One of the best things about stand-up paddleboarding is the scenery. When you go on a paddleboard, expect to be immersed in nature. There are no phones and distractions. It’s just you, your board, and nature surrounding you.
Florida as a Haven for Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Did you know that Florida is considered to be a haven for waterways that you can visit for paddleboarding? This tropical state is home to rivers, canals, seas, and oceans that are perfect for SUP. If you live in this state, then you’re in luck. A lot of the best paddleboarding areas are always close by.
20 Best Places for Paddle Boarding in Florida
Don’t know where to go on your next paddleboarding adventure? Here are 20 inspiring places that will get you excited for your next trip.
First on the list is Destin Harbor. What makes this place one of the top picks is the serene water. Located in northwest Florida, Destin Harbor is the perfect paddleboarding location for beginners. You can easily learn the sport here as there are no waves to give you a hard time.
This harbor is also known to have fine and soft sand making for an all-around ideal beach. When you wish to take a break from paddleboarding, you can easily just place a towel on the shore and lie down. There’s a lot of sun and sand and the soft sound of the small waves makes everything else more relaxing.
Looking for a place that offers a few waterways to choose from? Look no farther than South Walton. This serene, nature-embraced area is home to beautiful landscapes. Some of its known paddleboarding waters are the Gulf to the Choctawhatchee Bay and the Miramar Beach.
What sets South Walton apart is that it’s so secluded. There’s nothing else to see but nature. And since it’s a hotspot for paddlers, you’ll be able to interact with other people who love the sport so much. It makes South Walton the perfect place for meeting new paddlers.
Bahia Honda State Park
The Bahia Honda State Park is a unique waterway in its own right. This is mainly because it’s so wide and quiet that you wouldn’t believe you’re in Florida. In fact, Bahia Honda State Park is considered to be one of the most remote places in the state.
From its name alone, you know that St. Augustine is not like your typical paddleboarding location. Not only does it have calm water to cruise on, it also has a historical view of the oldest city in Florida.
Indeed, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the state. This makes it the best spot for catching a glimpse of infrastructure and practices that were observed so many years ago.
When you’re in St. Augustine, you should always make it a point to cruise by the Castille de San Marcos. Here you can hear cannons firing and view an epic water voyage. If you love history or you just want a different paddleboarding landscape, go right straight to St. Augustine.
If you ever dreamed of swimming with the dolphins, this is just the spot for you. Naples is the perfect destination to live your dolphin dreams. Naples may be more known for its shopping and restaurant districts but it’s also home to people who love the beach.
Don’t want to contend with waves? Don’t worry, the Florida Keys have your back. This peaceful beauty is home to white sandy beaches, crystal-clear water, and dense mangroves. No wonder seeing dolphins and turtles are so normal here.
What makes the Florida Keys a favorite is its overall picturesque landscape complemented by tranquil waters. There are barely any waves here. If you’re a newbie who wants to practice on your balance, then this is a good place to start your paddleboarding journey.
Crystal-clear waters? Check. Crystal River’s name tells you all you need to know if you want to go paddleboarding. This waterway is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of Florida. Why? You can’t find a crystal-clear waterway in the world so easily anymore. So if you want to know what that looks like, go to Crystal River.
For paddleboarders, you want to paddle at the world-famous Three Sisters Springs. This spring is known to a lot of paddleboarders because of its clear water. It feels like you’re gliding through glass. When you paddleboard, keep an eye for manatees. This place is their home.
St. Petersburg can be a buffet for paddlers and marine lovers. It’s near so many waterways and most of these locations are filled with paddlers and sports enthusiasts. If you love to paddleboard or if you simply have a passion for water activities, you’ll be right at home in St. Petersburg.
If there is one place that you would call a paddleboarding home, it’s Tampa Bay. This place is what paddlers enjoy the most when they want to meet new people or they want to immerse themselves in diverse marine life.
Tampa Bay is the largest open-water estuary in Florida. It’s so vast that even if there are so many paddlers moving about, there’s a huge chance you won’t bump into them. Why? The whole Bay is 400 square miles wide!
There are a lot of full-day adventure tours that teach you how to paddleboard. And did you know that the waters are shallow? If you’re a newbie who isn’t comfortable with deep waters, then the 12-foot depth is going to be manageable.
Santa Rosa Beach
Santa Rosa Beach may be famous for its jellyfish, but you don’t have to fear them when you’re on your paddleboard. The Santa Rosa Sound is one of the best SUP adventure spots that are free from jellyfish and offers a serene SUP location.
Of course, Miami Beach won’t be forgotten. It is one of the most popular places in Florida. It features a wide expanse of sand and clear water. You can paddleboard here to your heart’s content.
What sets Miami Beach apart is the community. A lot of families, kids, dogs, and fellow paddlers enjoy the crystal-clear waters. If you haven’t seen Miami, then it’s highly recommended that you take a trip here. You won’t regret it. You might even end up coming back because of the great neighborhood.
Islamorada has a unique sound to it. This is mainly because it’s home to the ancient ruins of a town that was built back in the 1800s. If you paddle far enough at the Indian Key Historic Park, you get to see the ruins of the life before.
Islamorada is part of the six islands at the Florida Keys. However, this island needs to have a separate mention because of its beauty. Not only is it a great view for some historical excursion; it’s also rich in marine life. You’ll see dolphins, stingrays, and even trunkfish.
Coastal Dune Lakes
Do you prefer sharks and turtles over dolphins and manatees? The Coastal Dune Lakes is the best place for you.
To give you an idea of how unique coastal dune lakes are, they are considered to be a rare natural phenomenon. They are locations with both freshwater and saltwater lakes that are only separated by sand in between. This means that if you want to experience paddling in the two waters, all you have to do is cross the sand.
The name Jupiter has always made a lot of tourists curious. What’s in Jupiter? They would always ask. Of course, the name doesn’t disappoint.
Jupiter is right at the northern part of Palm Beach County. It’s just at the side of the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s also near waters such as the Blowing Rocks Preserve and the Loxahatchee River. That being said, there are plenty of places to paddle around.
New Smyrna Beach
If you are an artistic soul yourself, you will love a paddle at New Smyrna Beach. This beach is like no other – it’s a home for artistic talents, local boutiques, and never-ending outdoor activities. The place is so energetic that it’s not ideal for people who just want a relaxing day on the beach.
For those planning to visit New Smyrna Beach, it’s highly recommended that you stay for a few days. With so many things going on, all the activities you want to do won’t fit in a day tour. Besides, you want to have enough time to roam the local shops and art.
To make it all even better, New Smyrna Beach has a lot of eco-friendly and pet-friendly places. It also features a drivable beach. If this has convinced you to come to visit, then don’t forget your pets!
St. Andrews State Park
Florida is filled with a lot of state parks. However, there’s nothing that can be compared to St. Andrews. This state park is home to a lot of paddlers. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced paddler, you’ll appreciate the diversity of the waters here at the park.
Love sunsets? You can witness a picturesque sunset right here. Find unique mixes of violet, pink, and yellow as the sun goes down to the horizon. This is a great end to a perfect paddling day.
Before you leave, don’t forget to visit Shell Island. Even if you’ve had your fill of paddling on St. Andrews Bay, a trip to Shell Island is the icing on the cake.
The Dora Canal
Beaches aren’t the only places where you can get your fill of SUP. The Dora Canal, for example, offers a unique experience to paddlers. Instead of mangroves and coconut trees, you’re surrounded by cypresses that form a curtain of green.
While it’s not the quietest spot for SUP yoga, it’s still worth visiting. You won’t find a lot of places in Florida that show you an untouched habitat for marine and land wildlife. Occasionally, you get to see alligators, otters, limpkins, and herons.
Boca Grande and Placida
Boca Grande and Placida are two different waterways that are commonly visited together. They’re just 15 minutes from each other! If you get tired of paddling in one water, you can simply make your way for the other.
Don’t worry, you won’t be that tired. In fact, both Boca Grande and Placida are quiet places where you can practice your SUP yoga. You can also lie down on your board and listen to the sound of the water and the birds. To add to that, there aren’t a lot of people so it’s a great place for some peace and quiet.
Planning to do some SUP yoga? You want to be in Key Biscayne to do that. Key Biscayne is a serene place where you only get views of mangroves, coconut trees, shores, and even small wreckages off the beaches. The place is simply surreal.
Paddlers who wish to get some peace and quiet find their way to Key Biscayne to relax and enjoy the scenery. Everywhere you look is picturesque. Apart from that, there are lots of marine life that you will witness.
To best enjoy Key Biscayne, travel from the different beaches with your paddleboard. Feel free to make stops on the white and soft shores. Just lie down and drink it all in.
It comes as no surprise that For Lauderdale has a canal for stand-up paddleboarding. Fort Lauderdale itself is known for having canals of boats, mangroves, and palm trees.
When you take a trip to this place, don’t forget to bring the whole family. There are lots of water activities that you can enjoy here and SUP is just one of them. If you’re not into SUP yet, you can try kayaking in the middle of mangroves and palm trees.
It’s best to start at Victoria Park if you’re new here. This place has the scenery that Fort Lauderdale is known for. It’s a scenic city view that is both calming and exciting.