Crystal River Kayak Company

Crystal River Kayak Company

Crystal River Kayak Company
5
Scuba & SnorkellingBoat ToursEco ToursStand Up PaddleboardingKayaking & Canoeing
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
About
We have the largest selection of boats and the closest dock to Three Sisters Springs. We are the ONLY outfitter located on a canal 8-10 minutes from the Three Sisters Springs. Our customers do not have to go through any wind and chop on Kings Bay to get to the Three Sisters Springs. We offer a selection of gifts and apparel, alongside kayak accessories such as waterproof bags, phone cases and goggles. You can rent mask/snorkel sets and wetsuits (required if swimming during Manatee Season) from us if needed. Our facilities include changing rooms, portable restrooms, and a water cooler to refill any bottles you may bring for your trip. We welcome paddlers with all levels of experience, from first timers to hard-worn adventurers.
Crystal River, Florida
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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Travelers talk about
(86 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
595 reviews
Excellent
529
Very good
49
Average
7
Poor
4
Terrible
6

Aimee W
Sarasota, FL51 contributions
Jan 2020
My husband and I rented kayaks to take over to Three Sisters Springs to swim with the manatees.
The staff at this company were so friendly and helpful, I can't recommend them enough! They were really cheerful and friendly when we arrived, helped us size up our wetsuits and didn't mind me trying on a few.
Their changing rooms inside the store are big, clean and private, I was pleasantly surprised.
Their launch is staffed by helpful guides who gave us a map and tips on swimming with the manatees. The launch is only about a 5-minute easy paddle to the Spring.
The Spring itself was unfortunately closed when we went, but the manatees still hang around near the Spring entrance and we had some great encounters with them! The kayak company provides rope to tie up at the designated sign so you can get out and swim, and it's shallow enough to stand at that point which makes it easier.
We arrived about 10.30am and had our best encounters then, by 12.30 it was fairly busy with people, kayaks and boat tours, so I recommend getting there early.
We were in the water for 1.5 hours and that was enough, and we were getting chilly by then. I definitely recommend hiring the snorkels too, we weren't offered flippers but I'm glad we didn't have them, they just flap about and stir up sediment and you don't need them.
Definitely hire from these guys, and have a great visit!
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jojo n
4 contributions
Jan 2021 • Friends
The customer service over the phone when booking was a little off putting, but once we got there the workers were very nice! We rented one kayak from them and with an 8$ (each) charge we were able to launch our other two kayaks. They also let us park our one (only) vehicle in the safe parking lot. Once we got in the water the trip to the springs was only 10min up the river. I wish the area had been a little less man made, especially considering you could here the highway while kayaking, but regardless it was a magical experience! We parked our kayaks in the tie out area next to the springs and swam over to the manatee swimming area, with our own snorkel gear. We arrived around 9:00am so it was early enough to avoid most of the traffic. However there was still a snorkel tour group of about 20 people which actually worked in our Cavour because we got to listen to the tour guides talk about manatees, natural history of the area, and conservation efforts. After done swimming we put warmer layers on and continued our kayak up closer to the bay. This is where we saw some action. The manatees were feeding or mating, we couldn’t tell, but they were splashing around and one juvenile came up to my boat and pushed me in circles with his nose for 10 minutes! This is where I was able to pet him and experience his personality! 10/10 would go back again, but would suggest going very early to avoid the crowds.
Written January 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

broadye
Alabama16 contributions
Oct 2021
My manatee snorkeling trip was cancelled today by another company due to gale fore winds. I thought my day was shot on the water. I went on the Crystal River shuttle van at the City Hall to go on the Three Sisters Springs boardwalk. While there I saw kayaks in Three Sisters Springs and asked a volunteer guide how did they get there? She said that all of the kayaks were from Crystal River Kayak Company. They are located off of 19 and there is no open water to kayak on to get to get to the springs. Just canals and only 10-15 minutes to kayak to the springs. Once back at city hall I drove to Crystal River Kayak company and paid to launch my kayak to the springs. Two things that could be improved is having dressing rooms and real bathrooms instead of porta potties. Also it closes at 3:30 pm and some people who got there after 2 could not go on the water. Being open later would help. The location is great for people who don't want to bother kayaking too far and for not wanting to be in the rough waters on way to the springs.
Written October 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eileen M
6 contributions
Mar 2021 • Family
Crystal River Kayak Company was fantastic!! We were looking on the same day to rent kayaks and they did their best to get us kayaks, with the added bonus of only $8 to launch our own kayak too. Super close to Three Sister Spring ( it really is 10 minutes or less) and very helpful with wetsuits ( if you don’t like the 72 degrees water like me), laminated map, getting in/out of the kayaks, where to tie off your kayak etc. The nice lady at the front ( sorry I do t know her name) was a great and personable multitasker. Erick and Nathan ( or Dalton... sorry I’m bad with names) were excellent customer service as well. Highly recommend crystal river kayak company!!! Enjoy!!
Written March 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adrian P
36 contributions
Dec 2020
Fantastic company! Thanks Patrick, the most polite young who helps you launch and I didn't get the other friendly gentleman name but the service was A++ First, thank you for wearing masks! So many establishments in the area are not. We appreciate it! The shop is fully stocked, clean and organized. We did a self launch the first day (Sunday) scouting the area and doing some bird photography. $8 self launch is a BARGAIN for how close you are. The paddle to the spring from this launch is simple and beautiful too, lots of little fish and some birds. I heard the water outside the channels can get rough and I have non-waterproof big camera lenses so we wanted to launch close to the spring. It was also COLD, 64' high, so it was perfect to be a short 7 minute paddle to the spring and not in wind or choppy water. We actually stayed totally dry the entire time our first day. We went back as planned the next day rented wetsuits and found our inflatable kayak had a small hole so we rented a 2 seater. We had the manatees to ourselves for a solid hour. They literally push and pull you around lol. I wasn't expecting that and there were over 100 that day. The spring run was closed because of the cold but we still had an awesome time and I am glad they do that to protect the manatees. I did not know about the tides however and we had pretty murky water on day two. Still good enough for some video and a couple pics. We will be back for sure to get that super clear water now that we know the drill.
Written December 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cdn4Peace
Eau Claire, WI7 contributions
Feb 2021 • Couples
From the friendly and knowledgeable customer service to their location just off Highway19 yet a short paddle to be right amongst the manatees. Crystal River Kayak Co is The right choice for kayaking - good equipment, maps, fair prices and though the guided tour was full, they assured us we would be AOK to self guide and they were right! Lots of wonderful manatees, fish, water birds and even an otter feeding. We highly recommend.
Written February 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle T
State College, PA4 contributions
Jan 2020 • Family
What a great experience! Weather wasn't looking great, but we decided to go ahead and rent the kayaks anyway. We're a family of five with triplet 6-year-olds. We were able to get a triple and a double kayak, wetsuits and snorkels. Everyone in the shop was very friendly and easy going. Three kids were so excited and we were able to swim so close to manatees in the spring. As instructed by the video, we stayed quiet and calm on the surface and 8-10 manatees swam right under us! Kids were thrilled!
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CamT211
Washington DC, DC33 contributions
Mar 2021 • Family
From the office folks wearing masks to the dock guys helping us load up and providing directions (and even a map!), we really appreciated how easy—and safe—this operation made the rental experience. We could get straight on the water here, and it was nice to skip the intermediary step of a van or boat. The Three Sisters Springs are lovely but crowded so encourage you to proceed out to Kings Bay. We rowed along Buzzard Island where we saw several manatees in the protected waters (as well as turtles, snakes, dolphin, and lots of birds). A lovely morning!
Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wench88
Southampton19 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
We did the clear kayak tour with Drew to find some manatees off season and it was brilliant! Drew went out of his way to find manatees for us to see and we got to see a mama and her baby - without the tour this wouldn’t have been possible. Fantastic value for a full 3 hours and as a first time kayaker Drew was really patient and made sure we didn’t get lost. Best part of the whole holiday thank you :)
Written September 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

iowacityia
iowa city, ia1,845 contributions
Feb 2022
My wife, daughter, and I, arrived around 11:00am for our 11:30 kayak rentals. We each ordered a single kayak. We were greeted right away by a helpful lady behind the front counter. She got the paperwork done in no time at all, and had us heading out the door to the adjacent kayak launch area. And we did follow the emailed instructions to watch the required video about kayaking in this area. It was very informative, and made the 3 hour rental that much more relaxing. I must say that both the check in, and check out, at the office went very well. And she was a joy to visit with. A young woman and man were at the kayak launch spot, and got us prepped, instructed, and on our way in very good time too. We had an absolutely wonderful time. It was quite busy with kayakers, boaters, and those swimming/snorkeling in this same area. Even with it being so busy, we never felt in danger, rushed, or needing to take any evasive action. It was just a lovely, relaxing time. And yes we saw dozens, upon dozens, upon dozens of Manatees both on the move in and out of the area, and at rest in the protected areas. We had a great time and would absolutely come back to the Crystal River kayak company. ❤️
Written February 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Crystal River Kayak Company - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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