We are often asked where the best spots to kayak around Miami are.
Here are some of our favorite spots to paddle in Miami and nearby, whether kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding.
These places all have facilities that make it very easy to launch your own and also have a large range of rentals available, mainly single and double kayaks, canoes and paddleboards.
Most of these places also offer a great variety of activities and things to do beyond paddling so you can likely spend the entire day relaxing in the outdoors.
Please note that at some of these places there is a "park entrance" fee.
Oleta River State Park
Oleta River State Park is a gem tucked in the middle of cosmopolitan Miami, in fact, it's Florida's largest city park.
Located between the banks of the river and the Intracoastal Waterway, just a stone-throw away from the high-rises and hectic pace of the city, this is a convenient and easy to get to place to enjoy a day in the outdoors, not only paddling along the river and the mangrove forests, but also enjoying a wide variety of activities like mountain biking, beaches and camping.
You can paddle the river, the many mangrove-lined creeks within the park, the lagoons as well as the surrounding area that opens up into the Intracoastal Waterway and gives you great views of the Miami skyline.
The sheltered areas on the inside are great for beginners since the waters are calm. You can also venture out in the open where the views are fantastic.
You are free to bring your own SUP, canoe or kayak and there are rentals available.
- More on kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding at Oleta River State Park
- Check on Groupon Discounts on Paddleboard and Kayak Rental, Standup Paddleboard Yoga Classes.
Crandon Park Key Biscayne
Crandon Park in Key Biscayne is fantastic for a day of paddling, sunning and swimming, plus there are plenty of facilities for active watersports, biking and even a nature center.
There are kayaks and paddleboards available for rental and they also offer EcoAdventures Kayak Tours, and one of the few places in Miami offering the clear-bottom kayaks.
You can paddle the mangrove forest along the Bear Cut Preserve which offers a remarkable variety of wildlife as well as on the bayside which give you stunning views of the Miami skyline.
For beginners, the EcoAdventures Kayak Tours are a fantastic introduction, the tour leaders are excellent and very knowledgeable about the wildlife, highly recommended.
- More on kayaking and paddleboarding at Crandon Park
- Check for Groupon offers for Miami EcoAdventures, normally 20% - 25% off
Hobie Beach is located off the Rickenbacker Causeway which is the bridge that brings you to Key Biscayne.
This is not your typical wide white sand beach, the attraction is in the watersports offering: water bikes, kayaks, SUP paddleboards, windsurfers, hobie cats, catamarans, and killer views of the Miami skyline.
This is certainly one of the easiest places to launch your own kayak or SUP right off the beach which is steps from the parking lot, you don't have far to haul, and enjoy fantastic views from skyscrapers to historical mansions to mangrove estuaries.
There are Kayaks and Paddleboards for rent, conveniently located along the beach.
Hobie Beach is a dog-friendly beach.
Bill Baggs "El Farito" State Park
Bill Baggs is a great park to spend the day, period. The beach is fantastic, and in addition, there are lots of fun things to do at the park: biking, fishing, kayaking, etc.
The beach is shallow with a gentle surf due to the offshore reefs that protect it. It slops very gradually and with almost no waves, it makes entry and exit very easy.
There are kayaks, SUP paddleboards and hydrobike rentals right off the beach.
You can also launch your own kayak or canoe from the designated spots on the beach.
Everglades at Flamingo
The Flamingo Outpost at Everglades National Park is the gateway to Florida Bay, where the River of Grass meets the waters of the Ocean. It is literally at the end of the road but definitely worth the drive as it gives you a different facet of the Everglades, entirely different ecosystems and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Here you get to explore the coastal mangroves, besides alligators look for manatees and salt water crocodiles. Although alligators are common throughout the park, this is the only place in the Everglades where we have seen the American Crocodile.
There are single kayaks, double kayaks, and canoes for rent at the Marina and you are also welcome to bring your own and launch from there.
For the real paddlers and enthusiasts, there are day trips and even multi-day treks and of course, there is the Wilderness Waterway, the 99-mile trail that brings you through the 10,000 Islands to the Gulf Coast Center in Everglades City.
- More on Flamingo Outpost at Everglades National Park
- Check Groupon Discounts for Kayay and Canoe rentals here.
John Pennekamp State Park
Although the Park is mostly known as one of the gateways to the offshore coral reefs and some of the most spectacular snorkeling and diving in the area, there's also much above water to keep you busy at Pennekamp Park, lots of native vegetation and birdlife to enjoy, and nothing better than a fun easy paddle around the park's mangrove-lined water trails.
There are three short trails, in a 2 1/2 mile network of channels and mangrove lined passages. The shortest one takes about one hour, short and easy enough for even first-timers. You can also paddle out in the sound, which is calm and protected.
There are kayak, paddleboard and canoe rentals from the main concession next to the Visitor Center and have some of the most reasonable rates starting at $12 per hour for a single kayak.
If you have your own canoe, SUP or kayak, you can also launch from several canoe ramps in the Park. There are parking lots convenient to the launch spots.
Biscayne National Park
Mangrove forests line the shoreline around the park and a great way to explore this area is by canoe, paddleboard or kayak. During the cool dry season, the mangrove coastlines are teeming with wildlife, specially the migratory birds that have come to spend the winter. Manatees seek refuge in the warmer waters as well, so opportunities to enjoy sightings will be at every corner.
Canoe, paddleboard and kayak rentals are not available at the moment but you are welcome to launch your own. What is being offered are guided and semi-guided paddling adventures, from morning to full day adventures including snorkeling, island visits, etc.
I'm sure there are many other spots where it would be fun to launch our kayaks. Tell us below in the comments what your favorite spots are so we can share with the rest!
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Let's Paddle Away!
Book with confidence! Free cancellation: Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
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