Americas only underwater national park is an easy and beautiful place to explore by canoe. The park offers canoe rentals year-round. During winter, starting in January, the park also offers guided canoe tours. Before or after paddling these beautiful waters, visitors should stop by the Dante Fascell Visitor Center for exhibits and information. 9700 SW 328th Street, Homestead. Phone: 305-230-7275.
Also available are ranger-led glass bottom boat trips, snorkel trips and scuba diving tours at various times during the year. Phone: 305-230-1100
Captain Sir Charters offers a wide array of boat tours, including four-hour cruises of Biscayne Bay, eco-tours, and eight-hour tours of Boca Chita Island. They also offer weekend getaways to the northern Keys and weeklong trips to the Bahamas. Phone: 305-829-3328
Based at Matheson Hammock Park, Castle Harbor offers both sailing and power boat rentals and a wide variety of lessons for beginners and advanced sailors. Their school is U.S. Sailing Certified. Sailing and power boat courses vary in length and scope, and are offered weekdays and weekends. Youth programs are also available, including Saturday sailing lessons and summer camp sessions. For those who do not want to captain a boat but still want to join in the fun, Castle Harbor offers other activities, including weekly races, boat charters and sunset cruises. Phone: 305-668-8838
Dragonfly Expeditions offers numerous eco-adventures, including kayaking on the Oleta and Miami Rivers and to the Half Moon shipwreck. They also support conservation projects and plan future development of an eco-lodge. Tours are by appointment, with no set schedule. Kayaking tours are available for half day or full-day adventures, with a maximum of 40 people per group. Phone: 1-888-9WANDER
Miami Duck Tours is a 90-minute tour of Miami by land and sea. The company uses an unusual amphibious vehicle to switch gears from the terrestrial Miami Beach sites to the sites of Biscayne Bay. The tour enters the water just off Watson Island near the new Parrot Jungle. Once in the water, passengers see Palm Island, Hibiscus Island and Star Island and many homes of the rich and famous. Tours operate daily. Phone: 1-877-DUCK-TIX
Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department offers a full line-up of Eco-Adventure tours introducing the area’s parks, wilderness areas and historic sites. Naturalist-guided tours provide adventures including canoe, kayak and snorkeling tours, as well as bike and other nature tours for people at all levels of ability.
Canoe tours explore Biscayne Bay and other popular waterways of South Florida. Paddlers can choose half-day or full-day trips that vary in difficulty and scenery. All Eco-Adventure canoe and kayak tours are led by experienced naturalists who can enlighten you with historical and ecological facts and point out wildlife. Most tours are easy to moderate. For special groups, guides can structure a trip to match the desired schedule and level of challenge. Eco-Adventure canoe tours include Bill Sadowski Park to Coral Reef Park, Crandon Park, Deering Estate, Chicken Key, Greynolds Park and Historic Oleta River, Gables Waterway, Matheson Hammock, Indian Key, Turner River and others. Custom canoe tours and canoe rentals are also available. For times and reservations, contact the Deering Estate at 305-235-1668; Matheson Hammock Park at 305-662-4124; or the Eco-Adventures office at Crandon Park, 305-365-3018.
Kayak and snorkeling trips explore Crandon Park, Bear Cut Marine Preserve, Pelican Harbor and the small islands of North Biscayne Bay. Phone: 305-365-3018
This private cruise operator offers a variety of family trips, sightseeing tours and parties aboard its yacht Celebration, which leaves daily from Bayside Marketplace. The Bay Ex-Cape is a popular tour of Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach and celebrity homes. Other cruises offer brunch, dining, party cruises, school activities and other enjoyable sightseeing opportunities. Phone: 305-445-8456
From December through April, Flyer Catamaran offers two-hour excursions on Biscayne Bay, including daytime and sunset cruises leaving from the Four Ambassadors Marina. Snorkel and Sun trips depart daily between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Private charters are also available. The company also has a permit to sail in Biscayne National Park. Phone: 1-800-TO-FLYER
Holiday of Magic provides tours of Biscayne Bay and the Miami River. Charters may be booked seven days a week, at a cost of $350 per hour. Cruises depart from Bayside, Dinner Key and the Marriott Hotel on Venetian Island. The Miami River tour, about two hours in length, features information about the history of the river, the city and the unusual industry that has grown up in the area. A Biscayne Bay mansion tour cruises past Venetian Island, celebrities homes, Fisher Island and Virginia Key. At each location, passengers hear interesting stories about Miamis history and famous residents over the years. Phone: 305-372-8055
Island Queen Cruises provides sightseeing tours, charter tours, evening disco cruises and other cruise programs. Sightseeing tours operate daily, with two boats departing every hour between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tours lasts 90 minutes and cruise by the Port of Miami, Fisher Island, Star Island and Palm Island. Cruises depart from Bayside Marketplace. Costs are $15 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under, and free for children 4 years and under. Group rates are available for parties of 20 or more people. The Bayside Blaster is a one-and-one-quarter hour speedboat tour cruising past Miamis famous Millionaires Row. The tour operates on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 12:30 p.m., leaving every two hours until around 5 p.m. Phone: 305-379-5119
Jet-ski tours from one to three hours or more. View Palm, Hibiscus, Star, Monument, Flagler and Fisher islands, or swing by downtown and the Port of Miami. See dolphins and manatees up close. The three-hour tour combines these sights with a picnic and views of Key Biscayne. Tours available daily from about 8 a.m. to sunset. You must be 18 years of age or older to operate the jet-ski, but any age can be a passenger. A maximum of four jet-skis go out at a time, and one is for the guide. Two people may ride a single jet-ski. The company also offers boat tours on the Bay, visiting popular sites or customized for your group. Each boat can take a maximum of four adults and two children. Phone: 305-345-5770
Experienced powerboat operators may rent 22 open powerboats to enjoy on the Bay, from Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Located at Rickenbacker Marina, 3301 Rickenbacker Causeway, behind the Rusty Pelican restaurant. Phone: 305-361-7368
Key Biscayne Sailing School at Crandon Park Marina offers basic and refresher sailing courses. Lessons are private, so there is no set schedule. Phone: 305-361-0328
Founded in 1974, the Miami Rowing and Watersports Center, is a 501 C3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sports of rowing, kayaking, and swimming in the South Florida Community. For over 25 years, the Miami Rowing Club has been home to thousands of High School, Collegiate, and Masters rowers which have won numerous State, National, and World Championships. Our rowers have represented the United States as National Team members, won National, Regional, and State Championships. Our facility, houses over 40 rowing shells, many of them available to club members . So, come on by, and see what the Miami Rowing and Watersports Center can offer you! Phone: na
Oleta River State Park in North Dade offers canoe and kayak rentals. Kayakers can explore mangrove areas, Biscayne Bay islands and the Oleta River area. Phone: 305-919-1846
The Ronald W. Shane Watersports Center is an organization dedicated "to promote and develop amateur water sports competition for adults, youth, students and underprivileged individuals in South Florida." The charter of the Watersports Center is grounded in the beliefs of its founder, Dr. Ron Shane, that giving back to the community and providing resources to anyone willing to participate is the most important aspect of the organization. The Watersports Center is a not-for-profit foundation, all of whose programs are open to the community. Phone: 305-861-8876
The company offers boat rentals and captain charters on boats including J22, J24, Catalina 22, Catalina 25 and 23.5 Hunter, most with capacity of six adult passengers. Corporate charters are also available on larger boats. Phone: 305-361-0328
A variety of water sports for people with all tastes. Located on Rickenbacker Causeway just after the toll plaza, they guarantee to teach anyone to windsurf in just two hours. Beginner lessons are taught three times a day anyone larger than 60 pounds can learn to windsurf and feel safe while doing it. Intermediate and advanced private lessons are also available. For those looking for more of an adrenaline rush, learn to kiteboard. In the two hour introductory course, you learn kite control, theory and safety. They also offer a six-hour course on advanced kite control, body drag, waterstarts, self-rescue and board control. Reservations required one day in advance. For more relaxing activity, Sailboards Miami also offers self-guided kayaking. Kayak to Vizcaya, the Sandbar or Bill Baggs State Park. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. during daylight savings time. Phone: 305-361-7245