Swimming in Florida

JbetleyJbetley Member
edited January 2013 in Locations & Networking
Hoping for a little advice.....

I am visiting Marco Island in Florida with work in February (just south of Naples) and was wondering if anyone knows of any good swimming I could do in any spare time I might have.

In particular I am keen to stay safely away from local wildlife with big teeth. Are there any, or am I just being paranoid?

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.......



  • caburkecaburke Charter Member
    I haven’t heard any reports of “wild life with big teeth” in Marco. I don’t think you need to be too concerned. You probably have more to worry about from the “civilized life with false teeth.” Make sure you swim away from boat traffic. Since you’re not familiar with the area, find the beach on Marco or in Naples and swim parallel to the shore inside the swim buoys.

    If you make it to the Tampa/St. Pete area (3 hours north), we usually have organized swims on the weekends and would love to have you join us.
  • Thanks for the advice #caburke, and also the offer. I will see what my dates are, and whether I have access to a car or not before finding out more about joining you.

    I've never swum in water at Florida temperature before!
  • I was in Naples last January - my husband had a meeting there. We stayed in a Gulf front hotel and there was a nice beach. I swam every day - just close to shore, from jetty to jetty, about a mile lap. The water temp was a very comfortable 64-65. However, I had my husband walk the shore as I was swimming and he chuckled at the number of people who could not believe that there was a woman swimming in that cold water! I enjoyed the seagulls that kept me company, but no other marine life noted. The water quality and clarity was excellent! Enjoy your vacation, and the swimming!
  • JbetleyJbetley Member
    edited January 2013
    Thanks a lot @nvr2late - 65 sounds positively balmy (I'm a Brit). I will find a similar spot, and ideally ask a lifeguard type person about currents, and let people know where I am and when.
    Sadly it's work (well, a conference, so kinda like work) not vacation, but I want to grab the opportunity for some good OW hours while I can.
  • Piggybacking on the thread: I'm going to be in Orlando the last week of February. I know that it's not on the ocean, but are any of the lakes swimmable at that time of year?
  • caburkecaburke Charter Member
    Orlando is only an hour and a half drive from the Gulf of Mexico if you want to join us in the salt water.
  • jcmalickjcmalick Charter Member
    Cocoa Beach also has great swimming and about 45 minutes from Orlando (Melbourne is even closer on the Atlantic side). BUT, I agree with Chris, if you can get out to Tampa Bay that is all the better especially if you get down to Ft DeSoto Park!
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
    I second the Cocoa Beach emotion. Love the beach there.
  • I don't think I'll have access to a car. :( But thanks for the possibilities, in case I do.
  • jcmalickjcmalick Charter Member
    Jon. Lake Minneola may be a safe place to swim as they hold the Great Clermont Triathlon there every year. Orlando is speckled with a lot of little lakes in the downtown area but I would be weary of and fresh body of water due to our "friends".
  • jcmalick said:

    Orlando is speckled with a lot of little lakes in the downtown area but I would be weary of and fresh body of water due to our "friends".

    Um. . . "friends"? Do I want to know?

  • jcmalickjcmalick Charter Member
    Just Gators.
  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsMember
    They are always smiling and laughing.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Friends like these, who needs enemas?
  • I will be in South Beach, Miami in early February and wanted to see if there are any swimmers or swim groups located in the area that I could join up with or any recommended swim spots nearby.

    Appreciate any feedback
  • jvjjvj Member
    Does anyone know of any swim groups or good places to swim in Marathon area. Will be there next week and looking for place to swim.

  • caburkecaburke Charter Member
    I live in St. Pete but spend a lot of time in Marathon. The short answer is no, there are no groups or good places to swim right in Marathon. If you’re willing to drive about 20 miles north, there is a nice pool and Master’s group at Founder’s Park in Islamorada. Lori Bosco, the organizer of the FKCC Swim Around Key West runs a group 50 miles south in Key West.

    If you don’t mind doing short laps up and down the beach, Sombrero Beach and Bahia Honda St. Park are options. But don’t be too disappointed. The Keys are all about the water but they don’t have much in the way of beaches.

    Enjoy your trip.
  • jvjjvj Member
    Thanks caburke! Do you know who the contact is for the Masters group at Founder's Park? I've tried emailing the contact listed on their website several times over the last week but I don't think its current anymore as it bounces back as undeliverable.
  • caburkecaburke Charter Member
    Sorry, I don't have a contact. But, if you call the pool, they have the Master's and open swim hours listed on a flyer in the lobby.
  • I will be in South Beach, Miami in early February and wanted to see if there are any swimmers or swim groups located in the area that I could join up with or any recommended swim spots nearby.

    Appreciate any feedback

    Miami Beach or anything on the ocean-side still has a nasty man-o-war, sea lice, and pink jellyfish (forgot their name) when there is an on-shore breeze. The "best" place for OW swimming in the Miami area is called Hobie Beach. It is just off the bridge to Key Biscayne over to the right. Many triathletes train their on the weekend. Jellys can still be a problem and the water there is sometimes pretty dirty. Porpoises often patrol that area. Crandon Park Beach is ok and is where the local triathlon swims are often venued.

    The best place to swim (by far IMHO) is Fort Lauderdale Beach just up 95 and right out in front of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. The beach in front of ISHOF up to the HoJos is 1 mile, 1.5 miles to the Holiday Inn, and 2.5 miles to Oakland Park Boulevard. There is a reef about 50 yards off-shore that goes all the way north and is a great line to follow. There are bouys beyond that to keep boats out. Lots to see underwater there like barracuda (leave jewelry in the car), jack, stingrays, manta rays, and the occasional porpoise. Stay out when there are on-shore breezes. Guaranteed to get zapped.

    There used to be a masters group that went out there on Saturday mornings for group swims. Try contacting the current masters team there to see if people are still doing it. It is a safe place to swim when the guards are in the towers.

    Hollywood Beach is nice as well, but a little more difficult to get to from I-95. Very safe place to swim as well.

    Miami Beach has jet-ski rentals and lots of people in the water. You also have to worry about getting your car broken into. When I lived in Miami, I would by-pass everything in Miami and go up to Ft. Lauderdale.

    Hope this helps.

  • @jvj try http://www.keysswimming.com/fighting-manatee/

    That is the masters club on Islamorada.
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