Bradenton/Sarrasota Kayaking

I am traveling to my mother’s home in Lakewood Ranch near Bradenton/Sarrasota, Florida in early April. I would like information about places to kayak and rentals in the area (since I can’t carry-on my yak!). What rivers are in this area besides the Braden River? Other interesting destinations?

Thank you,

Joan Visser

Lot’s of places…
For rentals, try Economy Tackle in Sarasota or Silent Sports in Osprey (just south of Sarasota).

Re places to go…there’s Lido Bay, the Myakka River, Sarasota Bay, Stump Pass, the Hillsboro River, Cayo Casa, Egmont Key, etc. For several BEAUTIFUL rivers a couple hours to the north, check out the Silver River, Juniper Springs, Crystal River, the Santa Fe or Suwanee, or Itchatucknee Rivers. has a great listing, as does P-net, or the group in Sarasota. Join us for a paddle while you’re here.


I recently went to the Myakka River in Sarasota. It’s a state park that rents kayaks (nothing fancy). Check out the Places 2 Paddle Link on this page for more info. The paddling is more relaxing than challenging, but you see a lot of allegators and birds.

I’ve also kayaked off Lido Key(interior side). Going through the mangroves was interesting (I’m from Massachusetts). I forget who I rented from (Google search) but they brought the kayaks to a park right off Presidential Blvd (Lido). I’ll see if I can figure out who it was and get back to you, but the’d deliver anywhere, and guide if you’re interested. In warmer weather there are manatees off Lido. Maybe they’re back, I was there at the end of Oct.

Around Tampa Bay
you also have:

The Little Manatee River, Fort DeSoto, the Alafia River, Terra Ceia Bay, Honeymoon and Caladesi Islands, Anclote Key, Hunter’s Creek @ Aripeka, the Hillsborough River. Don’t go to Crystal River unless you don’t mind the heavy boat traffic. Ozello and the Chassahowitzka river are far more scenic and the Chaz has springs to swim in as well as a national wildlife refuge (lots of eagles and other wildlife).

More gear rentals
Check out Sweetwater Kayaks in St. Pete- fine folks, finer paddlers and great gear- they regularly paddle all the places others have mentioned.

Cheers---------you’ll have a blast

Thanks for the suggestions. I did Lido key with my 70 year old mom a year ago and enjoyed it but didn’t see manatees. Maybe we will have to go back.



Thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate everyone’s input.