With help from a staff of paddleboarders, surfers, environmental scientists, and a dog named Dillon, Kayak Amelia founders Jody and Ray Hetchka combine their love for outdoor sports with environmental conservation. Ray, a certified naturalist and self-described tree hugger, peppers guided kayak, bicycle, and paddleboard eco tours with facts on flora, fauna, and all the best smells circulating throughout the island's delicate ecosystem. In addition to guided tours, Kayak Amelia teaches paddleboard and kayak lessons, and leads fishing trips and overnight kayak excursions. Guests can sign up for tours, or rent equipment for the day, at Kayak Amelia's storefront, Y.B. Green's General Store, which carries eco-friendly gifts such as beeswax candles, carved bone necklaces, and clay-dyed clothing.
Situated near the flourishing wildlife of Big Pottsburg Creek, All Wet Sports stocks an arsenal of boards, boats, and apparel for careening across both land and sea. Kayaks, surfboards, and skateboards line the shop?s walls for purchase or rent, and more challenging activities such as windsurfing, kiteboarding, wakeboarding, and standup paddleboarding are made understandable for eager adventurers by a crew of deft instructors. On their chosen mode of transport, customers venture into the placid waters of Big Pottsburg Creek, teeming with such inhabitants as ospreys, manatees, and unemployed Disney characters.
First Coast Outfitters' ACA certified instructors aren't just passionate about paddling, but their surroundings as well. As fervent naturalists, they share their enthusiasm with guests during tours through the Pellicer Creek Aquatic Preserve, Fort George River, and other local waterways. Cast a line from the kayak during fishing trips, or head out on excursions suited for the whole family, including angsty teenage mutant ninja turtles.
Fresh Spirit Adventures offers hiking and kayaking excursions in five tranquil locations: Lofton Creek, Eagans Creek, Edwards Creek, Eagans Greenway, and Cumberland Island. Expert guides lead participants through watery channels and wetlands abounding with birds, fish, and even the occasional dolphin.
The water-adventure lovers at Crazy Fish have expanded their waterfront activity arsenal with an airboat, taking six-to-eight gleeful guests on a one-hour guided tour with the captivating Captain Hurricane Dave. After pushing off in a bright red boat propelled by Paul Bunyan's desk fan, Captain Dave takes groups of up to eight airboat adorers on a trek through the waters, pointing out alligators, porpoises, manatees, and alligator-impersonating marsh birds along the way. Scenic views of the vibrant intracoastal waterway and the occasional eagle sighting thrill turf-dwellers and seafarers alike on this air-powered voyage.
Lending out all the niceties for a sandy soiree at two beach locations in the Jacksonville area, Rent Beach Stuff is dedicated to making days at the beach feel like a day at the beach. Sun-conscious beach bums can invest in the Pod ($25 per day), which encapsulates two lounge chairs, an umbrella, and a table, all salvaged from the space wreckage of an intergalactic beach-loving civilization.