There are many things to do in Florida
and many of those activities are on the water. The places where the oceans meets the inland waters are called inlets, passes and ports. The diversity of the activities available at these inlets are endless, but share one common theme, access to the oceans.
If you're looking for fun you'll find it at Port Canaveral
, the Port has many great restaurants and clubs, this place is a blast. You'll also find thrilling activities like fishing, boating and gaming opportunities
. If relaxing in the sun and being by the water sounds like a plan try Jetty Park
, one of the public parks within the Port.
Clearwater is a city where people come to enjoy the sun, the water sport opportunities and have fun. The best way to experience Clearwater Beach
is by boat, as there is every type of boat adventure imaginable at the marina. Cigarette boats, fishing boats, nature tours, snorkeling boats, paddleboats, and even a pirate ship are tied up at the docks. You can parasail, fish, watch nature, dolphin hunt, snorkel or go shelling. You can rent jets ski's, hire a catamaran for the day, rent beach chairs to lounge in or go on a pirate adventure. These are fun for the whole family. Kids get pirate hats, engaging in treasure hunts, water pistol fights, and line dancing with the crew, while mom and dad get to enjoy cocktails!!
has been a long favorite of fishermen for years. Offshore fishing
is excellent with close access to deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. It's also the best place in Florida to catch a big blue marlin. Mahi, wahoo and sailfish are also caught here during late spring and summer. If you'd like to charter a boat to do some fishing in the Gulf, you'll appreciate the fact that the 100 Fathom Curve is closer to Destin than any other spot in Florida, making it the fastest way to get to the deep waters in the Gulf.
Port Everglades is the largest cruise ports in Florida
and now home to the largest cruise ship in the world, the Oasis of the Seas
. The ship's new home has been upgraded making Fort Lauderdale
not only a popular destination but a world class cruise port. Port Everglades is also home to the largest concentrations of Mega Yachts in Florida
The Hillsbourough Inlet
is about 10 miles from Boca Raton; it is wide and considered navigable, though some skill is required and local knowledge is helpful. Fishing offshore is fantastic with sailfish, mahi, wahoo and bottom fish like snapper and grouper.
Here is where you'll also find John's Pass Village, a small little fishing village that has more than 100 unique shops, and quaint little eateries. There is easy access to a wide variety of water sports and boat trips, either fishing or sight seeing and an 1,100-foot Boardwalk. Near St. Petersburg
, John's Pass Boardwalk offers you the chance to stroll along with a soda or ice cream cone, or to visit one of the waterfront restaurants or decks for a cool refreshing cocktail.
Jupiter Inlet Park and Dubois Park
are connected by a small foot bridge so you can visit both easily. This is a perfect place to plan to spend the day. You can swim at beaches watched over by lifeguards or surf or fish in one of the designated areas. Jupiter Inlet is well known as one of the best places for snook fishing. Besides snook, Jupiter Inlet is also great for large jacks, sheepshead, mangrove snapper and even the occasional tarpon. Offshore anglers can also catch kingfish, cobia, grouper, snapper, mahi, wahoo and sailfish. Charter Boats are also available for hire with the a short Gulf Stream run allowing for maximum fishing time. Jupiter
is located on the northern edge of Palm Beach
County and has a population of approximately 50,000.
On the southern end of Anna Maria Island
on Florida's Gulf Coast is Longboat Pass. Coquina Beach on the northern side of the inlet has large parking areas, lifeguards and public restrooms with showers. The bay side of Coquina is popular with jet skiers, and host a boat launch.
New Pass separates Lido Key
and Longboat Key
. There are several marinas in nearby Sarasota
to dock and launch from, as well as two public boat launches; one at Turtle Beach on Siesta Key
, and one at Centennial Park. However, many boaters choose Lido Key for their home, because of its easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, the abundant canals and bays along the Intercostal Waterway. All of the water and easy access to it make launching a power boat or sailboat simple, and that’s what makes Lido Key a boating paradise.
Ortega River Inlet - St. Johns
The Ortega River Inlet
is the Atlantic Ocean entrance to the St. Johns River, the longest river in Florida; it is 310 miles long and runs through or borders twelve counties. 3.5 million People live within the various watersheds that feed into the St. Johns River, as it is Florida's primary commercial and recreational waterway and the center of Jacksonville
. It is a very slow running river and is one of the few rivers in the United States that runs north.
Fishing out of Pensacola Pass is good most of the year. It's not unusual for the restaurants around Pensacola
to offer selections caught the night before such as snapper, grouper, tuna and wahoo. In the early summer months, the shrimp boats come in offering their 'fruit of the sea' - shrimp, much to the delight of locals and tourist alike. If you prefer to catch your own, you can book one of the many charter boats to take you fishing inshore for red fish, cobia or pompano; offshore charters can take you fishing for the wahoo, mahi and blue marlin.
Ponce de Leon Inlet
connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Halifax River and is located approximately 12 miles south of Daytona Beach
. On the north side lies a jetty and the south side is natural sand. You can fish from the jetty, walk along the beach and even drive on the beach on the north side of Ponce Inlet. At the inlet you can catch red fish, bluefish, black drum, flounder, pompano and assorted bottom fish. Offshore, Ponce Inlet is best known for red snapper fishing, but its also good for king mackerel and cobia with wahoo and mahi further offshore.
San Carlos Bay
Located between Fort Myers Beach
and Sanibel Island
is San Carlos Bay, a place for people who love the outdoors. There are many trails, both in and out of the water, to follow and explore. The wildlife and bird population Fort Myers
area makes for some great picture taking. The bay itself is fairly wide and open and there for there is no inlet in the traditional sense, but world class fishing
and easy access to the Gulf of Mexico make it worth mentioning.
Big Sarasota Pass
Big Pass is the southern mouth of Sarasota
Bay and separates Lido Key
and Siesta Key
. South Lido Park at the southern tip of Lido Key offers the shore bound access to a great recreational opportunities such as swimming. Visitors can enjoy a nature trail which includes scenic overlooks and boardwalks. Some of these park amenities include: a picnic area with rest rooms and grills for cooking, a volleyball court and play ground; there is also a canoe trail if you prefer to see nature from the water.
is known far and wide for two things, surfing and snook fishing. Sebastian Inlet is home to many surfing tournaments that take place throughout the year, the north jetty and inlet cause the waves to break perfectly and whenever there’s a north swell the place packs them in. Another hot surf spot is Monster Hole, located about 1/3 mile off the beach, on the south side of Sebastian Inlet. Snook fishing at Sebastian Inlet is very popular, with possibly more snook landings than any other single place in Florida. The north jetty which extends into the Atlantic offers shore bound anglers the best opportunity. The south side of the inlet has a much shorter jetty but this allows you to climb down to the rocks and get closer to the fish.
St. Andrews Pass
St. Andrews Pass is located at the south-east side of Panama City Beach
making it a popular inlet serving a large area. St. Andrews State Park
has a deep-sea jetty and a fishing pier, which offer excellent vantage points all year. Sea trout, flounder, Spanish mackerel, dolphin, red fish, bonito, bluefish and cobia are some of the fish usually caught at St Andrews State Park.
Tampa Bay is one of the largest estuaries in Florida and is home to Tampa
and St. Petersburg
. Spanned by the 5.5 mile long Sunshine Skyway Bridge
, Tampa Bay is also home to the Port of Tampa
. Here are two of the main channels into Tampa Bay.
Egmont Channel - Tampa Bay North
On the north side of Tampa Bay sits Egmont Channel and Fort De Soto Park
. The park is open year - round and has many things to enjoy, such as two piers where you can fish in the Gulf of Mexico. There are two swimming areas, North Beach and East Beach, picnic areas and a camping area with a store. They have a seven-mile, multi-purpose trail, 2¼ mile canoe trail, 800 foot boat ramp. There is also a ferry that'll take you to Egmont Key State Park on Egmont Key.
Passage Key Inlet - Tampa Bay South
On Tampa Bay's south side sits Passage Key Inlet and Anna Maria Island
. Unlike other popular Florida cities, jam packed with theme parks, multi-plexus and water slides, there are no lines on Anna Maria Island, except for the ones you draw in the sand. They have miles of pristine beaches, along with award-winning restaurants and specialty shops. It was once a well-kept secret among Florida day-trippers and has always been known for its sugar-white coastline, emerald Gulf waters and quaint business districts, even the office buildings there are brightly painted and decorated.
By Beverly Martinez-Collins – PlacesAroundFlorida.com