Want to head out on your stand up paddle board in Florida? You’re spoilt for choice, my friend.
The southeasternmost US state boasts hundreds of miles of beaches and is a premier destination for SUP.
You can spend the entire day exploring the natural beauty of the state. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot plenty of dolphins, manatees, sea turtles and sharks!
Whether it’s your first time on the water or you’re a pro, you can put your board to the test while you glide past lush mangroves and tackle coastal dune lakes.
The Best Places To Stand Up Paddle Board in Florida
1. Stand Up Paddle Board Santa Rosa Beach
Santa Rosa Beach is home to picture-perfect white-sand beaches and sparkling emerald waters. With calm waters, it’s one of the best places in Florida for beginners to take your stand up paddle board.
For unspoiled views of Florida’s natural heritage, go on a SUP adventure at the Santa Rosa Sound. It’s near Okaloosa Island, and there are no drop-offs, no undertow. Plus, you’re safe from the jellyfish that are common in the Gulf of Mexico waters.
2. Florida Keys Are SUP Heaven
One of the top stand up paddle board destinations in the state is the Florida Keys. With crystal clear waters and plenty of marine life, you’ll have incredible views as you paddle across the calm waters.
Keep an eye out for dolphins and plan to leave after sunset, you won’t regret it!
Some of the best places for SUP in the Florida Keys are:
- Bahia Honda State Park (gentle waterways)
- Stock Island (full of wildlife)
- Fort Taylor (incredible beaches and calm waters)
- Sugarloaf Key (perfect for all skill levels)
3. Stand Up Paddle Board Islamorada
The Islamorada are six islands that are in the Florida Keys archipelago that deserves its own mention. It’s a top stand up paddle board destination if you want to see sharks, stingrays, dolphins, and trunkfish!
For a unique experience, paddle a bit further out to Indian Key Historic Park. Here, you’ll find ancient ruins from a town that existed in the early 1800s.
4. Destin SUP Life
Located in northwest Florida, Destin is a firm favorite getaway destination with locals. While the beautiful beaches attract sun-worshipping crowds, paddleboarders can explore Choctawhatchee Bay, the Intracoastal canals and the bayous.
With smooth waters, Destin is another excellent stand-up paddle board spot for beginners.
It’s also a great spot to try SUP fishing. Destin has plenty of spots along the harbor where you can set up your gear and catch your lunch or dinner.
5. Coastal Dune Lakes: Days Of SUP Fun
The Coastal Dune Lakes are located on South Walton’s 26-mile coastline. Made up of 15 lakes (that are over 10,000 years old), the Coastal Dune is a natural phenomenon.
While it’s possible to SUP all 15 lakes, the best one is Western Lake. It’s the largest and boasts incredible natural scenery.
It’s the perfect spot to practice some SUP yoga and see some of the area’s wildlife as you practice your Chaturanga.
6. Stand Up Paddle Board Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the United State’s best-kept secrets. While it’s not as popular as Yellowstone or Yosemite, it still packs a punch.
The park is home to a cluster of seven remote islands, surrounded by turquoise waters and beautiful coral reefs.
Stand up paddle boarding is the best way to soak up the park’s natural beauty. Plus, there are SUP routes for all levels!
One thing to keep in mind is that the park is only accessible by ferry or a private boat. The public ferry only has space for three solid SUP boards per trip.
For a trip here, it’s best to bring your inflatable SUP, so you don’t have to worry about space.
7. Ten Thousand Islands Is A Top Spot
Located off Florida’s southwest coast is one of the top SUP paddleboarding destinations.
The Ten Thousand Islands are a chain of magnificent mangroves. Covering an area of 35,000 acres, it’s easy to ditch the crowds.
Head down one of the quiet channels, and you can go on a paddle adventure without another soul in sight.
The only downside? If you want to visit the Ten Thousand Islands, you need to be prepared for a long day of paddling. Once you arrive at the visitor’s center, it’s a 2.5 paddle to Sandfly Island, one of the most popular islands.
While meandering through the mangroves, you can bring along your fishing gear, practice yoga, or admire the natural beauty around you.
8. Pensacola Beach For the SUP Win
If it’s your first time trying paddleboarding on the open water, Pensacola Beach will help you find your feet.
There is an ideal launching place for beginners, and the serene waters will have you paddling like a pro in no time!
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the sidewalks have plenty of eateries serving up delicious local cuisine. Or you can soak up the sun on the sugar-white sand and slip into the laidback atmosphere of Pensacola Beach.
9. Tampa Bay is a SUP Dream
Tampa Bay is home to Florida’s largest open-water estuary. It stretches across 400 square miles and is fed by hundreds of tributaries.
But what makes Tampa Bay such an excellent SUP destination is the shallow water. On average, it’s 12 feet deep.
It’s the perfect depth for swimming and clear enough to see the bottom!
As you paddle through the bay, you can see marine life, like dolphins, manatees, shrimp, and over 200 species of fish!
If you’re not comfortable paddling by yourself, you can join one of the touring companies for a full-day adventure around the bay. It’s a great option for solo travelers visiting Tampa, or if all your friends are busy on the weekend.
Gear Up with Vanhunks
Do you have a favorite stand up paddleboarding destination in Florida? Did your go-to spot make the list? Sound off in the comments!
Got any questions about the gear you need for your next SUP trip? Feel free to give us a call, or pop into our VanHunks Sarasota, Florida store!