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Many visitors of the Sunshine State try Shell Key kayaking for a good time exploring. It’s only because this wildlife reserve in Pinellas County has an exceptional atmosphere.The place greets guests with a clean and fresh sea breeze while boating and on the beach. There is lush greenery on land and within the waters to see and interact with.
Aside from that, the preserve provides daytime and nighttime marine plants and animals. Hence, this is also one of the best spots to visit in the U.S. state of Florida.
Many even say a clear kayak tour of Shell Key Preserve is worth it for amateur and seasoned paddlers. Other than the white sands, the place has knee and waist-deep waters that are ideal for excursions.
Also, part of it is the 195-acre land called Shell Key (Island) to visit. The spot offers shelling and swimming opportunities. In this post, we’ll go into detail about why the preserve is most suitable for outdoor adventures.
Included is more information about Shell Key Preserve kayak tours in general. Thus, keep reading before packing your bags to go.
What Makes Shell Key Kayaking Priceless
Shell Key Preserve kayak tours provide unique journeys to travelers visiting Florida. The nature reserve is only reachable by riding a private boat or public shuttle. Yet, in traveling there, folks immediately see the clear, azure waters.
Plus, powdery white dunes with shells hanging on barren trees are also spread on the coasts. There are even shells with holes scattered across the soft sands.
Still, the mangroves and grass surrounding the area make great backdrops. In the fall months, sea oats bring a variety of shades to the beaches. The area isn’t even only for viewing, though.
Guests also stay in specific areas there during their camping trips. So it makes a lot of sense why folks try clear kayak Shell Key excursions.
During the daytime, sea bird flocks come to the reserve’s barrier islands. Some are local or common birds, while others are migratory or exotic. Some are even nesting in the sanctuary.
Thus it’s common to see folks there holding their binoculars for bird watching. On rare occasions, endangered loggerhead turtles surface. At night, open bioluminescent spots and those surrounded by mangrove tunnels are there.
With the things mentioned, the reserve grants plenty of sightseeing and other activities. All while on a kayak or even by foot. Hence, it’s easy to say that Shell Key Preserve kayak tours make lasting memories.
Visiting The Preserve For Shell Key Kayaking
For convenience, guests usually take the Shell Key shuttle south of Pass-A-Grille. That is to get to the island barrier in the 1,828 acres of the reserve and experience everything offered there.
Yet those on their private water vessels can take the boat ramp on Tierra Verde. That is through the Pinellas Bayway & SUP Launch. This route takes about 30 minutes to travel 1.5 miles to Shell Key.
Another path that could take you to the island is through the Fort De Soto Boat Ramp. It’s a great place to dock and launch, regardless of the kaya size. This spot becomes busy sometimes, but it often doesn’t.
So travelers have these options for a clear kayak tour of Shell Key Preserve.
Getting within the boundaries of the Shell Key preserve may be significant when kayaking too. Even using other vessels that involve paddling is superb.
It’s only because paddlers get the experience of seeing the beauty of the shallow waters. On a transparent kayak, it’s possible to appreciate the clarity of the pristine waters.
There, travelers can see shrubs above and fish and seagrass below. That is from passing the Bunces Pass to entering the borders of Shell Key. Still, before visiting the preserve, be familiar with which areas to avoid.
After all, restricted bird preservation, seagrass caution, and idle speed areas. Hence, research and thoroughly enjoy a clear kayak Shell Key trip later.
Check The Shell Key Preserve Kayak Tours
Daytime and nighttime Shell Key kayaking journeys are available for tourists. Usually, these excursions allow travelers to pass by areas within the preserve. That is to see and take pictures of the things on the island barrier from early morning to late afternoon.
Aside from that, there are also opportunities to get wet. Plus, there’s the chance to decorate dead trees and even take home shells (with no living animal).
From early evening to nighttime, there’s paddling the waters with bioluminescent planktons. This brings about natural light shows in the water to enjoy.
So, when it comes to getting the most out of the Shell Key, going for a clear kayak Shell Key tour is worth the effort.
Tours usually occur in groups. Yet, sometimes, travelers can opt to wander unrestricted areas without problems. With people tagging along or traveling alone, it’s possible to see migratory birds.
Aside from the trees and seagrass, there are also sea turtles, dolphins, and even manatees. They are around the waterways throughout the day. Thus daytime and glow excursions are fun with either of the travel options.
It’s only that kayakers must come prepared before hitting and cruising the waters.
Experience And Cost Of Shell Key Kayaking
Traveling the boundaries of the Shell Key Preserve by kayak means buying or renting one. Many travelers recommend borrowing, though. That is only to have the chance to try a clear kayak tour of Shell Key Preserve.
After all, with a crystal kayak, there’s a unique experience of seeing everything below. Outdoor adventures on the water become more interesting that way. Usually, a clear kayak Shell Key tour is around $49 to $73.
It’s because there’s a guide that narrates, instructs, and ensures travel safety. It may become pricier due to kayak rental and other fees. Yet, with the experience to have, everything is likely worthwhile.
Usually, expensive offers for Shell Key preserve kayaking are pricey. Aside from the presence of a guide, pricey tours come with safety equipment. Examples of the things included are personal flotation devices and a whistle.
They also let travelers choose what type of kayaks, paddles, seats, and other items to take. Hence, many consider Shell Key kayak tours beneficial.
Shell Key Preserve Kayaking Considerations
To make a Shell Key kayaking perfect, it’s best not to leave everything to chance and even the tour guides. That’s because travelers are the ones who make their trips more pleasurable.
Tourists are even more responsible for keeping themselves extra safe. Tourist guides can only do so much for Florida guests, after all. They can’t control everything that goes on.
Travelers also make choices about where to go and how to reach places. With these things in mind, preparing well before going on any kayaking trip is best.
Before a clear kayak tour of Shell Key Preserve, selecting the right kayak matters. Choose between tandem, solid, inflatable, and other recreational kayaks.
Get the kind that can best accommodate the passenger weight with baggage. Remember to pick the right paddles to cruise the waters at the desired speed.
Also, opaque ones are great but transparent models may make moments more special. Hence, it’s essential to check your options before kayaking somewhere.
What To Bring
Shell Key kayaking means exposing yourself to the wild and, thus, the elements. Thus, before leaving, it’s essential to pack well or have the right things on. That’s so going to the Shell Key Preserve would be more comfortable.
For instance, bring water and a quality water bottle for hydration. After all, the waterways of the sunshine state may get a bit warmer sometimes.
Wear swimwear, sandals or shoes, and sun protection to avoid getting soaked and burnt by the sun. Wearing sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses, and a cap may help.
Still, bring a towel to keep yourself dry. But, despite the importance of having many things at once, consider taking only what you need. After all, you wouldn’t want to obstruct the view during a clear kayak tour of Shell Key Preserve.
Other Preparations For Kayaking In Shell Key
Before going on any Shell Key kayaking excursion, be ready. It’s not only about having the correct outfit or riding a kayak with a crystal clear or glass-like bottom.
To make a trip enjoyable, try to ensure you can at least get in and exit from a kayak. Usually, tour packages don’t demand passengers to be fit. But it does make sense to have the capacity to board, leave, and paddle.
After all, kayaking is an activity that requires muscle strength and endurance. During a journey, a lot of movement and going against resistance are involved. So, before leaving, try to work on your health.
Visiting the Shell Key Preserve means going somewhere where the winds may change. Take note that kayaking means floating on water and having control of an aquatic vessel.
Hence, before a trip, it would be great to have at least basic knowledge of how to navigate well when in the sea. With such information, you can change your pace and direction anytime.
So try to research how to use a single, tandem, or any other type of kayak beforehand. That is even if there’s basic training involved during a tour.
Taking Everything Into Account
If you have yet tried Shell Key kayaking, now may be the best time to try it. The preserve is an awesome place to go for an outdoor adventure.
The air, water, sand, greens, and animals help people enjoy and reconnect with nature. Riding a crystal clear kayak makes cruising the waters extra special too.
If you’re feeling adventurous, the island barrier is an excellent choice for a travel spot. It’s only that make yourself ready before leaving and try not to lose your way!
We hope that you enjoyed reading the article we presented. If you visited Shell Key, please share glimpses of your time there through commenting.
We look forward to hearing from you and wish you well on your next trip to Florida.