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The Best 15 Places to Go Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Florida

If you’re a fan of water sports and love spending time outdoors, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is the perfect activity for you. Florida is home to some of the best paddleboarding spots in the United States, with crystal clear waters and stunning scenery. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 15 best places to go stand-up paddleboarding in Florida.

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What is Stand-Up Paddle Boarding?

Stand-up paddleboarding is a water sport that involves standing on a large board and using a paddle to propel yourself through the water. The boards are usually larger and more stable than traditional surfboards, making them easier to balance on. Stand-up paddleboarding can be done on calm lakes and rivers, as well as on the ocean.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding Benefits

Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. It provides a full-body workout, helps improve balance, and is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. Additionally, it can be a great stress reliever and a fun activity to do with friends and family.

Best Places to Go Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Florida

  1. Key West: With crystal clear waters and a tropical climate, Key West is one of the most ideal destinations for stand-up paddleboarding in Florida. The calm waters make it easy for beginners, while more experienced paddlers can explore the mangroves and shallow flats.
  2. Sanibel Island: Sanibel Island is an attractive spot for stand-up paddleboarding due to its calm waters and abundance of wildlife. Paddlers can spot dolphins, manatees, and a variety of birds while exploring the island’s waterways.
  3. Clearwater Beach: Clearwater Beach is a well-known tourist destination with miles of white sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to explore the area’s quiet waters and see dolphins and other marine life.
  4. St. Augustine: St. Augustine is a historic city with a beautiful waterfront. Paddlers can explore the city’s waterways and see historic landmarks while enjoying the beauty of the area.
  5. Anna Maria Island: Anna Maria Island is a barrier island located on the west coast of Florida. The island’s tranquil waters and beautiful scenery make it a popular spot for stand-up paddleboarding.
  6. Destin: Destin is known for its emerald green waters and white sandy beaches. Paddlers can explore the peaceful waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay or venture out into the Gulf of Mexico for a more challenging paddle.
  7. Pensacola Beach: Pensacola Beach is a go-to destination for stand-up paddleboarding due to its serene waters and natural landscape. Paddlers can explore the area’s shallow flats and sandbars, as well as the Gulf of Mexico.
  8. Siesta Key: Siesta Key is known for its stunning sandy beaches and aquamarine colored water. The calm waters make it a great spot for stand-up paddleboarding, and paddlers can explore the island’s waterways and see dolphins and other marine life.
  9. Naples: Naples is among the area’s best destinations for stand-up paddleboarding due to its serene waters and beautiful landscape. Paddlers can explore the area’s mangrove tunnels and see a variety of wildlife, including manatees and birds.
  10. Fort Lauderdale: Fort Lauderdale is a perfect location to explore, with miles of beaches and waterways. Paddlers can explore the area’s quiet canals and observe the expansive luxury homes and yachts, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.
  11. Miami Beach: Miami Beach is a world-famous destination known for its white sand beaches and turquoise blue colored water. Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to explore the area’s waterways and see the city from a different perspective.
  12. Cocoa Beach: Cocoa Beach is a popular spot for stand-up paddleboarding due to its calm waters and stunning scenery. Paddlers can explore the area’s lagoons and waterways, as well as the Atlantic Ocean.
  13. Juno Beach: Juno Beach is a quiet beach town located on the east coast of Florida. The area’s calm waters make it a great spot for stand-up paddleboarding, and paddlers can explore the area’s mangrove-lined waterways and see a variety of wildlife.
  14. Gulfport: Gulfport is a small town located on the west coast of Florida. The area’s calm waters and stunning scenery make it a great spot for stand-up paddleboarding, and paddlers can explore the town’s waterways and see a variety of sea life.
  15. Fort Myers Beach: Fort Myers Beach is a landmark spot located on the west coast of Florida. The area’s calm waters and stunning scenery make it a great spot for stand-up paddleboarding, and paddlers can explore the area’s waterways and see dolphins and other marine life.

 Tips for Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Florida

If you’re planning to go stand-up paddleboarding in Florida, here are some tips to help you prepare and have a great experience:

  • Check the weather and wind conditions before you go. Florida’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to check the forecast before you hit the water.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Florida’s sun can be strong, so it’s crucial to protect your skin. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks. Paddling can be tiring, so stay hydrated and fueled up to maintain your energy.
  • Choose the right board for your skill level. If you’re a beginner, choose a larger and more stable board to help you balance.
  • Follow safety guidelines and regulations. Make sure to wear a life jacket and follow any local regulations or restrictions.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a uniquely fun and exciting way to explore Florida’s beautiful waterways. With so many great paddleboarding spots to choose from, it’s easy to see why Florida is such a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, there’s a spot in Florida that’s perfect for you.

Top 5 Important FAQs for your Stand-Up Paddle Adventure

  1. Do I need to have any experience to go stand-up paddleboarding in Florida?

No, many of the paddleboarding spots in Florida are suitable for beginners. However, it’s important to choose the right board and follow safety guidelines.

  1. Is stand-up paddleboarding a good workout?

Yes, stand-up paddleboarding provides a full-body workout and is a great way to stay active.

  1. What should I wear when stand-up paddleboarding in Florida?

Wear comfortable and quick-dry clothing, such as a swimsuit or board shorts. It’s also important to wear sunscreen, a shirt, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

  1. Can I rent paddleboarding equipment in Florida?

Yes, many of the paddleboarding spots in Florida offer equipment rentals. Make sure to choose a reputable rental company and check the equipment before heading out on the water.

  1. Are there any safety concerns when stand-up paddleboarding in Florida?

As with any water sport, there are safety concerns to consider when stand-up paddleboarding in Florida. Make sure to wear a life jacket, follow local regulations, and check the weather conditions before heading out on the water. It’s also important to be aware of other watercraft and to avoid busy areas.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.