All of the ice in town might come from a freezer, but water in liquid form could hardly be more abundant in Miami, and the city knows it. From the person who wants nothing more than to lounge on a sandy beach to the thrill-seeker wanting to see everything at as high a velocity as possible, Miami has something for everyone looking for a watery experience.
Some people seek out hot springs for swimming. Fortunately, the closest Miami has to a hot spring is the beach in late summer. The second closest is the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, which claims to be "the world's most beautiful swimming hole" and is on the National Register of Historic Places. A former coral rock quarry turned into a clear emerald lagoon in 1922, the Venetian Pool is now fed with cool artesian water, perfect for a hot summer day. The pool is surrounded by palm trees, bright tropical foliage, historical buildings, and a twenty-five foot waterfall over a coral cliff. Lest you miss the ocean, no fear; Venetian Pool has a white sand beach as well.
Kayakers will enjoy the views of downtown, the port of Miami, and as much of South Beach as you care to paddle along, starting at South Beach Kayak. Catering predominantly to those desiring an independent adventure, South Beach Kayak rents out single and double kayaks in two hour blocks. However, that's not all! If you're looking for a guided tour, try the "Fool Moon Kayak" or "Starlight Kayak" trip, both of which are nighttime kayaking adventures that include a bonfire on Monument Island.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something of a different flavor, try out a Stand-Up Paddle Board. It's a little like surfing, a little more like kayaking, and a lot of fun. South Beach Kayak rents out Stand-Up Paddle Boards, as does the aptly named Paddleboard Miami, which has several locations, and offers lessons and classes, such as Yoga Paddleboarding.
After exploring at the water's surface, it might be time to see what's underneath up close. Snorkeling is both accessible enough for a novice and interesting enough to hook the the born-and-raised Miamian. And the locals are there to make it even easier and more interesting: guided trips that take you to coral reefs— often several per trip— are maybe more common than Starbucks in this town... and it means a boat adventure is included. One of the more centrally located is Divers Paradise of Key Biscayne, which offers both snorkeling and Scuba trips, to both reefs, and, for the Scuba diver, to over 30 shipwrecks.
Now to return to the surface and kick things into a higher speed. No need for a full boat or a fancy license; a jet-ski will let you zoom along the waves of the Atlantic. Miami Beachsports rents jet-skis by the half hour and by the hour. Once you're back on land, this outfitter also has everything you need for a day on the beach— cabanas, lounge chairs, umbrellas— at two locations, one in Miami Beach and one in a slightly calmer area east of Aventura. So pick up some sunglasses and a towel, and get to the water!