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Guided Kayaking Tours are adventures in ecology. Trips may encounter wildlife such as, coastal birds, fish, dolphin, and manatees. 

Guided Kayaking Eco Tours

What will I experience on a Guided Kayak Tour?

Kayak eco tours offer a unique, up-close opportunity to paddle with dolphins and manatees. Therefore, our guides provide education on best practices for ethical paddling with all wildlife. Moreover, while floating over the seagrass, kayakers have a great view live shells. These species include whelks, conch, sea stars and crabs. Overheard, coastal birds are usually present. Additionally these species may include, Herons, Ospreys, Egrets, and Bald Eagles.

Save the Manatee Club Guardian Guide Program Logo
Florida Master Naturalist Program Coastal Systems Logo

Florida Master Naturalist Tour Guides

A Kayak Tour Guide ensures that you see the most wildlife while on your paddling adventure. Every guide is a certified Florida Master Naturalist.  Which means that you can expect to learn about the ecosystems in Southwest Florida.  Your kayak tour guide is educated about the environment.

What will you see on a Guided Kayak Eco Tour?

You can expect to see more marine life on a guided kayak tour than paddling solo. Kayak tour guides are efficient at spotting creatures under the water.  So what can you expect to see when kayaking?  Every trip is different therefore we cannot guarantee sightings.

Commonly spotted marine creatures and wildlife:

  • Star Fish
  • Urchins
  • Sea Hares
  • Live Shells (various conchs)
  • Sand dollars
  • Sheepshead
  • Mullet
  • Snook
  • Brown Pelicans
  • Terns
  • Gulls
  • Herons
  • Osprey
  • Dolphins

Expect to learn about the coastal ecosystem and topics such as: 

  • Seagrass
  • Mangroves
  • Coastal vegetation
  • Marine life
  • Live Shells
  • Echinoderms
  • Fish
  • Coastal Mammals
  • Native and Migratory Birds
  • Sea turtles

Kayak Tour Locations

In Englewood, the Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve one of the largest estuaries in the area. Guided Kayak Tours locations also include Boca Grande, Manasota Key, Don Pedro Island and the Cape Haze Peninsula. These locations are convenient to Sarasota, Venice, North Port, Punta Gorda and Cape Coral.

Don Pedro Island Landbase

Don Pedro Island State Park

Kayak tours explore the barrier island of Don Pedro Island State Park. This trip launches from the state park land base and continues into Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve. The area is surrounded by mangroves, wildlife, and marine mammals.

Best Features:
  • Frequent dolphin sightings
  • Frequent manatee aggregation (gatherings) due to the lush seagrass
  • Lush seagrass flats abundant with conch, live shells, bay scallops, and sea stars
  • Eagle nest on-site with occasional immature and mature bald eagle sightings
  • Frequent osprey, green heron, little blue, tricolor and egret sightings
  • Coastal Eco Tour includes mangrove tunnel on-site

Manasota Key

Stump Pass Beach State Park

Stump Pass Beach State Park offers the clearest waterway in Englewood, FL. This state park kayak launch is only 1 mile from the opening to the Gulf of Mexico. The currents can be stronger here and we recommend kayak tours for your safety on the water. Due to the clarity and perfect salinity levels marine life is abundant at this location. This tour provides options for a break while paddling at either a low energy tidal zone or a beach break the southern end of Manasota Key.

Most Common Sightings:
  • Dolphins
  • An abundance of live shells
  • Coastal birds and fish
  • Manatee sightings
  • Sharks teeth

Boca Grande

Boca Grande 19th Street Kayak Launch – AKA The Great Calusa Paddling Trail

Kayak tours on Boca Grande launch into the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserve, Gasparilla Sound, and the Boca Grande Bayou.  This is a calm waterway on most winds. Your tour guide will lead you to Three Sisters Island and Hoagen Key. Discover why Boca Grande is perfect location for kayaking tours.

Best of Boca:
  • Dolphins and Manatees are frequently spotted
  • Sea stars love the oysters on the docks, seawalls, and oyster beds
  • Slow and limited boating traffic
  • Ospreys and other coastal birds
  • Healthy seagrass to support smaller marine life

Book Online

Reservations required for all kayak tour experiences. Secure your spot today!


Woolverton Trail

This kayaking trip launches from under the Gasparilla Road bridge. This access is a brackish area where coral creek meets Gasparilla Sound. This area is rich with marine life and history. The Woolverton Trail was maintained for many years by Ed Woolverton of Gasparilla Mobile Estates. His discovery of the trail system led to a rush of tourism for Grande Tours and many memories of kayaking in Placida, Florida. Paddle around the Cape Haze Peninsula, Dog Island, and a mangrove trail system that unlike any other in Florida.

Best Features:
  • Dolphin sightings
  • Manatee
  • Oyster beds with live shells
  • Many osprey nests in the area with the occasional sighing of bald eagles
  • Coastal herons, egrets, and shorebirds
  • Rich history of Placida
  • Highlight is Woovelton Trail system


Oyster Creek – Please Call to Request this Tour

Discover the calmest waters of Lemon Bay in this quaint little park off Placida Road in Englewood.  This area features unique paddling options.  Extremely calm water can be found traveling inland.  However, if the wind permits you can easily travel into Lemon Bay and explore the seagrass flats surrounding the nature preserve.

Benefits of paddling Oyster Creek:
  • Abundance of small marine life
  • Seagrass flats frequently used for local environmental education
  • Eagle nest in close proximity
  • Frequent wading bird sightings
  • dolphins and manatees spotted in season (warm water months)

Punta Gorda

Shell Creek

Discover the adventure of a freshwater kayak tour. Gators are usually present at this location. Kayaking Shell Creek provides a wind protected area in Punta Gorda to explore. This ecosystem features varying vegetation, fresh water turtles, snails, otter, and the american alligator.

Best of Shell Creek:
  • Freshwater turtles
  • Americal Alligator
  • Slow and limited boating traffic
  • Great birding
  • Wind protected area for easy kayaking tours

Kayak Tour FAQ's

SUP Englewood requires children 13 and under be with an adult in a tandem kayak for group tours. Private tours offer more safety for younger paddlers to venture out on their own equipment. We find that lighter paddlers have increased difficulty in wind and tidal conditions.  Please contact us at (941) 265-2925 to book a private tour for your family to enjoy the waterways safely.

No, you do not have to take a tour.

Where can I rent kayaks?

We also offer kayak rentals in Englewood, Boca Grande and Manasota Key.

What are the rates for kayak rentals?

Kayak rentals are available by Half Day (4 hour) and Full Day (8 hour) increments. We also offer daily and multiple day rentals.  Please visit our kayak rental page to learn more.

We recommend guided kayak tours for the following situations:

  • You want to learn more about the environment
  • To discover more marine life and sea creatures when paddling
  • If you have people in your party that have medical conditions, inability to swim, or lack kayaking/paddling skills and abilities.  Our tour guides are trained to handle difficult situations on the water and your safety is paramount to us.
  • We also recommend guided trips if you have young children or a large party going out on the water.  It can be hard to maintain a large groups safety when there’s varying skill levels.  Again, this is another to have a trained guide help ensure your safety.

We recommend leaving valuables in the car.  We have seen many phones drop into the water.  It’s a sad experience for our guests!  A waterproof case does not stop items from sinking to the bottom of the water which sometimes be very deep.

Yes!  Your kayak tour guide will take photos during the paddling trip.  If you’re comfortable with Facebook then the pictures will be uploaded into an album there.  If you do not want photos on social media please let us know and we’ll accommodate another option.

All kayak equipment, paddles, and vests are included.  We also provide dry bags for your keys or anything you wish to bring with you.

Trips are between 2 to 2.5 hours long.

Bring the following with you:

  • Water (plan to be hydrated prior to paddling)
  • A light snack to take with you (nuts, chips, fruit)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Clothing appropriate for sun sensitive skin
  • Any medication you may need during a trip

No, you do not.  Please let your tour guide know so they are prepared in the event you fall into the water.  We also ask that you wear your life vest throughout the paddling trip.

That’s no problem.  If they have experience they can join a group tour.  However, if it’s their first time paddling, or first time in a tidal waterway, please book a private tour.  Others on the group trip are there for environmental education and not interested in paddle boarding instruction.

Interested in a group rate?

If your group wants a group tour rate, please book kayaks on the Paddle Board Tour which focus on instruction plus environmental education.

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