Kayak Tours

Join our trained educators on a variety of kayak tours for an opportunity to explore Sarasota Bay. All equipment is provided, and each paddle begins with basic kayaking instruction. Mote offers a variety of morning, moonlit, and even private, on-demand paddles to enjoy year-round.

Please see your confirmation email for additional details including designated check-in time and location for your paddle.

Registration: Required at least 48 hours before the program begins. Programs are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and are subject to change or cancellation based on weather conditions. Please review our Cancellation Policy before booking. Click the button below for available dates and to register.
Availability: Dates are listed, see registration link for exact times; check-in time is 15 minutes before each scheduled kayak tour
Questions: educate@mote.org, 941-388-4441 ext 351
Please note: Our public paddles run from September to May, and typically fill at least 2 months in advance so please plan accordingly. When you click on the registration button below, only available paddles will show. If a paddle is at capacity, you'll be given an opportunity to add yourself to a Wait List. Should an opening come about, we will be in contact. Paddles will not run if minimum participant numbers are not met. Find out what to bring and what to wear.


Morning Paddles

Start your day off right with a guided kayak tour of Sarasota Bay. Paddle across shallow seagrass beds and take in the wildlife that depends on this ecosystem. Soak up some sun as we look for dolphins, manatees, birds, and more! See your confirmation email for the meeting time location and details. Morning Paddles are available from September through May.

Ages: 12 and older, see note below
Note: Participants 12 through 17 years of age must be accompanied by at least one registered adult/guardian participant
Fee: $40.50 for members, $45.00 for non-members
Note: Participants 12 through 17 years of age must be accompanied by at least one registered adult/guardian participant
Time: 8:30 - 10:00 AM (check-in at 8:15 AM) for Morning Paddle

  • November 12
  • December 10
  • January 14
  • February 18
  • March 10
  • April 14
  • May 12


Moonlit Paddle

Kayaking doesn’t get much cooler than this. Take a break from the sun and join us for an evening paddle as we explore Florida’s coastal waters at dusk. Discover the animals that bring Sarasota Bay to life at night while taking a relaxing paddle on the moonlit water. Moonlit Paddles are offered from September to May.

Ages: Adults only, 18 years and older
Fee: $40.50 for members, $45.00 for non-members
Time: Varies depending on sunset times (check-in is 15 minutes prior to times listed in registration, see confirmation email for details)

  • November 27
  • November 28
  • December 26
  • December 27
  • January 25
  • January 26
  • February 25
  • March 24
  • April 22
  • April 23
  • May 23


Private Kayak Tours Available

Don't see a date that works? Want to plan a family gathering or small office outing on the water? Request a Private Paddle and we will do our best to schedule an on-demand kayaking excursion for you. You must have at least 4 participants, but no more than 10. We recommend making your request at least 14 days in advance. See request form for more details including age restrictions. Note: From June through August, only private Rise & Shine Paddles (7:30 - 9:00 a.m.) may be requested.



Alcohol and Tobacco Policy

For the safety of our participants and to ensure the best quality experience for all who attend our kayak tours, we have a zero tolerance policy for alcohol. Alcohol is not to be consumed on Mote campus, during your paddle or before your kayaking experience. Participants deemed intoxicated to any degree by our staff will be asked to leave prior to the paddle and will not be refunded their money. Mote is a smoke-free campus, and we do not allow smoking or vaping onsite or during our paddles.

Additional Prohibited Items

The following items are not permitted in Mote Aquarium areas for the safety of our animals and guests: weapons or firearms per Florida Statutes Section 790.06(12), any hazardous items or materials, outside food and beverages (water and baby food/formula is allowed), or any other items deemed to be a safety hazard or that may be used to engage in prohibited activities.

Weather and Cancellation Policy

To ensure the safety of our participants, kayaking programs may be canceled in cases of inclement weather, including rain or adverse marine conditions such as high winds, or other environmental factors (i.e. Red Tide). In the event of a weather-related or other cancellation, you will be notified via email the evening before for Morning Paddles and the morning of for Full Moon Paddles. Be sure to check the email you registered with prior to your program.

Our complete Cancellation Policy is available here. A copy will also be linked in your registration confirmation email.

Please email educate@mote.org should you have any questions regarding these policies.