Enjoy Miami On The Water

By Shayne Benowitz | Jun 1, 2017
Miami fishing charter
Miami makes a superb launch for a fishing trip - big or small

From Biscayne Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, there are countless ways to enjoy Miami on the water.

Miami is a city that’s defined by water as much as it is by land. With the barrier islands of Key Biscayne and Miami Beach serving as buffers between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, it’s easy to feel like there’s water all around you. Miami is also home to two national parks whose ecosystems are largely dependent on water. Biscayne National Park’s 172,000 acres is 95% underwater making it the largest marine park in the national system. Everglades National Park is composed of 1.5 million acres acres of subtropical wetlands known as the “river of grass.” When visiting Miami, there’s no shortage of opportunities to get on the water, soak up the sun and revel in the natural beauty.

The Beaches & the Bay

Miami is famous for its miles of beautiful shoreline, so the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean are an obvious place to start when it comes to enjoying the water. You can head straight to the heart of South Beach with its festive atmosphere along Ocean Drive and Lummus Park or find a quiet refuge at the tip of Key Biscayne at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and Beach. There’s so much beauty to soak in with mesmerizing aquamarine water lapping against the shoreline and bright sun beating down through the palm trees. From Sunny Isles Beach to Surfside, Oleta River State Park to Matheson Hammock Park Beach, Miami has everything from luxury service at a seaside resort to rustic nature preserves. Biscayne Bay also presents striking vistas from South Beach to Downtown and Coconut Grove where bayfront parks, museums and marinas are found along the coast.

Boating & Sailing

If gazing at the water from shore simply isn’t enough, there are ample opportunities to get offshore aboard a charter cruise or boat tour. For a classic tour of Miami’s million dollar homes on Star Island and the dazzling downtown skyline, embark on an Island Queen Cruise aboard their 140-passenger boat with air-conditioned cabins and outdoor viewing decks. For a different kind of adventure, Ocean Force Adventures sets out from the Miami Beach Marina aboard six passenger, high speed Zodiacs to the historic Stiltsville homes offshore in Biscayne Bay. For a thrill ride, hop aboard the Thriller Miami Speedboat where you’ll zoom around sights like PortMiami, Star Island, Monument Island, Fisher Island and South Beach at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

If you’d rather take the helm yourself, you can always charter a power boat or sailboat from a variety of companies including Y Charter Miami, Tropical Boat Charters, Yolo Boat Rentals and Shake-A-Leg.

Kayaking & Canoeing

Miami’s waterways are tranquil and calm throughout the year, making them the ideal venue for kayaking, canoeing and standup paddleboarding. From South Beach to Key Biscayne, Oleta River State Park, Homestead and Coconut Grove, there are unique waterways to explore and ample vendors renting equipment.

Discover Key Biscayne and Virginia Key from Sailboards Miami Water Sports, the Virginia Key Outdoor Center or Crandon Park. Eco Adventures services Matheson Hammock Park and South Beach Kayak in Sunset Harbour is a family-owned establishment renting kayaks and paddleboards.

Snorkeling & Diving

Miami’s waters are connected to the third largest barrier reef in the world, known as the Florida Straits. There are a wide variety of opportunities to snorkel and dive both natural and artificial reef sites just off shore. Outfitters like Tarpoon Lagoon, South Beach Divers, Grove Scuba and Diver’s Paradise all offer SCUBA certification courses and can arrange dive and snorkel trips.

Emerald Reef and Long Reef are both excellent natural reefs for beginner divers and snorkelers with average depths between 15 and 30 feet. Long Reef, which is found just off of Elliott Key is also where you’ll encounter the Alicia shipwreck from 1905.

The Neptune Memorial Reef is a manmade reef east of Key Biscayne built to resemble the Lost City of Atlantis with an average depth of 35-feet. The Jose Cuervo is another artificial reef accessible by shore diving off of South Beach, roughly 150 yards southeast of the Second Street lifeguard station.

For more advanced dives with greater depth, Sheri-Lyn, DEMA Trader and Almirante are all popular wreck dives. Sheri-Lyn is a 235-foot long steel passenger freight that was sunk as an artificial reef in June, 1987. DEMA Trader is a 165-foot long freighter that was sunk 3.5 miles off Key Biscayne in October, 2003. Almirante is a 200-foot long steel freighter that was sunk off Elliot Key in 1974.

Fishing

From the shallow flats of Biscayne Bay to deep sea fishing on the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream, not to mention easy access to the bountiful waters of the Florida Keys and the Bahamas, Miami makes for a superb launch for a fishing trip—big or small.

For that reason, there are plenty of expert fishing guides to choose from to meet your needs. A few to consider include The Treasure Fleet, Top Gun Fishing Charters, Miss Britt Charters, Outcast Sportfishing and Bouncer Dusky 33.

For party boat charters where you’ll fish with a larger group at a lower cost and receive helpful instruction, seek out the Reward Fleet or the Kelley Fleet. There are also ample opportunities to fish from land at South Pointe Park Pier, the Haulover Inlet Jetty, Newport Fishing Pier in Sunny Isles Beach, the Pelican Harbor Marina and Oleta River State Park.

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