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Plan a visit to Florida and enjoy a wide range of fun and unique water sports. From stand up paddle boarding, to the snorkeling along the Florida Keys, there's a bound to be a water sport just for you.
Because Florida features miles of beaches and a seemingly endless amount of lakes, stand up paddle boarding has become one of the most popular water sports across the state. Stand up paddle boarding is, essentially, standing on a paddle board and slowing navigating calm waters with a long oar. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned veteran to the sport, find any of the top paddle boarding destinations in Florida. Visit Daytona Beach and check out the Three Brothers Stand Up Paddle Board Tours, or the nearby East Coast Paddle Co., who'll take you all around the Mosquito Lagoon near New Smyrna Beach.
Celebrating a traditional Chinese past-time, Dragon Boat Races have become a popular team-based water sport. Similar to what you might see Crew rowers do, Dragon Boat Racing features long, canoe-like like boats seating up to 20 paddlers, with one sweeper at the back (who steers), and a "caller" at the front. One of the most popular Dragon Boat Races in Florida is the South Florida Dragon Boat Festival in Miami. Held in early October each year at Miami Beach's Haulover Park, the South Florida Dragon Boat Festival is a short drive away from North Miami, and Kendall. In the Orlando area, head for Tavares and check out the Central Florida Dragon Boat Festival, held in mid-March.
Windsurfing is one of the most ideal ways to enjoy a spring or summer day on the waters near Florida. Out near Kissimmee, head to Kelly Park just off of Highway 52 – you'll find Calema Windsurfing & Watersports, who'll get you geared up and ready to hit the waves on the Banana River. Closer to Tampa, don't miss the North Beach Windsurfing School for private lessons and all of the gear rental you'll need.
While cave diving is, ideally, suited for those with SCUBA experience, it's something anyone can learn. Florida features a wide selection of excellent underwater caves, ideal for a fun afternoon of diving. Near Tampa, you can explore Arch Sink, while any visit to Naples should include a dive into Naples Sink. From Gainesville, head northwest along I-75 and find High Springs – it's home to Ginnie Springs, one of the clearest springs in the state.
Building sand castles on the beach might a kid-favorite, but it's grown into a national sensation, with contests popping up at beaches all across the US. In Florida, take advantage of the many beaches and check out these sand sculpting events. Visit Fort Myers Beach in early April and don't miss Sand Bash: Master Sand Sculpting Competition & Advanced Amateur National Championships. Head for Pompano Beach in mid-June for the Extreme Kayak Fishing.com Sansculpting Amateur Contest. Lake Worth Beach hosts the Lake Worth Beach Sandsculpting & Seafood Festival the last weekend in January.
Make the most of your next visit to Florida and try these excellent surfing spots. From small coves in Destin, to the major beaches near Miami and Fort Lauderdale, find grab your board and catch some major waves in Florida. Head for St. Andrews State Park for excellent surfing along the FL Panhandle – it's an easy drive from Panama City and Apalachicola. In northeast Florida, New Smyrna Beach features the Ponce de Leon Inlet, one of the area's premier surf destinations.
Also known as "parakiting" and "parascending," parasailing is a popular and unique way to see the beaches and shores of Florida. Cocoa Beach, just south of Titusville, is home to some of the top parasailing adventures in the state. Out in Key West, check out Parawest Parasailing Key West, and in Clearwater Beach visit Sky's The Limit Parasail for exceptional parasailing tours.
Experience Florida water sports with an up close and personal approach – snorkeling. Enjoy a unique and relaxing experience as you swim along the calm, warm waters of the Atlantic, peering down into the sea life below. The Florida Keys make for a particularly excellent snorkeling destination. Explore the pristine, shallow waters at Indian Key Historic State Park. In Boca Raton, don't miss Red Reef Park where you'll snorkel around a massive formation of natural coral rocks. Many who snorkel at Red Reef Park have been known to spot snapper, blue tang, parrotfish, and other exciting breeds.