Imagine gazing down into the clear Atlantic from your stand-up paddleboard only to see a sea turtle swimming beneath you. Or paddling along the banks of the Indian River as playful otters engage in a game of hide and seek. Those magical experiences happen daily if you simply take the time to get out on the water in a motor less personal watercraft!
Kayaking and paddle boarding are extremely popular sports because they allow you to get up close and personal with the abundant wildlife that calls the Treasure Coast home. Area outfitters have professional guides that know where you’re most likely to find dolphins, manatees and waterfowl and they offer some truly fascinating trips for your enjoyment.
Orchid Island Bike and Kayaks in Vero Beach offers guided kayak tours along the Indian River Lagoon every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Kayaks, paddles, life jackets and whistles are provided. All you need to do is show up with your hat and sunscreen! Tuesday’s trip launches from McWilliams Park at the base of the Barber Bridge and takes you on a scenic tour through the Vero Beach Marina and around the spoil islands. You’ll see dolphins, herons, pelicans and osprey that make this basin their home. Thursday’s launch is from Round Island Park on south A1A where a resident family of manatees often come up to greet paddlers. Private tours are available for groups of 6 or more and reservations are required.
SeaSupGo in Vero Beach specializes in stand-up paddleboard rentals and tours. Experienced guides will give you a quick paddleboard lesson right behind their store on Royal Palm Point, then take you out to the mangroves along the lagoon where you’ll see manatees and sting rays. If you’re an early riser you’ll want to start the day with a lagoon paddle and then stop at La Table for a healthy breakfast, all included in the Paddle Breakfast tour. You say beer is more your style after a paddle? Join the Paddle and Pints tour, which combines paddle boarding through the mangroves, lunch and two pints of craft beer at the Walking Tree Brewery. Of course, for the truly adventurous there’s the Ocean Sea Tour that takes you to the famous Breconshire shipwreck where you can dive in and snorkel if you like. And find your Zen with paddleboard yoga led by a certified paddle fit instructor. There’s a tour to fit every whim.
If you prefer to paddle alone, both outfitters have hourly kayak and paddleboard rentals that you can pick up at the store or have delivered to a variety of launch sites. Explore the natural, unspoiled Sebastian River where you’ll likely find an alligator sunning on the bank. Paddle into old Florida on the White City River in Ft. Pierce where settlers built their cracker houses along the winding waterway. A short drive out west will take you to the magnificent Blue Cypress Lake where the tall, ancient cypress trees cast eerie shadows along the shoreline and the cypress knees look like wandering gnomes. Paddle between the high sand bluffs of Turkey Creek where you’ll have to avoid the congregation of manatees in the cooler weather as they seek refuge in the warm water.
There are so many picturesque rivers and lakes to explore with a private guide or on your own. So get out and paddle! There’s a whole new world beneath the surface!
For information on tours, sales and rentals visit
SEASUPGO Orchid Island Bikes & Kayaks
40 Royal Palm Point 1175 Commerce Ave
Vero Beach, FL 32960 Vero Beach, FL 32960