The Santa Fe River near Gainesville is a treasure for its many clear bubbling springs and its unspoiled beauty. It’s one of Florida’s most beautiful places to kayak, canoe, snorkel and swim. It’s way north, but worth making part of a trip.
With the best beach in the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda is everyone’s favorite. We also love the park for its historic bridge, great beachfront camping and cabins.
The magic of manatees draws thousands to the Crystal River on the Gulf Coast each winter. Here’s a practical guide to manatee experiences in Three Sisters Springs and Kings Bay — kayaking with manatees, swimming with manatees or admiring them from a boardwalk.
Curry Hammock State Park is a hidden island in the Florida Keys near Marathon right off US 1. It has excellent camping and a swimming beach safe for kids. The park offers a kayak trail that is perfect for a short, inexpensive paddling experience. (They rent kayaks and SUPs.)
A low-key destination for kayaking, fishing, snorkeling and camping in our guide for things to do in the Lower Florida Keys.
One of South Florida’s most scenic beaches, Deerfield Beach is a diamond in the rough.
Robbie’s Marina is a don’t-miss stop as you drive through the Florida Keys. Dozens of tarpon, some more than 6 feet long, gather at the dock and lunge for fish from visitors. The restaurant there, the Hungry Tarpon, is highly recommended , too.
Peanut Island, reached only by boat in Riviera Beach, has clear turquoise water full of visible sea life. It’s great for a picnic at the beach — even camping. It’s an exceptional county park.
As you cross the Seven Mile Bridge, you pass the little green island with yellow cottages and palm trees surrounded by dazzling blue water. You can visit this tiny paradise, which offers fascinating history, tropical beauty, even great snorkeling.
Biscayne National Park is 95% underwater. Boat trips to shipwrecks, reefs and islands are the best way to see this park. The shipwreck snorkel tour often goes to the wreck of the Mandalay, which has a fascinating story.
Florida’s underwater parks preserve exceptional bodies of water, from shipwrecks to spring-fed caves. They are among the most unusual parks in the US.
If you’ve ever dreamed about exploring a deserted tropical island, here’s your chance: Take your kayak down to the Florida Keys and paddle out to Indian Key State Park to explore jungly ruins and snorkel a rocky shoreline.
The park is beautiful, the swimming is fabulous and paddling opportunities are numerous. Blue Spring State Park in southwestern Volusia County has something special year-round.
Snorkel, dive or ride a glass-bottom boat to view the magical coral reefs at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Guide to camping, kayaking, lodging, food and things to do on Key Largo.
Snorkeling in Florida doesn’t require a boat. Here are some great places where you can snorkel and see fish and other sea creatures right from the beach.
Rainbow Springs and the Rainbow River are among Florida’s top tubing and kayaking spots. People love this waterway because of the pure, clear water and spectacular natural setting. In winter, it’s a peaceful place to kayak and perhaps see otters. In summer, it’s full of tubes floating through a cool paradise.