Boating on the Gulf of Mexico, Most Popular Excursions Explained

If you wind up anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in a Siesta Key vacation rental, an inevitable question will come up, if it hasn’t been asked hundred times already, “Are we getting a boat?”

You can rent a boat and take a trip on the water, but the best way to see the Gulf of Mexico is by a boat tour or excursion.

Boating on the Gulf of Mexico, Most Popular Excursions Explained || Siesta Key || Crystal Sands Siesta Key

Just knowing you want to go on a boating excursion isn’t enough. You have to know what kind of excursion you want, and that can be tricky. Popular boating excursions in southwest Florida cover different approaches.

  • Do you want an intense Gulf water fishing trip?
  • Do you want a romantic cruise under the sunset?
  • Do you want to see the top coastal attractions?
  • Do you want to go on a dolphin tour?
  • Do you want a rough-and-rockin’ journey with speed as the main focus?

Different types of boat tours take different forms. What kind of boating on the Gulf of Mexico do you seek and what are the most popular excursions for each adventurer type?

Family Adventures

Siesta Key Watersports is your entry to a fun full journey with the family. While the provider offers sunset cruises for the romantics of the world and parasailing trips for eager adventurers to take to the skies, the main option is a jet ski. This brings watersports into the equation in a big way. Guests can cruise on out by the hour for some fun boat tours and water sports.

Guests can also go on a dolphin cruise. This type of trip focuses on finding and following the local dolphin. It is the main type of boat tour for families who want a welcoming and cool trip to the gulf.

Alternatively, check out Key Life Charters for more of that family fun. They offer sandbar hopping, tubing, and snorkeling, among other activities.

Ultimately, these types of southwest Florida boat tours place heavy emphasis on the thrills of adventure. They want families to have a playful time in and out of the water, and introduce activities to facilitate that free-going spirit of Florida.

Sunset Cruises and Romantic Runs on the Gulf

Sunset cruises are magical. Many boat tour providers may do fishing-based runs in the afternoon and go on evening sunset trips. These trips are usually only a few hours and feature dinner, wine, and some other special accommodations. You can book them with a small group or private. LeBarge and Sarasota Wind and Water Adventures are two main sunset tour providers.

Boating on the Gulf of Mexico, Most Popular Excursions Explained || Siesta Key || Crystal Sands on Siesta Key

Fishing Tours

Inshore Fishing

Inshore is right along the coast or in the waterways of the coast. Inshore usually utilizes live casting and light tackle, though there are many ways to tackle the challenges of inshore fishing. You spend a lot of time in the intercostal flats, or up to about a mile out to shore.

Nearshore Fishing

Nearshore fishing is a boat tour focused on fishing right along the coast. Siesta Key Fishing Charters is one of the top options for nearshoring. It usually involves trips about three miles off Siesta Key’s white sand beaches. You can fish for Mackerel, grouper, snapper, and more.

Offshore or Deepsea

Offshore boat tours in the Gulf of Mexico really get you into the heart of the water. Usually about 20 to 30 miles out, offshore trips often take 12 hours. You are out there seeking amberjack, tuna, cobia, and snapper, trolling the bottom for some of the rarer Gulf finds.

Some top fishing boat charters are Island Time Charter, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, and Beachin’ Charters.

These are some of the most basic boating excursions explained. With that said, many tour providers offer different types of adventures, merging and mixing them together as you and your group seek.

When it comes to boat tours in the Gulf of Mexico, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice on any Siesta Key vacation. Do you want to see sights, see wildlife, fish for top game, or just cruise under the sunset? Make your adventure how you want it on your next Siesta Key getaway.

Our Location

Crystal Sands Condominiums
6300 Midnight Pass Road
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Toll-Free: 888-419-1446
Local: 941-349-7007

Fax: 941-346-1963

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