Before the invention of kayaks, water sports were limited to lily-pad checkers and underwater spelling bees. Take advantage of modern-day aquatic pastimes with today’s Groupon: for $35, you get a three-hour lesson and guided tour from St. Augustine Kayak Company (an $80 value).
St. Augustine Kayak Company transforms land-locked creatures into river-top sightseers with kayak lessons and guided trips. First-time paddlers get instruction from John Webb, a Florida native who has experience kayaking on nearly every type of water-body, from lakes and rivers to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico to treacherous neighborhood bathtubs. Each guest gets their own 15.5-foot kayak, equipped with a roomy cockpit good for all skill levels, along with a paddle and life-safety vest for the roughly three-hour guided trip. In groups of no more than seven people, kayakers row leisurely down Hospital Creek, St. Augustine Waterfront, or Salt Run in Anastasia State Park, stopping at points along the way to cool off with a swim or to grow a beard and reenact the first half-hour of Cast Away. The company also supplies each tripper with a dry-bag for stowing water, snacks, sunglasses, and sunscreen, or even a camera and binoculars to better admire colorful spoonbills, egrets, herons, and other local wildlife.
White Ibis Tours
The goal of the knowledgeable guides at White Ibis Tours is to get you out on the water, no matter the season. Their signature pontoon tours and kayak trips are designed to highlight the area’s unique ecology and sites, including the San Sebastian and Matanzas Rivers, Castillo de San Marcos and the Lighthouse. For those who wish to map out their own journeys, the business rents sit-on-top and sit-inside kayaks in both tandem and single models.