Thanks to warm, clear waters full of wildlife and calm surf for paddling, the stand-up paddleboarding craze is thriving in Southwest Florida
. And nearly any body of water you come across is likely to be a good one to try the sport. The lack of currents and minimal winds of Lovers Key State Park make it a favorite for those just gaining their footing, while more experienced paddleboarders can opt for a longer route along the 190-mile-long Great Calusa Blueway. The key to spotting wildlife such as schools of fish and manatees bobbing in the shallows is to maintain your balance and keep splashing to a minimum. Birders should keep their binoculars in a dry bag and set out on a board around San Carlos Bay- Bunche Beach Preserve. In Pine Island Sound, you can paddle through exotic mangrove tunnels.