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Orlando Water sports

Our most recommended Orlando Water sports

Orlando: 3-Hour Manatee Encounter by Kayak

1. Orlando: 3-Hour Manatee Encounter by Kayak

Blue Springs State Park outside Orlando is home to the largest spring on the St. Johns River and a designated national manatee refuge. On this 3-hour excursion your group will paddle to the entrance of the spring run, park the kayaks, and then walk the entire length of the spring run with a guide to spot and photograph the native wildlife. Afterwards you’ll retrieve your kayak and paddle to the Snake River or Hontoon Island. The Hontoon Island area of the river is packed with manatees, otters, and sun-worshipping gators. Overhead bald eagles, ospreys, and red shoulder hawks scan the water and marshes for their next meal. On the riverbank, large wading birds, coots, morehens, and the occasional wild hog can be seen. There’s a nature trail on the island that leads to an ancient Indian shell mound. The park is noted for its large owl population and extensive Indian artifacts including the state’s largest totem pole.

Orlando: Discovery Cove Admission Ticket & Additional Parks

2. Orlando: Discovery Cove Admission Ticket & Additional Parks

Check out Discovery Cove with its many animal experiences and tropical environments with this all-inclusive admission ticket. Depending on the option selected, your ticket also includes access to SeaWorld, Aquatica, and Busch Gardens. Discovery Cove gives you the chance to enjoy one-of-a-kind opportunities to swim with dolphins, snorkel among thousands of tropical fish and rays, hand-feed exotic birds, encounter playful otters, and more. Explore rocky lagoons surrounded by lush landscaping, colorful reefs, winding rivers, and white, sandy beaches. Experience the most exciting aquatic animal encounters in this specially-designed tropical atmosphere that includes The Grand Reef, Freshwater Oasis, Explorer’s Aviary, and Serenity Bay.

Orlando: Manatee Encounter, Snorkeling, and Airboat Ride

3. Orlando: Manatee Encounter, Snorkeling, and Airboat Ride

Snorkel thorugh marine life in the Crystal Rive on this day trip from Orlando. Ride in a comfortable and airconditioned bus to Homosassa Springs State Park for a guided visit. Find out about manatees and go for an airboat ride on the Withlacoochee River. In the morning, head out to the beautiful Crystal River area to start your snorkeling adventure. Explore the river and admire unique wildlife in its natural habitat. Learn about the magnificent manatee and have the opportunity to see them up close. Next is a guided visit to the Homosassa Springs State Park. Discover local wildlife, including the endangered Florida panther, black bears, red wolves, bobcats, alligators, and more. Learn about the park’s manatee rehabilitation program and stop at an underwater observatory built over the mouth of a spring. Enjoy a packed lunch before heading to the Withlacoochee River, to end your day with an exciting airboat ride. Ride through this area which is another natural haven, where you can see more local wildlife. Feel the thrill of skimming over the water with an exhilarating trip in a flat-bottomed boat.

Orlando: Manatees Swim, Snorkel and Boat Day Tour

4. Orlando: Manatees Swim, Snorkel and Boat Day Tour

Swim and snorkel with one of the sea's most gentle creatures, the endangered Florida manatee, and take an exhilarating airboat ride. Head to the picturesque Crystal River – home to the endangered “gentle giant of the sea,” the Florida manatee – where you can choose to snorkel or swim. Have a chance to interact with these beautiful creatures if you’re lucky. Have some lunch, and then enjoy a fully-narrated airboat ride. Learn more about this southern state's wildlife from the knowledgeable tour guide.

Orlando: Rock Springs Run Kayak Tour with Picnic Lunch

5. Orlando: Rock Springs Run Kayak Tour with Picnic Lunch

Take a break from the theme parks to experience a different side of Orlando with a fun kayak adventure. Dive deep into the natural Floridian landscape to admire lush pine trees, pristine creeks, and diverse wildlife. Follow your guide through the Rock Springs Run area, then relax with a picnic lunch. Marvel at the breathtaking scenery and crystal clear water of the spring run as you paddle upstream through the twists and turns of the river. Journey through a special region that remains as it was back when Timucuan tribes fished and hunted here. Reach the bridge at Kelly Park and stop for a refreshing swim while being served a picnic lunch. Afterward, enjoy a natural lazy river experience as you gently drift downstream. See different wildlife species, including alligators, turtles, river otters, black bears, deer, and birds.

Orlando: Manatee Discovery Kayak Tour with Lunch

6. Orlando: Manatee Discovery Kayak Tour with Lunch

See manatees in their natural habitat in Blue Spring State Park on a kayaking tour. Explore the rivers and creeks and spot a range of other native species within the lush marshland. Enjoy priority entrance to Blue Spring State Park and experience a fantastic view of the spring and the manatees that are to be found in the area. Paddle to the crystal clear waters of Blue Spring, Orange City by kayak and encounter the many manatees that make the area their home. During the summer months indulge in a refreshing dip in the clear waters of the spring. Glide through the calm creeks and rivers of the park and discover a variety of animals including alligators and turtles who often can be seen sunbathing on the shores. Also, keep a lookout for bird species such as a variety of birds including ospreys, eagles, and kingfishers. Then, after you finish your kayaking adventure, enjoy a picnic lunch in the tranquility of nature.

Orlando: Swim with Manatees and Homosassa State Park Visit

7. Orlando: Swim with Manatees and Homosassa State Park Visit

The gentle manatees of the Crystal River await your arrival on this delightful day-long tour where you can swim with these curious creatures. Your day will begin with complimentary pickup from one of the key meeting points in Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista and Disney. You will then be whisked away to the picturesque Crystal River. Crystal River is home to the curious and endangered manatee. Also known as Sea Cows, these creatures are most definitely the gentle giants of the marine world. Here you have the chance to snorkel or swim in the clear blue waters. Manatees are curious creatures and will often come to greet those who choose to snorkel or swim. They may even roll over to be tickled! Those who prefer to stay above water may wish to simply sit back, relax and enjoy the natural surroundings. After lunch at your own expense, you will visit the beautiful Homosassa State Park, one of Florida’s best kept secrets. There, enjoy the chance to see many of Florida’s endangered species, such as the state panther, and watch the manatees again from an underwater viewing chamber. Fun, relaxed and light-hearted, this day-long tour and swim with the manatees is the perfect tour choice for the whole family!

Sanford: Guided SUP or Kayak Manatee-Watching Tour

8. Sanford: Guided SUP or Kayak Manatee-Watching Tour

Discover the wild nature just outside Disney and Universal Studios on this kayaking and standup paddling guided tour from Sanford. Learn how to use a SUP, hear fascinating facts about the wildlife you see, and discover Florida's rich history. Start your tour with an introduction to the standup paddleboard. Practice on land before taking it for a practice paddle just offshore. Once you're ready, head into the water and begin your day. If you prefer kayaking to standing up, join the tour in one of the provided kayaks. Push off and head into the water, making your way toward the beautiful cypress waterways. As you paddle, hear about the wildlife you see and the history of Orlando and Sanford. Paddle under old industrial railways and past green shores for a chance to see playful manatees in the water.

Kayaking the Econlockhatchee River: Day-Trip From Orlando

9. Kayaking the Econlockhatchee River: Day-Trip From Orlando

You will find the perfect day trip just minutes away from downtown Orlando on the banks of the Econlockhatchee River. This is a great way to escape the noise and development that’s taken over much of wild Florida. Relax in the shade of towering oaks and paddle the many twists and turns that define this lazy river. Come kayak the eight miles through the mysterious, moss covered cypress forest of the Little-Big Econ State Forest. Escaping the uncontrolled growth that dominates Orange and Seminole Counties, this state forest features a widening, lazy river where wildlife abounds. On past tours visitors have encountered bald eagles, red shoulder hawks, heaps of large wading birds, river otters, and, of course, alligators. The high sandy banks shade kayakers with enormous live oaks, pine, palm, and ancient cypress trees. Your catered lunch will be served picnic style at the Boy Scout Bridge on the Florida Trail.

From Orlando: Day Trip to Clearwater with Deep Sea Fishing

10. From Orlando: Day Trip to Clearwater with Deep Sea Fishing

Every one loves a theme park, but sometimes it is the thrill of the ocean that calls. On this full day excursion you will travel to the powder-white sands of Clearwater Beach and get plenty of time to fish in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Your day begins from a convenient pick-up point in Orlando. You will be whisked away to enjoy a relaxing lunch (if option selected) in Clearwater Beach, before your 4-hour fishing adventure begins. In the company of an experienced guide, the tour sails off the coast of West Central Florida, known for its productive reef and abundant marine life. You will be provided with all the necessary fishing equipment, including a fishing licence. Expect to catch a variety of fish, and keep anything that follows the designated length and weight regulations. You will sail approximately 10 miles out in to the Gulf of Mexico and, depending on the season, your deep-sea fishing excursion may reward you with grouper and snapper. Remember to bring your camera so you can snap souvenir snapshots of your hard work. The tour then cruises back to the dock, where you will get the chance to clean the fish before the return journey to Orlando at a convenient drop-off point. Clearwater Beach is among America’s most beautiful beach locations and was named one of the best by Dr. Beach in 2008. On this exciting voyage out to the ocean you will soon see why.

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Frequently asked questions about Orlando

What are the best day trips and excursions from Orlando?

The best day trips and excursions from Orlando are:

Kennedy Space Center

Other Sightseeing Options in Orlando

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What people are saying about Orlando

If you are debating doing this. Don’t!!! Absolutely amazing experience. The dive shop crew knew exactly where to look For manatees and it was an amazing experience to be that close. We got to see a big matured one then a baby and it’s mama. Oh it was stunning to see and be apart of the baby being so content in its environment. We were lucky the water was clearer where the baby and it’s mama was. We also saw a sting ray and lots of different types of fish. And then don’t even get me started on the airboat ride!!!! JUST WOW!!!! We only saw one little crocodile but it was awesome to be gliding along the Everglades. And so thrilling. I will say breakfast isn’t fresh on the bus but the lunch was amazing. The cheeseburger was fresh and meaty and I be never seen fries like that in my life. But they were delicious!!!

This was amazing!! First time to Florida on our honeymoon and we just showed up with our tickets and paid for parking and they took care of the rest! We had Luiz as a guide and he was knowledgeable and funny and made the trip great! Our manatee instructors were Gina and Andrew and they were fabulous! We saw lots of manatees (at least 10) and got to swim with them! The only suggestion I have is to bring some $5’s, $10’s, $20’s for tips! And a warm change of clothes if it’s chilly! Our trip was about 8.5 hours total (8am-4:30pm) but time varies I think! Would definitely do it again!!!

All very professional but also friendly. Fantastic experience, most amazing birthday present for me, would recommend this trip to all people who love and respect our wildlife. Saw a mother and baby which was the high light and having the guide take pictures makes it a memory to treasure. Don’t mind that there are few facilities for changing but it Would be nice to have more than one toilet there.

This was our first kayaking trip and we felt very safe with astrid our guide she was very knowledgeable about the area. We had a 13yr and 9yr old with us and they enjoyed the trip too we saw two manatees and multiple crocodiles as well as birds and turtles. Fabulous day for all of us and would definitely do again x

Great guide. Patient, knowledgeable, encouraging. Would do it again.