5 Great Places to Paddleboard in Miami
With clear, warm water and abundant sea creatures, Miami is a tropical paradise for paddleboarding. Take it from a local SUP addict like myself, the following locations will not disappoint.
- Morningside Park – My favorite spot boasts many perks: a beautiful historic park, free parking, limited boat traffic and islands with skyline views. Morningside Watersports offers rentals and tours including a full moon paddle with bonfire BBQ. They also have board storage and membership options. Coming soon are SUP yoga classes and a paddle café.
- Sunset Islands – Launch at Purdy Ave for amazing downtown views then head north to clear water canals lined with mansions and yachts. Rent from TKS Miami or schedule a sunset tour with Rising Up Adventures, a non-profit that also offers therapeutic paddling adventures for survivors of trauma.
- Virginia Key – Rent from VKOC at the protected lake then paddle east toward clear ocean water or west for magnificent views of downtown. VKOC offers a variety of tours including Coastal Safari and Full Moon Tours as well as lessons and SUP yoga. Have your own board? Drop in at Marine Stadium and paddle under the stadium to see Miami’s vibrant graffiti underworld.
- North Bay – Explore the Bay keeping your eyes open for friendly fins and stop for an island picnic. iPaddle offers rentals, amazing tours, multi-level technique classes, and Bay Cleanups. Options are endless as they deliver boards anytime, 24-7, anywhere in Miami!
- Oleta State Park – Explore a variety of ecosystems starting in protected mangroves that open to clear Bay water where manatee are often spotted. Oleta River Outdoor Center has rentals, food trucks on weekends, beginner lessons, SUP yoga classes, and a variety of tours including Sunset, Eco-Tours and Full Moon Tours with beach bonfires.
Now that you know where to paddleboard, when is the best time to go? The conditions are best at sunrise and just before sunset. At sunrise, winds are calmest, water flattest, dolphins and manatee active and no boats or jet skiers. It’s a magical experience to paddle out in Biscayne Bay, do SUP yoga while watching the sunrise and be in the middle of Miami with no one else in sight! Don’t worry, if you’re not yet a SUP-addict like me and prefer to sleep in, paddleboarding in Miami is wonderful all day long. For beginners, it is best to go out when the winds are less than 10 mph.
If you head out mid-day, you’ll likely want to jump in the water after working up a sweat. My favorite spots are all great for swimming as well! However, even the best swimming locations can have an occasional bacteria outbreak. To check the water quality, download Miami Waterkeeper’s Swim Guide App. Miami Waterkeeper does a lot of outreach, education and advocacy to help keep our water clean and protect marine ecosystems.
Miami Surfrider Foundation is another non-profit working to keep our water clean and preserve marine ecosystems. Become a member or join their mailing list to stay informed about their awesome monthly events.
Lather on your sun-block and get out to explore this amazing city from the water!