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Best Kayaking In Key West For All Experience Levels

Today I’ll highlight the best kayaking spots on Key West, an island on the tip of the Florida Keys known for its stunning beaches and blue waters.

There are plenty of naturally beautiful kayaking locations that surround the island, and you’ll be spoiled for choice no matter your experience level.

I’ll cover recreational kayaking spots that are superb for keen enthusiasts who want to bring their own gear, as well as the best locations for the general vacationer who would enjoy a guided tour of West Key.

From the Mangrove islands to tropical beaches, here are the top ten best kayaking locations in Key West.

1.Key West Mangrove Kayak Eco Tour

Key West Mangrove Kayak Eco Tour

If you’re in the mood to explore the local geology of Key West, the Mangrove Kayak Eco Tour is the perfect kayaking experience.

As the tour guide leads you through the Mangrove Island at a relaxing pace, you’ll have the opportunity to spot several local marine wildlife including Nurse Sharks, Jellyfish, StarFish, and Iguanas.

This tour is perfect for all ages and is a must for anybody looking to discover local nature.

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2.Southernmost Point of Key West

Located between a number of the most popular beaches on Key West, the Southernmost Point will give you plenty of options for exploration. Nearby you can find Higgs Beach and you can also make your way along the south western part of the Key.

This is the hub of the island so expect a busy and vibrant atmosphere along the coastline, as well as tourists in the water. Just be wary of cruise ships that are quite prominent in this popular area

3.Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach

There’s a lot going on at Smathers Beach as it’s one of the most popular beaches in Key West. This is an ideal place to explore the open waters as there’s plenty of local scenery to discover.

The beach is around half a mile long, and there’s plenty of places to launch from so you won’t have to worry about makeshift kayak loading.

If you choose this beach, make sure to check out White Street Fishing Pier, located at the southern end of Key West.

You’ll find that Smathers Beach has a relaxing vibe with very white sand and coconut trees to set the summer mood.

4.Blue Moon Kayak Key West

Another popular guided tour, Blue Moon Kayak explores much of the water of the Gulf of Mexico and the areas located on the Gulf side of the island. On this expedition, expect to discover ruins, shipwrecks, and the local wildlife.

If you’re a photographer, make sure to pack a camera in a waterproof bag, because you won’t want to miss out on a number of rare photo opportunities this tour will provide.

The tour is a unique experience you’ll probably want to repeat another day.

5.Fleming Key

You can find this spot towards the northwest part of the Key, and features some of the most relaxing waters for miles. Fleming Key is also a popular fishing spot which is open to anyone.

If you really want to take the time to explore the area, there are a couple of smaller islands nearby which are perfect for a picnic or quick restbite. You’ll usually find Fleming Key reasonably quiet and not that crowded.

6.Kayak Kings Of Key West

Be ready for an immersive two hour tour as you are guided around the southeastern end of the island, as you explore the Mangrove Forest. Many of the channels are only wide enough to fit a single kayak so you’re going to be right in the middle of the action.

Kayak Kings specializes in small group tours and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to pick the brains of the tour guides at many points during the tour. This trip is suitable for all skill levels, but also caters to more experienced kayakers.

7.Sugarloaf Key


If you want to explore other parts of surrounding areas of Key West, make sure to explore this secluded location a few miles out to the east of the island. Once you reach your destination, you’ll be treated to calm waters and terrific views out on the open water.

If you get tired and need a quick break, there are plenty of restaurants nearby, and some tasty grills I recommend. If you want to go on an adventure, then a trip to the Great White Heron Wildlife Refuge is a big task, but you’ll be rewarded with a super fascinating experience.

8.Sebago’s Island ‘Ting Eco Tour

This all-in-one tour combines the fun of snorkeling, sailing and kayaking into one all day fun for the whole family package.

Make the most of the most popular water activities on the island of Key West, and feel relaxed as you snorkel along the reef and discover many different kinds of local fish.

Make sure to save some energy for a kayak tour around Mule Key, a very chilled and informative part of the experience. The crew are very friendly and food is included so you won’t have to worry about packing snacks for the trip.

9.Higgs Beach

This is one of my favorite beaches on the island, as it has everything you expect from the ultimate beach experience: sandy beaches, clear water, lots of available seating, with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby.

Higgs Beach is the perfect location on Key West to sit back and relax when you’re not busy paddling away on the open waters. Higgs Beach is the hub of where the action is, so expect it to be a little busier than other spots I’ve recommended.

10.Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Located out towards the southern tip of the island is Fort Zachery Taylor, the place to visit if you want to revel in the local history, as it houses an American Civil War Fortress named after the US President.

When you’re not out on the waters there are also some really amazing nature walks just up from the beach area. But if you’re a dedicated kayaker, you’ve got plenty of beautiful white sandy beaches along the south portion and also along the west part of the island.

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