Best Places to Kayak in Miami

by | Nov 23, 2022 | Don't Miss Visiting | 0 comments

Have you found yourself wondering what it would be like to paddle a kayak through rushing water? Kayaking is an activity that can provide you with excitement and adventure. It is also a great workout and a way to enjoy time outdoors. This amazing and ancient adventure connects you to the water and natural environment around you, providing an unforgettable experience. Countless years ago, the Inuit people of the Arctic first created kayaks. Then, hundreds of years later, people from other regions became interested in them as a fun way to travel on water. Nowadays, you can join in on recreational kayaking activities in gentle waters known as flat water. Alternatively, you can go on fast-moving, treacherous whitewater. The type of kayak you will use depends on the water conditions. There is a big difference between kayaks and canoes that many people don’t know about. For starters, kayaks are paddled with two blades, one at each end, while canoes require only one paddle with the blade at the bottom. Kayaks also have a closed deck, which means you sit inside of them, while canoes have an open deck.

Florida Kayaking Spots

There are hundreds of interesting places to go kayaking in Florida, so it can be difficult to narrow down your choices. The location you end up choosing may depend on what kinds of sights you want to see and what type of kayaking experience you’re hoping for. The options for river experiences are wide-ranging, from relaxing paddle trips down slow-moving waters to more adrenaline-pumping excursions through churning whitewater. No matter what kind of adventure you’re seeking, there’s sure to be a river route that’s perfect for you. To help you decide where the best places are to kayak in Florida, we have put together a list of 10 great locations.

1. John Pennekamp State Park

There’s plenty to do both in and out of the water at Pennekamp Park. In addition to being one of the best places around for snorkeling and diving, the park is full of native plants and wildlife, perfect for a peaceful paddle through its mangrove-lined waterways.

The three trails are all relatively short, measuring a combined 2 1/2 miles. They wind through a series of mangrove-lined channels and passages, making for a calm and protected paddling experience. Even first-timers will be able to complete the shortest trail in about one hour.

The main concession next to the Visitor Center offers kayak, paddleboard, and canoe rentals at very reasonable rates. For example, a single kayak can be rented for just $12 per hour.

If you are lucky enough to have your own SUP, canoe, or kayak, you can launch from several different canoe ramps throughout the Park. This is a great way to get out on the water and explore the many hidden coves and inlets that can only be reached by boat. There are also parking lots convenient to the launch spots, so you won’t have to walk far with all of your gear.

2. Oleta River State Park

This 1,043-acre state park is a hidden gem in the midst of South Florida’s gridlock and high-rises. Oleta River State Park is like an island escape, just 10 minutes away from the glittering Aventura Mall. With its lush vegetation, mangrove forests, and sandy beaches, the park is a great place to relax and enjoy nature.

The park’s concessionaire rents kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards and offers daily eco-tours, Friday night sunset tours, and monthly full-moon tours.

Paddling through the mangrove tunnels and estuaries of the kayak trails in the park is like taking a journey through a natural wonderland. These routes offer visitors a chance to see some of the park’s most unique plant and animal life up close. The lagoons are excellent locations for observing wading birds, juvenile fish, and small crabs. The variety of wildlife that can be seen in the lagoons is truly amazing.

When paddling out of the mangrove-lined creeks and into the high-rise-lined beach, it’s easy to feel like you’re floating between different worlds. Journey across the sparkling Biscayne Bay to find a world of contrast on Sandspur Island. The trip will give you a better appreciation of how different the two can be. To get to the 15-acre island, it will take you around 30 minutes of paddling. Once you’re there, you’ll be amazed by the dense woods and variety of wildlife. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some manatees or dolphins!

3. South Beach

If you find yourself in South Beach, be sure to check out South Beach Kayak. The family-run outfitter is located in the fashionable Sunset Harbour neighborhood and offers a great opportunity to explore the area from the water. There are many ways to explore Biscayne Bay, but one of the most popular is by renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. This way, you can head out onto the water and check out some of the amazing islands, like Venetian Islands or Flagler Memorial Island.

In addition to private and group guided tours, they also offer an exciting excursion to Monument Island Beach. This tour is a great way to learn basic paddle strokes while also enjoying a trip across the flats to a secluded beach. This is a great opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy some time in nature.

4. Key Biscayne

If you want to explore the different ecosystems of Key Biscayne, head to the Crandon Park Marina to rent kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards. You’ll be able to see seagrass beds, mangrove tunnels, and coastal hardwood hammocks up close. You can paddle your kayak or canoe toward the mainland for an epic view of the historic Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The journey will take you past some of Miami’s most popular landmarks, and you’ll get to see the city from a whole new perspective.

If you’re interested in learning how to windsurf or go on a sunset bioluminescent paddle adventure, stop at Sailboards Miami just before you enter Key Biscayne. They offer a variety of different lessons for all skill levels.

5. Matheson Hammock Park

Coral Gables’ Matheson Hammock Park is a 630-acre park that visitors can find just south of Miami. The park offers numerous outdoor activities, including picnicking, swimming, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. To explore the beautiful Biscayne Bay and all the amazing sea life it has to offer, rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from nearby Adventure Sports. You’ll paddle through tranquil waters and have an incredible experience! Those new to water sports can take advantage of Adventure Sports’ lessons and guided tours.

6. Everglades National Park

Although it is not actually in Miami, the Everglades is only an hour away. With nearly 100 miles of wild waterways, it has become known around the world as being an impressive location for kayaking or canoeing.

The Bear Lake Canoe Trail is a great place to start your paddling journey. This easy and scenic out-and-back trail is located along a historic man-made waterway that is lined with beautiful mangroves. It’s the perfect trail for beginners or anyone who wants to enjoy a leisurely stroll. You’ll be able to take in all the views of this beautiful lake while getting some exercise too.

Hell’s Bay Canoe Trail is a notoriously difficult trail to navigate, due to its numerous narrow channels and large lakes. The trail is approximately four hours long if paddled one-way, making it best suited for experienced paddlers.

7. Biscayne National Park

Since Biscayne National Park is composed of 95% water, it is an ideal location for canoeing or kayaking in Miami. Rentals for both activities are available at the park’s visitor center.

A Mangrove-fringed shoreline is a great place to kayak, and there are six different trails to choose from. If you’re looking to see some amazing wildlife, Jones Lagoon is the perfect place for you! In these clear waters, you’ll be able to see all sorts of sea life swimming about. But not only that, but you’ll also be able to get up close and personal with all of the animals! If visitors want to mix some snorkeling with their kayaking, they can head to Hurricane Creek. Snorkeling under the mangrove roots is an amazing experience where you’ll see all kinds of marine life. The roots provide a perfect hiding place for all sorts of animals, making for an exciting and educational snorkeling adventure.

If you’re an experienced kayaker, you can paddle across Biscayne Bay to Elliott Key. This seven-mile journey is a great way to see the sights and sounds of the area. This is the northernmost of the Florida Keys and Boca Chita Key is about the same distance away. The lighthouse on Boca Chita Key has sweet views of the Miami skyline.

8. Bill Baggs “El Farito” State Park

There are many reasons why Bill Baggs is such a great place to spend the day. Firstly, the beach is absolutely fantastic and provides the perfect opportunity to relax and soak up some sun. Secondly, there are plenty of other activities on offer for those who want to stay active, such as biking, fishing, and kayaking. Thirdly, the park boasts stunning natural surroundings which are simply breathtaking. Overall, it is clear that Bill Baggs truly is a special place and one which everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime!

The gentle surf at the beach is due to the offshore reefs that protect it. It slops very gradually, making entry and exit easy. There are kayaks, pedal boats, and hydro bike rentals close to the shoreline for your convenience.

There are also designated spots on the beach where you can launch your own kayak or canoe. This is a great way to explore the river at your own pace and get closer to nature.