5 Best Places To Go Kayaking In Key West

Smathers Beach, Key West

Key West is located in the state of Florida, towards the tail end of the Florida Keys. Kayaking in Key West allows you to explore the mangrove islands and the seagrass habitat.

Furthermore, Key West is perfect for newbie kayakers to polish their kayaking skills. The calmness of the rivers and lakes in Key West means beginners have little to paddle against.

It’s no exaggeration to say there’s no place perfect like Key West to kayak in. The natural environment of Key West is aesthetically pleasing. There is simply so much to do!

Moreover, Key West is home to a wide variety of sea creatures ranging from fishes to lobsters. When kayaking in Key West, you will be fascinated by the landscape and diversity that exist on this beautiful island.

This article discusses the best places to fulfill your kayaking fantasies in Key West.

Get ready and let’s take a tour together.

1. Southernmost Point

Southernmost Point is one of the most popular areas to kayak in Key West. If you visit Key West without a tour of this beautiful landmark, your Key West experience is not complete.

In addition, the southernmost point is just 90 miles from Cuba. In reality, the southernmost point is closer to Cuba than mainland Florida.

Kayaking here is amazing. Paddling around presents you with the beautiful scenery of the Atlantic Ocean and the eye-catching Southernmost House.

The best place to launch your kayak is at Duval Street Park. It’s crucial to exercise caution when at the southernmost point as it’s a major route for cruise ships and large vessels.

The southernmost point in Key West is a favorite spot for kayakers because the waters are so calm. The low ocean current makes it perfect for newbie kayakers.

2. Smathers Beach

This 1 mile long beach is known for being the largest beach in Key West, Florida and a popular spot for kayaking with many tourists visiting this beach mostly during the spring break.

Like many other kayaking spots in Key West, Smathers Beach is serene and peaceful. The proximity to the airport gives you the opportunity to see aircrafts as they take off and land.

The beach runs from 9AM to 5PM and you would need a pass to enjoy its facilities. You also have the option to rent a kayak if you are without one with a single Kayak setting you back $25 per hour while a double kayak costs a bit more at $30 per hour.

One other benefit of kayaking in Key West is the fact that the bottom of the water has little to no rocks. Kayaking in rocky waters is one of the dreadful experiences a kayaker can deal with.

Go to Smathers beach today and enjoy rock free kayaking.

3. Saddlebunch Keys

Saddlebunch Keys, located about 7 miles east of Key West, is one other great spot to Kayak. The presence of amazing wildlife is a major advantage over other kayaking spots in Key West.

The calm waters and favorable weather conditions in Saddlebunch Keys create a kayaking atmosphere like no other. It remains a favorite for many people because the excitement and quality of the experience remains unchanged despite having been there on different occasions. 

In terms of accessibility, the Saddlebunch area is awesome for kayaking. There are different spots to launch your kayak with the option to pull over by the road and launch your boat or kayak.

One drawback in Saddlebunch Keys is the insufficient parking space and relatively few restrooms. Regardless, you’ll still have a memorable experience kayaking in Saddlebunch Keys.

4. Sugarloaf Key

This beautiful island is a great spot for everything Kayaking. It is located on the eastern side of Key West forming something resembling a ring with the Atlantic Ocean.

On this island, you would find a wide variety of mangroves. Like many other places in Key West, the waters are calm with the occasional strong ocean current

Furthermore, there is a lot of wildlife to explore in sugarloaf key. Do not be surprised if you see dolphins jumping out of the water while kayaking on this island.

The best place to launch your kayak is the Sugarloaf Marina although at a cost. You can avoid paying a fee if you launch your kayak at Sugarloaf creek. Although where you launch your kayak would take nothing away from the experience of a lifetime that awaits you.

Wherever you choose to launch your kayak in Sugarloaf Key, you’ll still have a memorable kayaking adventure.

5. Fleming Key

Couple kayaking in Fleming Key

Fleming Key is another great spot to kayak in Key West. It is an island located in the northwestern part of Key West. This spot is renowned for being a military center for underwater drills.

One of the notable things about kayaking in the Fleming key is that it is quite easy to find a launching spot for your kayak. In addition, the Fleming key is quiet, perfect for kayaking newbies to get up to speed.

Best Kayak Rentals In Key West

If you forget your kayak at home while coming to Key West, don’t beat yourself over this. There are many outlets offering kayaks for rent in Key West.

Furthermore, they don’t only offer kayaks for rent, they provide guided tours if you can afford to pay for it. We strongly recommend kayaking beginners to take guided tours if they are kayaking in Key West for the first time.

Now, let’s discuss briefly the top businesses that offer boat and kayak rental services in Key West. They include:

  • Lazy dog adventure
  • Kayak Kings of Key West
  • Night Kayak of Key West

Lazy Dog Adventure

Lazy Dog Adventure is one of the top-rated kayak rental businesses in Key West. They are hugely popular due to the premium service they render. It is not surprising they have about one thousand positive reviews on Tripadvisor.

They offer both single and double kayaks for rent. If you are going on a half-day kayaking tour, you’d have to pay $25 and $45 for a full-day tour.

Kayak Kings of Key West

Kayak Kings of Key West is one of the best in the kayak rental business. They rent out kayaks at an affordable rate.

Unlike Lazy Dog Adventure, they offer a flat rate for every type of kayak they rent out. In addition, their rate is not dependent on the number of hours you would spend kayaking.

Kayak kings also rent out important kayaking equipment like PFDs, dry bags, and kayak anchors at a small token.

Night Kayak of Key West

Night kayak at Key West

You can guess the service they render from their name. Night Kayak of Key West rents out kayaks for a different type of experience. Their pricing is quite similar to that of Lazy Dog Adventure.

They rent out a single kayak for $20 per hour. Interestingly, you would pay 30 bucks for a half-day kayaking tour. On the other hand, to rent a double kayak, you’d pay $30 per hour. For a half-day adventure, you get to pay $40.

The Kayak Laws In Key West

Key West is in the state of Florida, so the kayak laws of Florida strictly apply when you are kayaking in Key West.

Let us briefly run through the essential kayak laws in Florida one after the other:

  • Florida law states that everyone on a watercraft must have an approved personal floatation device (PFDs).
  • Youngsters aged 5 and under are required to always wear a PFD when on a kayak or any type of watercraft.
  • When kayaking in Key West or any part of Florida, your alcohol level must not be higher than 0.02 percent if you are under the age of 21.
  • You don’t need to register your kayak if it’s not motorized.
  • If you are kayaking at night or before sunrise, you must use a visual distress signal.


No doubt, Key West is a beautiful place for a kayaking adventure. When coming to Key West Florida, make sure you have all the safety gears intact. Remember to stay hydrated and come with your camera to capture the beautiful scenery of Key West.