Miami 101: Get To Know South Florida’s Unique On-The-Water Geography

Mon, May 06, 2024 at 8:59AM

Miami 101: Get To Know South Florida’s Unique On-The-Water Geography

It’s that time of year again! Spring is in full bloom all around the Miami area — and there’s no better way to celebrate the splashing season ahead than with a visit to the SoFlo Boat Show.

The fun kicks off on May 17, and this year’s show has plenty of immersive activities in store. There will be panels and performances starring marine experts; a Fishing Zone for those interested in learning more about angling; and, of course, beautiful Monterey Boats to browse as you chart your on-the-water future.

But if you already have one of our pleasure boats, you’ll definitely want to set aside some time to explore the local environment yourself! After all, Miami (and the surrounding South Florida area) is home to some of the most unique geography in the Sunshine State and the country as a whole. You’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere that has the same combination of balmy weather and beautiful beaches, sporting waterways, and unique nooks and crannies that define the boat-friendly geography.

After all, you might know Miami Beach — but that’s just the beginning. Read on as we share a few spots of note you’ll discover while cruising from the SoFlo Boat Show.

Biscayne Bay

The show takes place on Virginia Key, which sits at the heart of Biscayne Bay. To the north, you’ll find Miami Beach and The 305’s bustling skyline. To the south, you’ll discover a quieter pace of life — palm trees, sugar-sand beaches, and flourishes of green that pop against the shimmering H2O.

One of the theories behind Biscayne Bay’s name is that it comes from Spain’s similarly named Bay of Biscay, which runs along the northern coast of Spain and the western coast of France. While it doesn’t look completely like the Sunshine State’s signature bay — it boasts beautiful coastal mountains, for starters — it does have the same dazzling blue hue, which certainly could have made Spanish explorers think of home. So if you want a slice of the Mediterranean in Florida, well, this is the place to be!

Florida Key Cousins

When you think of the Florida Keys, out-of-the-way destinations like Key West or Islamorada probably come to mind first — fishing villages and tourist hubs that take a while to get to, but are well worth the trip.

Of course, if you’re just in town for boat show weekend, you don’t need to travel nearly that far! The Sunshine State is actually home to another set of keys conveniently located in the Miami area. Virginia Key, as we mentioned earlier, is where the boat show fun kicks off — while Key Biscayne, located to the south, juts into a pristine slice of Atlantic waterfront and is well-regarded for its blend of luxury and back-to-nature splendor. If you’re looking for a place to cruise by or enjoy a beach picnic on as you savor your sunny weekend, this is a particularly choice destination.

South Florida Lakes & Bays

Yes, the South Florida area is home to several smaller bodies of water as well! Maule Lake, Blue Lagoon, and Dumfoundling Bay are just a few of the gorgeous bodies of water that are speckled across the Sunshine State’s landscape — reflective of Florida’s unique geologic makeup.

Oleta River

Feel like hitting the water on a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard? Weave your way through Oleta River State Park, the state’s largest urban park — where a gorgeous, tree-lined journey awaits! It will be hard to believe the hustle and bustle of Miami is barely more than a stone’s throw away — but indeed, it is.

Sandbars & Islands

This one-of-a-kind river actually feeds into the Haulover Sandbar, one of several spots in South Florida that’s built for family fun and raft-ups when the weather is right. There are actually numerous islands that dot the Miami area’s marine landscape — several of them being private communities that sport stunning waterfront architecture; others that are big enough to offer amusement attractions; and still others that have room for a few boaters to pull up and enjoy an island picnic! Just brush up on your destination of choice to know logistics like docking, launching, and which areas are open for visitors.

The Amazing Offshore

Of course, all roads (er, waterways) lead to Miami’s gorgeous Atlantic waterfront. And while the beach itself is a pretty iconic place to be — and, naturally, snag a fun photo op or two — we’re rather partial to the view from a mile or two out. After all, Miami is widely regarded as one of the most active water sports scenes in the country (and the world in general), serving as a hot spot for adventurers looking to try out new gear or simply take a brisk cruise past some of SoFlo’s sunniest destinations. If you have thrills on your mind, there’s no better place to be.

After a fun-filled weekend at the SoFlo Boat Show, these destinations provide the perfect on-the-water playground for spring and summer boating to continue! We can’t wait to see you there.

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