The Sunshine State is known for its fabulous boating and water activities. There are more registered boats in Florida than any other state in the U.S. If you prefer to live in or vacation somewhere that you can fish year round, Florida is the place for you. Here is a list of the best places to go boating on the Gulf, the Atlantic, and in the Florida Keys.
Jacksonville is where you will find first-class marinas, five-star hotels and restaurants, and boating supply stores. It is the gateway to the St. Johns River and is popular among the boating crowd. Tourists and locals enjoy the many waterfront festivals held year round. Known for its world-class fishing, Jacksonville hosts the largest kingfish tournaments. St. Augustine is the world’s oldest city that is 40 miles south of Jacksonville. After a relaxing day on the boat, dock it at the City Marina and explore the 144 block historic district.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is the home of over 40,000 yachts and has over 300 miles of inland waterways. People from all over the world flock to Fort Lauderdale for the International Boat Show, the biggest event of its kind. There are nearby coral reefs perfect for scuba divers. Fort Lauderdale is an excellent launching point if you plan on crossing into the Bahamas.
The Florida Keys/Key West
The Florida Keys gives boaters more opportunities than any other place in the world. Here you can cruise the islands, scuba dive, or fish 365 days a year. Key Largo is a favorite of scuba divers thanks to its shipwrecks and reefs. Fishermen flock to Islamorada which is known as the Sportfishing Capital of the World. Key West is where you will experience the most magnificent sunset in the United States. You can finish your boating adventure with a beer and a burger at Margaritaville.
On top of some of the best boating in Florida, downtown Tampa and the city of St. Petersburg has fine dining and 4-star hotels that must be experienced. There are hidden rivers and bays to explore along with the ruins of a 19th Century army fort. There are several docking areas close to Anclote Key and Three Rooker Bar which are famous for boaters.
Pensacola/Fort Walton Beach/Destin
Pensacola is a sailing city that dates back to the Spanish explorers. The nearby towns Destin, and Fort Walton Beach are considered jewels of North Florida. It is one of the top deep-sea fishing destinations in the world. Red snapper is abundant as you head over to Panama City Beach.