Our Legendary Adventure Spots To inflatable SUP in Florida
With the sun, warm water and incredible wildlife, Florida is easily the best location for inflatable SUP in the United States. The aptly named Sunshine State, has everything you need when it comes to great locations for stand up paddle boarding.
An inflatable SUP makes getting around the large state with your board easy. Simply get to your destination, unpack and inflate your SUP and get going.
In Florida you can paddle board in national parks, islands, bays, harbors, creeks, tributaries, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you want salt water adventure or calm, fresh water peace and quiet, Florida has it.
With all these options, the question must be asked, where are the best spots to take your inflatable SUP in Florida? We have put together a list of our top 10 locations for you to enjoy.
1. Coastal Dune Lakes
Along the 26 miles of coastline you will find the geographical marvels of the county’s coastal dune lakes. These 6000-year-old lakes are fed by streams and groundwater springs which are complemented by sporadic connections to the Gulf of Mexico. Saltwater and marine animals cross back and forth into these lakes making them a very special environment indeed.
All 15 of the Coastal Dune Lakes are big enough to paddle board in. We recommend paddle boarding the largest lake, Western Lake because of its tranquil beauty. This is the best lake to enjoy a leisure paddle or do SUP yoga– paddle board yoga – on because of its calm waters, quietness and frequent sightings of wildlife. After you’ve finished paddle boarding Western Lake, you have 11 other lakes to explore.
Events such as Run SUP and Yoga SUP are held regularly from the Watercolor Inn & Resort Boathouse here. A number of agencies run 90-minute tours led by certified staff. This is a great way to meet other paddlers, learn from qualified guides and to be shown the best paddle routes.
With 15 Lakes in the system, you could spend a long time exploring all these water ways.
Your best board for exploring and doing yoga on the lakes is the Afro Inflatable SUP
Miramar Beach, South Walton County
A mere stone’s throw away from the coastal dune lakes is Miramar Beach, where gorgeous sugar-white sand meets the warm, flat waters of the Gulf. Paddleboarding here gives you the chance to see dolphins and sea turtles idle by and occasionally come to your board and give you a curious inspection! It’s an ideal coastal location for learning how to SUP, or experience how the difference between inland paddleboarding differs from the open water in a relatively safe environment.
This is also a great location for down wind paddling. Launching on one end of the bay, using the following wind and current to paddle and ride swells for a fast SUP across a large distance. Make sure to always have SUP partners on these downwind paddles. You can leave one vehicle at your destination and use your paddle partners to get to the launch.
Your best board for these downwind runs and exploring the open waters of Miramar Beach is the Spear Inflatable SUP
3. Destin Harbor
Located in Northwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico is Destin Harbor. This is a paddle board destination to try SUP fishing because Destin is known for having the largest charter fishing fleet in the country. From the harbor, up the long and varied coastline, you could get the catch of the day trying out fishing on your SUP.
The coastal community of Destin Harbor plays host to regular influxes of paddleboarding tourists. Destin Harbor is a treasure trove of wildlife – it’s surprising to see how large pelicans are in the flesh! Paddlers can choose to ride on the calm Gulf waters, where many species of sea turtles abound, or go inland up the many freshwater bayous where you’ll see alligators, an experience you’ll not soon forget.
A much-maligned reptile, the American alligator, is a protected species and one that doesn’t pose you any danger unless you provoke them or go near a nest. Alligators eat small animals and would rarely attack a human. It should go without saying though that we would not advise going where alligators are present if you are with children or dogs.
To explore the varied waters of Destinations Harbor we highly recommend the Impi Inflatable SUP
4. Ten Thousand Islands
This wouldn’t be a list of the best places to paddle board in Florida without mentioning the chain of magnificent mangrove islets. Despite the name, Ten Thousand Islands, there are just over a couple hundred islands. Exploring these islands by SUP is an epic experience. If you’re looking for a paddle board destination with no crowds in Florida, this is the place to be.
Getting to Ten Thousand Islands can be a bit of a journey. From the Visitor’s Center, it’s about a two-and-a-half-mile paddle if you take the Sandfly Loop. This should take you about one and a half hours to get to Sandfly Island, one of the larger and most-visited islands of chain because of its rich history and beautiful vintage homes. There are plenty of camping options at Ten Thousand Islands if paddling back to the Visitors Center sounds like too much in one day. Tiger Key and Picinc Key are popular campgrounds to look into.
Ten Thousand Islands is great for recreational paddle boarding, SUP fishing, SUP yoga and SUP touring. Meandering through Florida’s mangroves while enjoying the sounds of the water and Osprey will create a memorable experience.
The perfect exploration craft is the Spear Inflatable SUP
5. Holme’s Creek
The Panhandle counties’ waterways come under a state-wide network called Greenways and Trails. These protected routes are a joy for inflatable paddleboarders who will be amazed by the diversity of plant and animal life around every twist and turn. Holme’s Creek is one of the most impressive waterways as it passes from high, sandy banks through low-lying swamp on its way to the Gulf.
As you paddle by you will be met by attractive green and blue heron, tuneful warblers and the unmistakable rat-a-tatting of woodpeckers. A tributary of Holme’s Creek is the beautiful cold spring: Cypress Springs, a crystal-clear stream that has visibility right down through the depths. Marvel at turtles, crawfish and colorful fish and pause to do some swimming – snorkeling is a great way to get up close and personal with the natural world here.
One thing to bear in mind when creek paddling is that there are hazards above and below the surface – from low-lying branches causing you to duck your head, to under water tree trunks that can snag your board.
Explore the waterways of Holmes Creek on the Impi Inflatable SUP
6. Daytona Beach
Celebrated globally for its NASCAR racing, Daytona Beach bears the nickname of ‘The World’s Most Famous Beach’. But for inflatable paddleboarders it is the dolphin and manatee sightseeing tours that capture hearts.
In the Daytona Beach area paddleboarding has really taken off and it attracts all manner of riders. Some come to catch a bit of surf and travel fast, others go for fishing and touring and others arrive for yoga. The waterways here are breathtaking whether it’s the access to the Atlantic Ocean or the backwaters of the estuaries.
This is one of the best spots to find excellent waves and to get your surf time up.
Hit the waves and explore the waterways with the – Afro Inflatable SUP
7. Everglades National Park
The southern section of Ten Thousand Islands is Everglades National Park. What separates the Everglades from Ten Thousand Islands is its unique ecosystem. Compared to Ten Thousand Islands, Everglades National Park is the largest tropical wilderness in the nation.
This diverse tropical wonderland makes the Everglades a SUP wonderland.
If you’re going to do the Everglades right, you will camp at one of its 48 campsites with your SUP. If you want to use one of these islands as your base for your paddleboarding excursion you need to be more self-sufficient than at most vacationing destinations. You will need food, water, bug-repellant, first-aid kit and it’s advisable to be part of a group as you will be pretty much on your own here. As in horror films – cell phones just don’t work out here. Make sure your food and water supplies are securely locked away too – animals like the raccoon eagerly break into less well-protected stashes.
There are over 30 threatened species living in the Everglades, along with 350 species of birds, 300 species of fish, 50 species of reptiles and 40 species of mammals. This makes it one of the best wildlife spotting locations for a paddler in the world.
Spot wildlife and paddle at ease with the Impi Inflatable SUP
8. Tampa Bay
This is Florida’s largest open-water estuary, some 400-square miles in size fed from over a hundred tributaries including the Hillsborough River, the Alafia, Manatee and Little Manatee, all pouring millions of gallons of fresh water into the bay each year.
One of the best features of Tampa Bay is its expanse of shallow water – on average only 12-feet deep, ideal for jumping in, swimming and not so deep that you can’t see the bottom. And being able to see through these waters opens up a world of bottlenose dolphins, manatees, oysters and shrimp.
This is a nature-lover’s paradise, 200 species of fish and birds occupy mangroves, islands and coastline. This is one of the most popular SUP destinations in Florida, so expect large groups of people on the water. Having said that, it is a huge body of water and you can find your own space.
Take your paddling to the max and get away from the crowds by moving fast on the Afro Inflatable SUP.
9. Blowing Rocks Preserve
Just off Florida’s Atlantic coast, is Jupiter Island where you can find Blowing Rocks Preserve. Paddle boarding around the waters of this preserve on a SUP allows you to view Jupiter Island from a variety of angles making from some excellent photos. Use your inflatable SUP to find the best angles and light for that award winning wildlife picture.
Make sure to bring a dry bag along for the ride so you can bring your phone or camera to take photos. You will also want to bring your snorkelling gear to get some time under the water. Like most SUP destinations in Florida, you have a chance of seeing turtles, sharks and an assorted selection of tropical birds. This is one of the most beautiful places you could ever paddle!
This location calls for easy paddling on the Impi Inflatable SUP.
10. Miami Beach
A very popular, inflatable SUP hotspot, Miami Beach is an amazing city with an equally amazing coastline. One of the biggest tourist destinations in the United States, you might expect that Miami Beach may be over-crowded with visitors. The area is so large that it is easy to find a quiet piece of water to enjoy.
Miami is an ideal location for paddleboarders who want the proximity of the urban environment with all the trappings that go with it. You can spend the morning paddling the waterways and calm shoreline of the beaches, before heading to a variety of attractions, bars, restaurants and of course nightclubs.
You expect something different from Miami and it won’t disappoint. You can even take your inflatable SUP for a paddle at night, using LED lights to light up the clear waters beneath you. There are even tour companies that specialise in these trips.
Enjoy the party capital of Florida on your Impi Inflatable SUP.
With so many incredible locations for your inflatable SUP, you are going to have a difficult time choosing one. Use these suggestions to start your journey around Florida and make sure to tick each one off your list.
Also ensure you have the right inflatable SUP for each location and remember to make sure you are always well prepared for any paddle. Have water and snacks, your life jacket and of course a dry bag so you can take your phone and camera.
We hope you enjoy your time paddling these incredible spots.