TripAdvisor Named This Clear Kayak Tour in Florida the Best Activity in the U.S.

Another adventure for our bucket lists!

Shell Key Preserve Get Up And Go Kayaking
Photo: Allison Vives-Vietri

People can't stop raving about this clear kayak eco-tour through Shell Key Preserve near St. Petersburg, Florida. In fact, the trip, which is offered by Get Up And Go Kayaking, was rated the best activity in the U.S. by nearly 2,000 TripAdvisor reviews in 2021. No small feat!

The approximately two-hour trip begins in the quaint island town of Tierra Verde. The first stop is a mangrove tunnel (tide permitting) where paddlers can catch a glimpse of a wide variety of fish and nesting birds. Next, enjoy the white sand and crystal-clear waters of Shell Key. There you can do some shelling on the pristine shoreline or visit the preserve's wildlife sanctuary for a little birdwatching. The tour ends with a paddle alongside Shell Key's mangrove-lined coast, where majestic great blue herons, pink roseate spoonbills, and anhingas abound.

"We saw dolphins, a baby shark, tons of sea snails, and cool birds," one recent five-star review reads. "It was great to get out on the water early in the morning when the animals were active. The mangroves were super cool too. Highly recommend this experience."

For an even more unique experience, consider a Nighttime Glow tour of Shelly Key in a clear kayak featuring underwater LED lights. "Your tour guide will lead the way as we paddle through the waters of Shell Key Preserve while looking for wildlife, taking in the stars, and lighting up the water beneath you!" the website boasts.

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Daytime tours cost $64 per adult and $54 per child (under the age of 12). Nighttime tours cost $69 per adult and are not available for children younger than 12.

Visit getupandgokayaking.com/shell-key-preserve for tickets and more information.

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