Best Places to go Paddleboarding in Florida
Occupying two-thirds of the peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the state of Florida possesses the longest coastline of the United States. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of the two states that has a tropical climate. They are also the only continental state that has a coral reef, that being the Florida reef.
Besides having a great location, everyone is envious of Florida's weather. While the northern part of the U.S has 41-degree weather on a Summers day, Floridians are enjoying a beautiful day at the beach with temperatures ranging from 65 to 70. Rainstorms do tend to occur quite often in Florida since they are caused by the amount of heat building up over in the Everglades. One thing that characterizes Florida is its unexpected weather, but don't you worry. Rain tends to last very little; it is not called the Sunshine State for nothing.
Besides having incredible weather, Florida has become one of my favorite states because of its varying landscapes and endless water sports activities. Florida is so big that it allows you to travel to different parts of the State making you feel like you are in a different place every time.
Luckily I have been able to admire and explore Florida’s most tranquil and serene waters. As a former Florida State Seminole, I had the opportunity to experience firsthand what paddleboarding was all about when I arrived at the main campus a year ago. I discovered how paddleboarding allowed me to be closed to nature without having to disrupt it. Paddleboarding is a non-intrusive sport that will enable you to enjoy the most exquisite views by being on top of the waterway with nothing but you and your paddle board. While you paddle, you might be able to observe birds, mammals, and even waterfalls that you wouldn't be able to see unless you were paddleboarding.
Florida is considered one of the best states to paddleboard since it maintains incredible waterways that allow you to spend a leisurely day paddleboarding and unwinding. Here are some of my favorite places to paddleboard around Florida.
FSU RESERVATION - A place where I learned to perfect my paddleboarding skills. The FSU Reservation is located in Florida, Tallahassee. A 73-acre facility established on the beautiful Lake Bradford that allows students, and family members of all ages to enjoy a unique setting. The reservation provides day activities like canoeing, swimming, and more importantly paddle boarding. This reservation preserves 3 adjoining lakes that allow you to have an endless paddle board experience. This lake is very flat and serene which will enable you to work on your balance and core.
St Augustine - The oldest city in the United States has been on my bucket list for a long time until I visited this year. This charming city is packed with both on land and on water activities. Bike around the small town or paddle board along the surrounding area, the weather of St Augustine is as pleasant as can be. This Atlantic Coast city keeps ideal, warm waters that will make you want to stay in the water for days.
ISLAMORADA - In the Florida Keys archipelago around those 1,700 islands there lies Islamorada. Islamorada is composed of six islands, closely located to the southeast point of Florida’s shore. This village holds the most perfect attractions for paddle boarding enthusiasts such as Snake Creek, which includes an impressive rocky shoreline that gives access to stunning waters and sights of sharks, fish, and some rays. Snake Creek holds a small tunnel that takes you to Windley Key with very shallow waters that are ideal for paddleboarding. As you go along through Windley Key, you will reach the Windley Harbor which will allow you to find deeper waters perfect for launching and resting on your paddleboard.
Bahia Honda State Park - If you are a fan of traveling by road next to breathtaking landscapes Bahia Honda is the place for you. Henry Flagler tried building a railroad to Key West in the early 1900s, turning the faraway island of Bahia Honda Key in the most perfect tropical destination. Here you will find palm-lined beaches, crystal clear water and breathtaking sunsets. This park allows paddle boarding enthusiasts to observe wading birds and shorebirds on almost every corner of the island. This untouched waterways, provide paddle boarders with a peaceful atmosphere that gives them the advantage to practice their sport in open water without being exposed to strong tides and other risky situations.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK - The Everglades National Park is part of the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This park is one of the most southerly parts of the island group and its considered as a very unique ecosystem guaranteeing to be one of the most exciting locations to paddleboard. If you find yourself wanting to include camping into your paddle boarding experience, don't forget to obtain a permit organized beforehand for the Everglades City. It is essential to consider to pack water, food, some bug repellent, and first aid kit since there are little resources within the surrounding areas. If you are looking for the ultimate paddle boarding-camping experience, beware of raccoons trying to steal your food while you sleep but also beware of trying to experience the best beaches on the windward side that the islands provide, you might want to stay longer than you expected.
Vero Beach - Vero Beach is located in Indian River County. If you are looking for a more specialized paddle boarding experience, you should consider paying a visit to this vacation destination. In Vero Beach, you will find many rental stores with certified Paddle Fit instructors that can offer you guided tours and more. The type of paddle boarding that you will see the most in this area is more of the organized excursions and group type. You can join trips around the Indian River and all around the mangrove islands, there you will be able to see dolphins, stingrays, and manatees. Usually, this trips will cost around from $50-60 including tax.
Stand up paddleboarding has become a more inclusive sport, together with disciplines like yoga, racing, and even offshore fishing. So if you are looking for a new activity or you want to get in shape, paddleboarding is the perfect sport to have fun and spend some time outdoors while creating a healthier lifestyle.