Although not near the ocean, Orlando’s various rivers, canals and lakes make it easy to still paddle board Orlando. Orlando is a vibrant, outdoorsy city so you’re more than likely to meet locals out on the water while paddle boarding. With countless lakes and state parks to choose from, here's our top 5 list of places to paddle board in Orlando.
#1 Blue Springs State Park
Our favorite spot in Orlando to paddle board is Blue Springs State Park. What makes this spot so unique is that during the “colder” months manatees will migrate to these springs in an attempt to chase warmer waters. Blue Springs provides these mammals with a consistent 72 degree year-round temperature. When sea temperatures drop below 72 degrees hundreds of manatees can be seen migrating to this spring. The state park is open to the public the majority of the year, but is worth checking online before planning your visit.
Paddle boarding Orlando with manatees is a unique and exhilarating experience, but make sure to politely give the manatees their distance. Remember, this is their home and you are simply a guest. The best time to paddle board Orlando blue springs state park is from November to mid March, when the manatee’s will be most active in this area.
#2 Wekiwa Springs
Just north of downtown Orlando, Wekiwa Springs is one of the best spots to paddle board Orlando. With its rustic, swamp like look and feel this paddle boarding location is a unique Florida experience. Down the springs and located on the river is the world famous Wekiva Island bar. Make a pit stop here and grab some food and drinks. There aren't too many places you can stop and grab a beer or cocktail while out paddle boarding, which is what makes this spot so unique!
The river in the springs will float you down past lily pads galore, and you may even see a couple of alligators, herons, and turtles that live in these waters. Do not worry, the alligators in this river are rarely known to attack humans, especially if you mind your distance and don’t aggravate them.
#3 Winter Park (Lake Mizell)
Paddle board Orlando while also seeing some incredible tree foliage anywhere in Winter Park. Although known for its vintage style buildings and downtown, Winter Park has become a lively young environment in the past few decades with many active lifestyle residents.
Lake Mizell is one of the prettier and more quant lakes in the Winter Park region. Various venitian styled canals also make this paddle board location a fun adventure. Due to its close proximity to the Rollins College Campus, college rowing students are mainly the ones using this low-key lake, but it’s certainly still a secret gem for paddle boarding Orlando. The tree foliage in this area is a sensational sight in the fall, and makes for a great backdrop while you paddle board Orlando.
#4 Lake Eola Park
Located in the heart of Orlando, this spot provides beautiful views of downtown’s skyline. A popular spot to sit and eat lunch, this lake is also a great place to paddle board Orlando. Due to the lake's relatively small size, it is tough to get in a workout on this lake without paddling in circles. We primarily recommend this spot for paddle board yoga or simply laying out in the sun and enjoying the view with the famous fountain in the middle.
Since the Lake Eola is located right downtown, there are lots of activities and sights to see nearby. Every Sunday a local farmers market is hosted on the lake’s park, making for a great place to grab a snack after paddle boarding.
#5 Lake Holden
A 10 minute drive from downtown, this blissful lake is a great spot for an afternoon paddle board Orlando exercise. Surrounded by lake homes, this water remains relatively clean and empty the majority of the year, making it a great paddle boarding spot to find some peace. During summer months the lake can get busy with boats and floats from the locals.
The lake has a mini island in the middle where you can anchor and spend the afternoon in the sun. Make sure you access this lake by one of the designated roads leading into it, and do not trespass on the properties surrounding this lake.