Florida is considered the mecca of stand up paddle boarding in the United States and boasts great weather year-round, crystal clear waters, and amazingly diverse ecosystems. In Florida, you can paddle board through national parks, islands, bays, harbors, creeks, lakes, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Where else can you choose from such variety? Here’s our list of 5 amazing Florida spots where you can get out with your SUP and enjoy the water, sun, and fresh air – with plenty of room to breathe.
Bahia Honda State Park
Deep in the Florida Keys lies Bahia Honda State Park which is noted as one of the best beaches in South Florida. Here you can paddle in the crystal-clear waters of the Florida Keys with no risk of strong tides.
The waters around Bahia Honda Key have amazing clarity and color that are akin to a tropical paradise. So blue, so transparent! If it’s a calm day, you can peer into the shallows and see fish, sharks, and conch shells!
Top Tip: The Florida Keys offers a spectacular sunset, so go (or stay) late in the day to enjoy a stunningly beautiful paddle.
Blowing Rocks Preserve
Found on Jupiter Island, Blowing Rocks Preserve is a barrier island that is protected by the Nature Conservancy for its natural beauty, its distinctive rocky Anastasia limestone shoreline features, and its sea life. The preserve got its name from the way water bursts upward through holes in the rocks during a combination of rough surf, strong wind, and high tide.
The paddle around Blowing Rocks Preserve is breath-taking! As you paddle along the calm waterways, you’ll be able to take in the island nature from every angle. You can even go to where the waves are breaking and see cool erosion holes!
Indian Key State Park
About a five-minute paddle from the main strip of land of the Florida Keys, you’ll find the deserted island of Indian Key State Park. It is surrounded by clear, calm waters, and paddling here is awesome! The best part is the mangrove system which is ideal for paddling and checking out unique wildlife species.
Coastal Dune Lakes
With both fresh and saltwater to choose from, Coastal Dune Lakes is a group of 15 lakes that are located on South Walton’s 26-mile coastline. These lakes are said to be over 10,000 years old and are a natural phenomenon that only occurs in a few other places around the world. Coastal Dune Lakes are fed by freshwater streams but sit only 50 to a couple hundred feet away from the Gulf of Mexico’s saltwater. This creates a unique environment because saltwater species traverse back and forth through these lakes.
You can paddle board in any of the 15 lakes, but our favorite is the largest lake, “Western Lake,” because of its tranquility. This lake is best for a leisurely paddle or some SUP yoga because it has the calmest waters and is a great place to spot wildlife.
Holmes Creek is a 34 mile stretch on the Choctawhatchee River. You can enjoy various protected routes on your paddle board going north to south on the river. Of course, there is no wrong route to choose, every route showcases the beauty of Florida’s diverse plant and animal wildlife. If you take a detour on Holmes Creek you’ll end up in the cold spring, Cyprus Springs, where you will find crystal clear water. Take a look down while paddling and you’ll see turtles and colorful fish! If it’s super hot out, take a refreshing dip in the cool water of the springs.
A few things to be aware of if paddling Holmes Creek:
- While paddling in shallow water, pay attention to underwater tree trunks that might catch your board
- Low hanging branches might be an obstacle at some points
Tip: An inflatable paddle board is a good choice here, as anything beneath the surface won’t damage your board!
These are just a few of the amazing waters that Florida has to offer to the avid stand up paddleboarder, and just a few of the reasons Florida is considered one of the best places to paddleboard in the world. Take your SUP out to any one of these five spots for the day and have a blast. We know you won’t regret it!
In the market for a new paddleboard? Check out our rad lease-to-own paddleboard options like the 10′ Imagine Paddle Board in Yellow and get out there on the water!
image courtesy of Florida State Parks