With our country's once widespread network of interconnecting motes largely replaced by interstate systems and zip lines, traveling by water is often overlooked. Rediscover America's aqua-portation roots with today's Groupon: For $15, you get a four-hour rental of a single or tandem kayak from Kayak Amelia (up to a $47 value), located in Talbot Islands State Park. Kayak Amelia is open seven days a week, and you'll take off from its location at Long Island Outfitters.
Kayak Amelia straps landwalkers into a kayak and points them down the gently rolling waters of Simpson Creek for up to four hours of unguided current events. Lone rangers can take to the grassy waters of the mighty Simpson Creek in a single kayak (a $32 value), while modern-day Lewis and Clarks can split a tandem watercraft (a $47 value). Around every bend in the creek is a new discovery—be it uncovering a newfound ability to defeat tidal currents or spotting manatees making moonshine—making these kayaked quests ideal for photographers and quick-working watercolor painters.
Kayak Amelia's experienced and eco-minded staff will offer paddlers tips on which water-route to take based on weather forecasts, tide flow, and a highly scientific mathematical equation rooted in atmospheric pressure and the price of tea leaves in Costa Rica. A map and a personal flotation device are included in the rental, and both sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks are available. Find answers to other common questions concerning the equipment and the journey here. While no reservations are required, you can call ahead to make sure Kayak Amelia has an available floating chariot.
- Kayak Amelia provides half-day naturalist-led tours that feature big birds—herons, egrets, and bald eagles—plus the occasional dolphin sighting. – Christopher Collier, Outside
- Great way to see the other side of Amelia. Spent half a day with Ray, the owner, out in the marshes. Great history lesson and exposure to unique perspectives on island. – wpw1sf, TripAdvisor
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.