Key Biscayne Boating & Watersports

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Kayaking

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By: Shayne Benowitz

With scenic Biscayne Bay and the vast Atlantic Ocean close at hand, Miami is a waterfront playground. And situated just a couple of miles off the coast of downtown Miami, Key Biscayne and Virginia Key are Miami’s boating paradise. Home to the annual Miami Boat Show at Miami Marine Stadium, the islands are a natural destination for boating and watersports enthusiasts. Featuring panoramic water views everywhere you turn, Key Biscayne also offers plenty of opportunities to get out on the water. 

Sea Turtle
Miami's waters are home to a diversity of marine life, including loggerhead sea turtles.

Crandon Park Marina & Beach

Set at the north end of Key Biscayne, Crandon Park is a lush outdoor oasis. In addition to a tennis center and golf course, the park has a marina and beach offering plenty of boating and watersports activities. Book a fishing charter at the marina or simply stroll along the docks at sunset to enjoy beautiful views of the bay and Miami’s downtown skyline. Crandon Park is also home to Diver’s Paradise, where you can sign up to head out aboard their dive boat for a diving or snorkeling adventure exploring Miami’s abundant nearby artificial reefs and nature preserves. They also offer learn-to-dive courses. At Crandon Park Beach, Miami EcoAdventures offers a variety of watersports, from kayaking and canoeing to snorkeling along a fossilized reef and learning how to fish from land or aboard a kayak. 

Historic Lighthouse
The historic lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park & No Name Harbor

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a wonderful destination for boaters and watersports enthusiasts of all sorts. Home to one of the most picturesque and tranquil beaches in Miami, as well as a historic lighthouse, the park is located at the southern end of Key Biscayne. If you’ve chartered a boat from Crandon Park or another Miami area marina, you can tie up for the day or overnight for boat camping in the anchorage at No Name Harbor in Bill Baggs. While there aren’t any vendors offering rentals, you can launch your own kayak or canoe in the designated area. Bill Baggs is also a popular spot for shoreline surf fishing if you bring your own bait and tackle.

Sandcastle in historic Virginia Key Beach
Historic Virginia Key Beach

Virginia Key Outdoor Center

Located on the way from Miami to Key Biscayne, just off the Rickenbacker Causeway,Virginia Key Beach North Point Park is a wonderful location that will make you feel like you’re much farther away from Downtown Miami than you actually are. In addition to the quiet beaches and nature trails, Virginia Key North Point Park is home to the Virginia Key Outdoor Center, where you can rent paddleboards and kayaks to explore a tranquil lagoon that opens onto Biscayne Bay. There’s a good chance you’ll spot manatees and other exciting marine life during your adventure here.

Hobie Beach
Hobie Island Beach Park is a dog-friendly beach.

Hobie Island Beach Park & Rickenbacker Marina

In Hobie Island Beach Park, located alongside the Rickenbacker Causeway as you make your way toward Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, you’ll find one of the most unique spits of sand in Miami. Not only is it one of Miami’s only dog-friendly beaches, it’s also a popular destination for windsurfers because conditions are often just right, with flat water and predictable winds. Onsite vendor Miami Watersports offers lessons and rents equipment not only for windsurfing, but also for kayaking and paddleboarding along the mangrove shoreline. Just across the causeway, the Rickenbacker Marina is home to the South Florida Boat Club, which offers fishing charters and pleasure cruises.

Kayaking in Biscayne National Park
Kayaking in Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park

Due south of Key Biscayne, Biscayne Bay becomes part of one of the country’s most unique national parks. Reachable by boat from Crandon Park or any marina elsewhere in Miami, Biscayne National Park is 95 percent underwater, composed of a marine preserve and an archipelago of small keys, which are a paradise for snorkeling, diving, fishing and camping by boat. A trusty local guide can direct you to the best spots, no matter what kind of watersports activity you prefer.

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