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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Florida from a Kayak's experienced staff helps launch paddlers from the Jones Cypress Cove Marina shore on aquatic expeditions through Lake Minnehaha and the seven surrounding bodies of water of the Clermont Chain of lakes. Seasoned staff members stand by to offer counsel on appropriate safety measures and warnings against fraternizing with fishhooks as customers prepare to mount their watery steeds. They also help single or tandem kayak pairs tour the natural wildlife and scenery of the enchanting sequence of lakes and channels.
Florida from a Kayak's eco tours showcase the rugged beauty of the Lake County Blueways, inviting guests to dip oars into the glowing, moonlit waters during the Bioluminescent Night tour, or glide past the snaking roots and low-hanging terraces during the Mangrove Meandering tour. Instructors teach pupils to spiff up their paddling know-how in lessons, or customers can opt to cast off in a rented kayak or pontoon boat for leisurely, unguided meanderings along the teeming wilderness.
Just steps from Crystal Lake—and situated directly between Lakes Minnehaha and Mineeola—Clermont Waterfront Bikes and Boards provides ways to explore surroundings by both land and water. Rent a standup-paddleboard or kayak to explore the plethora of nearby waterways after taking an introductory lesson that is included with each rental. Landlubbers can borrow bikes to cruise along the car-free South Lake Trail, which connects to a network of other soothing Central Florida Trails.