01. STAND-UP PADDLEBOARDING
Tampa is surrounded by calm waters, making it a paddleboarder’s dream. The Hillsborough River and the channels that connect to it are easily accessible from docks along the Tampa Riverwalk and Harbour Island on the south end. To forget you’re anywhere near a city, head to the mangrove islands of the Weedon Island Preserve off St. Petersburg. Hit the preserve’s South Paddling Trail (a 4-mile loop accessible from the end of Weedon Drive NE) to see fish, wading birds like egrets and white ibises, and even stingrays. If your family is looking to sneak in one more beach day as fall approaches, try Fort DeSoto’s 2-mile paddling trail or Anna Maria Island.
WHERE TO RENT/BUY PADDLEBOARDS:
310 W. 7th Ave. (Armature Works)
Tampa Bay SUP
700 S. Florida Ave. (Tampa Marriott Water Street)
235 15th Ave. S.E.
Topwater Kayak Outpost
02. JET SKIING
Perhaps you like a little more zip in your water excursions. Or maybe you’ve been inspired by Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn’s viral “Dock Talk” Instagram videos, when he interviewed his teammates and other local athletes from his jet ski during the NHL’s hiatus. Either way, hit the waves on your own jet ski for a quick trip around downtown or the open waters of Tampa Bay.
WHERE TO RENT:
Tampa Bay Boat & Jet Ski Rentals
7627 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway
Bay Breeze Paddle Adventures
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
2900 Bayport Drive
03. CANOEING + KAYAKING
So your balance leaves something to be desired. Canoeing and kayaking (while firmly seated) is another way to get in a little bit of a workout and explore the area’s natural splendor. The Hillsborough River State Park is home to some of the state’s only class II rapids and paddling trails good for both beginners and more experienced paddlers. From the park, thrill seekers can reach the 17 Runs, a 5-mile segment of the river with narrow channels, obstacles blocking the path, and dark, swift-moving currents. Beginners can stick to the 3-mile stretch between the Hillsborough River State Park and Dead River Park, which is known for its easy-going flow.
WHERE TO GO:
15402 U.S. 301 N.
Canoe & kayak rentals available at the park | Call for rental hours