Fort Lauderdale on Florida’s coast is just 40km north of Miami and is home to some incredible waterways that are ideal for paddle boarding. Similarly to the well-known Miami, Fort Lauderdale has stretches of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and scenic skylines that you can witness right from your SUP.
The city of Fort Lauderdale gained the title of “Venice of America” due to its city appeal and world-famous 300 miles of inland waterways. 165 miles of those miles run through the city itself, providing locals and visitors with faultless calm waters that are the perfect escape from the hot Florida sun.
Paddle boarding in Fort Lauderdale is met with good weather, amazing waters, and opportunities to paddle up amongst expensive yachts and mansions. It is the yachting capital of America, after all.
To find out 5 of the best places to paddle board in Fort Lauderdale, keep on reading!
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One of the largest areas of water in Fort Lauderdale can be found at Fort Lauderdale Beach. The picturesque white sand beaches and clear blue waters lie directly in front of large hotels, restaurants, and amenities.
Fort Lauderdale beach even ranks number 18 on Trip Advisors Best Beaches in America list, which definitely makes it a must-see! Thanks to its central location, SUP rental shops can be found in abundance; you can even book onto a paddle boarding tour and get a local's perspective of the water.
Your paddle board gives you the best-uninterrupted views of the city, and if you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of sea turtles and manatees that frequent the waters at Fort Lauderdale.
Las Olas Isles and Victoria Park are popular Fort Lauderdale stand up paddle board destinations where you can leisurely paddle along and do a bit of window shopping amongst expensive mega yachts and mansions.
There are five main isles in Las Olas Isles that provide paddlers of all abilities with calm flat waters. If you’re new to paddling, this could be a great destination to practice your skills and build up confidence on your board. For a little bit of extra help, we’ve created a Beginner’s Guide to SUP and highlighted some of the Best Paddle Boards for Beginners.
The water at the Las Olas Isles can be accessed by an old stone kayak launch point along Las Olas Boulevard.
If you’re completely new to paddle boarding and wish to have a hands-on guide, then there are numerous paddle boarding tours along the Las Olas Isles. SUP PUP is a worthy mention; their paddle board tours take you up and down the isles, all while the guide has her pup perched on the front of her SUP.
A great entryway into the Atlantic ocean is the Loggerhead Park in northern Fort Lauderdale. The park has all the amenities you’d need for a day out paddling, including restrooms, picnic areas, and car parking.
Loggerhead Park got its name from the threatened loggerhead turtle species that frequent the waters and lay eggs upon the sand. The turtles, as well as other marine life, have made Loggerhead Park a popular beach diving destination in Fort Lauderdale.
If you’ve never had the incredible experience of paddling and swimming alongside turtles, we highly recommend taking some snorkel gear. You may not be lucky enough to encounter loggerhead turtles, but you’ll definitely get amazing views of the Vista Park Reef, which is part of the third-longest barrier reef system in the world, the Florida Reef Tract.
The Middle River is an ideal paddling location, especially for beginner paddlers due to its incredibly calm waters and easy launch points. The George English Park off Sunrise Boulevard has a boat ramp, parking, and amenities, all available to the public.
Paddling upriver will take you onto the Wilton Manors Loop, which is roughly a 3-5 hour paddle all the way around. If you head south, you’ll end up on the Intracoastal waterway, paddling amongst the hustle and bustle of Fort Lauderdale. We just want to mention that the Intracoastal waterway gets fairly busy with boat traffic, so it’s important to be mindful and safe while paddling.
The New River is a tidal estuary and the perfect place to beat the Fort Lauderdale sun. The calm sheltered waters close by to the Las Olas Isles are another great spot to do a bit of real estate window shopping.
If you decide to paddle along the New River, you can also make your way fairly easily into the ocean. Just in front of the isles, the New River meets the Stranahan River, which eventually empties into the turquoise water of the Atlantic.
If you didn’t happen to bring your own paddle board with you, you can rent kayaks, SUPs, and canoes from one of the many rental companies in Fort Lauderdale. Here are a few recommendations:
South Florida is home to many towns and cities with waterways suitable for paddle boarding. Some of the best paddle boarding spots include:
Here are some of the best places to paddle board Fort Lauderdale:
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