Kayaking in the Florida Keys is a great, affordable and accessible way for visitors and locals to experience the best part of the Keys: the water.
There are many places to launch kayaks throughout the Keys. There are some common elements throughout the Keys, but each spot really offers a unique adventure. Some places to kayak are crowded with tourists; many are off the beaten track and offer truly unique experiences. Some paddle routes are through winding mangrove tunnels; others are through crystal clear ocean water.
These are some of the best places to kayak in the Florida Keys. If you want to add some spots to this list please feel free to contact us and we’ll update it!
Indian Key is a small island near Islamorada. It is only accessible by water. Because it’s only accessible by boat the island often feels private and secluded. It’s easy to access by kayak. The trip takes about 20 minutes each way.
Visitors can rent kayaks at several locations, including Robbie’s Marina, which is already a popular stop along the Overseas Highway from Miami to Key West. Most people love visiting Indian Key because it feels like an adventure and there are great chances to spot wildlife, including dolphins, eagle rays, tons of fish and possibly manatees. People also love sunbathing and exploring the island.
Bahia Honda State Park
Kayaking is one of the best things to do in Bahia Honda State Park. Sit-on-top kayaks can be rented from the on-site concession vendor or visitors can bring their own. Many people enjoy kayaking out to “Little Bahia Honda Island” which is a small bit of limestone just offshore.
Kayaking in the backcountry of Florida Bay is an incredible experience. Paddlers can choose from a variety of tour lengths; there are tour options all the way from a few hours to several days. There are options for kayak and paddle board rentals, or visitors can bring their own paddle craft and launch for a small fee.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is one of the best places to kayak in the Florida Keys. Sadly, it’s also one of the most over-crowded. Paddlers can explore several miles of established kayak trails through mangroves. There is also camping at John Pennekamp State Park.
Long Key State Park
Long Key State Park is a great spot for kayaking in the shallow flats around the state park. There is usually a wide variety of wildlife to be seen, especially birds and marine life which thrive in the shallow mangroves, channels and lagoons. There are kayak and canoe rentals available in the state park.
Curry Hammock State Park
Curry Hammock State Park offers kayak rentals and also has guided kayak tours, provided by a park ranger. Paddlers can launch kayaks and canoes from the park and explore the ocean or mangrove trails.
Sombrero Beach is one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys and also one of the best places to kayak. It offers both oceanside and backcountry paddling opportunities. On the oceanside paddlers enjoy kayaking out to sandbars. On the backcountry side paddlers like to explore the curvy Sister Creek waterway and into Boot Key Harbor.