Kayaking Adventures Await in Little Sarasota Bay

kayaking sarasota bay

As temperatures dip across much of the country, we are blessed in Florida as winter remains a magical time to explore Little Sarasota Bay by kayak. Protected from cold fronts by surrounding land masses, the bay offers moderately warm waters even in January and February. The cooler months bring lowered humidity and wildlife drawn to the area’s mangrove-lined shores. Whether you’re a novice paddler or a seasoned pro, a winter kayaking tour of Little Sarasota Bay offers adventure and stunning scenery.

The bay’s mangrove tunnels top the list of must-see attractions. You’ll feel transported to a hidden world as you paddle narrow passages between soaring roots and leafy branches. Songbirds flit overhead while spotted rays glide through crystalline waters below. The tunnels provide sheltered corridors for viewing herons, egrets, native oysters, and other marine life. Morning lights cast a glow over the water, and afternoons are generally warm but not hot.

Guided Kayak Tours

Our guides take you beyond the tunnels near the dispersed islands, only accessible by small craft like kayaks. Here, you’ll gain front-row seats for viewing the bay’s diverse wildlife, including cormorants, hawks, ibises, and great blue herons that retreat to the uninhabited islands. As cooler weather sinks south, increased activity erupts as animals compete for territory and mating privileges. With a bit of stealth and patience, you might glimpse courtship displays, territorial battles, or new broods of chicks overwintering before their first migrations north. Don’t forget your camera!

While the lure of secluded tunnels and remote islands beckons, safety comes first when kayaking Little Sarasota Bay in winter. Suppose an expert-led guided tour suits your style. In that case, you can schedule Sea Life Kayak Adventures with us, as we are  Sarasota’s trusted authority on Little Sarasota Bay kayaking tours. We’ve been launching from  Ted Sperling Park for over a decade. Our guides bring loads of experience navigating the bay’s fascinating ecosystems. If you book a guided tour, our master naturalists will enrich your journey through Little Sarasota Bay with each paddle stroke.

Where are the manatees in the winter?

Winter months see fewer West Indian manatees in Little Sarasota Bay as many migrate to warmer nearby springs and power plant discharge canals. But seasoned locals know substantial population winters in the bay, unfazed by “cold” coastal waters that seem balmy compared to frigid inland rivers. In the colder months, manatees with higher body mass and thickening protective fat layers linger. Catching a glimpse of these gentle giants, with their large bulbous bodies and crinkled snouts, rewards patient paddlers. Manatees graze on seagrass beds scattered across the bay and scavenge Mangrove leaves for nutrition. Our guides keep an eye out for the subtle whirlpools created by their tails or pathways of their large bodies gliding through shallow grassy areas. If you spot one – keep your distance, move slowly, refrain from touching, and cherish your manatee sighting!

Don’t let winter pass without scheduling a memorable kayaking adventure through stunning Little Sarasota Bay! Reserve your next tour at www.sealifekayak.com. If you are looking for a unique gift for someone who loves the water, we have digital gift certificates available. Email us, and we’ll set you up.

Sea Life Kayak was founded in 2012, and we’ve been taking adventure loves out into Little Sarasota Bay and through the Lido Key Mangrove tunnels for years. You won’t find a more experienced, friendly tour company anywhere in the Sarasota area. Ted Sperling Park is located just west of St. Armand’s Circle and is close to Sarasota, Longboat Key, and Anna Maria Island. Book your tour here.