www.floridabeachbreak.com - Florida Beach Break
Don't be left out! If your business serves beach area residents or tourists, get it listed now. Get more exposure and more clients! Click Here
Posted on 02/21/2021 in Water Sports

Kayaking Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands is a fun and affordable bucket-list must

Kayaking Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands is a fun and affordable bucket-list must

Those of us who live here on the Space Coast are spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding which activity to do on any given day.  

Sunday I was surfing the pier in Cocoa Beach and Monday I found myself kayaking Thousand Islands with Cameron from Cocoa Kayaking and a friendly group of four visiting from Alaska.  

The diversity of activities is one of the many things I love about the Space Coast, and for those who want to go kayaking, you couldn’t ask for a better guide and host than Cocoa Kayaking. As we paddled through the mangroves, our guide Cameron reached into the water and pulled out a green, firm plant. “Here, eat this,” he said. “What is it?” I asked skeptically. Followed by, “It’s edible?” “Ya,” he said. “It’s glasswort.”  Before putting it in my mouth I asked again, “It’s edible?” Cameron assured me it was, so I tried it. It tasted like celery, only better. Not stringy like the celery we know. Locally known as sea celery it is much moister than the land-grown version. And even though I’m now a “local” I had never heard of it.

Cocoa Kayaking offers several different kayak tours

The bioluminescent comb jelly tour is a sunset tour featuring a paddle alongside comb jellies which use their glowing bioluminescent nerves to keep predators at bay with a pleasant side effect of delighting kayakers as we watch the lit-up jellies glow in the water. The movement of the water is what wakes up their bioluminescence. The best months to experience the bioluminescent comb jellies are November through February.

If you are booking a kayak tour to see manatee and dolphin, you want to select the Cocoa Kayaking’s trip through the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Expect to see West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, stingrays, horseshoe crabs and tons of birds. Keep in mind, animals are early risers so the best time to experience them is a morning trip.

Today’s Kayak Trip

I opted for the Sunset Mangrove Tour because though I’ve been paddleboarding in Thousand Islands Cocoa Beach, the mangroves are too low and tight to get through standing on a paddleboard and I wanted to experience the mangrove tunnels.  

The Thousand Islands are an area in the Indian River Lagoon that contains mangrove islands clustered together with small canal-like waterways that give visitors endless exploration opportunities. Cocoa Kayaking has found the perfect route through the mangroves in which we got to see all three kinds of mangroves that grow in Florida: red, black, and white mangroves. White mangroves are found only in Florida. Black mangroves, the most common type of mangroves, are found in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  The red mangroves are native only to South and North Carolina and Florida.   

 The tour began at the kayak ramp next to the Cocoa Beach Aquatic Center. With Tarpon open top, single, and tandem ocean kayaks (which they sanitize between every use) set out on the ground and ready to go, he handed each of us a life jacket, a paddle and smile.


 Cameron helped each person get in their kayak and then pushed us off one-by-one as we headed towards the entrance to the mangrove tunnels which was about a-half-to-three-quarter mile paddle from the launch ramp.    

As we entered the mangrove canal Cameron advised us to lay our paddles down in the kayak and grab the mangrove to pull ourselves through. With little room on the sides and low clearance on top the mangroves formed a beautiful tunnel through which we navigated. With the late afternoon sunshine peeking through it was quite an experience; tucked away in nature yet only 5 minutes from the beachside restaurants and bars filled with vacationers.

 Just as we entered the first mangrove was when Cameron introduced us to the glasswort. It was a small green plant growing off a branch above the waterline. After the quick snack we navigated through the second tunnel with our paddles tucked up on our kayaks, again pulling ourselves along with the help of the mangrove branches.


Glasswort is an edible plant that thrives in saline environments. Pinch off the upper part for a salty, clean, juicy snack. 

 While exiting the second mangrove tunnel we paddled into Indian River Lagoon heading straight into a golden sunset as if the sky was being kissed with the last rays of daylight.

Just when I though the two-hour kayaking tour couldn’t have been more magical, we were fortunate to be joined by a pod of dolphins to end the day's adventure as we paddled back to shore.

About Cocoa Kayaking

Cocoa Kayaking maintains a 5-Star rating on Google and is the recipient of Trip Advisor Travelers Choice for the past three years.

They offer tours at 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for the Thousand Islands of Cocoa Beach, Florida and 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. for a Wildlife Refuge Haulover Canal Tour in Titusville, Florida. Sunset tours are also available at all their locations around current sunset times. Custom tour times are available upon request to accommodate cruises and travel schedules.

All their guides are trained and certified in ACA Kayak Rescue, Ocean Rescue Lifeguarding, Wilderness First Responder, First Aid, CPR, and AED as well as deeply knowledgeable about the waterways and animal and plant species that you may come across on your adventure.

Not only is Cocoa Kayaking a great steward of the environment, but they are also conscientious community and global citizens. Cocoa Kayaking donates $3 from every kayak tour purchased. $2 is donated locally to fund a child’s lunch in the public schools of the Brevard County and $1 is donated to The House of Mercy & Grace Ministries in Hanumangrah, India.  Cocoa Kayaking also support Save-the-Manatee, Lagoon Loyal and 4Ocean Movement. In full disclosure, Florida Beach Break is also a member of 4Ocean Movement.  

Visit Cocoa Kayaking to learn more about their excellent guides or to book your own adventure with them.

Get Your Listing registered at Florida Beach Break.

Report This Page

Are You a Local Business?

1. Become a registered member
2. Create your member profile
3. Get L.A. news and updates

Become a Member Today