Located just minutes away from Siesta Key and St. Armand’s Circle is beautiful secluded Lido Key. There you’ll find beautiful gulf views, native wildlife (including bottle nosed dolphins and manatees, and an exotic mangrove forest). It’s close enough to all the action yet far enough away to feel like you’re in your own little slice of paradise.

Exotic Mangrove Tunnels

These mangrove tunnels are a popular spot for an exotic adventure in Sarasota bay. Mangroves are so important to Florida’s ecosystem, not only do they serve as nurseries for many types of fish and oysters, crabs and shrimp, but they are also rookeries for many different species of birds. Their root system also helps to prevent erosion and protect Florida’s shoreline. They’re a very important tree.

Lido Key is a great place to spot dolphins and manatees before entering the tunnels. When in the tunnels it’s fun to observe the different ocean life such as starfish, jelly fish, different sponges, as well as plenty of horse shoe crabs and shells. There are usually plenty of crabs climbing along the mangroves too.

Kayaking the mangrove tunnels is always a magical adventure. It’s usually nice and quiet, but for the sounds of nature, and the sounds of paddles in the water. The mangroves provide shade, so it’s also a cool relief from the summer sun. The light is filtered and provides magical views of the wildlife both above and below the water.

Fun fact: Many of these “mangrove tunnels” were once man made ditches which were dug years ago as a way to control mosquitos. This didn’t work, and eventually they turned into mangrove arbors. Other mangrove tunnels grew naturally due to the tides ebbing and flowing. When maintained well, they provide a unique way for eco outfitters such as Adventure Kayak Outfitters to provide not only an enjoyable time on the water, but an adventure through a beautiful ecosystem as well! Book your tour today!

Kayaking involves a bit more than hopping on the kayak and paddling away into the ocean view. When you go on a tour with Adventure Kayak Outfitters, your tour guide will give you instructions, so even the most inexperienced kayaker will be able to paddle with ease. But it’s always a good idea to have a few safety tips, especially if you’re renting a kayak and aren’t on a tour.

Kayaking Safety Tips

Keep an Eye to the Sky

It’s important to keep an eye on the weather. It’s never a good idea to go out on the water in a kayak when there’s a small craft advisory, or if there’s bad weather coming in.

Dress for the Weather

Typically here in Sarasota, Florida, the weather is warm. You’ll want to dress for summer weather, meaning shorts and tee shirts. It can even be a good idea to wear a SPF sun shirt to protect from sun burns.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

The mangroves do provide sun protection, but it is very important to wear a hat, sunglasses and sunblock. These items will not only help protect from sunburns, but polarized sunglasses will help you to see sea creatures in the water a bit more easily.

Never Paddle Alone

Just like swimming, always use the buddy system when kayaking. Don’t go out on the water alone.

Bring Water Safety Equipment

Not only is it important to bring a PFD (Personal Floatation Device), but bring a whistle or horn, as well as something that can reflect the sun, such as mirror.

Sarasota Florida is one of the best area’s to go kayaking. The shallow protected waters of Lido Key, coupled with the exotic mangrove tunnels provide many homes to the areas ecosystem. The chances of encountering manatees or bottlenose dolphins in these shallow waters are pretty good! Our kayak launch location on Lido Key in Sarasota is just minutes from Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice. Book your tour today!

February is an exciting month full of events in Sarasota! After you’ve enjoyed yourself kayaking on the beautiful waters of Lido Key, explore the island with these fun things to do!
Sarasota Events

The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees are back for another exciting season with their water ski team! Free shows take place on Sunday’s at 2pm. The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees a non-profit organization. Membership in the organization is open to youth interested in learning about and developing skills related to water skiing and water safety, and to adults who desire to educate, coach and supervise these youth.

The 30th Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts takes place Saturday February 10th and Sunday February 11th from 10am -5pm on Main St. in Sarasota, FL. Admission to this outdoor art show is free! Sunshine Artist Magazine consistently ranks this as one of the top 100 Fine Art Shows and is one of the area’s biggest and best art events. Meet some of the best artists in the nation, displaying life-size sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography and more.

Thunder by the Bay is rolling back into Sarasota from February 15-18. This event continues to honor veterans, active duty military and first responders at this 2 day festival. It is full of events around Fruitville, the Sarasota Fair Grounds, and Main Street. This year, there is also full service camping available at the Sarasota Fair Grounds.  From a wide variety of live music, to bike shows, food vendors, and block parties, there is plenty to do all weekend long! Check out the schedule of events here.

Don’t miss the 24th Annual Siesta Key Craft Festival on Saturday February 24th and Sunday February 265th from 10am -5pm on Ocean Blvd in Sarasota, FL. Take in the sand and sea as you discover beautiful creations from over 100 crafters exhibiting and selling their work in this outdoor gallery which is sure to be a spectacular festival!

We love what we do, and love that our clients can see our enthusiasm. We got this review in our inbox and thought it would be great to share it!

review

Jennie O
“Review on your great kayak tour guide Dan
Sorry this is a few months late but wanted to let you know what a great tour my 22yr old daughter & I had in mid August at your Taft Dr. location. I also put a review on tripadvisor today…
We didn’t have reservations but lucked into it being a quiet morning (Florida kids just returned to school I think) and Dan being available to take us on a great tour of Sarasota Bay near St. Armands/Lido area. He was not only fun, but gave us great info about the bay, its plant and sealife and much more. We lucked out that day and not only saw 2-3 manatees up close (they came to us) at the entrance of one of the inlets that goes through Lido key near St Armands but also a 25 min display of dolphins “sharking” a school of fish. Dan made sure we kept far enough back to not disturb the manatees or dolphins but had a running commentary on what was going on and was just as excited as we were.
My parents have lived full time in Sarasota for 30 years and just moved to a retirement community near St. Armands and I’ve never had such fun on the water. Please tell Dan how much we enjoyed his interesting and informative tour and hope to see him again on future visits to do more kayaking. That day is one of those “We’ll remember this the rest of our lives” times!

I’ll also recommend your company to my many family members who love coming to beautiful Sarasota.”

review

Kayaking is a great way to get up close and personal to some of nature’s most beautiful creatures and locations. We are lucky here in Sarasota Bay to have dolphins, manatees, as well as beautiful native birds and gorgeous landscape. See some of our other reviews on Trip Advisor and Facebook. To schedule a kayak tour, visit us online and save $5.oo.

kayak review

 

Having fun doesn’t have to cost money. There are so many things to do in the Sarasota area, and since you can’t put a price on happiness, here are a few things you can do in Siesta Key that are free!

Go to the Beach!Siesta Key Beach Sarasota

Our beaches are free! There is no charge to get into the beach, or to park your car in the lot. This is
pretty amazing because Siesta Beach has some of the finest, whitest and in the world. The water is also very calm and clear which makes it perfect for swimming. Grab your sunblock, a towel, a good book and anything else you need to complete your perfect beach day. Stay through till the evening to see one of the best sunsets on the west coast!

Collect Shells

Anther fun thing to do is to collect shells. Turtle Beach on the south end of Siesta Key will have the most shells on the island. Shells can be found on all of Siesta Key’s beaches (Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach), but Turtle Beach has more due to its location, and because it’s much less crowded than Siesta Beach.

Go Diving

Also located on the southern end of Siesta Key is Point of Rocks. This is arguably the best place on the west coast of Florida for snorkeling. There are more than 100 yards of limestone ledges to explore. The calm waters make for a perfect beginner dive. Parking can be difficult, so it is best to go in early morning and get a spot at beach access No. 12. Parking spots are limited and are usually filled by mid-morning.

Stay tuned to catch our next edition of “Things to do in Sarasota”.

Did you know, that when you book tours with Adventure Kayak Outfitters, you get all three tours in one? There’s no need to book three separate tours. On each tour, we will explore Sarasota by kayak, and during these tours, we will see many different types of wildlife.

Lido Key for Sarasota Kayak

When we kayak through the exotic mangrove tunnels, we gain a unique perspective. The mangroves are a natural habitat to many different plants, marine animals and native birds. Our native kayak guides will point out and explain things as we pass them.

Once we are out of the mangroves, and in the Sarasota Bay, you will love the excitement of encounters with bottle nosed dolphins and manatees. Manatees like to be in shallow salt water bays and estuaries. This makes kayaking in Sarasota, on Lido Key a perfect place to see them.

Whether you live in this area, or are here vacationing, Sarasota is one of the best places in the world to kayak. These experiences are one of a kind, and could be the memory of a lifetime. What’s better than kayaking the clear blue waters of Sarasota, and enjoying the best that nature has to offer?

Manatees on Sarasota kayak tour

At Adventure Kayak Outfitters, we try to make this Sarasota kayak experience simple from start to finish. We offer easy online booking, which includes a discount for booking online. We also offer gift certificates for hassle free gift buying. Not only do we make it simple, our tours are fun for the whole family! See you on the water!

 

Most people are familiar with Sarasota because of our beautiful white sandy beaches, specifically Siesta Key Beach. However, there are many other reasons to love our area. We are on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico with exquisite blue waters, warm temperatures and we are abundant with wild life. We see many examples of wildlife on our kayak tours, such as:

• Bottle Nosed DolphinsWildlife
• Manatees
• Black Mangrove Crabs
• Pelicans
• Osprey
• Egrets
• Sea Stars
• Sea Urchins
• Herons
• Roseate Spoonbills

There are so many more, this is only a few.

When you kayak through the exotic mangrove tunnels, you are taking an adventure on the very habitat that sustains many of tmangroveshese beautiful creatures. In Florida, we have three native species of mangroves.

Rhizophora mangle — red mangrove
Avicennia germinans — black mangrove
Laguncularia racemosa — white mangrove

Mangroves are like a protected nursery for fish, crustaceans, and shellfish. They are also vital to our fishing industry, both sporting and commercial. An estimated 75% of the game fish and 90% of the commercial fish species in south Florida depend on the mangrove system. The branches of mangroves also serve as nesting areas for coastal and wading birds such as the ones listed above. Not only do they provide habitat and shelter for animals, but mangroves also protect uplands from storm winds, waves, and floods.

The seeds or pods that float in the water looking for their next sprouting ground can also be used to brush your teeth! Try it the next time you take a kayak adventure in the exotic mangroves of South Lido Key.

Whether you are local to the Siesta Key area, or visiting, Siesta Key should be on your to-do list. There really is something for everyone.

Beach Siesta Key Beach

If you are looking for powder soft white sand, that’s the place to go. The sand is not only soft, but it isn’t hot. So while you’re running from the water to your blanket, your feet won’t get burnt! The sunsets there are amazing – the thing postcards are made of. The water is beautiful and calm. The beach goes on for miles, as mentioned the sand isn’t hot, so it’s perfect for walking and running. If you’re paying attention, you can see dolphins swimming from time to time. On Sunday nights, locals get together for a drum circle. This takes place every Sunday, (even holidays) and begins a few hours before sunset. Siesta Key SunsetVisitors can simply sit and watch, or even jump in on the fun.

Shopping

Right next to Siesta Key is Lido Key. St. Armand’s Circle on Lido Key has some of the most elegant shopping and dining anywhere.  John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers Circus used to call this place home. He dreamed to make this area a major tourist attraction and didn’t live to see it happen, but today his dream is a reality.

Activities

The possibilities are endless when it comes to activities in this area. There are miles of canals, and beautiful lush tropical landscape everywhere. If you are a nature enthusiast or bird watcher, this is the place for you. Travel down to the point of rocks to find some of the best snorkeling in the west coast of Florida. Turtle Beach is the place to go looking for shells, and is located on the southern tip of Siesta Key. Go to Lido Key for water sports of all types. Tournament class fishing, both inshore and offshore is available too with the almost 1000 species of fish we have. Sailing, boating and sunset cruises are available too.  Lido Key is also the place to go kayaking. Paddlers will find a lush mangrove forest for lazy

Mangrove Tunnels
Kayaking Lido Key Mangrove Tunnels

paddles, as well as open water areas where viewing of dolphins, manatees, and other wildlife will occur. We offer kayak tours twice daily. It is always an adventure, so bring your camera!

You can visit the Siesta Key area and do it all. If you’re looking for relaxation, sit on our beautiful beach and take in some rays. If you want excitement and dining, we have all of that too. Your adventure awaits!

Kayaking Checklist

Kayaking in Sarasota Bay is one of the most popular things to do here in Sarasota. If you have kayaked here in the past, you know first-hand how many people come out and enjoy these tours. If you haven’t before, there are some things that you should take with you on your fun filled journey. There is no experience necessary to kayak with us, our native Floridian guides will be there with you every step of the way.
Our top priorities are safety and a fun filled adventure. See our checklist of what to bring.

  • Sunblock – Florida sun is very strong. Bring it with you so it can be reapplied if needed.Lido Key
  • Hat – A hat will help to cool you off, as well as shade your face from the sun.
  • Sunglasses – The sun glares off of the water and can make it difficult to see. Polarized glasses will make it easier to see in the water too.
  • Water – It is important to stay hydrated, so bring a drink with you.
  • Zip Lock Bag – If you don’t want something to get wet, bring a bag to seal it in.
  • Camera – There’s so much to see, you don’t want to miss a great photo opportunity.
  • Your desire to explore!

 

All of our kayaks are clean safe and stable. They come equipped with clean and comfortable personal floatation devices as well as light weight composite paddles.

Kayaking in Lido Key

Right outside the hub of St. Armand’s Circle in beautiful Sarasota lays the beauty of Lido Key. Lido Key is surrounded by gulf waters and Sarasota Bay. In South Lido Park, the waters are calm and serene. There’s so much to see. Guided kayak tours through the mangrove tunnels are one of the top highest things to do here in Sarasota. Our kayak trips have something for everyone.

Sarasota Bay

Sarasota Bay hosts about 140 bottle nosed dolphins that play in our waters. Manatees also call this home. They love it here because of the shallow waters filled with sea grass.

Kayaking is much more than just getting in the water and going. Whether it be a guided tour, or a rental there are so many options for both.

  • Our guided tours are fun for the whole family. We offer both Manatee and Dolphin tours which allow you to experience dolphins & manatees up close and personal in their native habitat. Our n13600209_10210092767574740_6117976550622424597_native Floridian guides are both informative and entertaining.
  • The Mangrove Tour allows you to explore the shallow waters of Little Lagoon and navigate your way through the maze of exotic mangrove tunnels that lead you into the sun-filled grass flats of brushy bayou and Big Grass Lagoon. There is truly excitement around every corner, and the lush mangroves offer some shade to cool off from the sun.
  • With a kayak rental the choice is yours. Renters have the ability to explore the open waters and the mangroves at your own pace. There is even a little sand bar. You can pull your kayak up and sit and watch boats go by, wade in the refreshing water, or catch some rays!

No matter how you spend your time here, the beauty and abundant wildlife will create memories to last a lifetime.  Besides seeing dolphins and manatees, there are many different types of fish, crabs, starfish and beautiful native birds! It’s always an adventure with Adventure Kayak Outfitters

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