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Make a Splash: 15 Best Activities for Water Lovers in Miami

by Roslie L.
Published: Updated:
Everglades Safari Park Airboat Miami Everglades Florida

Miami’s stunning waters are for much more than just admiring their beauty from the sandy shores. And the perfect remedy to a hot day in the Florida sun is to spend it on the waterways. Experience the thrill of popular Miami water activities for exploring marine life below the surface, seeing coastal views from the water surface, or even soaring above the surface for an aerial perspective of Miami.

So, pack your bathing suits, wet suits, and other beach gear because you’re about to drench your day with fun in the water.

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Top Water Sports in Miami for Thrill Seekers

Looking for something exciting to add to your weekend Miami itinerary? Discover popular sightseeing tours, sunsets, wildlife spotting, or escapes to distant islands for unique ways to experience Miami.

1. Jet skiing

Boats and jet ski on Biscayne Bay Miami Beach FL

Rev up your engines and prepare to rip through Biscayne Bay on a jet ski at top speeds. Modern skyscrapers lining the Miami skyline fade into the background as you glide and bounce atop the tranquil water surface. Ride solo or take a companion on a thrilling jet ski ride neither of you will soon forget.

Local rental companies provide everything you need for a day out enjoying one of the top water sports in Miami Beach. Rent a jet ski and ride across the waves in the beautiful waters of Miami.

2. Parasailing

Soar high above the ocean while being towed by a boat for the best panoramic views of Miami.

Watch your feet dangle as you soar over 400 feet above Biscayne Bay, where you’ll be at eye level with the Miami skyline while peering down at the beautiful hues of blue waters below.

What better way to experience the thrill of parasailing than with friends? Enjoy one of the best water activities in Miami with up to three friends. Be sure to bring your best smile for a unique photo opportunity of your experience.

3. Kayaking

Find the rhythm with your partner as you kayak the Miami waters. Tandem kayaks are an excellent activity for two, or join a group tour to explore the water wonders in Miami.

Create ripples in the still waters at Oleta River State Park as you cruise along waterways lined with mangrove trees before reaching hidden gems like Sandspur Island, best reached by boat. You’ll witness charming beach coves and attractions like the Haulover sandbar.

Explore the Miami waterways on a kayak. Go on self-guided tours or join a tour navigating the waters with an expert who will show you all the best about kayaking in Miami. Canoe rentals are also available.

4. Paddleboarding

Water adventures in Miami are about more than just high-speed actions. The water conditions are ideal for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) since the gentle waters make it easy for beginners to learn the best paddling techniques.

Navigate the waterways, where Miami’s modern skyline transforms into lush islands ready for adventurous seekers. Dock your boards and go for a hike or take in the views from the waterfront as you continue to the next point of interest.

Book your leisure paddleboarding experience, and appreciate more of the city’s natural beauty.

5. Snorkeling in Miami

Snorkeling is one of the top Miami water activities, thanks to the amazing aquatic life. The underwater world off the coast of Miami is flourishing, with colorful marine life waiting for those lucky enough to witness it.

Local snorkeling and diving centers provide visitors with the ultimate experience with private tours, lessons, and gear rentals to set off on your offshore excursions.

Discover the breathtaking coral reefs and marine life off the coast of Miami. Slide into the water from a boat at Biscayne National Park to see the emerald reef, or tuck your head underwater at John Pennekamp State Park to see the artificial reef, both active with tropical fish, sea turtles, and stingrays lurking in the waters.

6. Windsurfing

World-class waves don’t roll onto Miami shores, so windsurfing is the preferred way to ride the water’s surface. With the breezy coastal winds, your wind surfboard will catch every gust to maintain your ride across the bay.

You’re in complete control of your board as expert instructors show you how to manipulate the sails to navigate where you want and at your preferred speed. The lessons taught on the beach are soon put into action as you set off on an excursion riding along the coastline.

Those looking for a bit more wind activity can take their talents to the ocean.

7. Flyboarding

Thanks to technology, you’ll soon find yourself a flying sensation. Water jets shoot out from below your feet, propelling you up to 20 feet in the air in this unique water sport in Miami. Within seconds, you’ll go from wading in the water to practicing flip, carrying your partner in your arms as you fly through the air, or reliving your fantasies of being a superhero.

Try this high-flying session over the Atlantic with instructors at the helm showing you how to operate your new futuristic water gear.

Water Sports in Miami Beach

8. Sightseeing Speedboat Tour

green speed boat tour on water

Immerse yourself into Miami’s fast life with a sightseeing boat tour combining the thrill of high-speed cruising with sightseeing for a wild adventure out on the water.

The 45-minute feels like a lifetime as the high speeds allow you to cover much ground on an adrenaline-pumping water adventure.

Race across South Beach in seconds to see the iconic Art Deco architecture, or speed around Star Island to see the lavish mansions lining the waterfront.

Feel the spray of ocean water shooting up from behind the large speedboat as you bump along the rich turquoise blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

9. Sunset Cruise

Live the high life as you cruise on a luxury yacht on Biscayne Bay. Golden Hour is prime time for boats to cruise offshore just in time to catch one of the most alluring sunsets you’ve ever seen for the perfect Miami date idea.

Arrive promptly for departure because the magical Miami sunsets wait for no one. For 90 minutes, you’ll be immersed in the most enchanting time of day.

Cruise past Star Island and Venetian Island to see the million-dollar sunset views that your favorite celebrities enjoy every day. Views of the red and orange sunset prove why sunset cruises are one of the best water activities in South Beach.

👉 MORE: Popular Miami Sunset Cruises

10. Millionaire’s Row Cruise

Millionaires Row celebrity mansions along Biscayne Bay Miami, Florida and view of Miami skyline in the distance

Discover Miami as you’ve never seen before by getting a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle and see why Miami is the playground for the rich and famous.

Cruise the waterfronts of Biscayne Bay on a sightseeing tour of some of Miami’s most exclusive real estate areas. See mega-yachts casually docked outside of multi-million-dollar mansions on Millionaire’s Row.

Reserve the Millionaire’s Row Cruise, a 90-minute guided tour with an expert providing details about the famous personalities that live in the jaw-dropping mansions and stories about Miami’s history.

Admire the modern Miami condo skyrises lining the picturesque vistas from the water while fantasizing about where you might live if money were no object.

You may also like the South Beach Millionaire Homes & Venetian Islands Cruise.

Fun Water Activities in Miami

Get active during your trip to Miami with exciting water activities for all ages. See how you’ll maximize your day at the beach with these popular Miami water activities.

11. Airboat Tour

Everglades Safari Park Airboat Miami Everglades Florida

A giant fan whizzes behind you, and you glide across the flooded wetlands of the Everglades National Park. In less than an hour from Miami, you’ll find yourself in one of the most distinct natural landscapes in the US.

The Everglades National Park protects a vast ecosystem thriving with wildlife in and out of the water. Airboat tours are one of the best ways to get out onto the water and experience the landscape from this unique vantage point.

Stay alert for anything moving for a chance to see some of the many exciting species found in the Everglades. Avoid reaching out to touch those floating logs in the water because they may turn out to be lurking alligators, the park’s most famous residents. Flocks of birds fly overhead as you cruise at the perfect speeds to practice your wildlife or landscape photography.

12. Miami (Land and Sea) Tours

Red Big Bus Miami Tour Bus

From exploring Miami’s culture-rich neighborhoods to cruising the scenic bays of the coast, Miami land and sea tours are the best way to immerse yourself in the best that Miami offers.

When you can’t decide on what you want to see while visiting Miami, the unique land and sea tours let you do and see it all. 

Feel the refreshing breeze as you ride in the open-air double-decker Big Bus to see the artistic graffiti decorating the Wynwood neighborhood and other local Miami attractions.

Next, climb into the legendary Island Queen boat to cruise Biscayne Bay on a sightseeing excursion around mansion-lined islands and the iconic Miami skyline.

Miami land and sea tours fit an itinerary worth of activities in a full-day experience. The City Miami PLUS boat tour is another traveler favorite.

13. Banana Boat

Hold on tight because this banana boat ride is always exhilarating to fun-seeking families looking to partake in one of Miami’s most exciting water activities. Just when you’re comfortable on the 25-ft banana-shaped tube, you’ll be tugged into the bay on a wild ride that everyone will enjoy.

Speed matches the group’s energy, and top speeds are only reserved for those looking for a story to tell about their time on the bay. Water will splash as you slide around, but don’t worry; the life jackets are there to help if you slide into the warm water.

Book your banana boat experience here.

14. Sailing

Cruise across the gentle bay on a spacious catamaran as you take in the Miami views and soak in the Florida sun. Adjust your sails to catch the refreshing ocean breeze, much like the early explorers.

No experience is needed. First, learn the ropes from an expert before you’re put in the captain’s seat. Then, navigate the bay for an hour (or more) of fun on the water.

Enjoy the scenic beauty of Miami’s coast while sailing on a boat or catamaran.

15. Dolphin Watching

Climb aboard and cruise offshore, where you’re sure to spot the ocean’s most playful creatures. The lush coral reefs off the Miami coast are a natural habitat for dolphins, always welcoming boats full of tourists.

Keep your cameras ready because you never know when a slick dolphin will leap from the ocean and splash back in as if putting on an impromptu show for the anticipating audience.

After feeling satisfied with the dolphin encounter, it’s time to swim alongside them. Suit up in your snorkeling gear and breathe through the mouthpiece while exploring the vast underwater world.

Tour providers include meals and all equipment provided, so your keen eye for dolphin watching is all you have to bring.

Best Beaches for Watersports in Miami

The expansive Miami coastline is home to over a dozen beaches and many more, including the nearby Florida Keys and offshore islands. But with so many options, where can you expect to have the most fun with water sports in Miami? The best beaches in Miami for watersports are:

  • Oleta River State Park
  • Hobie Beach
  • Crandon Park Beach
  • Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Visit each of these top beaches to enjoy their unique scenery, marine life, and overall beach atmosphere.

Oleta River State Park

Mangroves and Kayak at Oleta River State Park North Miami Florida

The lush mangroves lining the banks of the Oleta River give you a different scenery than you’d typically imagine. Considered the largest urban park in Florida, Oleta River State Park is a premier destination for enjoying Miami water activities, plunging you into the green spaces nestled in the bustling metropolis.

Explore the waterways of the Oleta River, winding through the park in a canoe as you sail past the tan shores. Rent stand-up paddleboards to float across the clear blue waters with fish passing right beneath your feet as you navigate the coastline. And for thrill-seekers, plenty of jet ski rentals are available in the park.

Hobie Beach

Beautiful palm trees rise from the white sand shores of Hobie Beach, where even pets can join in on the Miami water activity fun. Splash around on one of the only pet-friendly Miami beaches away from the crowds, where the ocean becomes your playground.

Nearby rentals for water gear make Hobie Beach a convenient location to maximize your rental time. You’ll be just steps away from putting your equipment to the test. Take advantage of the breezy gusts that make Hobie Beach an excellent place for windsurfing. 

Kayak the Key Biscayne shoreline to enjoy views of the city skyline. Or cool off from the hot Florida sun with a swim in the clear waters.

Visitors can spend all day at Hobie Beach with nearby food vendors providing the perfect recipe for a beach picnic.

Crandon Park Beach

Crandon Park Beach path in Key Biscayne, Miami Florida

Drive across the Rickenbacker Causeway to reach the idyllic Key Biscayne coastline. The tropical palm trees lining the gently sloping shores backed by hilly dunes make this one of the most beautiful beaches near Miami.

You can always find a place to set out your blanket with two miles of pristine shoreline. But you won’t spend much time lounging on the shores as the pure blue waters beckon you to enjoy some of your favorite watersports.

Shallow waters rise thigh-deep where you can wade while adjusting to the water temperatures. Paddle out to sea in a tandem canoe as you and your partner explore the Key coasts or snorkel in the ancient reef full of marine life.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

In just minutes from Downtown Miami, you’ll find yourself in one of the best spots for enjoying Miami watersports. Every time you pop your head out of the water at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, you’ll be greeted with stunning views of the Miami skyline and historic Cape Florida lighthouse.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a go-to destination when you need a scenic backdrop for those photo opportunities. Snap selfies while fishing in hopes of catching a trophy fish or paddle against the current as you start your boating journey in the Florida Keys. Then, when the tide is mellow, go snorkeling near the jetty to find what colorful fish are swimming in the nearby reefs.

Water Adventures in Miami

Watersports bring vibrant Miami energy to the waters as you experience rushing thrills, unbelievable views, and close encounters with wildlife. Enjoy popular Miami water activities with rentals and local tours to add a bit of excitement to your travel plans!


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