Want to have a great day on the water, get your exercise and then enjoy a fun meal?  Try kayaking down the Guana and Tolomato Rivers and dock at a restaurant near the waterway.

Kayaking to a Restaurant Experience

You can often build up an appetite while kayaking and Ponte Vedra offers a great way to be on the water and then enjoy a great meal with friends.

You can access the Guana River at the Guana River Dam, adjacent to the GTM Research Reserve.  You’ll proceed south along the Guana River and after about 2.5 miles you will intersect with the larger Tolomato River.  Continue down the Tolomato for another 2.5 miles and you will reach Caps or Aunt Kate’s, two  of the area’s favorite dining destinations.

Paddling along the rivers will give you the opportunity to maybe spot great blue herons, snowy egrets, storks, roseate spoonbills, pelicans, owls, deer, gopher tortoises, mussels, clams and oysters.

While going south along the waterway is one option, you can also launch at different areas and go to a range of other restaurants with close proximity to the water like Palm Valley Outdoor Grill, Lulus and the Palm Valley Fish Camp.

If you don’t have all the gear you need, The North Guana Outpost is also adjacent to the GTM Research Reserve and can provide kayaks, paddleboards, coolers, PDFs, guides and most anything else needed for a great day on the water.

As you are out kayaking, remember these waters are very sensitive ecosystems that can easily be damaged.  You can be a “Sustainable PVB Guest” by keeping these tips in mind.

  • Bring a refillable water bottle that can be attached to your vessel to eliminate any plastics from accidentally entering the water.
  • Stick to sunscreens that are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, two of the most common ingredients found in chemical formulas.
  • Be careful when launching your kayak, or when entering or exiting waters along the way – make sure you are not disturbing sensitive vegetation or habitat used by area wildlife.
  • Keep the “natural” in “natural areas” by packing out what you pack in.


Experience: Kayaking to a Restaurant

Address: The GTM Environmental Education Center is located at  505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach FL 32082  – keep straight once you turn on Guana River Road, stop at pay station for entry access, go past the Guana Dam parking lot on a dirt road which leads to the trail parking lot.

Entrance Fee: $3 parking fee

Hours: North Guana Outpost:  – Monday – Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 8:30am – 6:30pm, Sunday 8:30am-5:30pm


Facilities Available: The Guana Dam area provides easy parking and the GTM Research Reserve is very close if you want additional information and details about the surrounding environments.

Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate – waters on the Guana and Tolomato Rivers are typically calm.

Other Information: 

Tips From The Experts

  1. Bring a hat, sunscreen, camera, phone, water and wear comfortable clothing for paddling that can get wet. Also think about getting waterproof phone cases and sun protective clothing.
  2. When launching from North Guana Outpost, look for rosette spoonbills, otters, and fish. The water is clear!
  3. If you are renting equipment, book ahead! By making a reservation for your rentals ahead of time, all you have to do is show up and get on the water faster!