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An Information Guide  to Activities, Attractions, and Family Friendly Accommodations in the Florida Keys

Kids Kayaking Kayaks in the Florida Keys


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KAYAKS AND CANOEING FOR KIDS IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

Kids and kayaks go together, and kayaking in the Keys will provide you and your children with the right mix of adventure, scenery, wildlife, nature and relaxation.

Kayaks of the past were made of wood and skin by natives of Alaska and the Canadian north country. They were relatively unstable and difficult to maneuver. Today, kayaks are stable, comfortable and safe for beginners and kids. They are harder to overturn, and easier to maneuver, and depending on the age of your children you can choose from single and double kayaks for your family excursion. There is nothing like kids kayaking.

. Kayak Tours by Skimmers - MM 47.5

This guided tour starts out at 9:30 AM and returns to the dock at 3:30 PM. Prices start at $39. Patrons motor by boat out to the back county and explore mangrove islands with their kayaks. There is a break for lunch and then kayaks explore a second site and do some snorkeling. Tour includes kayak, life jacket, snorkel pack, instructions, coolers, drinks, and lunch. 305-743-0771

 . Hawk's Cay Resort Kayak Tours - MM 61 305-743-7000 Extension 3543 for reservations

One of the best ways for you to learn about the Key's interesting ecosystem is by going sea kayaking. The resort offers to guests a two hour guided tour at $15 per/single and $25 per /double. The tour starts at the resort and meanders passed homes of Duck Key on the way to Tom's Harbor mangrove islands and flats. Kayakers see and learn about bottom seascape, sea life, sea grass, fish and crabs, an array of sea creatures, mangroves, and birds roosting.

 

A FUN DAY TRIP. Leave the touristy sites of the Overseas Highway and spend a day exploring Big Pine. Make reservations with Big Pine Kayak Adventures below. After kayaking cross the bridge at the Old Wooden Bridge fish camp and search for Key Deer. Then visit the No Name Pub for Pizza. The National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine is a Key Deer haven. Also on Big Pine is the Blue Hole, a sinkhole with a nature observation platform and a walking trail. Freshwater fish and turtles as well as alligators at times reside in Blue Hole. A short walk from the Blue Hole on Higgs Lane will take you to Watson's Hammock and Jack Watson's Nature Trail. For additional information go to Florida Keys Nature Trails. During late fall to early spring, the Big Pine Flea market is a activity available on Saturdays.

. Big Pine Kayak Adventures - two locations in the Big Pine area : (old wooden bridge fish camp & Parmers Resort). - 305-872-7474. The old wooden bridge fish camp is located close to the famous No Name Pub. A great place for the kids for pizza after a kayaking trip. The kids can try to guess how many thousands of signed one dollar bills hang from the ceilings and walls of the No Name Pub.

Big Pine Kayak Adventures caters to small groups and families. Operated by Bill Keogh, it is in its tenth year of operation. Bill has been staff photographer at seacamp for 15 years. Bill has had the opportunity to work with kids in this tropical environment teaching as well as photographing kids in the ocean. Great write-ups in many media. Along with kayaking we Big Pine Kayak Adventures has several custom motor boats that allow for eco-excursions to the refuge and reef areas. Website http://www.keyskayaktours.com . call with questions

Bill Keogh - guide and photographer
Lucrecia St., Big Pine Key, FL 33043
email: KEOGHKEY@AOL.COM

19th year as a  popular guide and photographer, educator and backcountry guide in the Lower Keys. phone: 877-LWKAYAK , 305-872-9860, 305- 872-8950 - Photography published in National Geographic, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, The New York Times, and L.A. Times

He has two books about the Florida Keys.

A good source book is The Florida Keys: The Natural Wonders of an Island Paradise
by Jeff Ripple (Photographer), Bill Keogh (Photographer)


The book, The Natural Wonders of an Island Paradise by Bill Keogh

"The Florida Keys" addresses the origins, natural history, and ecological importance of the Keys in a manner that entertains and educates ... The photographs bring to us in startling color many images that we may have never seen." - Irene Hooper, Executive Director, SeaCamp/Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, Big Pine Key, Florida

 

 . Marathon Kayak Resource at Sombrero Resort - MM 50.5 305-743-0561

Guided tours of protected waters of Boot Key Harbor and mangrove channels of Sister's Creek and Whiskey Creek. Half day 3 1/2 hour AM and PM tours at $40 a person. Other offerings. Rentals for self exploration 4 hours single $30 and double $40. Full day $50 and $55.

 . Paddler's Paradise - MM 82.5 1-888-88KAYAK

Daily tours of all sorts AM, PM, and Evening. Adventure eco-tour and special kids program. Guided eco-tour from $29.

 . Florida Keys Kayaking - MM 77.5 next to Robbies

Offers a 3 hour Back Country Tour starting at 8 AM for $39 a person and a 2 hour afternoon tour starting at 3 PM for $29 pp. They also have a Sunset Tour two hours before sunset priced at $29 pp. Single and double kayak rentals at $10 and $15 for an hour. Half day rate $25 for single and $35 for double 305-664-4878

. Paddle Explore at John Pennecamp State Park- MM 102.5
Explore the Park's mangrove wilderness by canoe or kayak
( $10/single/hr. - $15/double/hr.) along the 2 1/2 miles of marked trails. Park entrance fee $4 for car and 50 cent per passenger
.

. Long Key State Recreational Area - MM 67.5

Children will enjoy paddling and marvel at the tidal lagoon on the Long Key Lakes Canoeing Trail which takes about an hour to journey. A self-guided tour brochure describing the mangroves, ecology and wading and marine life to be seen along the way is available. For more see Beaches and Parks Section.

 

. Florida Keys Kayaks and Canoe Tours and Rentals - Scarlet Ibis Tours , FLORIDA KEYS NATURE TOURS AND ECO TOURS, Big Pine & Cudjoe Keys and the surrounding Lower Keys - http://keys-kayak-canoe-tours.com/ or http://courtesyfloridakeys.com/kayak.htm - informative and friendly guides! Call or email Captain Markus - KAYAKTHEKEYS@AOL.COM    Phone: 305-872-0032, Canoetours@aol.com  or  Ecotours@aol.com EMAIL: canoetours@aol.com or kayakthekeys@aol.com, Ecotours@aol.com

Kayaks / Canoe rentals and Self-Guided Tours include rental, paddles, vests, line. half day - $35 / full - $50 , $5 extra per-person for Map and Bird ID Card, weekly special - $225, double kayak rentals  half day - $45  / full - $60,
Guided Standard Tours: $45 per person / 3-4 hours

Sea-worthy, "semi-v"style canoes offer extra room and high and dry feeling. Kayaks are Ocean Paddle

Experience the Wildlife and Marine life of the National Marine Sanctuary, Great White Heron Refuge and National Key Deer Refuge - Backcountry waters and Oceanside flats, Mangrove Islandsand some of the most rare and beautiful Marine Life, Birds & Flora in the U.S.

Try the "Wayback Tour" on a flats' skiff and the "kayaks aboard". Travel deep into the pristine areas of the backcountry known by a few locals and flats fishing guides. A little bit of everything - birding, nature photography backcountry beach lunch, kayaking along a mangrove tunnel , snorkeling, swimming, fishing

. Reflections Kayak Nature Tours - MM 28.5

Guided kayak eco-tours with reservations or self exploration of the back country. Charts provided for those wishing to explore on their own. Suggestions provided for exploring the shallows and mangrove covered islands in search of tropical and local birds and marine life. 305-872-2896.

. Florida Bay Outfitters - Key Largo - MM 104

One of the largest kayak and canoe operations in Florida, near John Pennekamp Park, Florida Bay Outfitters offers guided and self-guided tours throughout all areas of the Keys, Prices range from $39 PP to $600 plus. Half day tours and over nighters, trips to the Everglades, John Pennekamp, Great White Heron Refuge, Lignumvitae Key and Indian Key, 305-451-3018, http://kayakfloridakeys.com/

 

. Kayak Adventures - 601 Front Street, Key West - call 305-7444-8335 or toll free 1-888-733-5455, http://www.floridays.org

Backcountry kayaking and snorkeling departures twice daily. Limited to six with kayaks ideally suited for families. Each kayak takes two adults and a child. The boat , Floridays Outback , takes you deep into the backcounty of the National Wildlife Refuge where the kayak tour begins. Experienced guides lead you on an informative ecological journey of the Keys mangrove islands. View marine life - small sharks, sea rays, tropical fish and bird wildlife - herons, pelicans, ospreys. Adults $59, children $49

 

. Blue Planet Kayak - Eco Tours - 305-294-8087 - http://www.blue-planet-kayak.com

AM and PM tour, easy paddling single and tandem tours available, all tours near Key West.
scenic tropical flora and fauna, learn about plants unique to Keys, wildlife, geology, and ancient people, nesting and wading birds, 2 1/2 Hour Boca Chica Tour, $35 per person; 3 1/2 to 4 hour, Tour Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge; Special Tours, also kayak rentals for those desiring to do own exploring

 

. Adventure Charters and Tours - 6810 Front Street, Stock Island, 305-296-0362

http://www.keywestadventures.com

Offers several tours of varying length - tours depart Safe Harbor marina MM 5, US1 to McDonald Ave., then 4th Ave. to Front Street, all ages welcome 2 1/2 hour $30, half day $35 and full day - call for price. Full day trip takes you twelve miles into the heart of the Great Natural Wildlife Refuge aboard the Island Fanta Sea, a 42' by 25' catamaran. Kayaking the Mud Keys in the morning, lunch and beverage, then on to the Snipe Keys for kayaking, snorkeling, bird watching, beach combing or fishing.

 


 

ACTIVITIES and PLACES TO VISIT for CHILDREN and FAMILIES
in the
FABULOUS FLORIDA KEYS 
To find out more about Kids' activities and places to see to make your children's visit to the Keys a rewarding and worthwhile experience, CLICK on the links in the navigtion bar to the left or provided below.
GUIDE INTRODUCTION . KIDS AND RESORTS . BEACHES . NATURE WALKS .
MUSEUMS . WATER SPORTS . MOVIES . DOLPHINS . KAYAKS . GOLF
BOATS TOURS . SNORKEL . DAY PROGRAMS . ATTRACTIONS
BIKING AND SKATING . FISHING . CHILD HEALTH TRAVEL
.
ICE CREAM . READING .

 

 GIVE TO A FLORIDA KEYS' CHARITY

The links below are for charity organizations providing services for children in the Florida Keys.

[ CHILDREN'S SHELTER ]
[ FLORIDA KEYS KIDCARE ] [ KIDS IN SPECIAL SIUTUATIONS ]
[ GUARDIAN AD LITEM GUILD ]
[ OPERATION BRAVE KIDS ]

 
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