The Top 10 Winter Boating Destinations to Visit This Winter

Today’s blog post reveals our favorite winter boating destinations to plan a last-minute trip. 

Best Winter Boating Destinations 

Are you looking to embark on some winter boat trips? Great idea! Winter boating excursions are tons of fun for the whole family. Below are some of the best winter sailing destinations to visit this season: 

1. The Bimini Islands

Located just east of Miami, the Bimini Islands don’t really experience winter. Therefore, they’re excellent winter boating destinations for first-time boaters and seasoned pros alike. These islands are the westernmost district of the Bahamas, luring sailors with their close proximity and tropical flair. And situated just 50 miles off the U.S. shoreline, your boating excursion will last three hours or less.

2. The Florida Keys 

Florida Keys

Another popular winter sailing destination is the Florida Keys. Why? Winter temperatures rarely drop below 60°F, guaranteeing the weather will be mild, warm, and utterly enjoyable. The Keys consist of dozens of small islands often frequented by marine traffic. Therefore, it won’t be hard to locate fuel, food, and a safe place to anchor. 

3. The Southern Gulf 

The Southern United States and the Gulf of Mexico are fantastic winter boating destinations if you'd like to stay within the continental United States. 

One of our favorite sailing routes is along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), which runs from South Texas to South Florida. When traveling the ICW, you’ll pass hundreds of must-see American cities with restaurants, marinas, and attractions to explore

4. Hawaiian Islands

When it comes to winter boat trips, Hawaii is a classic. From Kauai to Oahu, the Hawaiian Islands are arguably some of the best winter vacation destinations in the world. And while the 2,000-mile sailing journey isn't for the faint of heart, experienced sailors can complete it in about 20 days. 

Once you arrive, Hawaii boasts beautiful resorts and plenty of places to toss an anchor. 

5. The California Coast 


With 840 breathtaking miles of coastline, the Golden State has more than a few saltwater boating destinations. Sunny San Diego is optimal for year-round boating, for example. But our personal favorite? Check out the Salton Sea, a unique inland saltwater lake formed by accident. 

There are plenty of boat ramps, family campgrounds nearby, and fun activities for the whole family. 

6. Lake Powell  

With beaches, side canyon lakes, and red rock walls, Utah’s Lake Powell is an exciting destination to explore via boat. 

With 2,000 miles of shoreline, this lake has plenty of room to accommodate all boaters. And while freezing low temps might prevent you from swimming, the desert sunshine and highs in the 50s are ideal for out-of-water adventures (like kayaking). 

7. Lake Austin 

Did you know there’s a vibrant boating scene not far from Texas’ capital? With winter temperatures averaging in the 60s, Lake Austin has plenty of sunny days for you to spend on the water. Additionally, there are many lakeside restaurants, shops, and rental boating companies available. And anglers will be happy to hear there are tons of largemouth basses, sunfish, and catfish to catch. 

8. Biloxi, Mississippi

Ever been to Biloxi, Mississippi, in the wintertime? If not, this coastal city is one of our ideal winter sailing destinations. The boating options are endless, with access to the Gulf of Mexico, Back Bay, and Big Lake. Additionally, the Mardi Gras Festival in February and the Spring Festival in March provide fun for the whole family. 

9. St. Andrews Bay and Panama City Beach, Florida 


While the waters are a tad chilly, St. Andrews Bay’s mid-60s temperatures are optimal for out-of-water excursions. The clear waters of the Gulf are ideal for viewing shipwrecks, sea life, and reefs. And, of course, the fishing season is year-round in Panama City Beach, Florida. 

Read Next: Winter Fishing Guide

10. The U.S. Virgin Islands

Known for their picturesque white-sand beaches, the U.S. Virgin Islands are a terrific winter boating destination. Travelers will forget about the winter weather when they charter a day cruise and sail around the islands, snorkeling, sunbathing and swimming. 

Plus, the U.S. Virgin Islands are also home to coral reefs, unique marine life, and tropical forests, putting them on many boaters’ bucket lists. 

Final Thoughts

After reading about these top boating destinations, are you ready to plan a last-minute trip this winter? When it comes to those mentioned above, trust us when we say you can’t go wrong. As your one-stop shop for all things boating, Discover Boating has everything you need to plan your dream winter excursion.