Wet & Wild: Water Parks and Boating Adventures in Miami

By: Kara Franker

On-the-water attractions and adventures in Miami.

Calling all thrill seekers and adventure junkies! Not only does Miami have miles and miles of white sand beaches and stunning aquamarine water to explore at your leisure, the Magic City also has a number of boat tours and water parks that will satisfy your need for speed and take you off the beaten path.

Celeb-studded super fast adventure speed boat tour

Hop in a 55-foot neon-colored power catamaran and ride the waves at speeds topping 50 miles per hour. Thriller Miami offers exciting speedboat tours of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. From the water you’ll be able to check out the gorgeous mansions on Key Biscayne, Fisher Island and Star Island -- where you might even see a few celebrity homes, too.

Explore secluded and hidden gems, only accessible by boat

Want to see Miami like the locals do? Ocean Force Adventures Boat Tour offers a sightseeing adventure that caters to smaller groups and explores both popular landmarks and secluded locales that only the insiders know about. Take a seat in the six-passenger high-performance Zodiac RIB boat and get ready to explore nearly 40 miles of Miami coastline, including Stiltsville — Prohibition-era shacks on stilts that sit in the middle of Biscayne Bay’s shallow seagrass beds near Key Biscayne.

Take a ride into Miami’s wild side, a.k.a. the Florida Everglades

Here’s your chance to get up close and personal with wildlife like alligators and snakes roaming free in the Everglades — you might want to keep all your fingers and toes inside the boat for this tour, but don’t forget to bring your camera. Step outside your comfort zone and take a boat ride on Miami’s wild side. Coopertown Airboat Rides & Restaurant offers guided airboat tours and features an on-site restaurant serving exotic delicacies like frog legs and gator tail. Everglades Swamp Tours will take you on a thrilling airboat ride with speeds up to 40mph. While gliding across the water you will see many wading birds and turtles, not to mention, alligators. They also offer tandem kayak rentals.

Family-friendly fun in a Miami-style water park

Grab an inner tube and wind your way around the Buccaneer River Ride at Grapeland Water Park. Located near the airport, this family-friendly water park features four sparkling pools, multiple slick water slides and a splash and play area for younger children. Or head to Jungle Island's private beach, a.k.a. Parrot Cove, where you'll also find the Rainforest Riptide. This on-the-water obstacle course is open seasonally and features ocean trampolines, slides, cliffs and swings. It’s the perfect way to spend the day soaking up the Miami sunshine and staying cool by the water.

A leisurely cruise along “Millionaire’s Row ” and Downtown Miami

If a more scenic sightseeing experience is your speed, then sit back and relax for a narrated tour along the coast on a yacht. Island Queen Cruises offers tours of “Millionaire’s Row” — spectacular homes of some of Miami’s rich and famous residents. You’ll have the option of hanging out on the upper-deck with the fresh ocean breezes and vistas that go for miles, or sitting below in the air-conditioned lower salon with giant windows and panoramic views.

Score and Save with the GoMiamiCard

The GoMiamiCard is a multi-attraction pass that gets you access to certain Miami tours and museums as well as discounts on shopping and dining. Visit places like the Miami Seaquarium and Jungle Island, for free with the card.

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