$45/child (under 12)
Includes guide service, all gear and equipment.
Daily @ 9:00 am
Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Location: Places of departure vary upon currents, wind, and wildlife and will be determined at our discretion at the time of reservation. Click here for a list of our places of departure.
Ride the tide from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico into the tranquil coastal estuary of Sarasota Bay. Cruise the quiet shallows as the water trembles with hungry trout and tarpon feeding on silvery shoals of small fish. Keep an eye out for wild dolphins chasing splashing mullet, while graceful pelicans and sharp-eyed ospreys plunge from overhead. Look to find a friendly manatee grazing on seagrass in the shallow, crystal water of the bay.
Journey along the tropical mangrove forest -- the cradle of the sea. This flooded forest is one of the most productive spawning grounds in the world. Here, young fish and baby sharks grow up in a protected nursery of tangled roots and branches. Sea stars, sea urchins, sea horses, and other curious critters are easily found as they go about the businesses of their own. The clatter and hum of the outside world are not welcome here... in the hushed sanctuary of the mangrove forest, the only sounds are the beating wings of pure white egrets, the clicking legs of tree crabs, and the gentle cadence and lapping ripples marking the progress of happy paddlers.
The big three! We usually find at least one, if not all three, on a daily basis hanging out in the cool, clear water. As Florida natives and trained naturalists, we know just where and when to look. The Coastal Mangrove Islands Tour is your best chance to see these guys up close in their natural habitat. Bring your camera!
Experience one of the most abundant ecosystems on the planet. Only coral reefs and tropical rainforests boast a higher density and diversity of life than here in the mangrove estuary of Sarasota and Tampa Bay. In addition to the birds, fish, manatees, and dolphins we hope to find, we will also look for enormous live conchs, colorful sea sponges, delicate sea stars, even really wild critters like sea cucumbers and sea hares! You'll be amazed at just how much is out there.
At Happy Paddler, our goal is to provide a deeply engaging, unforgettable experience for our guests. We want this to be the highlight of your vacation! We specialize in providing personal, completely customized tours that match your experience and expectations. Whether you're a family looking for the next great adventure, or nature-lovers searching for the authentic, off-trail experience, this is the tour for you.