Miami is amazing for inflatable SUP
An inflatable SUP is the perfect piece of equipment for paddling these flat water and ocean areas. Quick to unpack and pump up, easy to pack away and transport. You can enjoy a great paddle session at South Beach, then pack it in your car and hit the bars for a sunset drink.
If you are new to using an inflatable SUP, make sure to check some of our beginner articles on the blog. You can also go for lessons at a multitude of locations in Miami.
Remember to pack your sunblock and some water, as it is hot and humid out on the water. Many of the top locations have great snorkelling and swimming, so pack your snorkel and swim gear too.
There are also plenty of places that have great fishing. Your inflatable SUP is a great platform for some light tackle fishing and you may just catch a big one.
A wonderland of water wildlife
If you are going to spend time on Miami’s waterways and the ocean, you are guaranteed of seeing wildlife. An inflatable SUP is the perfect choice for getting around on the water and you will see much of the local fauna. There are some native species, specific to Florida and the Florida Keys. Some of these species are endangered and, therefore, protected.
The mockingbird, one of the native birds, was named the state bird in 1927. The alligator is maybe one of South Florida’s most iconic native species. The most known and common fauna found in Florida include: Alligators and crocodiles .These are probably some of the most iconic animals in this region.
They look alike and are often confused. South Florida is the only place on earth where crocodiles and alligators cohabitate. They are, however, two distinct reptiles. - The American Crocodile is only found in South Florida (Everglades National Park, Key Biscayne and the Florida Keys). - The American Alligator is found all over Florida and the southern states of the US.
While these creatures can be considered dangerous, most encounters are harmless and as long as you keep your distance, you should be fine. If an Alligator or Crocodile starts to get to close, make sure to head to the nearest boats or landing, keeping your distance. Manatees, also called sea cow. These are large herbivorous marine mammals. Their average length is around 9.8 ft and can weigh 800 to 1,200 lbs. They are found in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. The mermaid folklore is supposedly linked to the manatee.
These incredibly gentle creatures are endangered and were almost hunted to extinction. An encounter will make you marvel at how anyone could hurt these unique animals.
Florida Panther, This is a critically endangered relative of the cougar found in the low tides, palm forests and swamps of South Florida. The number of living Florida panthers is estimated to be between 80 and 100. It represents 5% of its historic range.
In 1982, it was named Florida’s state animal. The Florida Black Bear This species lives mostly in forested areas and have therefore seen recent habitat destruction. It is a threatened species.
The main cause of death is road accidents (which account for 89% of deaths since 1994). They are mainly solitary creatures. Those living in South Florida are the only subspecies to live in a sub-tropical region. The Bottlenose Dolphin This is probably the most iconic Florida animal of all.
Dolphins are very intelligent and friendly sea mammals.
If you have always dreamed of swimming with dolphins, there are plenty of possibilities in Miami for you to do so. The Killer Whale,also called the Orca. These are found in the waters of Florida as well as in the numerous amusement parks. Despite their scary name, they aren’t a threatening species. The social and vocal behaviors of Orcas have been described as being a manifestation of culture.
Now you know what animals you may encounter. Once you are ready to hit the waters of Miami, you will want to check out some of these incredible locations.
A super laidback location to explore on your inflatable SUP, Virginia Key is slightly removed from all the wild South Beach action. This makes this location ideal for paddling your inflatable SUP around, especially if you are a beginner.
Virginia Key is an 863-acre barrier island in Miami, Florida. It is accessible from the mainland via the Rickenbacker Causeway. Easy to find and access by car, meaning you can park up, blow up your inflatable SUP and hit the water.
The island is mainly occupied by the Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami Seaquarium and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. If you are on holiday in Miami, you will definitely want to take a trip to the Miami Seaquarium. It is a marine park on Virginia Key that has one of the world’s largest collections of marine animals; some 10,000 specimens.
Opened in 1955, the 38-acre park provides marine life exhibits and several daily marine mammal shows. It is famous for its captive orcas, dolphins, and sea lions. Manatee and shark exhibits are also present.
Of course you could also just hit the water on your inflatable SUP and see many of these creatures while paddling the waters of the Key. Virginia Key has an abundance of wildlife and is a bird watchers dream. Spot all kinds of water birds from you SUP, while manatees, dolphins and other sea life swim under you.
This is also one of the best spots in Miami to catch the Sunset. Take your friends, a cooler with some snacks and drinks and enjoy a golden evening on your inflatable SUP.
If you’re looking for a place to go paddle boarding in Miami that offers crystal clear waters and stunning views of the downtown skyline, then Virginia Key is the spot for you.
If you have been enjoying the night life in South Beach and are looking for a little relaxation on your inflatable SUP, you’ll want to head over to Biscayne Bay. Featuring one of the most popular spots to paddleboard in Miami, Biscayne Bay offers stunning, calm waters and great views of Miami.
Biscayne Bay (Bahía Vizcaínain Spanish) is a lagoon that is approximately 35 miles long and up to 8 miles wide located on the Atlantic coast of South Florida.
In 1975, the bay was designated as a state aquatic preserve. The aquatic preserve spans the entirety of Biscayne Bay from Oleta River in the north to Card Sound in the south, with the exception of the central part of the bay, which is Biscayne National Park. A second preserve was soon added off of Cape Florida on Key Biscayne, which became known as the Cape Florida to Monroe County Line Preserve.
This makes it one of the best places in Miami to see local wildlife while paddling your inflatable SUP. You could also make your own music video, as this was the location for the music video for The Lonely Island’s “I’m on a Boat”.
Whether a sunset cruise before a big night out on the town, or just a relaxing paddle with friends to see the local manatees, this is one of the best paddle locations in Miami.
Oleta State Park
While most of the best places to go paddle boarding in Miami offer crystal clear salt water, Oleta State Park is a little different. When you start paddling your inflatable SUP here, you’ll end up in less clear waters while you explore mangrove canals and other fascinating ecosystems.
The Oleta River State Park is a 1,043-acre Florida State Park on Biscayne Bay in the municipal suburb of North Miami. The river itself no longer flows to the Everglades, but remains a popular area for paddling. The park also boasts some of the best wilderness bike trails in the country, and is a frequent host for triathlons and other extreme sports events.
The area has an amazing beach to launch your inflatable SUP and you can go from clear water to exploring the Mangrove Swamps on the same paddle. Also make sure to check out the oyster beds, which are prolific in the area.
This paddle tour is ideal for explorers looking to get away from the South Beach bustle and experience the lush greenery Miami has to offer.
While Key Largo is not really a part of Miami proper, it is close enough to warrant inclusion on this list. It is also hands down one of the best locations in Florida to take your inflatable SUP. Featuring some of the best water in all of South Florida, you won’t find a prettier spot to paddle away. It could even be considered one of the best paddle locations in the world.
Key Largo is an island in the Florida Keys, an archipelago off the south coast of Florida. It’s a popular holiday destination where onshore and offshore state parks provide opportunities for wildlife encounters, fishing, paddling and diving. Divers and snorkelers visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to view tropical fish and an underwater statue of Christ.
It is a popular tourist destination and calls itself the “Diving Capital of the World” because the living coral reef a few miles offshore attracts thousands of scuba divers and sport-fishing enthusiasts. You could combine a day of paddling with your inflatable SUP with some snorkelling or fishing.
With dolphins, loads of wildlife, stunning island keys, and mangroves to manoeuvre through – you’ll have a an amazing time paddling your inflatable SUP here.
If you’re on South Beach and looking for an ideal place to paddle your inflatable SUP in Miami, then look no further than the Sunset Islands. Tailor-made for all things paddle boarding, the islands offer a stunning, yet shielded space to practice and learn how to paddle properly. Not to mention, you’ll likely see a lot of wildlife like dolphins and manatees while paddling here.\
While paddling here you will get to ogle some of the world’s most expensive homes. The Sunset Islands are literally where you will find the homes of the rich and famous in Miami. You could even try and guess who owns each mansion while slowly cruising by on your inflatable SUP.
Celebrities who own or have owned homes on the island include Sean Combs, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Don Johnson, Rosie O’Donnell, Xuxaand Shaquille O’Neal. Tour guides and realtors have made false claims of some other celebrities having homes on Star Island, such as LeBron James, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Julio Iglesias, Madonna, Sylvester Stallone and Elizabeth Taylor. You will have to keep a careful eye on the houses as you paddle by on your inflatable SUP. Who know, you may even meet someone famous out paddling their own board.
From the secluded mangrove waterways to the bustling beaches of South Beach, its clear that Miami has paddling spots for everyone. You are almost guaranteed to spot the local wildlife no matter where you decide to take your inflatable SUP. Manatees cruise the local waterways and you could almost believe you are sharing the water with mermaids.
After your paddle, you are absolutely spoilt for choice to sate your hunger, as Miami is full of some of the best restaurants and eateries in the world. Once you have eaten, get your party clothes on and hit the most famous bar and club strip in Florida for a big night out. There is something for everyone and you are guaranteed a great time.
Whether you’re a local or in Miami on vacation, it’s time to take your inflatable SUP out on the waters of Miami. Grab a board and start paddling away. Enjoy some of the crystal clear waters and make sure to keep an eye out for the manatees, turtles and dolphins. Oh and don’t forget to look out for those celebrities.