13 Stunning Places To Paddle Board In Key West, Florida

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.

There’s something truly special about Key West paddleboarding. Known for its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life – Key West offers a paradise for paddle boarders of all skill levels. In this article, I will share with you the top 15 amazing places to paddleboard in Key West, along with helpful suggestions and reasons for each recommendation.

Benefits of Paddle Boarding

Before diving into the specific Key West paddleboarding spots, let’s briefly discuss the benefits of this exhilarating water sport. Paddle boarding combines the tranquility of being on the water with a full-body workout. It improves balance, strengthens core muscles, and provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. Additionally, paddle boarding allows you to immerse yourself in nature and explore hidden gems that can’t be accessed by other means.

Looking for our best paddle board product recommendations?
Check the Paddleboard Insiders Buyer Guides

Key West, Florida: A Paddle Boarding Paradise

Key West, nestled in the southernmost tip of Florida, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and paddle boarding is a popular activity in this vibrant coastal city. With its warm tropical climate, diverse ecosystem, and breathtaking seascapes, it’s no surprise why Key West is full of honeymooners.

My 13 Favorite Key West Paddleboarding Spots:

Here are the top 13 paddle boarding spots in Key West that you must explore:

4.1 Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach, located on the southern shore of Key West, is a perfect spot for paddle boarding beginners. With its calm, shallow waters and gentle waves, Smathers Beach offers a safe and serene environment to learn and practice paddle boarding techniques. The beach also provides ample parking facilities and is conveniently close to downtown Key West.

Location: Google Maps
Address: 2601 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, United States

4.2 Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, a natural paradise, is another fantastic paddle boarding destination in Key West. The park features a beautiful sandy beach and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. Paddle along the coastline and revel in the scenic views of the fort, coral reefs, and abundant tropical fish. Don’t forget to explore the nearby nature trails and enjoy a picnic in the park.

Location: Google Maps
Address: 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040, United States

4.3 Higgs Beach

Higgs Beach, nestled on the Atlantic Ocean side of Key West, offers a great mix of tranquility and adventure for paddle boarders. With its calm waters, you can peacefully glide along the shoreline while taking in the picturesque surroundings. After your paddle boarding session, relax on the beach or visit the nearby Higgs Beach Dog Park if you have a furry friend accompanying you.

See also  11 Best Paddleboard Paddle Picks Of 2024

Location: Google Maps
Address: 1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, United States

4.4 Edward B. Knight Pier

The Edward B. Knight Pier offers an extraordinary paddle boarding experience with its panoramic views of the turquoise waters. Located at the end of White Street, this pier provides a launch point to explore the surrounding waters and witness stunning sunsets. Paddle towards the open ocean or navigate through the nearby mangroves for an immersive and scenic adventure.

Location: Google Maps
Address: White St, Key West, FL 33040, United States

4.5 Cow Key Channel

Cow Key Channel, situated between Key West and Stock Island, is a hidden gem for paddle boarders seeking a unique experience. This narrow channel boasts calm waters and abundant wildlife, including tropical fish, rays, and even the occasional manatee. Explore the mangroves and enjoy the peaceful ambiance as you paddle through this secluded waterway.

Location: Google Maps
Address: Florida 33040, USA

4.6 Geiger Key Marina

Geiger Key Paddleboarding offers a truly off-the-beaten-path paddle boarding adventure. This serene location features calm waters, mangrove tunnels, and a diverse ecosystem. Embark on a guided tour or rent a paddle board to explore the stunning natural beauty of Geiger Key. Keep an eye out for marine life, such as sea turtles and dolphins, as you navigate through the mangroves.

Location: Google Maps
Address: 5 Geiger Key Rd, Key West, FL 33040, United States

4.7 Mangrove Maze at Hurricane Hole Marina

If you’re seeking a paddle boarding experience surrounded by dense mangroves, head to the Mangrove Maze at Hurricane Hole Marina. This hidden gem provides a labyrinth-like environment with winding waterways and tunnels formed by the mangrove trees. Traverse through this unique ecosystem, where every turn unveils a new natural wonder.

Location: Google Maps
Address: 5130 Overseas Hwy #1, Naval Air Station Key West, FL 33040, United States

4.8 Key West Paddleboarding

Embark on a guided eco tour in Key West to discover the hidden treasures of Key West’s marine ecosystem. This magical location is full of secluded spots, including mangrove forests and pristine coral reefs. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and learn about the rich biodiversity that thrives beneath the surface.

Location: Google Maps
Address: Key West FL 33040, USA

4.9 Stock Island

For a more laid-back and tranquil paddle boarding experience, Stock Island is an excellent choice. This small island offers calm waters and a relaxed atmosphere, allowing you to paddle at your own pace. Explore the mangrove-lined waterways and enjoy the peaceful ambiance as you encounter various bird species and marine life along the way.

key west paddleboarding

Location: Google Maps
Address: Stock Island, Florida 33040

4.10 Marquesas Keys

If you’re up for an adventure and willing to venture a bit farther from Key West, the Marquesas Keys should be on your paddle boarding bucket list. This remote cluster of islands, located approximately 20 miles west of Key West, offers pristine waters and untouched beauty. Paddle through the turquoise lagoons, discover hidden coves, and bask in the solitude of this unspoiled paradise.

key west paddleboarding

Location: Google Maps
Address: Marquesas Keys, Florida 33040, USA

4.11 Boca Chica Beach

Boca Chica Beach, situated on the northern shore of Boca Chica Key, is a fantastic spot for paddle boarders seeking tranquility and seclusion. With its clear waters and stunning vistas, this beach provides an idyllic setting to paddle along the coastline and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. It’s an excellent spot for spotting marine life, including rays and sea turtles.

See also  The Ultimate Guide To Surf SUP: Everything You Need To Know About Stand Up Paddle Boards For Surfing
key west paddleboarding

Location: Google Maps
Address: Boca Chica Beach, Orlando, FL 32836, USA

4.12 Snipe Point

Snipe Point, located in the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, offers a unique paddle boarding experience amidst a diverse ecosystem. Paddle through the winding channels, surrounded by mangroves and seagrass beds, and encounter an array of bird species, such as herons and pelicans. This protected area showcases the natural beauty and ecological importance of Key West.

key west paddleboarding

Location: Google Maps
Address: Snipe Point, Florida 33040, USA

4.13 Dry Tortugas National Park

For the ultimate paddle boarding adventure in Key West, make your way to Dry Tortugas National Park. Although it requires a boat trip from Key West, the journey is well worth it. This remote and breathtaking national park consists of seven small islands, including the famous Fort Jefferson. Paddle through the crystal-clear waters, explore the vibrant coral reefs, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this protected marine sanctuary.

key west paddleboarding

Location: Google Maps
Address: Dry Tortugas National Park, FL 33040, United States

Looking for insider guides to some amazing paddle boarding locations?
Check the Paddleboard Insiders Location Guides

Top Key West Paddleboarding Rental Companies

It’s always challenging to find a great place to rent paddleboard gear from. There are so many places that I’ve seen over the years scamming you and giving you faulty equipment. So it’s always a great idea to rent from places that come from referrals. Here are a few great options for you.

Adventure Outdoor Paddle

Directions: Google Maps
Address: 210 E Ruby Street, Tavares, Fl 32778
Phone: (352) 217-5012

This is a great company to look at. They have paddle tours where you can explore Florida while also getting local food or beer. This is a great way to spend a day out on the water exploring Florida.

Here’s where you can get more details:

1: Paddle & Bru Beer Tour
Price: $69.95 for a 2-3 hour tour

2: Paddle & Grub Tour
Price: $69.95 for a 2-3 hour tour

Other Companies

Paddles Outdoor Rentals: This is the #1 recommended rental company located in Crystal River. You can rent out a paddleboard for $45 and explore the area. I would recommend taking a Partyboard which gives you a few hours to experience Florida on the water.

Address: 469 NE 1st St, Crystal River, FL 34429, United States
Contact Number: 1 (352) 586-5259

Kayak Jacks Paddle Sports: I love Kayak Jacks because of their Eco Tours. For $30 you can get a self-guided Eco Tour where you can explore the mangroves in Holmes Beach. Or you can do a guided Eco Tour which is also great for only $50. It’s definitely worth checking this company out because they have some of the best prices I’ve seen.

Address: 5501 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217, United States
Contact Number: +1 941-538-1448

Sarasota Paddleboard Company: Sarasota is also a very solid company that you can rent from located in the Lido Key and they even deliver to you. A great option is to do a sunset paddleboard session and you can get a SUP with lights below. This is a really unique experience. You can get a 3 hour rental for $45 + Tax.

Address: Lido Key and Longboat Key, FL 34429, United States
Contact Number: +1 941-6508-2241

See also  5 Best Paddle Board Electric Motors In 2024

Tips for an Enjoyable Paddle Boarding Experience

Now that you know about the amazing paddle boarding spots in Key West, here are some tips to ensure you have a memorable and enjoyable experience:

Choose the right board: Select a paddle board that suits your skill level and the type of water you’ll be paddling in. These are the most common types of SUP boards.

Here some great paddle board deals that you can get in 2024:
7 Incredible Beginner Paddleboards To Buy In 2024 On A Budget

Unless you are an experienced paddleboarder then I would always recommend either the all round board or inflatable boards because they are the most approachable to beginners.

Wear appropriate gear: Use a leash to ensure your board stays connected to you, wear a comfortable and secure personal flotation device (PFD), and protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a hat.

Practice proper paddling technique: Learn the correct paddling technique to maximize your efficiency and minimize strain on your body.

Stay hydrated: Bring water with you to stay hydrated during your paddle boarding session.

Respect the environment: Follow Leave No Trace principles and be mindful of the marine life and ecosystems you encounter.

Safety Precautions

While paddle boarding is a fun and rewarding activity, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind:

Check the weather: Before heading out, check the weather forecast and avoid paddle boarding in adverse conditions.

Know your limits: Be aware of your skill level and stick to areas that match your abilities.

Be mindful of currents and tides: Understand the tidal patterns and currents in the area you’ll be paddle boarding to avoid challenging conditions.

Use a buddy system: Whenever possible, paddle with a partner to enhance safety and enjoy the experience together.

Wear a leash: Always attach a leash to your ankle or leg to ensure your board remains within reach.

Conclusion

Key West, Florida, offers a plethora of stunning paddle boarding locations, each with its unique charm and beauty. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, Key West’s crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes provide an unforgettable adventure. From tranquil beaches to secluded mangrove trails, Key West has it all. So grab your paddle board, explore these amazing spots, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Key West.

FAQs

Can I rent a SUP in Key West?

Yes, there are several rental shops in Key West that offer paddle board rentals. You can easily find a board that suits your needs and explore the stunning paddle boarding spots in the area.

Do I need prior experience for Key West paddleboarding?

No, Key West offers paddle boarding opportunities for all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll find suitable spots to enjoy this exciting water sport.

Are there any guided paddle boarding tours available in Key West?

Yes, there are guided paddle boarding tours available in Key West. These tours provide valuable insights about the area, safety guidance, and an opportunity to explore hidden gems.

Can I encounter marine life while paddle boarding in Key West?

Absolutely! Key West is known for its diverse marine life. While paddle boarding, you may encounter tropical fish, rays, sea turtles, and even dolphins. It’s an incredible experience to be in close proximity to these magnificent creatures. Here are some of the amazing animals you could see.

What is the best time of year for Key West paddleboarding?

Key West’s warm climate allows for paddle boarding year-round. However, the winter months (December to February) tend to have milder temperatures and less humidity, making it a popular time for paddle boarding enthusiasts.

key west paddleboarding
Avatar photo

Jason Watson

My initial goal was to document my paddleboarding experiences with friends and family, but that has evolved into a commitment to share this sport with as many people as possible because of the health benefits & peace of mind it has given me. This sport is not only a great way to see the world, but it also helps us come closer to ourselves. Information gives us strength!


More to Explore