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!

kayaking tipsYou’ve booked your kayak tour on beautiful Lido Key, and now you’re probably wondering what you should wear, and what to bring with you.  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

  • Always bring a hat. Wearing a hat can help protect your head, eyes and face from getting sun burned. Wearing a hat can also help make some of the sea life we encounter easier to see without the sun glaring in your eyes.
  • Sunglasses, especially ones with polarized lenses will make it easier for you to see in the water. They’ll also protect your eyes from the sun as well as the glares off the water.
  • Bring sunblock and chap stick. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or even sunny, the sun is strong, and you want to protect yourself from getting sunburned.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting wet. You will be stepping in the water to hop into your kayak, and who knows, you might even want to jump out onto the sandy beach area too.
  • Bring water. You want to keep yourself hydrated.
  • There are so many different types of sea life we can encounter, you’ll be sure to want to snap a photo of your adventures. Either just use your cell phone, or bring a camera. We can’t guarantee that they won’t get wet, so it’s up to your discretion.
  • Bring a snack that’s easy to eat.
  • Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet; either sandals or water shoes are perfect.
  • Most importantly, bring your sense of adventure!

At Adventure Kayak Outfitters, we provide stable kayaks, clean and comfortable life vests, as well as expert local guides who love what they do!  Bring whatever will make your Sarasota kayak tour most comfortable and enjoyable for you. The beautiful scenery will create memories to last a life time. To find out more, and to schedule your kayak tour click here.

 

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.