Kayaking Near Anna Maria Island

So far we have shared about some of the events on the island along with things like the beaches, where to find a good book, and shopping. While these are all essential to most vacationers, I want to make sure we cover everyone’s likes and interests, so today I will be sharing with you one of our favorite island activities – kayaking!

When coming onto the island across the bridge, you almost always see the colorful toothpick-looking boats moving through the water on the bay. They almost always come in pairs and seem quite small compared to the other boats around them. They can also be spotted on the Gulf side of the island, though these are far fewer and usually are not moving at the same speed.

We have had the opportunity to go kayaking on both the bay and the gulf side. The bay is a beautiful area to Kayak. The waters are calmer so you can cover a lot more distance and you don’t have to worry about floating too far out. We have spent a lot of time going up and down canals enjoying the peaceful water, the birds and fish, and picking out our favorite houses. One time, we even had a dolphin swimming around us. I think I could have touched it had I not been so surprised!

anna maria island kayak
Photo from Shutterstock

We have also spent some time out on the gulf side as well. This is a very different type of kayaking. There are a lot more waves – which is exciting! It also makes for a lot more work if you are trying to cover any distance. However, if you just want to get offshore for a little bit, enjoy the sun, and see if you can spot any interesting sea life, then I highly recommend it!

If you are up for the challenge, you could try starting in the bay and kayaking around the southern tip of Anna Maria Island around to the gulf side. That is the best way to observe the difference between the Bay and the Gulf. We did this one day. It was a beautiful ride and we enjoyed all ten miles of it, but at the end of the trip, I could barely walk I was so tired. If you decide to do this, make sure you are prepared. Talk to someone who has experience with kayaking in the Anna Maria area.

Pick a day that is very calm, bring lots to drink, and make sure you have the right transportation for your kayak at the beginning and end of your trip. Another option is to kayak through Robinson Preserve. This is a beautiful oasis for wildlife. There is a lot to explore – both in your kayak and out. This is a great trip to take your camera on as you never know what you might see. This trip could take up to a half a day or more depending on how much you want to take in. For this trip, we have heard great reviews about Surferbus. They will rent you a kayak, stock you up with plenty of water and direct you to the preserve.

Here are some other companies that offer kayaks for rent. In most cases, you can rent for 4 hours, a full day, or even a week if you decide this is the best way to focus your time (and you might!). You also have the option to rent single or tandem kayaks – both are a lot of fun! I have also seen options for guided tours and many of these companies offer lots of other rentals as well!

Happy kayaking!

Here are some other great articles with local information about Anna Maria Island: