With its year-round warm temperatures and abundance of outdoor activities such as boating, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling, Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the country’s top watersports destination.
The Broward County parks system has a number of venues offering unique Fort Lauderdale water activities. Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach has a Ski Rixen USA cable water-skiing and wakeboarding park, where participants ages 12 and up are pulled by a cable over the smooth, glassy water. No boat is needed, and there are no boat wakes to deal with. You can slalom, trick ski, kneeboard, wakeboard or even surf without a wave.
Quiet Waters Park also has a marina that rents kayaks, paddle boats and other vessels. And there’s a water park called Splash Adventure for ages 12 and under. Two other county parks that offer Fort Lauderdale water activities are Paradise Cove at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines and Castaway Island at T.Y. Park in Hollywood. Like Quiet Waters Park, they both have two water playgrounds, one of which is geared toward younger children. Paradise Cove also has a tube ride, and Castaway Island includes a swimming lagoon.
One of the best ways to explore the vast freshwater marsh known as the Everglades, at the western edge of Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is by taking an airboat ride out of Everglades Holiday Park. The park’s large, covered airboats are skippered by experienced guides who talk about the history of the “River of Grass” and point out the wildlife, which includes a variety of wading birds, waterfowl and alligators.
Fort Lauderdale underwater adventures
With its beautiful coral reefs and artificial reefs, which are ships that were sunk deliberately, Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a mecca for snorkeling and scuba diving. Numerous scuba charters offer multiple trips per day for certified divers, providing rental equipment and air tanks for those who need them, as well as trips in shallow water for snorkelers.
The depths of the scuba dives typically range from 20 feet of water out to 85 feet for more experienced divers. Divers can enjoy seeing the variety of colorful tropical fish and coral formations, while those in search of dinner can try to catch some lobsters, which hang out in holes in the reefs. In Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, divers and snorkelers can swim from the beach to explore the nearest coral reef, and guided beach dives are offered by some charter operators.
Top-of-the water activities
Standup paddleboarding is a popular, healthy activity that can be done right off the nearest Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beach. Many operators rent paddleboards and even give paddleboarding lessons. Some even offer paddleboard yoga sessions.
Riding personal watercraft is equally popular, and rental vessels such as Jet Skis and WaveRunners are available from companies all along the Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL, coastline. Visitors can also rent sailboats on the beaches or book a chartered sailboat trip. Keep in mind that whatever Fort Lauderdale water activities interest you, it’s best to make reservations ahead of your visit.