What Are The Best Places To Paddleboard In Florida

The exhilarating and yet peaceful sport of paddleboarding, is all the rage across the Florida waterways.

“Paddleboarding is to Florida like skiing is to Colorado,” says Tom Losee, co-founder of YOLO (You Only Live Once) Board in Santa Rosa Beach.

Florida is an amazing place in which to go paddleboarding. It can have some really great weather, whether you want to paddleboard, swim, or chill on the beach.

It's called the Sunshine State for a good reason. Has the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic on the other. Those are just a few reasons why Florida, is a favorite among paddleboarders, along with the masses of all water sports. But it's not just paddleboarding, Florida is a great destination for loads of activities.

Florida is known for its Latin-American cultural influences and notable art scene, as well as its nightlife. And let's not forget it's home to some of the greatest theme parks in the the world (Epcot, Universal, Magic Kingdom, Disney World and that's BARELY scratching the surface!).

Here, you can enjoy some of the best collecting and most beautiful shells you've seen in your life. If you like rare and beautiful shells then Check out our article on The Best Beaches For Shells In Florida.

Sure, there are lots of good places to go paddleboarding in Florida, but who wants good when they can have the best. So we've decided to bring you a list of, the Best Places To Paddleboard In Florida.

Best Places to Paddleboard In Florida​

Destin

Destin

In an area known as The Panhandle, Destin is a city in northwest Florida. Destin is located on Florida's Emerald Coast, which gets its name from its beautiful, clear green water. Destin is particularly known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and for Destin Harbor Boardwalk as well.

When it comes to areas for putting board to water, Destin is definitely one of the best places to paddleboard in Florida. It's cool calm, coastal waters are a paradise for all who venture to its beaches and especially the board lovers.

Because it's beaches have very fine and soft sand, Destin’s a wonderful destination for those who enjoy walking along the beach and sandcastle building for kids (and adults:).

Explore the bayous, intracoastal canals and Choctawhatchee Bay, or even experience a party on the water at Crab Island. Jet Skiing, parasailing, kiteboarding, surfing, water-skiing …you can do it all here. Don’t leave without spending a few days at Crab Island, it's a favorite spot among locals.

Grab your group and head down to the Destin Harbor and take a Banana Boat ride around Destin’s beautiful waterways. Even if you plan to spend most of your time getting wet, there are tons of adventures to be had on the bay or the shoreline.

The Emerald Coast has been voted as the best beach destination by the readers of Southern Living Magazine®.

Another really amazing thing to do would be cruising on the marine life cruise ship The Southern Star.

The Southern Star, Destin’s Original Dolphin and Sunset Cruise as seen on CNN and National Geographic Explorer. Enjoy the pristine emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico along some of the world’s most beautiful sugar-white sand beaches. You'll experience up close viewing of dolphins, seabirds and a variety of other marine life. Their 2-hour cruises offer affordable, relaxing fun, and sightseeing for the whole family!

The Southern Star is an 80-foot vessel that comfortably seats 149 people, and has a number of amenities. Equipped with restrooms, covered upper deck with drop-down enclosure, climate controlled galley and a variety of snacks and small gifts.

Your cruise will begins with a narrated tour of the Destin Harbor. The captain will give you some history about the area and point out some of the local spots along the harbor. You’ll then head out to the Gulf of Mexico through the East Pass, and if it’s calm enough, will cruise just off the beach to find the dolphins.

If the Gulf is too rough, you'll cruise in the Choctawhatchee Bay under the Destin Bridge where you can also find the dolphins. Once the dolphins are spotted, you'll then be able to spend time watching and being educated on the local pod. You'll enjoy island music, feeding the birds, and they even take time to let the children drive the boat.

Key West

Key West

The Key West (not to be confused with Kanye West) has a calm and gentle flow to it. Paddleboarding ventures in the Key West are full of unbelievable beauty, and a serene feeling you can't get anywhere else.

You can paddleboard and kayak while enjoying downwind trails for easy paddling, even on windy days.

There are even kayak and paddleboard tours you can get that are led by local nature guides. These tours allow a hands-on experience with professional instructions to explore lush mangroves and colorful coral gardens.

From dolphins, turtles and jumping fish, to watching magnificent pelicans and ospreys soar high overhead hunting for dinner, you'll see the Key West is teaming with wildlife.

And of course no trip to Key West is complete until you experience the world famous Key West sunset. People from all over line up on the docks for Mallory Square's Sunset Celebration. It's packed with local flavor from street performers, artists, food vendors, and local musicians.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach

With its scenic waterway that is perfect for paddleboarding, rowing and kayaking, the famous Miami Beach was sure to make our list.

A beautiful way to explore Miami’s coastline, and for many people that live here SUP has become a way of life. There are tons of shops you can hit up to rent paddleboards and gear for every water activity you can think of. Heck they've even got some available right on the beaches.

The Miami Marine Stadium hosts the annual Windhaven Insurance Orange Bowl Paddle Championship. Boarders with some experience under their belts might want to check this out.

If you're looking for a new SUP experience, head out on a full moon paddle with lights on your board. Or venture out on a bioluminescent new moon paddle where you can see little glow-in-the-dark plankton. June through September are the best times for this.

Very nearby you've got the the beautiful famous art deco district (and the lovely South Beach models:). Aside from its beach, people-watching and world-renowned shopping, Miami Beach is packed with tasty restaurants. Miami Beach is an all around complete package for paddleboarders and anyone that enjoys fun.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg


St. Petersburg is a city on the Gulf of Mexico, and part of the Tampa Bay area. Nicknamed “Sunshine City” St. Petersburg is known for its joyful weather, making it popular for golfing, boating, fishing beach going and of course paddleboarding.

St. Pete (as the locals usually say) has a Guinness World Record for the most consecutive days of sunshine (768 days). Also St. Pete. averages about 361 days of sunshine a year.

Hit the sand, catch some sun and board at Ft. De Soto Park, or take a 37 mile hike up the Pinellas Trail

St. Petersburg was ranked top mid-size city in 2011 by American Style magazine. Its waterfront parks host the Dali Museum, featuring surrealist works of art, the Museum of Fine Arts, and is known for having a very vibrant art scene.

Paddleboarders love St. Petersburg because it's beautiful waters, amazing marine life and perfect weather leave them with little choice!

Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach

The waters are a nice clear aquamarine and the sand is white like sugar. Very relaxing with an easy walk to restaurants. You'll enjoy this beach for swimming, skim and boogie boarding, fishing and sunbathing, certainly paddleboarding.

The beach front is mostly dotted with million+ dollar homes and a few condos. However, many of the homes and condos at, or near, the beach are normally for rent.

With pristine white beaches and gorgeous blue-green water, it's simply paradise. No need for shoes while walking the beaches here. Sit and walk with the family on the beautiful white beach during the day, and at night have dinner at a nice restaurant to enjoy the sunset. You won't be disappointed, the beach is very clean and the sunset is absolutely gorgeous!

There are several ponds immediately adjacent to the beach and we were able to easily kayak and SUP on those relatively large ponds.When considering a trip to the Florida Panhandle, you owe it to yourself to checkout Santa Rosa Beach.

South Walton

South Walton

South Walton was a no brainer when it came to making a list of the best places to paddleboard in Florida. Many people refer to South Walton as a "getaway" instead of simply as a "vacation." This is because it's an escape from the stress of day to day life outside of Walton.

While boarding here you can admire beauty, unwind and enjoy some of the best beaches the Gulf has to offer.

The stunning natural landscapes of South Walton, and the peaceful and friendly landscapes are unmatched. Paddleboarders love this about Walton, and it's allure becomes as clear to them as the shoreline, from the moment they arrive.

In South Walton you're always surrounded by art. “Every area has a shop, gallery or studio worth a visit,” says local artist Susan Lucas. “There are excellent artists’ studios you can visit on and off of 30A.”

Paddleboarding along with yoga and a number of other activities are strongly embraced here. It's only natural considering they fit the calm, stress relieving and tranquil (also highly sought after) vibe of South Walton.

If you want to see some inspiring works done by some truly talented artists then just head to the Graton Art District. There you'll find an array of beautiful pieces in vastly different (but all amazing) styles.

After you visit Walton you'll feel peaceful, relaxed, and energized. Also you'll be left with lasting memories that you will treasure for all your years to come.

All of the places on our list are excellent for paddle boarding and offer boarders, opportunity to make some quality memories.

It's clear to see by now that Florida is a great destination for paddleboarding. But even more than that, you're gonna have a wide variety of really cool and very interesting activities to choose from. Having amazing Fun in the Sun adventures, is almost certain when you decide to visit Florida. So now the only question is…. which are you gonna have first!?

We hope our splash, rapidly leads to your solution!

Steven Conte
 

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