Explore Outdoor Activities! Get outside and explore Miami in the fresh air and great outdoors. Miami deep sea fishing, freshwater fishing, luxury yachts, speedboats, dining cruises, gaming cruises and sailboat charters — this and much more awaits you on the waters of Greater Miami. Hop aboard a boat or rent some equipment for a water sport like skiing or paddle boarding.
Home to the world's largest cruise ship port and surrounded by Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Miami is a premiere destination for boating and sailing. With warm temps above and below the water year round and tranquil seas, the aquamarine waters of this subtropical paradise are always a draw. Here's your guide to getting offshore in Miami.
Part of Coconut Grove's picturesque panorama, Dinner Key Marina is the city's largest wet slip marina at 582 berths with an additional 225 moorings just offshore. It's the ideal place to book a fishing or sailing charter, or simply enjoy the views over a dockside meal at Monty's Raw Bar.
At the southern tip of South Beach, Miami Beach Marina boasts 400 slips with everything from luxury yacht charters to dive boats. With Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse and another outpost of Monty's Raw Bar onsite, it's also a short walk to Smith & Wollensky steakhouse for stunning views of Fisher Island and cruise ships setting sail to the Atlantic.
In the heart of Downtown Miami with 130 slips, Miamarina at Bayside is the embarkation point for a number of boat tours and charters. With Bayside Marketplace overlooking the marina, it's a hub of activity in the city center.
Crandon Marina located on Key Biscayne has an active dive boat operation and is striking distance to both artificial and natural reefs. It's also a great spot for fishing charters or simply strolling the docks at sunset for beautiful views of the bay and the city skyline.
Other marinas throughout Miami include Matheson Hammock Marina in Coral Gables, Herbert Hoover Marina at Homestead Bayfront Park, Black Point Marina in Homestead, Bill Bird Marina in Haulover and Pelican Harbour Marina in North Bay Village.
Whether you want to learn to sail or simply charter a sailboat, Shake-A-Leg is Miami's premiere community boating center in Coconut Grove, offering everything from learn to sail courses to group charters aboard 20-foot keelboats. Over the last two decades, they've been devoted to bringing sailing to the disabled and have served more than 10,000 children and adults, 25 percent of whom have disabilities.
For bareboat charters, The Moorings is a worldwide network for traveling sailors, with a South Beach location at the Miami Beach Marina. The well-respected outfit offers a variety of both sail and powerboat rentals.
Miami's premiere sightseeing tours are aboard Island Queen Cruises where you can embark on a variety of trips from Miamarina, including Millionaire's Row and Miami Skyline cruises.
For a high-octane adventure, step aboard Thriller Miami's 42-foot vessels and zoom past sites like PortMiami, Star Island, Monument Island, Fisher Island and South Beach from Biscayne Bay to the open Atlantic Ocean, at speeds of up to 50 mph.
For a different kind of thrill, Ocean Force Adventures sets out from the Miami Beach Marina aboard six passenger, high speed Zodiacs on a variety of tours from celebrity homes on Star Island to the historic Stiltsville homes on Biscayne Bay.
Tropical Sailing boasts a fleet of sailing and power catamarans docked at Miamarina with daily trips and watersports activities, ranging from snorkeling to sunset sailing.
Whether it's the Lady Windridge or the Windridge K, Windridge Yacht Charters hosts special event private dinner cruises for parties of 100 to 500 people.
If you'd rather be the captain of your own ship or you'd like to hire a captain for a private charter, many companies provide everything from fishing boats to mega yachts. Check out Y Charter Miami , Tropical Boat Charters , Boat Miami , Miami Charters , Yolo Boat Rentals and Biscayne Lady Yacht Charters .
Of course, there's perhaps no more exciting boating adventure than a Caribbean cruise from PortMiami . As the world's largest cruise terminal, PortMiami is home to all of the major cruise lines and some of the largest cruise ships. Just be sure to spend at least a day discovering Miami before or after your cruise to get the most out of your vacation. With Resorts World Bimini , you can even take off for a daytrip to the Bahamas and be back in Miami in time to hit the clubs.
You may not realize it, but Miami Beach is actually a barrier island composed of ancient limestone coral rock. With the gentle, aquamarine Atlantic Ocean lapping against it, Miami's islands and mainland are surrounded by ideal dive spots.
Part of the uppermost stretches of the Florida Straits—the third largest barrier reef in the world, which extends south along The Florida Keys—Miami is home to abundant coral shelves and patch reefs ripe for exploration.
There are also a number of wreck dives, making Miami's waters amongst the most dynamic for underwater discovery.
Of course, in order to SCUBA dive, you have to be PADI certified. That's not a problem in Miami as most of the dive boat operators also offer certification courses. Whether you're a seasoned diver or hope to discover a new pastime while visiting Miami, here are a handful of dive boats, shops and certification courses.
Tarpoon Lagoon Dive Center is located at the Miami Beach Marina at the southern tip of South Beach. Their dive boat departs once or twice daily to both shallow reef dives (30 to 35-feet in depth), as well as intermediate and advanced wreck dives (65 to 120 feet in depth).
Check out their online calendar for specifics and to determine which trip is right for you. Tarpoon Lagoon also offers Open Water certification, which is the minimum requirement for SCUBA diving, as well as intermediate, advanced and specialized courses.
South Beach Divers, located on Washington Avenue, offers a Weekend Open Water certification class, as well as Advanced Open Water and other specialized courses. They also arrange dive trips through a variety of operators in Miami and the surrounding area.
Located in Coconut Grove, Grove Scuba offers beginners to advanced PADI certification courses and also arranges dive trips to a variety of reefs and wrecks daily.
Located within Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, Diver's Paradise offers a three day Open Water certification course in addition to advanced options. They also depart on a variety of morning, afternoon and night dives to various reefs and wrecks.
There are abundant dive sites throughout Miami's waters, ranging from natural coral reefs to artificial reefs created by wrecks. Read on for a sampling of dive sites for all levels of divers.
Note : Shallow novice dives are also great for snorkeling , which does not require special certification or training.
Type: Natural Coral Reef
Depth: 25 feet
What you'll see: One mile east of Key Biscayne, this shallow patch reef is made up of elkhorn, pillar and a variety of sponge coral that supports colorful tropical fish, like damselfish, angelfish and snapper.
Type: Artificial Reef
Depth: 45 feet
What you'll see: The Neptune Memorial Reef is an underwater mausoleum resembling the lost city of Atlantis. It's also one of the largest manmade reefs ever created, making it a truly unique and dynamic dive spot.
Type: Wreck Site
Depth: 10 feet
What you'll see: In 1930, a 154-foot sailing yacht sank northwest of the Bear Cut Channel. Now, it's an Underwater Archaeological Preserve within Biscayne National Park.
Type: Wreck Site & Artificial Reef
What you'll see: The 235-foot Dutch freighter Sheri-Lynn, built in 1952, is now spread across the ocean floor with 50 Chevron tanks and 20 cement mixer tanks. With plenty of bulkheads to explore, the artificial reef created by this wreck attracts pelagic species, like sharks, sea turtles, grouper and mahi-mahi.
Type: Wreck Site & Artificial Reef
Depth: 80 feet
What you'll see: Lying keel down in the sand, this 165-foot freighter, seized by US Customs for carrying drugs, was sunk in December of 2003 to create an artificial reef for recreational dives. With large openings cut into the hull, divers can safely explore the galley and cabin areas.
From the shallow flats of Biscayne Bay and Everglades National Park to the depths of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, Miami is an angler's paradise.
With such a diverse ecosystem supported by mangroves, coral reef and that warm, fast-moving current, Miami's water is teeming with sport fish and pelagic species that make for a delicious dinner or a great mount.
Whether you're a newcomer to fishing or your vacation revolves around the sport, you'll find ample opportunity to reel in a big one in Miami.
Depending on your interest, decide on either a deep sea or flats fishing charter. A deep sea trip typically involves heading into the blue of the Atlantic Ocean in search of the big fish that skirt the Gulf Stream, while flats fishing is done in the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay or Florida Bay, accessed through the Everglades. Flats fishing usually involves fly fishing techniques, while deep sea fishing involves trolling your line at great depths.
Deep sea fishermen are after pelagic species, such as tuna, grouper, cobia, kingfish, amberjack, snapper and mahi-mahi. Exciting sport fish also include marlin, sailfish and giant tuna.
Flats fishermen are typically on the hunt for permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook, redfish and even sharks.
While fishing conditions are typically best late fall through late spring, fishing is a year round sport in Miami. Conversely, some fish are strictly regulated to specific seasons for sustainability purposes. A knowledgeable guide will know all of this like the back of his hand and will have you in the right spot at the right time of year for a great catch.
For the serious fisherman or, simply, someone who wants a personalized fishing experience, a half (about four hours) or full day (about eight hours) charter with an experienced guide aboard a fishing boat approximately 33-feet long is the most popular option. These private charters typically accommodate up to six anglers (aka six of your closest friends) with prices starting around $700 for a half day. Night trips through Biscayne Bay's flats are also popular as certain species, like swordfish or tarpon, are more active then.
For those who simply want to give fishing a whirl, “party” boats are larger vessels of about 70-feet that are designed to accommodate 100 anglers. In this case, you'll have less personalized attention from an individual guide, but you'll be assisted by a team of crewmembers ensuring everyone is having a good time and getting their bait on the hook. At roughly $50 per person, it's a great introduction to fishing or an economical option for the casual angler. In both private charters and party boats, bait, tackle and equipment are typically provided.
Miami has more fishing guides and charters than can be counted. A few to consider include Top Gun Fishing Charters, Miss Britt Charters, Outcast Sportfishing and Bouncer Dusky 33. For party boat charters, seek out the Reward Fleet or the Kelley Fleet.
For the tech forward fishermen, you might want to consult the BoatDay app for on demand charters. You can also head to one of Miami's many marinas to inquire about charter boat availability.
If getting offshore isn't an option, you can also bring your rod and reel and bait and tackle box to a handful of different spots to fish from land in Miami.
South Pointe Park Pier – Located at the tip of South Beach at Government Cut, South Pointe Park Pier not only makes for a picturesque stroll, but it's also a prime fishing spot for snapper and Spanish mackerel.
Haulover Inlet Jetty – Similarly, Haulover Inlet separates Bal Harbour from Haulover Beach and offers a great spot to cast your line for jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, bluefish and red snapper.
Newport Fishing Pier – Located in Sunny Isles Beach and newly renovated, the Newport Fishing Pier extends a half mile into the ocean, opening up the possibilities for a wide variety of fish species.
Pelican Harbor Marina – Located at the 79th Street Causeway, the Pelican Harbor Marina allows for fishing off the backside of the boat ramp.
Oleta River State Park – A lovely park just west of Sunny Isles Beach, Oleta River State Park has a designated fishing pier where you might catch snook, pompano and redfish.
With Miami's shallow, flat calm waters and unique marine ecosystem, kayaking and canoeing are a natural (and positively sublime) way to enjoy a day in Mother Nature.
Key Biscayne is a haven for water sports and Crandon Park is a great place to get started. Offering everything from a beach, tennis center, marina and golf course, you can rent kayaks and canoes to explore beautiful Biscayne Bay. It's also one of Miami's most popular sites for kiteboarding.
Located en route to Key Biscayne directly on the scenic Rickenbacker Causeway, Sailboards Miami is a one stop shop for a whole host of water sport activities. Rent kayaks and paddle your way towards the historic Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Twin Sisters Sandbar and a tangle of mangrove estuaries. Windsurfing and standup paddleboards are also available for rent, and Sailboards offers brief lessons for those new to either sport.
Just a little further down the road from Crandon Park, you'll reach Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and the Virginia Key Outdoor Center . Here, you can rent kayaks and paddleboards and even participate in a standup paddleboard yoga class. There are nature trails for hiking and a tranquil lagoon beach for swimming. You can even go fishing aboard a kayak here.
A haven for kite surfers and swimmers alike, Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables is located directly on Key Biscayne with a tranquil atoll beach and plenty of hiking trails. Here, Eco Adventures offers kayak and standup paddleboard rentals, as well as kite boarding lessons for the adventurous water baby.
Down in Homestead, Black Point Marina is a great recreational destination with kayak and canoe rentals, as well as nature trails and picnic pavilions. You'll paddle through mangrove estuaries and see a side of Miami only possible from the water. You might even spot manatees and dolphins, so be on the lookout!
Enjoy the natural splendors of Oleta River State Park , a 1,000-acre green space set against Biscayne Bay near Sunny Isles Beach. It's popular for its 15 miles of mountain biking trails, and it's also a prime spot to explore the mangrove estuaries by water.
Blue Moon Outdoor Center is located within the park where you can rent kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards. Keep your eyes peeled for tiny black crabs scurrying along mangrove roots, juvenile fish and wading birds, like a herons, egrets and ibis. Afterwards, refuel at Blue Marlin Fish House, located within the park, with a smoked fish sandwich and a local craft beer.
Located in South Beach's trendy Sunset Harbour neighborhood, South Beach Kayak is a family run operation offering kayak and standup paddleboard rentals in Biscayne Bay. Paddle around the Venetian Islands and take a dip at Flagler Memorial Island for a fun-filled afternoon on the water.
Miami is famous for its miles of pristine, sandy beaches where people flock from around the world to spend a day lounging on the seashore. But just offshore, underneath the aqua-blue and always clear Atlantic Ocean, is the third largest barrier reef in the world - the only one in North America.
The Florida Straights reef spans 220 miles in all from Miami along the Florida Keys and west past Key West to the Dry Tortugas. The important and unique ecosystem that surrounds the reef is protected by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's National Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary Program.
Snorkeling is an easy, affordable, and fun way to discover the wonders of the coral reef, mangrove islands, and abundant marine life. The only skill you need is to be a confident swimmer. So grab your fins, mask and snorkel and get ready to see a whole world just below the surface in Miami.
Any would-be snorkeler needs gear: a snorkel, mask, and fins, and perhaps a buoyancy compensator vest for safety and flotation. If you're looking to buy equipment while you're in town,
Austin's Dive Center in South Miami carries everything you'll need for a recreational snorkeling session. Equipment can run anywhere from about $80 to $150.
If you're not ready to make that kind of investment and maybe just want to test the waters, so to speak, then renting gear is a great option.
South Beach Diver's offers rentals in addition to their retail sales. Twelve dollars gets you a snorkel, mask, and fins for the day.
Take the time to get accustomed to your gear. Make sure your mask has a good seal around your eyes and nose to prevent water from seeping in. Take one breath in through your nose to establish a seal, and position the strap around the crown of your head. The strap doesn't need to be tight to keep the mask in place. While snorkeling, you'll be breathing exclusively through your mouth. Bite down on the snorkel's bite tabs and make certain your lips are sealed tightly.
Remember, the snorkel will only work if one end is out of the water. If you plan to dive down, hold your breath! Your legs are your propellers and your fins work best while kicking your legs in slow, steady motions underneath the water. It's easy to get lost in the underwater world unfolding before your eyes. Make sure you stop every so often and peek your head above the water to check your surroundings.
If you'd like to do a little snorkeling during your day at the beach, take your gear towards South Pointe Park and Government Cut. Approximately 200 yards southeast of the 2nd Street lifeguard stand is the Jose Cuervo Reef . On Cinco de Mayo in 2000, a 10,000-pound concrete Jose Cuervo bar was sunk to create an artificial reef, and to promote near-shore snorkeling and diving. The reef, only 10-15 feet deep, is an ideal snorkeling destination and is accessible by swimming from the beach. An abundance of marine life can also be found alongside the nearby jetty.
In addition to rental and sales equipment, South Beach Diver's also coordinates a full day excursion to explore the coral reef inside the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary at John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo. Shuttle service to the park is provided from the shop on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays departing at 10am and returning at 7pm. Once at John Pennekamp, you'll cruise offshore and visit two spots along the reef for snorkeling. The all-inclusive trip is $75 per person.
Back in Miami, Tarpoon Lagoon Diving Center located in the Miami Beach Marina offers snorkeling, as well as scuba diving excursions. Aboard their 46-foot custom-built Newton dive boat, you'll share the vessel with divers at shallow reefs ideal for snorkeling. These spots include Emerald Reef, Rainbow Reef, and the Half Moon Underwater Archaeological Preserve between Virginia Key and Key Biscayne. The Half Moon was a 360-ton steel schooner that sunk offshore creating a unique opportunity for wreck snorkeling. These four-hour two-stop shallow reef trips depart Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and cost $60 per person.
Biscayne National Park is a must-explore for anyone interested in South Florida's unique coastline and ecosystem. Here, you'll find opportunities for offshore snorkeling at the outer reefs, such as Half Moon and Emerald Reef, as well as snorkeling along the mangrove coastline. These excursions range from $40 to $45 per person.
Eco Adventures, part of the Miami-Dade Parks program, also offers a combination sea kayak and snorkel adventure at Key Biscayne in Crandon Park. You'll kayak along the mangroves with a naturalist guide and snorkel through the shallow waters of Bear Cut Preserve. The three and a half hour excursion is $70 per person.
Remember that weather and sea conditions will play a factor in your snorkel excursion. Summer offers consistently ideal conditions and particularly warm water but snorkeling in Miami is available year round.
Whether you're snorkeling a natural or artificial reef, at the beach or along the mangroves, you'll discover amazing underwater creatures. Look at (but don't touch) the vibrant yellow and red coral canyons and purple sea fans swaying in the ocean's current. Coral is actually alive and it's extremely delicate. Touching coral is detrimental to its health and can also be dangerous. It's actually related to the jellyfish and can provide a sharp sting, burn, or cut when touched. A good rule of thumb is to stay in water that's at least six feet deep while snorkeling over coral.
Look for tropical fish including yellowtail snapper, parrotfish, angelfish, blue tang, grouper, and hogfish. Other creatures include spiny lobsters, stingrays, sea turtles, and even nurse sharks. Anytime you're near the water in Miami, keep your eyes peeled for marine mammals like manatees or pods of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. With such a thriving and diverse ecosystem, there's nearly as much to discover underwater in Miami as there is on land!
Surrounded by Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Miami is a boater's paradise and that's evident by the wealth of marinas in the city. From Miami Beach to South Miami, head to an area marina to charter a fishing boat, hop aboard a tour, become the captain of your own boat or learn to sail. Each marina has its own unique offerings, and many are near beautiful beaches, hiking trails and other recreational activities for a perfect day with Mother Nature.
An iconic part of Coconut Grove's landscape, Dinner Key Marina is Miami's largest wet slip marina at 582 berths with an additional 225 moorings just offshore. It's the ideal place to book a fishing or sailing charter, or simply enjoy the views over a dockside meal at Monty's Raw Bar.
In the heart of downtown Miami with 130 slips, Miamarina at Bayside is the embarkation point for a number of boat tours and charters. With Bayside Marketplace overlooking the marina, it's a hub of activity in the city center.
At the southern tip of South Beach, Miami Beach Marina boasts 400 slips with everything from luxury yacht charters to dive boat excursions. With Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse and Monty's Raw Bar onsite, it's also a short walk to Smith & Wollensky steakhouse for stunning views of Fisher Island and cruise ships setting sail to the Atlantic.
Matheson Hammock Marina at Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables is one of the most popular and unique spots to enjoy an afternoon in Miami. There's an onsite sailing school, hiking trails throughout the hammock, and a manmade atoll beach. It's also a popular site for kite boarders. With great access to Biscayne Bay, it's the perfect place to set sail for a day on the water.
Located on Key Biscayne, Crandon Marina boasts a dive boat operation and is striking distance to both artificial and natural reefs. It's also a great spot for fishing charters or to simply strolling the docks at sunset for beautiful views of the bay and the downtown skyline.
Herbert Hoover Marina at Homestead Bayfront Park is located in south Miami at the gateway to the Florida Keys, Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park. For the naturalist or outdoors lover, it's an ideal site to embark to the coral reefs and marine sanctuaries for snorkeling, diving and birding.
Down in Homestead, Black Point Marina is a favorite amongst locals, offering a boat launch ramp and the Ocean Grill restaurant overlooking the water. It's also a great recreation spot with kayak and canoe rentals, nature trails, picnic pavilions and a bait and tackle shop.
Situated in Haulover Park directly on the Intracoastal, Bill Bird Marina is a prime location to explore Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The area is famous for flying kites, which you can rent from an onsite vendor. There are plenty of deep sea fishing boat charters to choose from or simply relax at nearby Haulover Beach.
Located on a causeway midway between Miami Shores and Miami Beach, Pelican Harbour Marina is a popular launch site for Miami boaters in North Bay Village. With easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway, Haulover Inlet and Government Cut, it's the perfect place to plan a fun day on the water. Located on the 10-acre Pelican Island, it's a natural preserve and bird sanctuary featuring barbecue pits, picnic tables and sand volleyball courts.