Kayaking in Orlando

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Cypress trees sway in the breeze, lush tropical vegetation soaks up the sunshine, and white sandy beaches glisten nearby as Buena Vista Watersports' rental jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and pontoons tote adventurers across the spring-fed waters of Lake Bryan alongside waterskiers and wakeboarders. The Key West–style resort, located just east of Disney World, allows families and friends to glimpse local wildlife as they skim scenic shorelines and chase picturesque settings at an aquatic reservoir as vast and secluded as Bigfoot's bathtub. The resort's alighted tiki torches and palm trees that border its tiki bar and pavilion attract groups for company picnics or private events such as weddings and parties, during which revelers can partake in watersports, dance to reggae, or watch a fire-dancing show.

13245 Lake Bryan Dr
Orlando,
FL
US

Looking a sea turtle right in the eyes. Paddling onto the white shores of an empty beach. Watching the sun set over the ocean, dangling your feet in the water. For over 25 years, Florida natives and visitors alike have enjoyed tropical experiences like these, thanks to rental boats from Relaxed Kayaks. True to the name, the team is so committed to relaxation that they don't even require customers to visit their shop?instead, they deliver and pick up their boats from waterfront locations throughout the area. Aspiring kayakers don't have to paddle alone, either. On guided kayak tours led by biologists and naturalists, participants learn about Florida's unique aquatic habitats, from its beaches to Disney World's magical castle, which is secretly full of fish.

2674 Robert Trent Jones Drive
Orlando,
FL
US

Those who want to enjoy Florida's coastline don't need to limit themselves to the Atlantic beaches of Miami or the Gulf shores of Clearwater. Instead, they can head to the Orlando area, where the Butler, Winter Park, Minneola, and Conway chain of lakes beckons visitors and vacationing seagulls alike. It's also where Makaio Watersports sets up shop. The one-stop spot for aquatic recreation rents out jet skis and kayaks for exploring area lakes, as well as inflatable floating islands, which host partygoers as they drift down lazy rivers or very large puddles.

1540 Lake Baldwin Lane
Orlando,
FL
US

Surrounded by 9,000 acres of conservation land, the Wekiva Falls RV Resort campground immerses visitors in nature while providing access to water-recreation areas and modern creature comforts. Sites for RVs and tents can give owners views of the river, while picnic tables can be kept primitive to facilitate a rough wilderness experience or get decked out with electric and water hookups. The campground also rents canoes and kayaks so visitors can paddle up and down the adjacent Wekiva River taking in the lush shoreline scenery. In a separate swimming area fed by a large sulfur spring, guests splash around a 40-foot waterfall or plunge down dual tube slides, and they can also lounge in a heated outdoor pool in the event of cooler temperatures. Alternative forms of entertainment are also available including a bar that serves beer and wine, crafts sessions, themed parties and dinners, and day trips to local golf courses.

30700 Wekiva River Rd.
Sorrento,
FL
US

Shingle Creek headwaters the Everglades, winding past moss covered trees, undergrowth, and native wildlife. The Paddling Center takes advantage of this green landscape by renting out kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes. In these vessels, individuals or duos can spot fish in the glassy waters, or drink in the beauty of the heavily-aged cypress and oak trees. Paddlers often observe that the waterway boasts many birds and small forrest creatures, who sometimes come close to the aluminum canoes and kayaks as they pass through the calm waters. The Paddling Center also runs guided ecological tours on electric boats and rents out bicycles and camping necessities for those who want to spend their time in the wilderness on solid ground.

4266 West Vine Street
Kissimmee,
FL
US

Expedition Florida Adventures’ guided kayak tours explore the placid, pristine backwaters of Blue Spring State Park, less than an hour away from downtown Orlando. As CPR-trained guides describe the complex ecosystems, boaters may witness sand cranes wading in tall grasses, gators soaking up sun, and turtles discussing the housing market. Prior to each kayak outing, adventurers receive equipment such as state-of-the-art kayaks, paddles, and life jackets equipped with whistles or tambourines.

262 Wekiva Park Drive
Sanford,
FL
US