Florida keys

Hey fellow paddlers,

I am visiting family in Miami and hope to escape to the keys for a couple three days. I am looking for suggestions for paddles and camping or cheap lodging.



In Key Largo…
Check out…



about an hour south of Miami…

but a million miles away… GH

Thank you from Val, too I will keep this info for my dream vacation file!


– Last Updated: Dec-02-04 5:38 PM EST –

If you've never been here, you gotta go! In my opinion, this is the MUST DO thing in Florida!


It's a 70 mile trip on a high-speed catamaran. And, at least one of these will take kayaks along for an additional fee. There is a length limit.

I went with this group and was very pleased.


Even if you can't take the kayak along, this is a GREAT way to spend a day (or days).

Stop by the shop for a wealth of info…
Hey Ken–I am in Key Largo for the winter, and would be happy to help in any way I can. I’m working at Florida Bay Outfitters, mile marker 104 on US 1 on Key Largo. You would pass by us on the way to just about any paddling destination in the keys, except Short Key and Garden Cove. Tell me what kind of time you’ve got, and what you are looking for, and I can suggest some options. Or just email, seafarersteve@yahoo.com


John Pennekamp Park
It is about an hour south of Miami. I live in Miami and paddle there often. You must paddle pennekamp…From North Creek through largo Sound and down South Creek. If you have the energy and time, you can circumnavigate El radabob key…about three hours in a fast yak at a good pace.

There are some flats, mangrove creeks with gin clear water, and even a few spots oceanside where you can get out and stretch. As greyhawk said…it’s only 60 miles from miami, it is a whole other world.

Who wouldn’t love
the idea of “gin clear water.” Don’t forget the tonic and limes. :wink:


– Last Updated: Dec-06-04 4:56 PM EST –

You might be better off doing day trips.

Camprgrounds fill up really fast, and even tho' Florida State Park campgrounds don't reserve all spots in advance, there's usually a high ratio of demand to supply, and usually waiting lines at 8AM for the spots that will open up that day. If you don't have a reservatiuon now for February, you'lll probably be SOL for them. See the "Florida- Kayaking/Camping on the Cheap" thread below: http://www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=advice&tid=267686

You can go online and see what might be available from the commercial ones, for one, or see what motesl might be had: warning, winter is peak season, and in the long tradition of supply & damand, charging what the traffic will bear elevates prices. $100/nite won't be the most expensive by a long shot -but it probably won't be too far off the cheapest.

Contact Grayhawk, greyak, Jim2737, randrums, leeg, and me -we might be able to arrange a meet and a paddle once we know your dates.

Between us we can take you out to sea, see the Gulf, do Florida Bay, visit some historical islands, go urban paddling, park paddling, inland paddling, glades paddling, crowded paddling, remote paddling, salt water, fresh water, brackish water, see sea life, heck, just plain see life...

Looking forward to hearing from you!

You've come to one of the Great Places to

Paddle On!

-Frtank in Miami

Check out http://www.kayakfloridakeys.com/
That's FBO -Florida Bay Outfitters: they have tabs on a lot of what's happening paddlinmg-wise. Be there the first weekend in Feb for the B&B/Demo Weekend -and meet a bunch of p-netters, too! (You'll see a glimpse of the Notorious JackL there!)

Dry Tortugas
Thanks for the links - I am thinking of checking this place out myself late January - have heard wonderful things about it.

Do you know if the water is warm enough for snorkeling down there in January? Is wetsuit needed?

Farther down
If you want to head farther south, it’s fun to poke around the various mangrove islands around Big Pine Key, Mile Marker 35 or so.

Water Temp
The water in January-February averages 72 degrees. For a brief swim, in the sunshine, you should be fine.

I was there in Mid Februrary, and enjoyed the snorkeling very much, without the wetsuit. But this was snorkeling in the shallows off the beach and along the wall.

That said, you WILL need a wet suit if you plan on being in the water for longer periods of time. On an offshore snorkeling trip to Pennekamp National Park, I was very glad I took my wetsuit. Those who didn’t rent a suit from the concessionaire didn’t spend much time snorkeling before they left the water shivering.

Here is a really neat site where you can find historical and current water temperatures.


Just click on a weather buoy. Not all buoys have current info all the time though.

Great info, thanks! Excellent buoy website as well.

Do you know if you can rent wetsuits on Dry Tortugas, or from the Yankee Freedom ferry?