For the novice kayaker, here are a few tips to make the most out of the paddle.
- What you wear can weigh you down. Avoid cotton, as it can be heavy when wet and it takes a long time to dry. Instead, opt for clothing made from synthetic fabrics such as Lycra and polyester, which dry quickly and keep you comfortable. Of course, you want to make sure you’ve loaded up on sunscreen—and remember a hat and sunglasses.
- Consider the seasonal habits of wildlife. The time of year matters when it comes to what you can expect to see from the kayak. From April through October, South Florida experiences an uptick in a number of marine life species, including sea turtles, stingrays, manatees, adolescent sharks and bottlenose dolphins. Depending on where you paddle, keep your eyes peeled; you never know what you might spy.
- Watch the weather beyond the sun or rain. Obviously, it is important to check weather forecasts before heading anywhere outdoors, but also check the wind speed and tidal currents, which can affect your kayaking. Paddling against strong incoming or outgoing tides can be exhausting and possibly a recipe for trouble. Check saltwatertides.com for tide information (Florida Atlantic Coast).
North Palm Beach
For those wanting to explore the northern tracks of the Lake Worth Lagoon or make a trek to Peanut Island, Adventure Times Kayaing has two locations for your paddling pleasure. The main location and shop, situated on the Earman River in North Palm Beach, offers both kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, giving paddlers direct access to Munyon Island, Little Munyon Island and the estuary at MacArthur Beach State Park. At just less than a mile from Munyon Island, paddlers of all skill levels can easily make the trek to the quiet island, while the estuary offers a great, secluded spot to explore.
Make this summer an eco-adventure with a trip to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, and explore Munyon Island, a kayakers paradise.
If a trip to Peanut Island is your thing, Adventure Times’ Riviera Beach Marina outpost offers direct access to the manmade island and all its offerings. Bring your snorkel equipment for an underwater view at the lagoon (rental equipment is available for $20), and check out the Coast Guard Station and John F. Kennedy Cuban Missile Crisis bomb shelter while visiting; it's an interesting slice of American history here in our backyard ($14 for adults).
Want to take a guided tour? Adventure Times offers an array, each a dedicated to its own unique experience:
- The Saturday Sampler is the ideal class for the beginner paddler. Running from 9-11:30 a.m. on Saturdays, participants first learn the basics in the sheltered cove of the Earman River, then explore the waterways weaving through North Palm Beach. Admission costs $50 for adults, $35 kids younger than 17. For more information and to reserve a spot, call 561-881-7218 or visit kayakkayak.com.
- Take a guided tour of Peanut Island. The tour explores the island and the waters surrounding it, as well as gives paddlers a chance to experience some of the fun Peanut Island has to offer, like snorkeling and picnicking. Tour rates cost $95 per person (for one to two, prices vary depending on the amount of people in the group). For more information, call 561-881-7218.
From the relatively secluded nook of Jupiter Creek bending around Burt Reynolds Park to Sawfish Bay and Fullerton Island, the sandbar party in the lower Loxahatchee River and the superb snorkeling at Cato’s Bridge near the Jupiter Inlet, Jupiter offers some of the best kayaking in all of Palm Beach County. Though boater traffic can be pretty intense, especially on the weekends, the variety the waterways in and Jupiter and Tequesta are second to none. As for rentals, there are multiple locations to grab a paddle.
Wild and Scenic
Explore one of Florida's most scenic waterways: the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter's Riverbend Park.
Jupiter Outdoor Center, located on Love Street, next to the Square Grouper and across the inlet from the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, is a centralized location for kayakers to explore. Situated right on the Intracoastal Waterway/Jupiter Inlet, kayakers can branch out north to Cato’s Bridge and the sandbar in Jupiter Sound or west to Sawfish Bay Park and beyond to the sandbar in the Loxahatchee River (beyond both the US 1 and Alternate A1A bridges). Dealing in both kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, JOC offers hourly, half-day and full-day rentals for whatever adventure you have planned.
- For rates and to book at paddle, call 561-747-0063 or visit jupiteroutdoorcenter.com.
If you’re new to area, JOC offers an array of guided tours:
- The Mangroves and Manatees Mystery Tour, $40 per person, explores the mangrove-lined waterways of the lower Loxahatchee River and Indian River Lagoon. At 90 minutes, the tour is a great way for beginners to strike out on the water with an expert to ensure safety.
- The two-hour Sunset and Stargazing tour, $40 per person, takes paddlers out on the water as the sun begins its descent and the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse strikes its light to guide sailors at night.
- The Full Moon Paddle, $40 per person, heads west into the Loxahatchee Aquatic Preserve as the sun sets, and then turns east as the moon begins to rise. At two-hours, this is by far JOC’s most popular tour, and worth the trek to take it in.
Head to some of Florida's last wild scrubland at Jonathan Dickinson State Park for a visit to Trapper Nelsons and the picturesque Loxahatchee River.
Make kayaking a party and paddle to the sandbar just east of Jupiter Pointe in the Intracoastal. The sandbar at low tide offers plenty of real estate to lounge at and enjoy the party, which can get big on the weekends. Kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals are available at Jupiter Pointe Paddling, located at the Jupiter Pointe Club and Marina. It's within a few minutes' paddle to The Nature Conservancy’s Blowing Rocks Preserve, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Cato's Bridge and the sandbar. Come a little early, build up an appetite and thirst, bring a paddle and enjoy the rest of the afternoon sipping on lagers at the marina.
- Kayak and stand-up paddleboard rates are as follows: $25 for one hour, $35 for two hours, $45 for half day.
- For more information, call Jupiter Pointe Paddling at 561-746-6691 or visit paddleinparadise.com.
Blueline Surf and Paddle Company, located just across the street from Guanabanas restaurant on A1A, may specialize in paddleboards, but a few kayaks are available to rent. Launching on the Jupiter Creek, Blueline gives newbies a relatively secluded spot to test their balance before striking out into the busier Intracoastal.
- To check on availability and book a rental, call 561-744-7474 or visit bluelinepaddlesurf-fl.com.