Boat and Kayak Launches
Find the best spots to launch your boat, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and other watercraft to explore the beautiful waters along the Gulf side of Florida’s coastline.
Boat and Kayak Launches on the SunCoast
Searching for a boat or kayak launch spot around Sarasota should not be a challenge. There are many to choose from but it helps to know where to look. Each spot has its own advantages. Take a moment to check out some of the best spots to launch into an amazing experience out on the water.
Centennial Park Boat Ramp
Centennial Park is one of the most popular spots for boaters. Known as the ‘10th St. boat ramp,’ it sits at a convenient corner of downtown Sarasota. Visitors can more easily find the ramp to launch into fun in the sun. With a corner gas station nearby, it is easy to fuel up for fun. Siesta Key fishing charters utilize the ramp for fishing charters. Various sized boats can fit on the ramp and it easily accessed many key areas of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Ken Thompson Park Boat Ramp
Located on Ken Thompson Parkway on Ken Thompson Island, this boat ramp is located near the Mote Marine facility. The ramp is less visited than others but this makes a great second option when heading out at busy times like mornings. The ramp accesses Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico easily and is a good ramp with lots of protection from the wind. A parking lot is available for visitors but not a lot of space to tie up off the side of the docks. New Pass Bait shop is accessible for fishermen and women to grab bait and tackle nearby.
Turtle Beach Boat Ramp
This boat ramp is right across the street from Turtle Beach. Hang out on the boat, then dock and rest on the sand for a bit. Two ramps of varying degrees offer access for kayakers in between them. Visitors can enjoy picnic tables, grills, and facilities including parking. Get there early as spots fill up with beach goers and boaters. Anglers may also enjoy fishing from the boat docks or beach in this area.
More Boat and Kayak Launches Near Sarasota
Blackburn Point Park Boat Ramp
This ramp is south of Sarasota in Osprey, Florida. It gets less of the crowds than other ramps but is a good alternative with a new facility and nice parking with ramps. Shore fishing, picnic facilities and canoe and kayak launch are part of the bonus of using this space. Going south, anglers should be mindful of ‘no wake’ zones. Weekends are busy times for boats and it can get crowded on weekends. A bait shop is available before the bridge.
Coquina Beach Boat Ramp
The Coquina Beach Boat Ramp is in Manatee County in Bradenton, Florida. A long ramp with gentle slope is helpful for fishers and those launching small craft. The ramp is right on Longboat Pass with access to the Gulf. Anglers can gain access to fishing spots in both North Sarasota and Anna Maria Sound.
Buttonwood Harbor is a hidden secret in Sarasota. The launch site is hidden with some of the best fishing around. The fish species vary from snook to red fish, mackerel, and blue fish, among many others. Kayaking or canoeing off the launch site is a breeze and will provide lots of opportunity to see the sites when not catching that elusive fish.
Myakka River State Park
This state park is one of the oldest in Florida. With multiple launch sites, it is a great place to explore the designated Florida Wild and Scenic River. Wetlands, hammocks and pinelands dot the area. Plenty of supplies are needed because exploring can take up an entire day. The first launch site is around Ranger Station in the parking lot next to Route 72.
For directions to any launch sites, contact local fish bait and tackle shops or paddle shops to find out which sites will be best for your situation.