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Surfs up in Florida

Try These Florida Water Sports

Plan a visit to Florida and enjoy a wide range of fun and unique water sports. From stand up paddle boarding, to the snorkeling along the Florida Keys, there's a bound to be a water sport just for you. 

1. Stand up paddle boarding 

Because Florida features miles of beaches and a seemingly endless amount of lakes, stand up paddle boarding has become one of the most popular water sports across the state.

Stand up paddle boarding is, essentially, standing on a paddle board and slowing navigating calm waters with a long oar. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned veteran to the sport, find any of the top paddle boarding destinations in Florida. 

Sand Sculpting in FL.

Stand up paddle boarding.

Visit Daytona Beach and check out the Three Brothers Stand Up Paddle Board Tours, or the nearby East Coast Paddle Co., who'll take you all around the Mosquito Lagoon near New Smyrna Beach

2. Dragon Boat racing

Celebrating a traditional Chinese past-time, Dragon Boat Races have become a popular team-based water sport. Similar to what you might see Crew rowers do, Dragon Boat Racing features long, canoe-like like boats seating up to 20 paddlers, with one sweeper at the back (who steers), and a "caller" at the front. 

One of the most popular Dragon Boat Races in Florida is the South Florida Dragon Boat Festival in Miami. Held in early October each year at Miami Beach's Haulover Park, the South Florida Dragon Boat Festival is a short drive away from North Miami, and Kendall.

In the Orlando area, head for Tavares and check out the Central Florida Dragon Boat Festival, held in mid-March.

Sand Sculpting in FL.

Sand Sculpting in FL.

3. Windsurfing

Windsurfing is one of the most ideal ways to enjoy a spring or summer day on the waters near Florida. Out near Kissimmee, head to Kelly Park just off of Highway 52 – you'll find Calema Windsurfing & Watersports, who'll get you geared up and ready to hit the waves on the Banana River.

Closer to Tampa, don't miss the North Beach Windsurfing School for private lessons and all of the gear rental you'll need. 

4. cave diving

While cave diving is, ideally, suited for those with SCUBA experience, it's something anyone can learn. Florida features a wide selection of excellent underwater caves, ideal for a fun afternoon of diving.

Near Tampa, you can explore Arch Sink, while any visit to Naples should include a dive into Naples Sink.

From Gainesville, head northwest along I-75 and find High Springs – it's home to Ginnie Springs, one of the clearest springs in the state. 

5. Sand Sculpting

Sand Sculpting in FL.

Parasailing in Florida.

Building sand castles on the beach might a kid-favorite, but it's grown into a national sensation, with contests popping up at beaches all across the US. In Florida, take advantage of the many beaches and check out these sand sculpting events.

Visit Fort Myers Beach in early April and don't miss Sand Bash: Master Sand Sculpting Competition & Advanced Amateur National Championships.

Head for Pompano Beach in mid-June for the Extreme Kayak Fishing.com Sansculpting Amateur Contest. Lake Worth Beach hosts the Lake Worth Beach Sandsculpting & Seafood Festival the last weekend in January.

6. Surfing

Make the most of your next visit to Florida and try these excellent surfing spots. From small coves in Destin, to the major beaches near Miami and Fort Lauderdale, find grab your board and catch some major waves in Florida.

Head for St. Andrews State Park for excellent surfing along the FL Panhandle – it's an easy drive from Panama City and Apalachicola. In northeast Florida, New Smyrna Beach features the Ponce de Leon Inlet, one of the area's premier surf destinations.

7. Parasailing

Also known as "parakiting" and "parascending," parasailing is a popular and unique way to see the beaches and shores of Florida. Cocoa Beach, just south of Titusville, is home to some of the top parasailing adventures in the state. Out in Key West, check out Parawest Parasailing Key West, and in Clearwater Beach visit Sky's The Limit Parasail for exceptional parasailing tours. 

Sand Sculpting in FL.

Snorkel clear waters in Florida.

8. Snorkeling

Experience Florida water sports with an up close and personal approach – snorkeling. Enjoy a unique and relaxing experience as you swim along the calm, warm waters of the Atlantic, peering down into the sea life below.

The Florida Keys make for a particularly excellent snorkeling destination. Explore the pristine, shallow waters at Indian Key Historic State Park

In Boca Raton, don't miss Red Reef Park where you'll snorkel around a massive formation of natural coral rocks. Many who snorkel at Red Reef Park have been known to spot snapper, blue tang, parrotfish, and other exciting breeds.


Best Western Hotels Along the Way:


Best Western Apalach Inn

249 US Highway 98, Apalachicola FL 32320-1871
Phone: +1 850-653-9131  |  Fax: (850) 653-9136  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus University Inn

2700 N Federal Highway, Boca Raton FL 33431-7720
Phone: +1 561-395-5225  |  Fax: (561) 338-9180  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Aku Tiki Inn

2225 S Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach FL 32118-5007
Phone: +1 386-252-9631  |  Fax: (386) 252-1198  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western International Speedway Hotel

2620 W International Speedway Boulevard, Daytona Beach FL 32114-1120
Phone: +1 386-258-6333  |  Fax: (386) 254-3698  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Oceanside Inn

1180 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale FL 33316-2426
Phone: +1 954-525-8115  |  Fax: (954) 525-1316  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port

1221 W State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale FL 33315-2349
Phone: +1 954-462-7005  |  Fax: (954) 462-5949  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Beach Resort

684 Estero Boulevard, Fort Myers Beach FL 33931-5021
Phone: +1 239-463-6000  |  Fax: (239) 463-3013  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Gateway Grand

4200 NW 97th Boulevard, Gainesville FL 32606-3742
Phone: +1 352-331-3336  |  Fax: (352) 331-3337  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Kendall Hotel & Suites

8560 SW 124th Avenue, Kendall FL 33183-4600
Phone: +1 305-271-4848  |  Fax: (305) 271-4871  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Key Ambassador Resort Inn

3755 S Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West FL 33040-5255
Phone: +1 305-296-3500  |  Fax: (305) 296-9961  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Hibiscus Motel

1313 Simonton Street, Key West FL 33040-3113
Phone: +1 305-294-3763  |  Fax: (305) 293-9243  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Miami-Doral/Dolphin Mall

3875 NW 107th Avenue, Miami FL 33178-4292
Phone: +1 305-463-7195  |  Fax: (305) 463-7154  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Premier Miami International Airport Hotel & Suites

4100 Flagler Street, Miami FL 33134
Phone: +1 305-774-6100  |  Fax: (305) 774-6200  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Miami Airport North Hotel & Suites

131 Fairway Drive, Miami FL 33166-5849
Phone: +1 786-515-1880  |  Fax: (305) 884-4404  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Kendall Airport Hotel & Suites

13700 SW 139th Ct, Miami FL 33186-5570
Phone: +1 305-969-1600  |  Fax: (305) 969-1400  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Atlantic Beach Resort

4101 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach FL 33140-3210
Phone: +1 305-673-3337  |  Fax: (305) 531-9924  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Naples Inn & Suites

2329 9th Street N, Naples FL 34103-4404
Phone: +1 239-261-1148  |  Fax: (239) 262-4684  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites

1401 S Atlantic Avenue, New Smyrna Beach FL 32169-3113
Phone: +1 386-426-0020  |  Fax: (386) 423-3977  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Windsor Inn

12210 Biscayne Boulevard, North Miami FL 33181-2714
Phone: +1 305-891-7350  |  Fax: (305) 891-6322  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Tampa

734 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa FL 33609-4403
Phone: +1 813-490-2378  |  Fax: (813) 490-2380  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Space Shuttle Inn

3455 Cheney Highway, Titusville FL 32780-2502
Phone: +1 321-269-9100  |  Fax: (321) 383-4674  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

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