With some of the best beaches and coastlines in the U.S., it is no wonder that Miami is such a hotspot for water activities. From swimming to sunbathing, Miami’s conditions are perfect for spending the day outdoors. Canoeing and kayaking in Miami offer a unique way to tour these beautiful places! Whether you’re looking for a thrilling ocean adventure or a quiet pond, a day spent kayaking in Miami is an awesome way to explore the outdoors.
Kayaking in Miami is a great activity for all ages and abilities. It’s time to take advantage of the blue waters, beaches and sunshine! Below is our complete guide to the most scenic places to go canoeing and kayaking inMiami.
Best Places to Go Canoeing and Kayaking in Miami
- Location: Key Biscayne
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Crandon Park or Miami Kiteboarding
A natural beach boasting tons of wildlife, Crandon Park is a family-friendly spot open to canoe and kayakers of all abilities! Crandon Park is divided into North and South Beaches- North Beach offers prime paddling views while South Beach has more challenging waters.
Many paddlers enjoy exploring the nearby mangroves and Rickenbacker Causeway. If you are in the mood for a longer paddle, Crandon Park has a stunning route that reaches the famous Cape Florida Lighthouse.
Known for its relaxing and family-friendly atmosphere, Crandon Park is a wonderful spot for beginners to experience the joys of paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking in Miami. Quaint picnic spots, volleyball nets and scenic bike paths will make Crandon Park your new favorite beach getaway!
Rentals are available on the North Beach side of Crandon Park next to the Marjorie Stoneman Nature Center ($25/hour). Or, you can rent gear from nearby Miami Kiteboarding ($20/hour). If you have your own boat, you can launch anywhere along the sandy coastline.
How to Get There: Take FL-913 S and keep left on the Rickenbacker Causeway until you reach the park.
- Location: Biscayne Bay
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Virginia Key Outdoor Center ($25/hour)
A perfect combination of the urban and the outdoors, Miami’s Virginia Key is a must- see island to explore this Summer. With gorgeous skyline views on one side and the scenic Key Biscayne on the other, touring Virginia Key will amaze all paddlers.
Virginia Key has tons of paddling activities for each age and ability level. Intermediate and advanced paddlers can challenge their skills by paddling around the island (six miles total) in the blue waters of Key Biscayne. Families and beginners can easily paddle along the coast and see the Miami skyline.
Special to Virginia Key, visitors really love seeing the historic Miami Marine Stadium. Once an epic concert venue, now the Stadium’s unique architecture draws in admirers and is a nice distance to paddle to from the beaches of Virginia Key.
From the hidden wildlife in Key Biscayne to the urban architecture in the distance, Virginia Key’s diversity makes it a spectacular place to go kayaking in Miami.
Visitors can rent canoe, kayak, paddle board and mountain biking gear from the Virginia Key Outdoor Center ($25/hour). Or, you can launch your own boat from the Miami Rowing Center.
How to Get There: Take FL-913 S and keep left on the Rickenbacker Causeway and exit at Arther Lamb Jr. Rd.
Matheson Hammock Park
- Location: Coral Gables
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Matheson Hammock Marina
Sandy beaches and blue waters make up Matheson Hammock Park! A hidden gem for kayaking in Miami, Matheson Hammock Park’s reasonable size and calm waters are ideal for kids and families.
Designed to showcase all of Miami’s beautiful landscapes, visitors are able to explore swamps, mangroves, and the sparkling Biscayne Bay all in one place!
This man-made atoll is a lovely spot to go swimming and paddling. Skyline views are the backdrop for a small mangrove forest which boasts tons of wildlife! Matheson Hammock Park is the place to go for a quiet, relaxing, short paddle. In addition to these gorgeous views, visitors enjoy going to the nearby Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens.
Rentals are available at the Matheson Hammock Marina along with a boating school for young children. Otherwise, you can launch your own boat anywhere along these gorgeous beaches.
How to Get There: Take US-1 S to Matheson Park and continue straight to Matheson Park Rd.
Oleta River State Park
- Location: Biscayne Bay
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Oleta River State Park
Miami’s Oleta River State Park is an outdoor lover’s dream! White sand beaches and an endless coastline provide the perfect location for any water adventure you could imagine.
The park itself provides tons of awesome programs for paddlers of all abilities and interests. Every Friday, the park has guided sunset paddle tours with views that will take your breath away. Other favorite programs include paddle board yoga on Sundays and Full Moon kayak tours.
If you want to explore the coast on your own, Oleta River State Park will set you up with kayak rentals and start you off in the right direction. During your paddle, you are sure to see tons of wildlife in the mangroves and other beautiful natural landscapes.
Oleta River State Park offers daily canoe, kayak, and SUP rentals ($17/hour). Or, you can bring your own boat and launch off of the park’s beautiful beaches.
How to Get There: Take I-95 N and exit at 10B for FL-916. Then, continue to Interama Blvd. to the park.
Biscayne National Park
- Location: Homestead
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Biscayne National Park
From shallow bays teeming with marine wildlife to open fresh waters, kayaking around Biscayne National Park is the private paddling destination you have been looking for!
Shallow clear waters dedicated to non-motorized boats create the perfect atmosphere for paddlers of all abilities. Jones Lagoon and Adams Key are prime launch spots especially for novice paddlers. In these shallow areas, paddlers can spot jellyfish, rays, fish and birds.
Paddlers looking for a more challenging paddle can explore the seven mile expanse of Biscayne Bay to Elliott or Boca Chita Keys. Along the way, visitors can explore mini islands and other hidden gems.
Whether you are looking for a simple afternoon paddle or an exciting water adventure, Biscayne National Park’s diverse waterways provide some of the best kayaking in Miami! Rentals are available at Biscayne National Park from Wednesday to Sunday. Otherwise, you can launch your own boat from Adams Key.
How to Get There: Take US-1 S to FL-874 S. Use the Ronal Reagan Turnpike to to get onto SW 328th St. to get to the park.
Black Point Marina
- Location: Miami-Dade County
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Black Point Marina
With picturesque nature trails and calm water, Black Point Marina is an amazing place to begin your kayak journey. A major daytime destination, Black Point Marina is a gathering place for outdoor lovers all year-round.
With a few mapped canoe routes (ranging from 1-3 miles long) Black Point Marina’s mission is to get you on the water in a safe and efficient way so you can explore Miami’s diverse marine ecosystems.
The waterways near Black Point Marina are suitable for all abilities and all routes are relatively short paddles. A quiet, private, and scenic place to paddle, Black Point Marina is perfect for those looking to get away from busy city life.
As Miami’s largest marina, Black Point has all of your canoe and kayak essentials. You can rent gear from Black Point Marina or launch your own boat on their 24-hour open access ramps.
How to Get There: Take US-1 S to Fl-874 S. Then use the Ronald Regan Turnpike to get onto SW 87th Ave to reach the park.
- Location: Miami
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Ivey House
The third largest wilderness area in the U.S., Everglades National Park is a paddler’s paradise also vital for protecting endangered species like manatee, American crocodile, and the Florida panther.
The Everglades’ winding canoe and kayak trails can last from a few hours to several days. Popular paddle destinations are Flamingo Bay trails (launch from Flamingo Marina 38 miles from south of main park entrance) which include Nine Mile Pond and Hell’s Bay. These trails are famous for covering both mangrove forests and grassy wetlands.
Backcountry kayaking is also an option near the Florida Bay, where you can explore over 100,000 mini islands along 99 miles waterway. This area of the park is best suited for advanced paddlers.
Kayak and boat rentals are available at Ivey House, but the park also has a list of recommended guides that can help you navigate the extensive trail network that make up the Everglades.
How to Get There: Take I-95 N and take exit 3A toward Jackson. Continue on US-41 W to Shark Valley Loop Rd. reach the visitor’s center.
- Location: Palm Beach County
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Jupiter Outdoor Center
A full 8.5 miles of rugged scenery, kayaking in Miami’s Loxahatchee River is a wonderful way to explore the untouched beauty of Florida. From twisty and narrow passages to rushing waters, Loxahatchee River is the best river paddling in Miami.
While some paddlers enjoy kayaking the whole 8.5 miles of the river downstream, it is recommended to paddle around the two parks that span the river. About 4 miles of the river are through the majestic cypress forests and mangroves of Riverbend Park. Here, paddlers can enjoy a peaceful paddle among ancient natural landscapes.
The other park, Jonathon Dickinson State Park, offers a more thrilling kayaking experience. Here, paddlers can experience the rushing waters that surround Trapper Nelson’s Cabin. This historic landmark once belonged to a famous fur trapper who developed the area into a zoo and botanical garden. Now, paddlers can kayak the area and see Nelson’s livelihood.
These two sections of the river, both about 4 miles, offer vastly different ways to see Miami’s natural beauty. Returning paddlers love exploring both areas, and Loxahatchee’s stunning landscape keeps visitors coming back.
Rentals are available in Riverbend Park at the Jupiter Outdoor Center. There are also many outfitters that can guide you down the river with shuttles between the two parks. Otherwise, you can launch your own boat along the coastline.
How to Get There: Take I-95 N toward Florid’s Turnpike. Take exit 116 toward Jupiter and continue to River Dr.
- Location: Miami
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Gulf Coast Visitor Center
The Ten Thousand Islands are home to some of the most vibrant foliage and wildlife in Southern Florida. Although most of these islands are too remote for casual kayaking, Sandfly Island provides to perfect peek into these beautiful tropical islands.
The best place to launch your boats is from the Gulf Coast Visitor Center of Everglades National Park. From there, paddlers can cross the wide-open waters of Chokoloskee Bay and pass many sandy beaches until arriving at Sandly Island.
With a rich pioneer history (with houses you can explore) and tropical wildlife, kayaking around Sandfly Island is one of the most unique paddling experiences around the Miami area. Roundtrip, the paddle is relatively short (about 5 miles) but is packed with stunning views, gorgeous trees, and tons of places to explore.
Rentals and guided expeditions to Sandlfly Island from Everglades Park are available through the Gulf Coast Visitor Center. Or, you can launch your own boat and explore this hidden gem at your own pace. Sandfly’s manageable size and flat waters make it an awesome water adventure to try on your own.
How to Get There: Take I-95 N and to exit 3A toward Jackson. Continue on US-41 W to Country Rd. 29 to reach the park.
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park
- Location: Dania Beach
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park
Previously known as John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park is one of Miami’s most beautiful mangrove-lined coastlines. With a rich history in the civil rights movement, visiting Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park offers a unique combination of culture and history in a stunning natural landscape.
Within the park, paddlers can enjoy scenic water routes on Whiskey Creek. This spot is ideal for beginner paddlers looking to spot wildlife on calm, flat waters. Whether you are canoeing, kayaking, floating or paddle boarding, Whiskey Creek is a nice place to get away from the city and reconnect with nature.
Besides paddling, visitors can also relax on pristine sandy beaches or have an active day on the many running and biking trails. Canoe, kayak, and paddle boarding gear are available for rent at the park. Otherwise, you can launch your own boat and explore miles of gorgeous mangrove ecosystems on your own.
How to Get There: Take I-95 N to exit 23 toward Griffin Rd. Continue on US-1 S to Dania Beach Blvd. and take exit FL-A1A S to reach the park.
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
- Location: Fort Lauderdale
- Rentals Available: Yes- at Hugh taylor Birch State Park
A vibrant center for the community, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park has an abundance of water activities and environmental spaces to explore. With access to both the Atlantic Ocean and intercoastal waterways, this park has prime paddling conditions all year -round.
From mangrove-lined coasts to wide-open water, avid canoe and kayakers will love exploring Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Out on the water, kayakers can get a special look at the dune ecosystems on the beach. This beautiful natural landscape is complimented by rare maritime tropical hammock forests. Between leisurely hikes in the forest to epic ocean kayaking, there is no shortage of places to explore here!
Rentals are available in the park. Visitors can also experience guided tours of the coastal area, and many people especially love the Full Moon Paddle. Or, you can launch your own boat at one of the many open access boat ramps in the park.
How to Get There: Take I-95 N to edit 23A toward Sunrise Blvd. Continue to N Birch Rd. to reach the park.
What to Pack for Kayaking In & Around Miami
- Swimsuit: Wearing a swimsuit is essential for being out on the water! When canoeing and kayaking, chances are you are going to get wet, so best to be prepared! Click here to compare styles and prices for our favorite swimsuits.
- Sunglasses: Being out on the water is beautiful, but the water can really reflect light! Make sure to bring a pair of sunglasses and croakies to keep them from falling off.
- Hat: It’s best to keep the sun of your head to keep you cool. Whether you prefer a nice bucket hat or a vintage baseball cap, keeping cool will ensure an awesome trip.
- Water Bottle: Keeping hydrated is no joke! Paddling is a great way to exercise and relax, but that means it takes a lot of energy too! Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your trip with these cool water bottles.
- Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Don’t let the elements stop you from having an amazing paddle! I recommend bringing sunscreen and bug spray in the boat with ou to ward off any pests and sunburns.
For a more complete packing list, check out our ultimate kayaking packing list to help you prepare for all of your outdoor kayak adventures. These essentials will make your time kayaking and canoeing in Charlotte an unforgettable experience!
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