South Florida has no shortage of hotspots, but it also has plenty of places where you can relax and enjoy nature. It just so happens that many of those relaxing places come in the form of beaches, lakes, ponds, and the like, and besides swimming, they're the perfect spots for stand-up paddleboarding. Where should you go in South Florida if you're looking for the ideal SUP experience? We'll list some of the best bets this beautiful part of the country has to offer. Enough of the intro, let's get into that list!
Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys
You'll have to hit the Florida Keys to visit this state park. Then again, any excuse to hit the Keys is a good one, isn't it? Bahia Honda State Park is part of Big Pine Key and is regarded as not only one of Florida's most remote spots, but also one of its best for stand-up paddleboarders. Whether a beginner or experienced, Bahia Honda has enough waterways to keep you busy, and you'll see loads of fish, birds, and maybe even manatees along the way.
Biscayne Bay and Virginia Key in Miami
Some people visit Biscayne Bay to see all the money floating around by way of exotic luxury cars, mansions, and more. Others do it to experience its natural beauty, and SUP is one way they can do it. Biscayne Bay's clear waters make it a superb stand-up paddleboarding destination, and it's particularly pretty at sunset. As a bonus, you'll get a glimpse of the Vizcaya Museum, and that's without having to get off your paddleboard. Want something even cooler? You can SUP at night in Miami via several neon-lit tours. While you're down in Dade County, don't neglect Virginia Key. It's another great SUP destination with crystal clear waters, plus a view of Miami's famous downtown skyline.
Lake Worth Lagoon in Palm Beach County
You'll need more than just an afternoon to fully explore the Lake Worth Lagoon on your paddleboard due to its sheer size. It's one mile wide and 20 miles long, and the lagoon is filled with mangrove islands that are home to many fascinating creatures. Nearby you'll find notable lakes you can SUP in, such as Lake Osborne, Lake Okeeheelee, and Lake Ida.
Everglades National Park
If you want to get the most bang for your nature-watching buck while doing SUP, it's hard to beat Everglades National Park as a stand-up paddleboarding destination. You'll see a wild variety of wildlife while on your paddleboard in the Everglades, and raccoons, birds, and, of course, alligators will keep you company on your trip. Be sure take this SUP excursion with some friends just in case you get lost, as it can get lonely out there. Also, remember to bring bug repellant, food, and a first aid kit since you'll be far away from civilization and might need those supplies to save you.
Islamorada in the Florida Keys
Islamorada is another paddleboarding destination in the Florida Keys that SUP lovers seem to frequent. This seaside village comprised of six islands has a bevy of options to keep you intrigued on your board, beginning with Snake Creek. Keep your eyes peeled here for trunkfish, rays, and sharks. If that sounds too intimidating, try Snake Creek. Its shallow waters are perfect for relaxed SUP.
Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island
It may be a bit of a drive up the coast, but a visit to Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island is a must for any SUP enthusiast. Simply put, the preserve is beautiful. Beyond its beauty, Blowing Rocks is highly enjoyable due to its vast array of wildlife. Don't be surprised if you see tropical fish, turtles, manatees, porpoises, and sharks, while paddleboarding here. In addition to the wildlife, you can see erosion holes that show nature's power. Again, don't let the distance discourage you if you live further south near Miami. You need to put Blowing Rocks Preserve on your stand-up paddleboarding itinerary. You won't regret it.
India Key State Park in the Florida Keys
Yes, there are several Florida Keys locations on this list, but so what? The place is ideal for SUP! Speaking of ideal, India Key State Park is just that thanks to its mangroves that are home to many species of wildlife. The park's clear waters will have you tempted to dive in, so don't forget to also bring your snorkel gear.
Oleta River State Park
Dubbed Florida's largest urban park, Oleta River State Park differs a bit from other offerings in this guide. How? Via the fact that its waters are not so clear, but certainly have their appeal. It's hard to believe such a tranquil setting sits so close to downtown Miami, but Oleta River's park does. Look for manatees and other Florida animals during your SUP visit.
Have you checked out our guide on how to get started with stand-up paddleboarding? If not, do so now. It'll teach you what gear you'll need and what to wear before heading out to any of the locations listed above. Also, be sure to check out our guide on stand-up paddleboarding techniques for beginners. They'll come in handy when you're out there on the water.