Explore Jacksonville

Boating Adventures on the First Coast of Florida

From exciting motor boat rides to relaxing kayak trips and scenic cruises, there are many ways to get out on the water.

There’s no better way to experience the outdoors than to explore the waterways of Northeast Florida. From kayaking the quiet marshes in Amelia Island to a scenic river cruise in St. Augustine, the waterways that make up the First Coast are filled with plenty of rich history and natural beauty.

Kayak Amelia
You can explore the ocean to narrow streams with Kayak Amelia (Courtesy Ryan Ketterman)

If you are new to kayaking, join the folks at Kayak Amelia on a guided eco-tour. Following an introduction to kayaking and short instruction, you’ll be ready for exploring. The tour follows the tides, making it easy for beginners to perfect their paddling skills and enjoy the scenery.

For even more fun, join their Bar Hopping tour and explore the many sandbars of Northeast Florida. Covered twice a day due to the changing tides, the sandbars provide a great spot to look for shells and take a dip in the water too. For a bit of history, join the Fort George Island tour and explore this historic spot from the waters. Home to Kingsley Plantation, this kayak tour stops for a quick walk around the property before venturing back along the waterways to see migratory birds and wildlife throughout the Timucuan Preserve.

Ready to strike out on your own? Kayak Amelia also offers self-guided rentals, along with a map of the area and suggestions of places to explore throughout the salt marshes and waterways. Don’t be afraid to set out on an adventure.

For a bit of history and a unique look at the nation’s oldest city, climb aboard the Victory III and spend the afternoon with Scenic Cruise of St. Augustine. With guided boat tours departing daily from the Municipal Marina, just south of the Bridge of Lions, the tour offers fantastic views of the St. Augustine Lighthouse, the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, and keep your eyes open for plenty of marine life too.

Historic St. Augustine
See the site the Spanish first set foot in the U.S. (Courtesy Visit Florida)

Looking for adventure? Bluewater Adventure of St. Augustine lets you get behind the wheel of your own CraigCat, a patented horizontal catamaran boat. Enjoy a three-hour guided tour along the Intracoastal waterway and have a unique vantage point of life in St. Augustine along the waterfront. Be on the lookout for turtles, dolphins and even manatees as you explore at your own pace. For an evening trip, climb aboard your catamaran for a sunset cruise.

From guided tours to exploring at your own pace, Northeast Florida’s waterways provides visitors a unique look at the Sunshine State. Choose your own adventure, have fun and make memories along the water on your next vacation.