FLORIDA: Coastal Kayak Charters (St. Pete Beach, Fl)

Coastal Kayak Charters located in St. Pete Beach offers ecokayaking guided tours and adventures near St. Pete Beach, Fl. They offer small group kayaking tours of 6 to 8 people, as well as private tours. Our tour guide, Doug gave us some kayaking instructions before we launched, which is always helpful regardless of your experience. We took the group guided tour (7 people) to the Shell Key Preserve, 2 tandem sit-inside kayaks and 3 single sit-inside kayaks. The tandem kayaks were from Wilderness Systems, which are considered to be the most comfortable kayaks in their class. The single kayaks were Perception kayaks, Carolina 12 & 14, which were comfortable and tracked well. Sit-inside kayaks are my preference as I mentioned in previous reviews. This was an awesome experience.The water was crystal clear and flat, which made paddling such a pleasure. All in all we paddled a good 4 miles or so to various spots in the preserve. Paddling through the mangrove tunnels was so cool. We had never seen such an amazing rooting system. We also stopped on a beach to get out and stretch our legs and place a shell on a wish tree. There were shells hanging on trees everywhere. It was quite a site to see all of these shells that represented the wishes of so many visitors. Our tour guide, Doug was very friendly, professional and quite knowledgeable about the ecosystem of the Shell Key Preserve. He told us many interesting stories about the history of the Preserve. You can tell that he is very passionate and wants everyone to have a fun, safe and informative experience. He made everyone feel very comfortable and confident on the water. We also saw many different types of birds on our journey but the birds that were the most entertaining were the Cormorants. They followed us throughout our trip, swimming alongside our kayaks and diving for fish as we stirred up the water with our paddles (you'll see one in the Gallery). This was a great trip for both beginners, as well as experienced kayakers. Be aware that tour times vary due to tidal schedules and you need to schedule an appointment in advance. Coastal Kayak Charters also leave from several locations and offer several different touring experiences (see their website for further information).This was by far my best kayaking experience in Florida and I would highly recommend Coastal Kayak Charters.