Our name may say Go Boating Florida but that’s mainly because “Go Water Activities Florida” doesn’t quite have that same ring to it. The truth is, we’re big fans of all kinds of recreational water activities, not just boating alone! The Sunshine State provides limitless opportunities to spend time on the water. So if you’re looking to spice up your boating routine or your next vacation, try some of these other ways to find fun on the water.
Canoeing & Kayaking
Going for a canoe or kayak ride is a great way to slow down and smell the roses, or in this case mangroves! You’ll feel like you’re in a completely different world when you’re paddling along in the back bay. Canoeing or kayaking down the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail will take you back in time to when the ancient Calusa tribe paddled down these same trails over a thousand years ago. If fishing is your go-to, take the fight down to water level by renting a fishing kayak. Sight casting for redfish and snook is one of the best ways to enjoy a slower pace of life.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Many have seen Florida’s beauty from above water but, not everyone can say they’ve explored below the surface. If you’re already SCUBA certified, about two dozen dive spots are waiting for you just beyond the sandy SWFL beaches. If shelling is more your speed than coming face to face with goliath grouper, snorkeling may be the better adventure for you. Check the tides and weather to see when the waters will be most clear and bring your snorkeling equipment with you during a beach trip to see some of the species that live close to shore.
The warm waters of SWFL are a great place to try stand up paddle boarding (SUP) for the first time. Half the fun is falling off into the refreshing water! Once you’ve found your balance, you can incorporate more activities like attaching a cooler to your board and enjoying a picnic out at the beach. Going out for a moonlight paddle with a local charter to see the gorgeous stars can make for a great date night. You could also hire a SUP yoga instructor to show you how to take your practice off the mat and onto the water.
Floating down a river covered by shady Cypress trees is a great way to escape the heat. Tubing is a pastime favored by locals and visitors alike, so no matter where you choose to go, get there early. Most river rides last an hour to two and some allow you to get back on land before the river ends if needed. The further up Florida’s west coast you go, the cooler and clearer the waters usually get.
If you think our waterways are beautiful from down in the boat, just wait until you’re up in the air! Going parasailing will give you a whole new perspective on areas you may have been boating in for years. Depending on where you go, you can also see landmarks like the Sunshine Skyway Bridge or the Naples Pier. Soaring in the air can seem intimidating, but rest assured all you have to do is sit down in a specialized harness and let the professionals handle the rest.
Boating Is Just the Beginning
No matter how many times you head out on the boat, it just doesn’t seem to get old. Each trip offers something different and provides for lifelong memories. While boating may be our favorite, water activities of all kinds are a big part of the Floridian lifestyle. Our website is filled with resources and recommendations for finding fun on SWFL’s waterways.