Boasting 8,500 miles of shoreline, 7,800 lakes and 35 rivers, Florida is a water sports enthusiasts’ dream. Add the State’s near-perfect weather into the mix and you’ll discover it’s an idyllic destination for anyone wanting to plan a holiday on the water.
Whether you’re a trained professional, or complete amateur, Florida offers water sport fun for everyone, from young to old. With thousands of outdoor adventures to tempt you, your biggest challenge may be where to start. Sailing, scuba diving, kite boarding, fishing, canoeing, jet skiing, kayaking, wake boarding, windsurfing and parasailing are just some of the activities on offer across the state. Many marinas and local businesses offer lessons for all abilities, as well as equipment hire to kit you out with all the essentials.
Charter a fully-crewed yacht to explore the coast or slip into a one-man kayak to paddle through mangroves. Charlotte Harbour, in Port Charlotte, is a popular (and at times overcrowded!) spot for anglers, thanks to its abundance of tarpon, otherwise known as the silver king. Take note though, that in Florida, a special permit is required to kill and keep a tarpon, so without one, you’ll be limited to catch and release fishing.
For those wishing to get a little closer to underwater life, the Florida Keys offers some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities across the mainland. The Florida Reef is home to the only living-coral barrier reef in the continental United States, and is the third largest in the world behind the Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef. Located approximately five miles offshore, it extends just east of Soldier Key to just south of Marquesas Keys. The densest reefs can be found around Key Largo and Elliott Key, with the two long keys serving as protection for the delicate environment.
For surfers, windsurfers and wake-boarders, Sebastian Inlet is located around 80 miles south-east of Kissimmee, and is one of the state’s top destination for surfing. Nearby Cocoa Beach and Monster Hole are also hot spots and like Sebastian Inlet, offer activities for all the family, on and off the water.
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