We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Kayaking, biking

ny
Level Contributor
10 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Kayaking, biking

Looking for a destination for January for just 2 people. We like nature, uncrowded and not too touristy.

We do want to be able to kayak, but not open gulf, more backwater and see dolphins, manatees etc.

I went to Matlacha last year, great kayaking, but no beach. We did Sanibel - great biking, but a bit too many people. We are thinking about Siesta Key or Anna Maria.(Less shells is fine, its too hard on the barefeet.) My husband is afraid of not enough to do on Anna Maria. Where sounds best? I am also open to other ideas. Thanks

essen, germany
Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Anna Maria Island, Orlando
Level Contributor
3,912 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Kayaking, biking

Well, I would say that Sanibel is one of the most natural and less crowdes islands I know in florida... and I know a lot of em :-)

anna maria is very relaxed and layed back. but sanibel is even more relaxed...

siesta key is much more touristy (in comparison to anna maria, sanibel or captiva)... you can´t compare either of them with miami or fort lauderdale!!!)

If you choose to go to siesta key or anna maria and you like to go kayak i would say that you should go to myakka state park...

this is 30 min away from the gulf and very wild life ...

Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
5,427 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Kayaking, biking

Agree with Myakka, but have also seen some kayaks on the bay, launching from the south side of Anna Maria Island. There are some small islands to explore, a protected nature area, etc. Biking on the island is a lot of fun, as the streets are not crowded, and there is a bike lane. Also, from the osuth side of Anna Maria, it is easy to get to the bike lane on Longboat Key, a 10 mile run to St. Armands. Biking at Myakka state park is also supposed to be very good. Siesta is busier, more touristy. You can also ride a bike on the beach on Anna Maria.

mi
Level Contributor
348 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Kayaking, biking

AMI is not too crowd in Jan (even though the locals would tell you otherwise.) So if you are looking for less people on the beach than Sanibel, AMI should fit that requirement (keep in mind that AMI is a residential area with many year round residents). Siesta Key tends to be much busier and touristy, more along the lines of Marco and parts of Sanibel.

There are plenty of things to do for nature lovers. The beaches are uncrowded, there is excellent kayaking in the bays and around the island. There are several places to rent kayaks on the island. We have seen plenty of fish and dolphin off shore while kayaking. There is also great bird watching and plenty of biking. Most of the biking on AMI would be on the quiet streets or the bike lane that runs through the center of the island. Longboat key also has a long bike path.

If your husband wants to have lots of activities other than beach, bike and kayak, then Siesta may be better, but IMO it is much busier on Siesta Key than Sanibel.

Finally, Mayaka is great, but it is quite a bit of a drive inland.

ny
Level Contributor
10 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Kayaking, biking

Thanks for the tips, it sounds so lovely. I can't wait. Now I just need to figure out where to stay, Quiet, on the beach with a balcony.

Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
Level Contributor
4,177 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Kayaking, biking

Longboat might be a nice fit for you. As an earlier post said, their is a 10-mile long bike path (and several bike rental places on the island). There's a pretty park mid-island, and a place to rent kayaks, with some options to explore some of the quieter areas of the Bay. You're also close to Mote Aquarium where you can rent some kayaks that take you into great areas in the mangrove"tunnels" off of Lido Key.

mi
Level Contributor
348 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Kayaking, biking

Midwife, if you are looking at longboat, keep in mind that it is very different from AMI. Think of it this way:

Longboat is collared shirt, boat shoes and reservations for dinner. AMI is flip flops, t-shirt and hang out and watch the sun set. IMO

Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
Level Contributor
4,177 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Kayaking, biking

I think you may be exagerrating a bit much Deanegm. (One of the great thing about TA is we each can express a point of view). We vacationed on Longboat for 30+ years and almost bought there before we settled nearby. I wouldn't know what a boat shoe is if I saw one, and only rarely do I think about reservations.

It's tough to truly characterize the different Keys off of Sarasota/Bradenton; we each have our own preferences and that probably makes for a bias. At the risk of oversimplifying, I think of Anna Maria as more of a family destination centered around cottages, Siesta Key as a younger/livelier place (maybe that's where the flip-flops would be?), and Longboat as more condo-oriented and quieter, though most convenient to St. Armands and to downtown Sarasota. (And definitely each has exceptions in terms of dining and living places!).

Midwife talked about nature, not crowded, not touristy, biking, kayaking. Frankly the best place for her is perhaps a place like Boca Grande, but given the choice of Siesta or AMI or Longboat, I think (IMO) she'd enjoy Longboat.

Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
5,427 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Kayaking, biking

Whoa! Deanegm is right on. Longboat is basically for the suedo yacht crowd. Yeah, dress for dinner. Boca is for the Bush wannabes at the moment. AMI is very laid back, very cool, and flip flop heaven. If you want nature, kayak, biking, AMI is what you want.

Tampa
Destination Expert
for Anna Maria
Level Contributor
4,740 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Kayaking, biking

Kris....you said it all my friend........

10. Re: Kayaking, biking

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 10:20 am, September 15, 2009
Get answers to your questions about Anna Maria