Boating Destinations

Cedar Key
Rating: 155%

Cedar Key

But despite its out-of-the-way, end-of-the-road status, Cedar Key does draw its share of visitors. Bird-watchers flock to one of the oldest bird and wildlife refuges in the U.S., and those in the know come here for what has to be one of the most impressive can't-miss-restaurants-to-people ratios in the country.

Atlantic City
Rating: 129%

Atlantic City

One of the premiere destinations on the Eastern seaboard is Atlantic City, New Jersey. With easy access from Absecon Inlet the marina district of A.C. is booming with excitement.


 
Indian River, DE
Rating: 126%

Indian River, DE

“The First State,” as it calls itself because of being “the first state” to ratify the Constitution, is a destination for many of Washington, D.C.'s political pundits as well as politicians. More important, though, is the fact that it's a summer destination for any family with a boat. And because there are so many different kinds of water (oceans, bays and of course inlets), the only debate will be “Where do we go today?”

Abaco Islands, Bahamas
Rating: 122%

Abaco Islands, Bahamas

You can go a million miles away by simply traveling east from Florida’s bustling coastal ports about 250 miles. That’s where you’ll find the Abaco island chain, a 130-mile arc of Bahamas Out Islands.


 
St. Michaels, MD
Rating: 122%

St. Michaels, MD

St. Michaels has 1,200 year-round inhabitants, but in the summertime the tiny burg on Maryland’s eastern shore literally explodes with seasonal residents and guests who come for crabs, quaint cottages and the call of the Chesapeake.

Theodore Roosevelt Lake
Rating: 122%

Theodore Roosevelt Lake

There's a crooked desert road meandering northeast along the Salt River, from Mesa, Arizona, that turns to dirt at Tortilla Flats. It takes you past two smaller desert lakes called Saquaro and Apache, but if the weather is good and you're game enough to follow the trail another 45 miles, you'll find the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Theodore Roosevelt Lake.


 
Carlsbad, CA
Rating: 121%

Carlsbad, CA

Turns out, imagination isn't far from reality. In fact, if you leave the growing populace of San Diego proper and head 30 minutes north, you wind up in a place that captures the classic, pre-21st century SoCal scene: Carlsbad. Not to say it's old-school; it's just dominated by beaches and boating instead of industry and commerce.

Caddo Lake, LA
Rating: 119%

Caddo Lake, LA

Caddo Lake holds the record as the largest natural freshwater lake in the South and the largest Cypress forest in the world. This expansive lake covers more than 26,000 acres on the Texas and Louisiana border.


 
Cave Run Lake
Rating: 116%

Cave Run Lake

A lake in the middle of Daniel Boone National Forest doesn't seem like the ideal spring-break destination, but that's what first took me and a half-dozen friends to this clear, hideaway lake. We pitched tents in Twin Knobs Campground, which is run by the park, and launched a handmade boat from a handmade trailer on the nearby ramp.

Simply Carrabelle
Rating: 115%

Simply Carrabelle

There are few places in Florida where you can experience solitude on an abandoned beach while watching the sun set over the Gulf. However, a small town on the Forgotten Coast is just the place if you're looking to get away from the crowds, traffic and endless displays of Florida t-shirts.


 
Mackinac Island
Rating: 110%

Mackinac Island

A true vacationer's paradise, explore why Mackinac is unique among boating destinations. Research activities, popular pastimes, historical sites, boat marina locations and more

Treasure Island
Rating: 109%

Treasure Island

Treasure Island is a special tropical community which engages nature and the water environment at every opportunity.


 
Martha's Vineyard
Rating: 107%

Martha's Vineyard

The largest island in New England, Martha's Vineyard sits seven miles off the Cape Cod coast and is so beautiful you won't want to spend it in a car or a boat.

Tortola, BVI
Rating: 106%

Tortola, BVI

Just northeast of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Tortola and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) are regarded by many as the ultimate cruising ground in the Caribbean—and with good reason.


 
Corpus Christi, TX
Rating: 104%

Corpus Christi, TX

To polliwogs, a mention of Texas may not bring boating to mind, but old salts know that the state’s eastern Gulf coast—locally known as the Texas Coastal Bend—is a maritime treasure tinged with a taste of the Ol’ West.

Jekyll Island
Rating: 104%

Jekyll Island

In the late 1800s, a group of northern millionaires, among them the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Astors, Morgans and Goodyears...


 
Traveling the Pacific Northwest’s San Juan Islands by Boat
Rating: 101%

Traveling the Pacific Northwest’s San Juan Islands by Boat

Just 80 miles north of Seattle is a boater’s paradise – the San Juan Islands. Tucked between the U.S. and Vancouver Island, Canada, the San Juan archipelago consists of more than 450 islands at high tide surrounded by intricate straits and waterways.

Two Sides of Lake Champlain
Rating: 100%

Two Sides of Lake Champlain

With New York State and the Adirondack Mountains on its western shore, Vermont and the Green Mountains on its eastern shore, Canada a few miles to the north and 80 islands, there’s a lot happening on Lake Champlain.


 
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Rating: 98%

Hilton Head, South Carolina

As one of the most popular boating destinations in the US, Hilton Head provides enthusiasts with many different boating activities to enjoy, including several boat marina locations.

Sarasota, FL
Rating: 97%

Sarasota, FL

Away from the commercial marine traffic and urban bustle of Florida’s Tampa Bay is the easygoing amble of Sarasota, just a few nautical miles south along the state’s central west coast.


 
Morehead City, NC
Rating: 97%

Morehead City, NC

While many people think of North Carolina as a mountainous retreat, there are many jewels to discover east of the Great Smokies. The coast of North Carolina is a treasure trove of diving and big game fishing opportunities.

Hungry Horse Reservoir
Rating: 96%

Hungry Horse Reservoir

It could be that vacationers reach this northwest section of Montana with pinpoint focus (Glacier National Park) and ignore the periphery along the route. Or maybe most of the roughly 2 million annual visitors to the park enter from the east side rather than the more-rugged west entrance. A distance of 10 miles, all of it twisty, between the lake and the park might discourage side trips.


 
Daytona Beach
Rating: 92%

Daytona Beach

One hundred years ago, early automobile enthusiasts made the Daytona Beach area famous. It began on March 28, 1903 with the Challenge Cup in Ormond Beach between Ransom Olds and Alexander Winton.

Key West
Rating: 91%

Key West

At 1:05 p.m. that amazing day, Mel Fisher learned from his son Kane that his greatest dream had been realized. The marine radio crackled to life in the Key West , Florida office of Mel Fisher at Treasure Salvors...


 
Palm Beach
Rating: 91%

Palm Beach

The Palm Beach area offers boaters endless opportunities to explore South Florida from cruising the Intracoastal Waterway and breezing across the Florida Everglades to heading through an inlet for watersports on the Atlantic. Visitors can rent a vessel or charter a boat easily through the numerous local marinas.

Wynoochee Lake, WA
Rating: 89%

Wynoochee Lake, WA

When one thinks of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, two thoughts might come to mind: mountains and forests. They ought to come to mind. Within the peninsula, across Puget Sound from Seattle, is a national park with mountains peaking at nearly 8,000 feet. There are also old-growth rainforests (yes, rainforests) with trees aged over 1,000 years.


 
Charter Cruising the BVI
Rating: 89%

Charter Cruising the BVI

The BVI are a sailing wonderland and a great place for cruisers. Here are our best tips if you're planning to power Drake's Passage.

Pomme de Terre Lake
Rating: 88%

Pomme de Terre Lake

You could travel to Missouri 20 times and never hear of this little, French-named lake on the northern edge of the Ozarks that means "apple of the earth" or for the less romantically inclined, "potato."


 
Miami, FL
Rating: 85%

Miami, FL

Few people realize that Miami Beach is, in fact, a barrier island—one of many—that protects mainland Miami from the Atlantic Ocean.

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Rating: 84%

Fort Lauderdale, FL

With 300 miles of waterways and 40,000 resident yachts, it’s not surprising that Fort Lauderdale is nicknamed “the Venice of America.”


 
Lake George, NY
Rating: 82%

Lake George, NY

We’re cruising over the sparkling surface of beautiful Lake George, in New York’s Adirondack Park. Located slightly over 3 hours from the concrete and steel of metro New York

Leech Lake, MN
Rating: 80%

Leech Lake, MN

Northern Minnesota's most loathsome catch, the eelpout, is a heinous fusion of a catfish's head, and an eel's body. Yet the Leech Lake community showcases it as a tourist draw because ... well, Paul Bunyan was already taken.


 
Fish Creek, WI
Rating: 79%

Fish Creek, WI

At the confluence of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Wisconsin’s Door County serves up an abundance of natural amenities augmented with historical attractions

Moosehead Lake
Rating: 77%

Moosehead Lake

From the top of 1,800-foot Mount Kineo, which sits on a peninsula jutting into Moosehead Lake, you can see miles upon miles of water. Wilderness frames the lake's estuaries and can be seen stretching deep into Canada.


 
Harbor Springs, MI
Rating: 77%

Harbor Springs, MI

Two couples sit at a picnic table, sipping sodas — correction, this is Michigan, so they're sipping "pops." A 30-foot Tiara idles around a little burr in the bay called Harbor Point, its passengers fully relaxed and partially sunburned as the boat quietly motors toward one of the 46 transient slips at the Harbor Springs Municipal Marina. Exactly an hour ago everyone on or near the water watched a spectacular sunset over Lake Michigan. It is still dusk at this moment, with enough twilight to play or cruise. And it is 10:32 p.m.

Lighthouses and Sweet Water
Rating: 73%

Lighthouses and Sweet Water

A tugboat tour of Georgian Bay is a great way to tap into the region's deep history.


 
Chesapeake City
Rating: 74%

Chesapeake City

It's probably safe to say any person cruising between the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Bay has stopped in Chesapeake City , MD , at one time or another.

Lake Mead
Rating: 72%

Lake Mead

The desert on the Arizona – Nevada border may be the last place you think of when some says “boating,” but you’d be missing one of America’s premier water destinations.


 
Fort Pierce
Rating: 70%

Fort Pierce

City Marina located in the heart of the waterfront, features restaurants, a Tiki Bar, Post Office, banks, and slips to accomodate vessels up to 175' in length.

Thompson Island
Rating: 66%

Thompson Island

Boston Harbor Islands National Park, encompasses an area that includes 34 islands surrounding the Greater Boston shoreline. These islands are rich in natural and cultural resources which make wonderful destinations for cruisers from around the world.


 
Penobscot River
Rating: 64%

Penobscot River

A century ago, one in every 10 American shipmasters came from the small coastal towns situated along the banks of the Penobscot River. If you like history and enjoy scenic splendor...

Plymouth, MA
Rating: 62%

Plymouth, MA

There is no doubt that the area’s rich colonial heritage is worth checking out for history-buff boaters visiting Massachusetts’ Boston South Shore.


 
Ensenada, Mexico
Rating: 63%

Ensenada, Mexico

Just 70 miles south from San Diego is a weekend getaway often overlooked by Southern California boaters, but one that’s been a favorite for those in the know: Ensenada, Mexico on the Baja peninsula.

Norwalk
Rating: 56%

Norwalk

Connecticut, Norwalk especially has always been on the vanguard of the oyster industry. Legends exist about foot-long oysters with five-pound meats, growing in beds big enough to restrict navigation.


 
Pelican Island
Rating: 15%

Pelican Island

In the late 1800s America 's wildlife resources were in trouble. Years of unchecked shooting saw the decline of many species...

Twin Lakes
Rating: 7%

Twin Lakes

Originally formed by glacial activity, the natural melt-water reservoirs known as Twin Lakes were enlarged to provide water storage — a process that created some 1,700 acres of clean but cold water for recreational boaters to enjoy. It's easy to understand, after a mountainous drive that tests a truck's transmission, why the place is not overrun with boaters.