As summer begins in the 727, everyone is itching to get out of the office and onto the beach. Pinellas County has a wide variety of sites for kayaking in St. Petersburg, paddle boarding, boating, and other outdoor adventures. So grab your friends and family (and even your dog), and hit these spots for some of the best kayaking near Tampa Bay!

Sweetwater Kayaks

Sweetwater Kayaks in St. Petersburg provides all levels of kayak, paddleboard, and canoeing instruction along with guided tours and rentals. Tours are offered for both full or half days, and explore many different areas in and around St. Pete ­– including access to Weedon Island Preserve. Paddlers are also welcome to bring their own kayak in exchange for a discounted price. Every Sunday, Sweetwater Kayaks in St. Pete also offers paddleboard yoga classes and one-on-one rolling classes for more advanced paddlers.

Paddle Out Adventures

Paddle Out Adventures runs a variety of kayak, paddleboard, and boat tours in the Clearwater Municipal Marina. Visitors are encouraged to bring dogs, food, and even alcoholic beverages on their excursions. Paddle Out Adventures is equipped with kids paddle boards and tandem kayaks, so there are plenty of options for the whole family. There's also photos and film of your journey available, including professional pics and GoPro footage upon request.

Liberty Outdoors

Liberty Outdoors is a company that offers guided tours, ranging from 1.5 to 6 hours in length, in Shell Key Preserve. Because they don’t exactly have a storefront, Liberty Outdoors will deliver any and all equipment for canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks in St. Pete Beach, the Gandy area, and other waterfront locations in Pinellas County. Their website also features multiple “Things to Bring” guides, to ensure paddlers will come properly prepared for a kayaking adventure.

United Park Services

United Park Services offers over 80 different kinds of boats to choose from at Fort Desoto Park, located on “America’s #1 Beach” according to TripAdvisor. Kayak rentals include a guidebook, which provides information on the history and scenery that paddlers will encounter on their self-guided eco tour. Along with kayak rentals, United Park Services also features bike and beach rentals, souvenirs, and a selection of food.

Island Kayak Tours

Island Kayak Tours is a local, family-owned kayaking company based at a public launch site in Tierra Verde. Three different expeditions are available to paddlers: the Back Country Nature Tour, the 50/50 Tour, and the Sunset Tour. Each tour is about 2.5 hours long, and provides all necessary instructions so visitors are not required to have any prior paddling experience.

Kayak Nature Adventures

Kayak Nature offers kayak tours near St. Petersburg, with kayak and paddle board rentals on Gulfport Beach. All guests receive a free lesson and map with a suggested route, which provides an opportunity to paddle along the shoreline and stop for a snack, swim, or shopping spree. Kayak Nature is pet-friendly, has free parking, and welcomes all ages to enjoy their aquatic adventure.

It’s hard to go wrong when it comes to paddling adventures in the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area. No matter what trail or tour, the Gulf ensures a great, on the water experience for the whole family.

For more information on Pinellas County paddling trails, this link from Pinellas County about the Blueways Paddling Trail can provide some great information.

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