Last Updated on March 31, 2024

Anna Maria Island is a great place to go kayaking!  The warm Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay waters are perfect for paddling, and there are plenty of places to explore.

You can paddle around Anna Maria Island’s many mangrove tunnels and nature preserves, or head out to the open water to see manatees and other marine life.
In this post, we’ll look at the best spots for kayaking on Anna Maria Island and the best companies for kayak tours and rentals. 
Kayaking is a great way to experience all that Anna Maria Island has to offer!

The Complete Guide To Anna Maria Island Kayaking!


 Check out the best guided tours, rentals, and spots for kayaking in Anna Maria Island!


Anna Maria Island Kayak Rentals & Kayak Tours


1. Happy Paddler Kayak Tours 

Anna Maria Island is a beautiful place to go kayaking, and Happy Paddler Kayak Tours is the perfect way to experience it.
I have personally been on their guided tours before and it was one of my favorite things to do in the area.
Located in Longboat Key, about a mile south of Coquina Beach, Happy Paddler is highly rated for its kayak tours and adventures.
Their knowledgeable and experienced guides will take you on a tour of the island and through the shallow and calm waters, pointing out all the best spots for kayaking and wildlife viewing.
This company offers guided tours, rentals, and lessons.  You can take a Coastal Island Tour around Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island.
I recommend doing a guided tour since they know the water conditions, as well as all the best areas to spot manatees, dolphins, and other marine life.
However, if you are looking for rentals, they offer rentals in Longboat Key at Bayfront Park.
Here, you can paddle through the mangrove forests and Audubon Sanctuary Islands, where it’s possible to spot wildlife.
You can also rent kayaks at Longboat Pass, the area where Sarasota Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico.
For the fishing enthusiasts, they also offer a Kayak Fishing Charter.
Happy Paddler has single kayaks or tandem kayak rentals if you want to go with a friend or someone else.
And they provide lifejackets and all the equipment you need, so all you have to do is show up and enjoy the ride.

Book With Happy Paddler Kayak Tours Here



Another place to for kayak rentals and tours is Beach Bums in Anna Maria Island

2. Beach Bums

For all your rental needs in Anna Maria Island, Beach Bums has you covered!  Beach Bums has rentals for single and double kayaks, golf carts, and bicycles.
For beach day rentals, they have beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers, wagons, and games, such as cornhole.
They also do free deliveries on equipment and will bring to your Anna Maria Island vacation rental.
Beach Bums also does kayak tours around the northern end of the island, taking you to a mangrove island and to points such as Anna Maria Sound, Key Royale Bridge, and Bimini Sound.
Popular animals to see on these tours include manatees, dolphins, and wild birds.
Other highlights of the tour include the City Pier and Bayfront Park (different from the Bayfront Park in Longboat Key), where it’s common to see stingrays and varieties of fish.  

You'll see marine life such as stingrays and manatees when kayaking next to the Anna Maria City Pier



See Details On Their Website Here 

Photo Credit- Kayak Jacks

Kayak Jacks is another popular place to rent kayaks in Anna Maria Island

3. Kayak Jacks

We know that Anna Maria Island is a kayaker’s paradise, and Kayak Jacks is the perfect place to rent a kayak and explore all that the island has to offer.
With kayaks available for both single and tandem kayakers, they have the perfect kayak for your adventure.
Explore the mangroves, paddle through the shallow waters of Tampa Bay, or take a leisurely kayak around Anna Maria Island – it’s up to you!
You can rent kayaks for 24 hours or for a week and best of all, they can deliver right to you.
Kayak Jacks also offers kayak tours, led by experienced guides who will show you the best places to kayak on Anna Maria Island.
Or you can do one of their self-guided tours that launch from Emerson Point in Palmetto or Robinson Preserve in Bradenton.
They have different times during the day for kayak tours, so you can pick a time that works best with your schedule.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing tour or an adventurous one, they have kayaking options that are optimal for you.

√ Check Out Kayak Jacks Website



Photo Credit: AMI Paddleboard

Kayaking in Anna Maria Island with AMI Paddleboard Adventures is one of the best ways to see the island and its natural beauty.

4. AMI Paddleboard & Kayak Adventures

Kayaking in Anna Maria Island with AMI Paddleboard Adventures is one of the best ways to see the island and its natural beauty.
The company offers kayak rentals, tours, and lessons, so you can explore the island at your own pace.
The kayaks are easy to use and stable, making them perfect for beginners.  The company also offers stand-up paddleboards, so you can get a workout while enjoying the views.
These 90-minute eco tours pack a lot of adventure into a relatively short amount of time.  Here, you will explore the mangroves and look for sea life such as starfish, manatees, and dolphins.
If you decide to rent, AMI Paddleboards will deliver your rental to you in Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, for free.   You can also rent their equipment for up to a week.

 Book On Their Website Here



Best Places To Go Kayaking In Anna Maria Island

If you’re looking for the best kayaking spots in Anna Maria Island, look no further!  Here are some of our favorite places to paddle around:
√ Robinson Preserve – This preserve is a great place to kayak because it has plenty of mangroves and wildlife to see.
There are also several different areas to explore, so you can make your kayaking trip as long or short as you want.
√  Tampa Bay – Kayaking in Tampa Bay is a must-do when visiting Anna Maria Island.
You’ll get stellar views of the skyline, and there’s always something going on in the water (from dolphins swimming by to boats cruising by).

√  Coquina Beach – Coquina Beach is a great place to kayak for beginners because the water is typically fairly calm.
Plus, it’s just a short paddle to some of the best shelling spots on the island.
√  Anna Maria Island City Pier – Kayaking around the Anna Maria Island City Pier is a great way to get a different perspective of this popular spot.
You’ll be able to see all the fishing action, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two!
√  Manatee Public Beach – Manatee Public Beach is another great spot for beginner kayakers.
The water is shallow and there’s plenty of room to move around, making it perfect for exploring with your Kayak.
√ Longboat Key– This barrier island offers beautiful views and plenty of opportunities to see dolphins and other marine life.
Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or just getting started, Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to paddle around and explore.

 Check Out This Highly Rated Guided Kayak Tour In Nearby Sarasota



Anna Maria Island Paddleboard Rentals


If kayaking is not your thing and you’re looking to paddleboard instead, the following rental companies offer Paddleboard Rentals


Happy Paddler

Beach Bums

Kayak Jacks

AMI Paddleboard Adventures


Final Thoughts:

The Complete Guide To Anna Maria Island Kayaking! 

Kayaking in Anna Maria Island is an excellent way to see the island’s natural beauty up close. 

There are many different kayaking tours available, so there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely paddle or an adventurous excursion, Anna Maria Island has plenty of options and the tour guide will lead you along the way. 

So grab your paddle and get ready to explore!  If you’re looking for more places for kayaking with manatees in Florida, check out this post



Booking a last-minute trip to Anna Maria Island?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended tours and hotels!

Top Tours in Anna Maria Island

Boat Excursion To Capri Island – (Small Group Boat Tour From Sorrento)

Parasailing Adventure – (Above Bradenton Beach & Anna Maria Island)

Private Fishing Trip With Sight Seeing – (Half Day Tour Around Anna Maria Island)

Top Hotels & Accommodations in Anna Maria Island

Playa Esmeralda Boutique Inn – (Top Rated Accommodation In Bradenton Beach)

Bungalow Beach Resort – (Beachfront Property In Bradenton Beach)

Captain’s Quarters At Anna Maria Island – (High Rated Villa With Private Pool)

Anna Maria Island Inn – (Aparthotel Nearby Beach)

Looking To Get Around In Anna Maria Island

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗

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