Miami and the surrounding areas in Florida welcome visitors and vacationers with pristine beaches, clear-blue water, and plenty of sunshine to soak into their skin as they enjoy the outdoors and everything it has to offer.
Which is why the shores of Florida attract numerous visitors on a yearly basis, each with their own idea of how to spend time in the sun.
Maybe you enjoy sport fishing and are looking for a charter to take you where the fish may be. Or possibly, you enjoy nightlife and want to see the tremendous clubs Florida has lining its beaches. Or maybe, you want to expand your skills in the water and finally decide to take a lesson and tour on a paddle board, exploring the numerous waterways and seeing the tremendous biodiversity in the ocean and mangroves.
Well, if you are interested in the last option, then Perfect Paddles is the place to be!
In this article we will be discussing some of the best Wildlife Tours Miami and the surrounding areas have to offer. Each of these tours are unique and fun in their own way. And each will create lasting memories for you and your family while enjoying your vacation in Florida. Let’s begin!
Lublu SUP and Wellness (Miami Beach)
The first outfitter on our list is Lublu SUP and Wellness located in Miami Beach.
Miami Beach is of course famous for its crowded shores, bustling nightlife, and a culture of fitness. As an addition to the fitness, Miami has welcomed SUP to its shores as an excellent addition to any fitness routine.
And while you will be getting exercise on Lublu SUP and Wellness’ adventure tour, you will also be getting a unique perspective of the city and the wildlife found off its shores.
During the guided trip, paddlers will be able to paddle the warm tropical blue-green waters of the southern coast of Florida where they will most certainly see dolphins, ray, manatees, sea turtles, and a collection of brightly colored tropical fish.
The reason why this tour makes it into out top five is due to the supplementation of being able to see exclusive island homes of celebrities, luxurious mega yachts, and the famous skyline of the downtown area.
Also be sure to check out Lublu’s Buddy Deal on Perfect Paddles for additional discounts on their services!
Gulf to Bay Standup (Sanibel)
Next up, is and outfitter called Gulf to Bay Standup located in Sanibel.
Florida is unique in its structure and location. Given that it is a peninsula sitting in the Atlantic Ocean, it has two shores, an east coast and a west coast- each providing a unique experience for the avid explorer.
Sanibel, the location of Gulf to Bay Standup is located on the west coast of Florida. Led by experienced waterman Wil Compton, the tours include a guided expedition around the small island of Sanibel.
During the tour Wil provides novice and experienced paddlers with an advanced technique tutorial highlighting his 5-step teaching tool to improve your paddle stroke and ensure you will be getting the best lesson possible.
Once the techniques lessons are administered, Wil guides participants for over and hour around the island where paddlers can expect to see species native to the island such as the Sanibel Island Rice Rat (a protected species by the state of Florida native only to the island), river otters, marsh rabbits, plenty of aviation species and of course numerous fish swimming in the clear bay water.
Surfit USA (Sarasota)
Coming up next on our list is a company called Surfit USA in Sarasota. Located northwest from Miami, Sarasota is home to pristine beaches, unique architecture, and bustling waterways filled with plenty of boat traffic.
Surfit makes it on our list due to its unique tour of the Lido mangrove tunnels. For a true Florida experience, this is the tour to take!
During a span of two and a half hours, paddlers will be led through the Lido mangroves where their experienced guide will point out various wildlife, provide history of the area they are paddling, and ensure you and your family will have a fun, yet safe time.
Often on these tours through the protected areas of the mangroves, participants have been known to spot dolphins, manatees, osprey and other beautiful birds during the paddle. Not to mention the thrill of paddling through the unique landscape of the bent trees and hanging vines of the mangroves.
This tour is a must for anyone vacationing on the west coast looking for a true Florida experience!
Lazy Dog SUP (Key West)
Lazy Dog SUP is located in the vacation mecca of Key West where everyday has pristine weather, clear skies, and warm water to play in.
Owned and operated by Sue Cooper, Lazy Dog SUP started as an escape from the hustle of the corporate world to the relaxed shores of the south where Sue started her paddling company as a way to live the life she wanted.
From there, she grew from kayaking into standup paddling, and eventually started providing memorable tours for her visitors.
Running what she calls a Lazy Dog Backcountry Boat Adventure, Sue takes paddlers onto her pontoon boat where they are charted to secluded beaches to explore, relax and take in the scenery.
Once they are situated and the boards are dumped over, Sue takes paddlers through the mangroves and empty beaches of the island where they will be able to see marine birds, ray, turtles, manatees, and beautiful, brightly colored fish.
As an extra treat, participants can take a mask and snorkel with them on the journey where they can leave their boards, jump into the water, and witness firsthand the incredible biodiversity of Key West and the small connecting islands.
Not only is this tour a blast, but by getting to know Sue, paddlers may be able to take in some advice to live a happier life under the sun!
This is a Perfect Paddles recommendation everyone must experience if the plan is to visit Key West.
Lake Life Paddle (Belle Isle)
Located north of Miami in the Orlando area, Lake Life Paddle offers a different glimpse into Florida life by providing tours off the beach and inland in a protected body of water surrounded by the city and wildlife flocking to its shores.
Offering different tours daily, Lake Life provides a choice for paddlers to participate in. These include a Moonlight Paddle Tour, Night Glow Paddle in Paradise, Sunset Paddle at the Waterfront, and a Paddle and Brunch in Paradise Tour.
While each tour may be different, they all have one common factor- paddlers will be expertly guided through the scenic lake where they will be greeted by the abundance of wildlife living within the environment.
If you are looking strictly for a relaxing Wildlife Tour, Perfect Paddles highly recommends signing up for the Paddle and Brunch in Paradise Tour. Along with the exciting feature of grabbing brunch with the group, paddlers will also be able to discover a real Orlando experience where they will be guided along the shores of the lake seeing fish, turtles, and various bird species calling the warm trees their home.
For those looking to take their adventure away from the beach and experience a different part of Florida, this tour with Lake Life Paddle is highly recommended by Perfect Paddles!
Paddling Paradise (Palm Bay)
Paddling Paradise comes in next on our list. Located halfway between Orlando and Miami, this outfitter provides an exceptional adventure with a unique twist for participants.
The tours start at their location on the beautiful beaches of Turkey Creek where a beginner lesson or refresher course is administered to the group in order to allow everyone to get comfortable with being on the water.
Once this is taken care of, paddlers will make their way to the Turkey Creek Sanctuary. This park is a nature reserve located in the city of Palm Bay incorporating both salty hammock and sand pine ridge habitats.
Due to its variety of habitats, this nature reserve houses plenty of different species for paddlers to see, take pictures of, and observe in their natural environment.
During the trip, the group will paddle where manatees play in warm water, enjoy the various native bird species, and possibly view an alligator or two skulking through the waterways. Just don’t get too close to these guys! While exciting to observe in their natural habitat, they of course, should always be left alone.
Along with the abundance of wildlife, guides will provide information on the sanctuary such as why a thriving estuary is so important to protecting the inland environment and to supporting the variety of wildlife in these areas.
For these reasons alone, Paddling Paradise comes in high on our list for the great places to experience a Wildlife Tour!
Paddle the Florida Keys (Islamorada)
Paddle the Florida Keys comes in next our list!
Located in Islamorada, one of the first keys travelers hit when they make their way along the bridge, this company provides a perfect beginner paddle for vacationers looking to understand the various waterways making up the keys as well as the wildlife found within them.
So, why does this company land on our list?
Their accessibility for travelers, the chance to see local wildlife, and the fact that this island is not as busy as Key West, which means you can have the same experience as you would in Key West but without the crowds and wait times, all combine to place Paddle the Florida Keys high on our list.
Their relaxed eco and wildlife tours take participants through a beginner lesson on land before setting off into the ocean. Once on the water, expert guides paddle along with the group through tight mangroves and into open water where they will point out where the tropical fish congregate, and manatees play in the warm water.
By combining open water paddling with the tight scenery of the mangroves, vacationers are guaranteed to experience everything the Keys have to offer! Perfect Paddles highly recommends taking a tour with Paddle the Florida Keys to have fun without the crowds and wait times!
Sunrise Paddleboards (Fort Lauderdale)
Alright everyone, we are at our last shop for Wildlife Tours in the Miami area.
Located just north of Miami in Fort Lauderdale, our number one tour is provided by Sunrise Paddleboards.
While the company itself provides plenty of options for tours, including a paddling eco tour, jet ski tour, a Venice of America tour, the reason they land at number one on our list is due to their Reef Paddle and Snorkel Tour as well as their Paddle with Manatees Tour.
These two tours combine to give vacationers the perfect amount of time on the water to discover the variety of wildlife found in southern Florida.
During the snorkel tour, groups are led by an expert guide to a small reef section of the water where you are encouraged to dump off your board equipped with a mask and snorkel and swim alongside the brightly colored tropical fish found in abundance in this area. It is an incredible experience for anyone to participate in!
But if swimming with the fish is not your thing, the manatee tour takes paddlers to a guaranteed spot where they are able to paddle right next to the big animals, coming within arms reach while they swim by!
These two tours are truly amazing experiences for any traveler who happens to find themselves on the warm shores in Florida.
And the main reason why Sunrise Paddleboards receives a spot on our list!
Miami and the surrounding areas of Florida have some of the most pristine waters and beach available in the continental United States for adventurers, vacationers, and avid paddlers to explore. From the warm weather, to the clear water and the availability of a biodiverse wildlife, it is truly a remarkable paradise.
By participating in a Wildlife Tour, paddlers will be guaranteed to have an amazing experience which may stick with them for a lifetime. We hope you enjoyed our list of the top Wildlife Tours in Miami and the rest of Florida. And if you are one of the millions of people who happen to visit the warm beaches down south, we cannot recommend contacting one of these shops and outfitters for a tour. Being out on the water is one of the most rewarding activities you can participate in. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste!