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Kayaking St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Area

Kayak at Fort De Soto Florida

St. Petersburg is a sparkling gem on Florida’s Gulf coast. Part of the Tampa Bay area, it’s known for its pleasant weather and award-winning beaches. It’s a popular destination for golfing, boating, fishing, beachgoing and kayaking.

Top St. Petersburg Kayaking Destinations

Silently glide clear blue-green waters, pearl-white beaches, stunning mangrove tunnels and get closer to nature without disturbing it. Get the full Florida experience with these top St. Petersburg kayaking destinations.

Weedon Island Preserve

St. Petersburg, Florida

A designated archeologic area, wildlife and nature viewing is at its best at Weeden Island Preserve.  Explore 3,100 acres of natural habitat, mangrove swamps, intertidal flats and pine flatwood uplands while spotting tortoises, shorebirds, dolphins, manatees, mangrove crabs, stingrays, jellyfish and jumping mullet. There is a marked canoe and kayak trail that leads through groomed mangrove tunnels and the shallow waters and lagoons that surround the mangrove islands. Weedon Island also offers an extensive network of boardwalks and trails and an Interpretive Center.

Maximo Park

St. Petersburg, Florida

Maximo Park was built on an ancient Indian Mound, still visible in the southern end of the park. It has both a sandy beach for launching and a boat ramp that accesses Frenchman’s Creek. Frenchman’s Creek is known to have large numbers of manatees, especially in the winter months. You can also paddle south from Maximo Park to Indian Key, which is part of the Pinellas National Wildlife Refuge. You’ll see numerous shorebirds and mangrove crabs as you paddle the mangroves as well as fish, dolphins and manatees thanks to the large quantities of seagrasses. You can continue to Tarpon Key, the next large island south of Indian Key for even more wildlife viewing opportunities. 

Clam Bayou Nature Park

Gulfport, Florida

Clam Bayou is an estuary where freshwater flows into the salty water of the bay. It’s a great place to spot hermit crabs, ducks, pelicans, nesting egrets, mangrove crabs, manatees, dolphins and a wide variety of fish. Alligators and gopher tortoises have also been spotted in this area.  The park has two launching areas, one on Miriam St. S. in Gulfport, and another across the water on 34th Ave. S. in St. Petersburg. Both launches offer crushed shell surfaces and also provide access to Indian Key. Here you can paddle through the mangroves and observe the mangrove crabs and numerous varieties of shorebirds.

Fort De Soto Park

Tierra Verde, Florida

The 1,136-acre Fort De Soto Park is made up of five interconnected islands that offer a one-of-a-kind kayaking adventure. Home to beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods and scores of native plants, the park is full of natural beauty. There’s 3 miles of stunning white sand beach, over 7 miles of waterfront to explore and a 2.2-mile recreational kayak and canoe trail. Dolphin spotting is pretty common, and you may even see manatees too.

Shell Key Preserve

Tierra Verde, Florida

Shell Key Preserve is perfect for a secluded getaway. It’s a 1,828-acre preserve located in the mouth of Tampa Bay with a 2.5-mile-long undeveloped barrier island that’s only accessible by boat. There’s also numerous mangrove islands and expansive sea grass beds. Explore the shallow saltwater preserve, breathtaking mangrove tunnels and maybe even spot dolphins or manatees.

Caladesi Island

Dunedin, Florida

Caladesi Island is one of the few untouched islands along the Gulf Coast. It is accessible only by boat and looks like something out of a painting. The paddling trail begins and ends at the park’s marina and café. It winds through an extensive mangrove forest, shaded by a canopy of overhead branches that almost form tunnels before exiting into shallow seagrass flats. Paddlers can choose a short 1-mile loop or a longer 3-mile loop that heads to the Scharer Homestead Ruins, which date back to the early 1800s. Either way, your sure to see wading and diving birds such as blue herons, great egrets and osprey, along with fish such as mullet, snook and red drum. The luckier paddlers may see dolphins, manatees, bald eagles or bright pink roseate spoonbills.

St. Petersburg Kayak Storage

St Pete is a coastal town full of delightful kayaking destinations and some of the best natural beauty Florida has to offer. It will be hard to pull your kayak away from the pristine waters, sugar sand beaches and exotic mangroves. But when you do, make sure your kayak or canoe is ready for your next Golf coast adventure with a proper kayak storage rack. Our hand-crafted cedar log kayak racks can beautifully store and display any number of kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards, while keeping your equipment safe and protected for years of enjoyment. The durable frames are naturally weather-resistant and add natural beauty to any shoreline, home or resort. Shop our kayak racks online now or contact us for a custom kayak storage solution to meet your St. Petersburg, Florida kayak storage needs.