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Florida’s Clear Kayaking Tours: Encounter Wildlife and Adventure in an Unforgettable Outdoor Experience

Clear Kayak Tour Florida

Looking for a unique outdoor activity to do in Florida? Go kayaking in a clear kayak!

This one of a kind guided kayak tour will allow you to enjoy the natural wonders around you AND underneath you. Clear kayak experiences are available in multiple locations across Central Florida, making it a perfect day trip from the Lakeland area. You can explore Florida’s springs, rivers, intracoastals, estuaries, lagoons, or the beautiful coastline in a clear kayak. Even if you were born and raised in Florida, this is an amazing experience unlike any other!

Photo credit above: Get Up and Go Kayaking

When I was a kid, I remember going on a glass bottom boat tour and using a canoe with a clear panel in the bottom where we could see under the canoe. I’m sure those still exist, but today you can get a serious upgrade with an eco tour where the entire boat is clear. Sounds pretty cool right??

A clear kayak rental will be an unforgettable adventure. Plus, instead of exploring on your own and wondering if you’re missing the good stuff, you get amazing local guides who know the river, springs, or coastline to be sure you get the best experience possible. Many of the trips also offer the opportunity to swim or take a dip in the water and cool off.

Clear Kayak Tour Florida

Photo credit: Get Up and Go Kayaking

Here are two local kayak companies offering guided tours in a clear kayak:

With 15+ locations in Florida, Get Up and Go Kayaking can take you on a unique and unforgettable adventure with plenty of amazing tour options across Florida. All clear kayak rentals are part of a guided tour. Prices typically range from $50 – $70/person. Locations include:

St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay: Shell Key Preserve – Be on the lookout for manatee, dolphin, pelicans, starfish, conch, and other local marine life on this paddle.

Anna Maria Island/Bradenton: Robinson Preserve – Robinson Preserve is a salt marsh home to jumping mullet and hundreds of other species of fish, dolphins, manatees, birds and other marine life. Take a kayak adventure through the mangroves and see the ecosystem change as you make your way towards Tampa Bay.

Sarasota / Siesta Key – Kayak with dolphins, manatees, pelicans, rays, sharks, crabs + more as you kayak around the the Intracoastal Waterway, Jim Neville Preserve + Turtle Beach.

Rainbow Springs – Paddle through the crystal clear waters of Rainbow Springs and experience over 14 different type of birds, fish, turtles, otters, alligators, and other wildlife.

Winter Park – Explore the canals of the Winter Park Chain of Lakes (Orlando). Enjoy a daytime paddle, sunset paddle, or after dark LED paddle. Note that this is a lake/canals and the waters are not clear.

Rock Springs – Kayak through the crystal clear water of Rock Springs and Kelly Park near Orlando.

Crystal River – Encounter manatees in a completely clear kayak as you paddle through the active waterways of Crystal River. Tour options include Three Sisters Spring from April – November, Manatee Tour from November – March, and glow in the dark tours year round.

Silver Springs – The crystal clear waters in Silver Springs State Park are a perfect location for clear kayaking. Manatee kayak tours run November – March, and Silver Springs Wildlife Tours run April – November.

Titusville / Cocoa Beach: Bioluminescent Kayaking Night Tour – Offered from the end of May – beginning of October in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center. Experience the night time glow of bioluminescent in the water. Bioluminescence tours are only offered at night.

Jupiter – Paddle through the blueish green waters of Jupiter, FL on the east coast of Florida.

Fort Pierce / Vero Beach – Kayak through the scenic mangrove tunnels of Fort Pierce or explore Round Island in Vero Beach – known as one of the best spots to see manatee in all of the Treasure Coast. Also offering sunrise, sunset, and glow-in-the-dark tour options.

Visit the website for more locations for clear kayaking near you.

Get Up & Go Policy on Children: Each location may have differing age requirements and policies. We encourage guests to reach out to the specific location they are interested in prior to reserving a tour to confirm the appropriate ages. Children under a specific age will be required to wear a life vest.

Get Up & Go Clear Kayak Weight Limits: Crystal kayaks have a weight limit of 425 pounds per boat (two guests) and no more than 250 pounds per seat (individual).

Learn More: Visit the Get Up and Go Kayaking website to book your next adventure!

TIP: Make an entire day of it – go to one of Florida’s natural springs for swimming or tubing in the morning and book a clear kayak tour in the afternoon!

Clear Kayak Tour Florida

Photo credit: Get Up and Go Kayaking

See Through Adventures offers clear kayak tours to Fort DeSoto and Shell Key Island near St. Peterburg. You might see Manatees, Dolphins, Rays, Sea Turtles, & other marine life on a kayak tour from your totally transparent kayak/canoe hybrid. The lack of shadow cast by the canoe means that you get a lot closer to the wildlife you want to see without scaring it. Plus a tour guide will be with you the entire time to take you to the best places to see marine life!

See Through Adventures Policy on Children: See Through Canoe tours are suitable for all ages and they encourage bringing your children to promote education and exploration. Children under 12 must ride with an adult and wear a life jacket. {Some tours do have a minimum age of 12+}

Rates: Start at $69/person for a 1.5 hour tour, longer tours are also available. Visit the See Through Adventures website to learn more.

Clear Kayak Tour Florida

Photo credit: Get Up and Go Kayaking

Additional clear kayak tours are available in some of Florida’s state parks and springs, these two options are the closest to Lakeland and Polk County.

What to bring on a clear kayak trip:

  • A sense of adventure
  • Water
  • Dry bag for phone, car remote, etc.
  • Bathing suit or outdoor clothing
  • Towel & Change of Clothes for the ride home
  • Sunscreen & Lip Balm
  • Insect repellant
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Water shoes or shoes you don’t mind getting wet
  • Paddling gloves (check with guide company to see if they are available)
  • Snacks or lunch
  • Cash gratuity

Never Kayaked before?

No problem! Kayaking is easy to learn, and all of these tours provide instructions and practice before you launch. These are sit on top clear kayaks – they are very stable, and if you do happen to tip over, you simply fall into the water. Both companies mentioned above offer guided tours, meaning you’ll have an expert paddler providing tips along the way.

Prefer a regular kayak?
Or simply want to rent a kayak and explore on your own?
Check out our list of Canoe Rentals, Kayak Rentals, and Kayak Tours in Central Florida.

Outdoor Activities Guide

Check out our full Outdoor Fun Guide for more outdoor things to do in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida.