Miami is home to some incredible paddle boarding locations, from city waterways to picturesque beaches with beautiful white sand and turquoise-blue waters. As you’re in one of Florida’s largest cities, you won’t get a full “off-grid” paddle feeling, but that’s all part of the fun.
Paddling through waters surrounded by skyscrapers is a unique experience that all paddle boarders should try at least once in their lives. And what better place to do that than in Miami!
If you’re heading to Miami, or if you’re a local looking for a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle, then check out these 12 incredible Miami waterways.
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Miami truly has something for everyone; whether you’re a new paddler in need of slow-moving waters or a more experienced SUPer who wants to try out SUP surfing, then you definitely want to head to Miami.
At Biscayne Bay, you really get the best of both worlds. The northern end is surrounded by the metropolitan Miami area, whereas the southern end is undeveloped, with a large portion included in the Biscayne National Park.
The waters throughout the bay are extremely calm, so even beginner paddlers can work on their paddling skills without worrying about large waves or strong currents.
For one of the best views of the Miami skyline, it is recommended to paddle at night so you can truly take in the breathtaking lights of the city without having to be in the mayhem of it all. For more information on how to paddle board at night, check out our article Everything You Need to Know About Paddle Boarding at Night.
Heading down to the southern end of the bay, you’ll enter into the Biscayne National Park that preserves the bay and the water’s offshore barrier reef. The shores are lined with extensive mangrove forests, which are home to juvenile marine life and numerous other animal species.
As Biscayne Bay is a large area of water, there are countless launch points along its shores, but there are some that deserve a special mention.
Morningside Park is on Biscasyne’s west shore and is a historical residential community in Miami’s Upper East Side. The area of Morningside has tree-lined boulevards and a 42-acre bayfront park where you can set up and launch your SUP from.
North Bay Village cuts directly through Biscayne and connects east Miami to the west. It’s a great launching destination as it puts you right in the center of Biscayne and gives you easy access to the rest of Miami.
The Sunset Islands are made up of four separate islands at the northern end of the bay. The real estate in Sunset Islands is prime, with large waterfront mansions and boats docked along the water’s edge. Don’t be surprised if you get house envy; these homes are incredible!
The artificial Venetian Islands are similar to North Bay Village and cut through Biscayne slightly further south. All four of the islands offer great launching SUP points into the warm water of Biscayne with amazing access to Miami Beach and Downtown Miami.
Many paddlers enjoy paddling over to the uninhabited Flagler Monument Island and witnessing the 110-foot high obelisk.
West Island Park in the area of Coconut Grove is one of Miami’s hot spots for water sports. Many paddlers set off paddling from the mainland and make their way over to the small islands not far from shore.
Technically only some of the Florida Keys are in Miami, but we thought it was worth mentioning. The Florida Keys stretch out into the Atlantic Ocean from the southern end of Biscayne.
The keys' waters are postcard-worthy, and the soft sandy beaches don’t disappoint either. Marine life is especially abundant in the keys, so it’s worth packing your snorkel gear and jumping in the water to get an up-close look at Florida’s incredible underwater species.
If you’re in need of new snorkel gear, we’ve covered The 12 Best Snorkel Gear Sets for All Budgets.
Key Biscayne separates the center of Biscayne Bay from the Atlantic Ocean, and it in itself is a truly magical place to paddle board. The Key has a harbor and sandbar on its west side and beautiful white sand beaches on its east.
The waters like those in Biscayne Bay are relatively tranquil, and the sloping beachfront is the ideal SUP launching location.
You can have a paddle amongst history at the Miami Marine Stadium. Built in 1963, the Miami Marine Stadium was originally constructed for powerboat racing and was used for its intended purpose for almost 30 years.
The stadium also hosted concerts and sporting events and even appeared in the 1967 Elvis Presley Film Clambake. After the destruction of Hurricane Andrew, the building was declared unsafe and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.
Nowadays, the basin at the Miami Marine Stadium is used as a training ground for the Miami Rowing Club. Paddlers of all kinds also enjoy launching their watercraft while taking in the history of the stadium, as well as the graffiti left on the stadium stands.
Oleta State Park is thirty minutes from downtown Miami and supplies paddlers with winding waterways that are mapped out through lush mangroves.
The state park has become a popular place for paddlers, swimmers, and anglers, so if you enjoy casting your line from the comfort of your SUP, the Oleta State Park is where you want to be. Learning the ropes of SUP fishing can be challenging; it’s not as easy to cast a line while remaining stable on your board. Check out How to Fish From a Paddle Board for some insider tips.
Unlike other waterways in Miami, the Oleta State Park has murky waters that are a haven for nesting fish and bird species. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the Florida famous manatees. These animals are completely harmless and mainly concentrate in the waters throughout Florida.
The state park is also home to campgrounds and hiking trails, so if you’re looking for a weekend getaway, you can truly unwind and immerse yourself in nature.
Similar to Key Biscayne, South Beach blocks off the north end of Biscayne Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Its eastern side has those beautiful white sand beaches paddlers dream of with the added bonus of backing skyscrapers.
To us, this is the real Miami. Stretches of soft sand, beginner-friendly clear water, and the reminder of the city right behind you. It doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’re looking for a SUP location slightly further away from the Miami city center, then Virginia Key offers up its own incredible white sand secluded beaches with waters preserved by the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust.
The Key is a magical place to paddle board as it is home to endangered sea life with some of the oldest surviving flora and fauna species in Southern Florida.
If you didn’t pack your own SUP and are looking for stand up paddle board rentals in Miami, then here are a few of the top rental companies in the area:
Miami is home to some incredible waterways that are just waiting to be explored. Here is a list of some of the best places to paddleboard in Miami:
Miami Beach is a haven for paddle boarders! The calm waters that lap up onto the soft white sand are the perfect destination for paddlers of all abilities.
Paddle boarding is allowed along the entire stretch of Miami Beach, including the southern end.
If you’re in southern Florida, then Miami is an excellent place to take your paddle board. There are numerous destinations throughout Miami that offer up different scenery, experiences, and water conditions.
Some of the most recommended places to paddleboard in Miami include:
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