins, aggregations of manatees, and a flurry of feathery birds like osprey and long-legged spoonbills. Sea Life Kayak believes in preserving this delicate ecosystem by offering small-sized group tours and offers wildlife tours and sunset/full moon tours with single and tandem kayaks available for rent.

8918 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, FL 34242, Phone: 941-400-2740

7. Happy Paddler, Anna Maria, Florida

Happy Paddler, Anna Maria, Florida
© Happy Paddler

Happy Paddler Kayak Tours and Ecoventures is comprised of local expert guides with deep roots and extensive knowledge of marine and environmental sciences at the doctoral level. Their passion for the conservation of this biodiverse system combined with their love for health and recreation has helped create engaging tours with the bonus of athleticism. The variety of tours are perfect for family adventurers, nature enthusiasts, and people looking for a new type of experience. Guests can choose between the Coastal Island Tour, the River Safari Tour, as well as sunset and moonlit tours. In addition to traditional tours, Happy Paddler offers lessons, guided fishing tours, and paddleboard yoga.

6844 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228, Phone: 941-773-1920

8. Manhattan Kayak and Tours, Manhattan, New York

Manhattan Kayak and Tours, Manhattan, New York
© Matt/

Manhattan Kayak and Tours offers adventure seekers a new view of New York via kayak and paddleboard tours. These outings take paddlers to hide-away beaches and unparalleled views of the city skyline and Statue of Liberty. The guides offer excursions for the novice as well as fast-paced skilled paddler trips. They offer lessons for beginners and advanced classes for the avid paddler. The sightseeing journeys are designed with progressively increased levels of difficulty so guests can learn the ropes and move up to a more challenging tour de force. The four levels of difficulty begin with a novice course, then an intermediate level, followed by an advanced, and an elite conquest.

555 12th Ave at West 44th St, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-924-1788

9. All About Water, Glen Arbor, Michigan

All About Water, Glen Arbor, Michigan
© All About Water

All About Water is an unprecedented kayaking tour of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore of Lake Michigan. The calm crystal blue waters provide a quiet and serene paddling journey with the simplicity of nature all around. Climbing out of the water are mountainous dunes of sand speckled with sparse patches of greenery and topped with random clusters of trees. The highlight of the trip is the stop at Pierce Stocking Dune, named for the lumberman famous for his skill of building roads through the rugged terrain of Lake Michigan. Visitors can make the steep climb to the top of the dune, 450 feet above the water’s surface that offers a breathtaking view of the lake.

5998 West River Rd, Glen Arbor, MI 49636, Phone: 269-214-4848

10. Pictured Rocks Kayaking, Munising, MI

Pictured Rocks Kayaking, Munising, MI
© Pictured Rocks Kayaking

Pictured Rocks Kayaking provides a water-launch kayaking experience taking paddlers from the East Channel of Munising Bay out into Lake Superior to begin where the best sightseeing starts. Towering cliffs of sandstone jut out over the water and beaches with rolling dunes of sand offer visitors a glimpse of the raw beauty of one branch of America’s Great Lakes. The launch boat follows paddlers back towards the bay as they weave through tunnels and caverns of rock formations. The boat remains close at hand in case waters get rough or other emergency rescue situations occur. The complete excursion is approximately 5 hours long including the 2-hour paddling portion.

1348 Commercial St. Munising, MI 49862, Phone: 906-387-5500

11. Honey Island Kayak, Pearl River, Louisianna

Honey Island Kayak, Pearl River, Louisianna
© Honey Island Kayak

Honey Island Kayak leads paddlers through a canopy of 400-year-old Cypress and Tupelo trees on the waterways of historic Honey Island Swamp. The tour guides teach visitors about the fragile ecosystem of the swamps with engaging information about the plants, animals, and environmental concerns. Guests will hear about the rich history of the area as well as come away with a greater appreciation for our natural resources. After a leisurely trek through the swampy backyards of the locals living along the banks in houseboats, paddlers can stop in at the Honey Island Swamp House for live music and cold beer.

65583 Slough Pump Road, Pearl River, LA 70452, Phone: 504-517-3066

12. Wild Louisiana Kayak Swamp Tours, New Orleans, Louisiana

Wild Louisiana Kayak Swamp Tours, New Orleans, Louisiana
© Wild Louisiana Kayak Swamp Tours

Wild Louisiana Kayak Swamp Tours lets kayakers choose between three different types of cruises through the Manchac Swamp. The first adventure is perfect for first-timers as well as people looking for a slow-paced paddling experience through this bayou, former home of the once prominent logging town of Ruddock. The second type of kayak tour offered is geared towards landscape photographers and is an all-day workshop for shutterbugs looking to capture the picturesque serenity of the watery landscape. The final excursion is for the angler enthusiast looking to land a Louisiana redfish that amass in large numbers in part of the swamp.

118 Gary Road, Laplace, LA, Phone: 985-205-1527

13. Live Love Paddle, Austin, Texas

Live Love Paddle, Austin, Texas
© Live Love Paddle

Live Love Paddle welcomes guests to Austin’s Lady Bird Lake and offers a selection of kayak, canoe, or paddleboard rentals for the activities available at this popular destination. Adventure seekers can choose the seasonal bat watching tour of Congress Bridge, home to the largest urban bat colony in the United States. For others, the Urban Kayak tour of downtown offers a unique perspective on the historic sights, sounds, and bbq smells of Texas. The final journey available takes paddlers to a secluded island by the light of the full moon. Once on the island live music entertains guests as they sit around the campfire making smores.

1610 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741, Phone: 512-804-2122

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14. Kayak Lake Mead, White Hills, Arizona

Kayak Lake Mead, White Hills, Arizona
© Kayak Lake Mead

Kayak Lake Mead features five extraordinary kayaking ventures on Arizona’s famous lake and in the Black Canyon. Popular journeys include the Emerald Cave tour that takes paddlers on a 4-hour roundtrip adventure from Willow Beach to the cave where the sunlight turns the water emerald green, a spectacular backdrop of color for bold photographs. The Templar Bar trek is a full-day excursion that reveals secluded beaches ideal for peaceful relaxation. Paddlers enjoy the Hot Springs tour for soaking in the serenity of the natural hot springs found in the area. The Desert Adventure combines hiking, kayaking, and the hot springs for adventurers looking for it all.

21368 N Palm Desert Dr, White Hills, AZ 86445, Phone: 928-767-3061

15. Sea Me Paddle, Lakeside, Somers & Whitefish, Montana

Sea Me Paddle, Lakeside, Somers & Whitefish, Montana
© Sea Me Paddle

Sea Me Paddle is a top-notch kayak and paddleboard guide service for Flathead Lake and the neighboring waterways of Whitefish Lake. The professional staff knows the ins and outs of the lake and weather conditions to ensure guests experience both informative and safe paddling trips. Rental equipment is available at all five locations on the lakes and each offers multiple styles of kayaks, in both single and tandem, stand-up paddleboards, and pedal boats to get around on the water. Sea Me Paddle also rents bikes at their Spike and Paddle Shop as well as the shop at Whitefish Lake State Park.

7220 Hwy 93 S, Suite 3, Lakeside, MT 59922, Phone: 406-249-1153

10 Somers Rd, Somers, MT 59932

West Shore State Park, 5 Miles S of Lakeside, MT 59922

Whitefish Lake State Park, West Shore Whitefish Lake, Whitefish, MT 59937

Les Mason State Park, East Shore of Whitefish Lake, Whitefish, MT 59937

16. Ballard Kayak & Paddleboard Tours, Seattle, Washington

Ballard Kayak & Paddleboard Tours, Seattle, Washington
© Ballard Kayak & Paddleboard Tours

Ballard Kayak and Paddleboard Tours is staffed with professional sailors, kayakers, and paddleboarders whose passion for outdoor adventures led them to create memorable tours of Shilshole Bay and Puget Sound. One tour takes visitors through Seattle’s famous Ballard Locks to reach the ship canal, home to mega yachts and the boats from the show Deadliest Catch. Nature lovers will truly enjoy the Puget Sound ecosystem tour where paddlers will happen upon a plethora of sea life like seals and sea lions as well as sand dollars, sea anemones, and great herons in the sky. Ballard Tours also offers sea kayaking classes for beginners and team-building exercises for corporate events.

7901 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117, Phone: 206-494-3353

17. Outdoor Odyssey, San Juan Islands, Washington

Outdoor Odyssey, San Juan Islands, Washington
© Outdoor Odyssey

Outdoor Odyssey has been paddling the waters of Haro Straight around the San Juan Islands for over 30 years. Their expert tour guides lead guests on wildlife expeditions in search of orcas, eagles, seals and more. The guides compliment the excursions with fine dining meals made with only the best fresh ingredients and premium chocolates and wines. They also offer several specialty tours including a wine tasting adventure, a beer tasting trek, and a 3-day yoga and kayaking spiritual journey. Whether guests choose a half-day paddle or multi-day vacation package, Outdoor Odyssey takes care of everything any kayaking explorer could need or want.

86 Cedar Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, Phone: 360-378-3533

18. Bike and Kayak Tours, La Jolla, California

Bike and Kayak Tours, La Jolla, California
© Freedy/

Bike and Kayak Tours has two locations in the area that serve guests wanting to explore the Caves of La Jolla or San Diego’s urban kayak tour of the Coronado Bridge and the sights of San Diego Bay. The La Jolla tour takes paddlers through all seven of the sandstone caves in search of marine life such as leopard sharks, shovelnose guitarfish, and the ever-elusive pod of playful dolphins. The urban tour provides a leisurely sightseeing adventure where guests take in the distinguished architecture of the city while learning about some of the histories of this maritime hotspot. Other amenities available include bike rentals, snorkeling tours, and team building programs.

1201 1st St, Coronado, CA 92118, Phone: 858-454-1010

2158 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037, Phone: 858-454-1010

19. Everyday California, La Jolla, California

Everyday California, La Jolla, California
© Everyday California

Everyday California provides an extraordinary tour of the La Jolla Ecological Reserve and its thriving oceanic ecosystem. This protected area of the sea is teeming with marine life including California’s State Fish, the boldly colored orange garibaldi. The seven sea caves of La Jolla offer a chance to spot sea lions basking on the rocks and a variety of creatures riding the waves like bat rays, sea turtles, and occasionally a dolphin or two. Whale watching tours are available during the winter months beginning on the first of December. Everyday California also offers surfing and stand-up paddleboard lessons on the calm waters, perfect for beginners.

2261 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037, Phone: 858-454-6195

20. Hike Bike Kayak Adventure Tours, La Jolla, California

Hike Bike Kayak Adventure Tours, La Jolla, California
© Hike Bike Kayak Adventure Tours

Hike Bike Kayak Adventure Tours offers a selection of excursions in and around the La Jolla Ecological Reserve. Kayak tours through the La Jolla Sea Caves are led by guides who are eager to share their knowledge of the wildlife, ecology, and the importance of taking care of our fragile oceans and waterways. The Kayak and Snorkle Tour lets guests explore the caves above and below the crystal clear waters. Snorkelers will encounter sea stars, octopus, round stingrays and other sea life living in this flourishing ecosystem. While kayaking trips are available year-round, snorkeling is only available from late spring to early fall and is always weather dependent.

2222 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037, Phone: 858-551-9510

21. La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks, La Jolla, California

La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks, La Jolla, California
© SailingAway/

La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks is an engaging water tour of southern California’s five distinguished marine ecosystems, sandy beaches, reefs, rocky cliffs, kelp forests, and deep underwater canyons. Packed into two-square miles, visitors will find an abundant and diverse variety of oceanic wildlife both in and out of the water. The waters flourish with sea stars and gentle leopard sharks, and sparkle with the orange schools of garibaldi fish. The sea caves are the highlight of the tour and were carved into the ancient sandstone cliffs by the Pacific Ocean. This unique formation is also home to a variety of aquatic birds like pelicans and cormorants nesting in the cliff faces.

2164 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037, Phone: 858-454-0111

22. Makena Kayak and Tours, Maui, Hawaii

Makena Kayak and Tours,  Maui, Hawaii
© Kristina/

Makena Kayak and Tours is a family-owned business that books small groups for their two-and-a-half or four-hour kayak and snorkel outings. Each tour is led by a native Hawaiian guide excited to share his knowledge of the island’s history and culture. Their intimate familiarity with the sea aids in their ability to lead visitors to the most pristine waters to swim with brightly colored tropical fish, sea turtles, and perhaps even a dolphin. Whale season gives spectators a glimpse of the enormous humpback whales as they pass through the area. Family fun begins with kids ages seven and up at Makena Kayak and Tours.

Makena Landing Beach Park, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii 96793, Phone: 808-879-8426

23. Kayak Lake Powell, Page, Arizona

Kayak Lake Powell, Page, Arizona
© Krzysztof Wiktor/

Kayak Lake Powell provides a range of kayak tours with half-day paddles, overnight adventures, and multi-day journeys. Guests can choose between morning and sunset tours of either Lone Rock Canyon or Antelope Canyon which also offers a breakfast tour option.

Professional guides lead kayakers through the Labyrinth Canyon for an overnight experience. The guides will also put together custom tours for small groups that ensure visitors encounter the complete tranquility and appreciate the rare exquisiteness of this desert oasis of adventure. Kayakers of all ages and experience levels can enjoy the scenic landscape and hiking adventures available at Lake Powell.

816 Coppermine Rd. Page, AZ 86040, Phone: 928-660-0778

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