Broward and Palm Beach Counties in South Florida are known as the “boating capitals of the world”. Year round sun and warmth combined with the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Intracoastal Waterway to the west makes South Florida one of the most fun places to explore by water. While there is an ample amount to enjoy by cruising down the ICW or the New River, there are actually a few great spots to whip out your ski rope and go tubing, waterskiing or wakeboarding. While there aren’t an abundance of large open spaces to do so in South Florida, we’ve collected a few hidden gems that we’d love to tell you more about!
Hollywood Lakes - Hollywood, FL - Broward County
The Hollywood Lakes, located halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami in Hollywood, FL are located just off of the ICW as you’re making your way from Miami towards Fort Lauderdale. While the main channel can have a lot of boat traffic, if you veer off towards the lake you are greeted on both lakes by a wide area with private homes dotted on the outer edges. You do not have to be a homeowner on the lake to enter this area, and it is large enough where you’ll be able to do 65 mph+ runs on a jet ski either in straight lines or circles without too many obstructions. Waterskiing and wakeboarding is just as easy to, as the outer edges of the lake allow you to tow someone in a large circle around the lake. The North Lake and the South Lake are pretty much duplicates of one another, so if one side becomes a little too busy for your liking (which sometimes can happen on the weekends) you can always feel free to hop over to the other side. Regardless of how busy either lake is, you’ll always want to be sure to be aware of your surroundings. Large motor yachts sometimes use the middle of the lake to drop anchor and rest for a short while, and local residents are sometimes seen kayaking or paddle-boarding on the lakes’ outer edges. Nevertheless, North and South Lake offer a great opportunity to escape Fort Lauderdale and relax for a fun day of water sports with the family.
Lake Osborne - Palm Beach County
Lake Osborne is a long and narrow lake located in Lantana in Palm Beach County. It is effectively divided into two by state route 812 (Lantana Road). You’ll launch your vessel at the John Prince Park public boat ramp at the northernmost end of the lake. The southern portion of the lake is effectively a straightaway for water-skiers, wakeboarders and wakesurfers as there are an ample 3,000 feet of space just south of the route 812 bridge to do back and forth runs. You’ll want to be sure to keep right at the peninsula dividing the lake in two. If you prefer being towed in a circular motion instead, you’ll want to stay on the north side of the Lake, where you are offered a large 1750 x 1100 foot basin on the opposite side of John Prince Park Campground. In addition, another large basin that is 3000 x 2000 feet in size is located on the upper part of the lake just north of the 6th ave S bridge. The bridge’s clearance is approximately 25 feet high which offers you the opportunity to hop back and forth between the different layouts if you so choose. And after you are done your activities, sit back and relax in one of the many parks located on the lake’s outskirts and watch airplanes approaching and departing Lantana Airport!
Haulover Inlet - Dade County
If you’re in the mood to experience the thrill of Miami from the water, take a jet ski around the Haulover inlet. Located on the northern half of Biscayne Bay, Haulover Inlet is defined by its access to the Atlantic ocean under Haulover bridge. This passageway offers a great opportunity to change your ride from one that is relatively flat on the Biscayne Bay side to a choppy and wave-filed one on the ocean side. If you go out on the weekends, you’ll also be able to experience the famous Haulover Sandbar party. Every Saturday/Sunday, local boaters bring their vessels to the sandbar in front of Haulover park in North Miami just north of Bal Harbour to play music and drink/eat. But if the party scene is not exactly your vibe, you can head south towards the Venetian Islands just west of Miami Beach and take a secluded canal by canal tour of celebrity homes. A number of celebrities have owned residences on the water just south of the Julie Tuttle Causeway including Shaquille O’Neal, Ricky Martin, Calvin Klein and Lenny Kravitz. In any case, there’s nothing like being in the middle of the wide open Biscayne Bay and gunning your jet-ski at top speed.
Docking Throughout South Florida
Waterskiing, wakeboarding and jet-skiing are incredibly fun activities and as you can see Florida has its fair share of cool spots for a fun afternoon of water sports. However, if you want to always be close to the action, you’re going to need to find a place to keep your boat in the water and easily accessible. We found this cool new company that helps solve this problem. It's called PierShare. They are an online marketplace for private boat dock rentals. They have a number of listings in the Hollywood/Hallandale Beach area within close proximity to the Hollywood Lakes, like this one. For Miami, they have a great dock for rent in the Keystone Islands neighborhood located right across from Haulover that is a great fit for bowriders/dinghies as well as this platform dock that can fit up to a 50 foot yacht.
PierShare is another company innovating the watersports industry and making your time more enjoyable. We love companies trying to make the industry better like us. We strive to innovate the way you listen to music out on the water. Creating the best listening experience with the Groove Vest. And PierShare is making it easier to get in the action by being able to dock your boat wherever you travel. If you know of any other innovative companies send them our way, we love to share these things with our audience.