Exploring the Diverse Waters of the Indian River Lagoon
The Indian River Lagoon (IRL) occupies more than 30 percent of Florida’s east coast and is the most biologically diverse estuary in North America. IRL is a grouping of three lagoons: Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River and the Indian River Lagoon. Stretching more than 150 miles north to south, the options for exploring the beautiful waters of this unique estuary are nearly endless.
With A1A Beach Rentals in Cape Canaveral, visitors can rent kayaks and sightsee – guided or self-guided – along the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River, including the Thousand Islands Marine Sanctuary in Cocoa Beach.
Have a large group of family and friends? The Inlet Marina at Sebastian Inlet State Park offers affordable boat rentals. Rent a pontoon boat and picnic on the Spoil Islands. For smaller groups, skiff rentals are perfect for fishing and wildlife viewing, and SUP rentals are available along the coast, making for a great sunset from the water.
Departing daily from Grills Riverside, Good Natured River Tours venture through the Brevard County estuary on the Indian River Lagoon and the Banana River. See playful bottlenose dolphins, manatees, wild birds and alligators while your captain tells the history of the Indian River Lagoon. These tours take place on luxury 45-foot boats with indoor and outdoor seating and a clean restroom. On Fridays, take a 2-hour sunset cruise and bring your own adult beverages (beer and wine only, no glass allowed).
During Florida’s warm summer months, the Indian River Lagoon comes alive with bioluminescence. From a fast-moving school of mullets to a slower paced manatee or the swirl of your paddle, movements illuminate the river at nighttime. Bioluminescence takes place from June to early October. A Day Away Kayak Tours partners with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge to give bioluminescent night tours, which typically last two hours. Due to the popularity of the trip, a majority of the fleet is two-person kayaks and should be booked in advance.
No matter what your trip may look like on Florida’s Space Coast, be sure to make time to have a true ecotourism experience.