Miami’s sparkling blue waterways beg to be explored, especially on pitch-perfect weather days (you know the ones — low humidity, nary a tropical storm on the horizon). Unless you have friends who own boats (and perhaps I haven’t been strategic enough in my friend-making, because I don’t) you’re going to have to get creative with how you hit the open sea.

Shortly after moving here, I discovered the waterways and kayak rentals at Oleta River State Park, about 40 minutes north of South Beach. The tiny park is home to mangrove preserves, bike trails, and a pretty stretch of beach. It’s also where you’ll find Blue Moon Outdoor Center, where it’s possible to rent kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards.

You can kayak from morning ’til sunset, though sunset is preferred — at this quiet hour you might spy playful dolphins leaping past or manatees gliding by. Plus, as the sunset’s hues tint the sparkling water in golds and pinks, it’s impossible not to fall deeper in love with Magic City.