Yachting: a luxury experienced by a select few often happening in the warm summer and spring months of the year. Although this expensive activity is most celebrated on the coasts of Europe, the United States is home to some of the most beautiful yachting destinations on this side of the globe. Head a little further out to the islands, and you’ll experience clear waters you’d only think were out there in Thailand, Bali, and the other popular vacation spots only possible to get to from a 20+ hour flight. However, international travel is currently at a standstill because of the global pandemic, so most of us in the U.S. won’t be heading over to Bali anytime soon. To make the most of the beautiful water and landscapes in our nation, we did some of our own research to find the best spots for yachting and enjoying the Atlantic and Pacific oceans where we are citizens. Below is where we detail some of the most sought-after boating destinations in the United States that we found through our research, and where we plan to head out to with our family and friends, creating memories that will last us a lifetime!
Never thought Alaska would be on this list, did you? For the shock factor, we decided to start with this classic unique experience! Not many yachting destinations will be as rugged and intense as Alaska’s Inside Passage. This passage goes from Ketchikan to Glacier Bay and offers a beautiful scenery that consists of Glaciers, wildlife, and other unique, eye-catching scenery. To say this destination is at the top of my list is an understatement. Anything starkly different from the next spot is something to put on your list, and nothing offers more of a special scenery than Alaska does. Make sure your charter goes through the Inside Passage because it is surely the best route to take while in the area.
Another common boating activity in Alaska is whale watching, which includes Humpback whales, Blue whales, and even Killer whales thriving in their natural habitat. Glacier Bay is where you’ll find these majestic creatures most active in June. If you are into sea life, Alaska once again makes it to the top of your list. One more outdoor experience in this area is viewing the Tongass National Forest, which spews wildlife for over 15 million acres, characterized by a temperate rain forest that has hiking and sightseeing for years on end. Although Alaska might not have been your first thought, it should certainly be considered as it is a one-of-a-kind experience.
You don’t have to go to an exotic, faraway destination to experience crystal clear waters and Caribbean vibes! Just make your way to Miami and you are headed to one of the most popular yachting destinations in the world. Miami is known for its crazy parties, beautiful tropical scenery, and fun activities that are happening all year round. Are you interested in jet skiing? They have that! “Island” hopping? You can do that too! The opportunities are truly endless here and are a stark difference compared to what a yachting day would be like in Alaska. With its year-round warm weather, Miami is for relaxing and soaking up the sun, whereas Alaska is more of a sight-seeing, wildlife-focused experience. Put on your bikini and sunscreen, because Miami is going to have you splashing around in the clear waters and enjoying your floaties at the sandbar where you can socialize, listen to music, and experience the definition of “fun in the sun.” Popular sandbars in the area are Haulover and Nixon sandbars, which are shallow year-round. For Miami yachting services click the attached link. People dock their boats at the sand bars to get out and enjoy the shallow waters. You’ll see many people blasting their Reggaeton with floating coolers filled with alcoholic beverages. Another common practice of Miami locals and tourists alike are docking up their yachts at waterside restaurants, bars, and party destinations. One of the most popular waterfront food spots is Kiki on the River, a party restaurant where you shouldn’t expect quiet volumes or personal space. If you’re looking for a more laidback option, make your way to Casablanca. Casablanca is a long-standing seafood restaurant right on the Miami River, which is located in Brickell- right next to downtown. My favorite time to experience yachting in Miami is during sunset, where the beautiful colors are displayed behind the cityscape. Day turns to night and the sparking lights coming from the city is the perfect backdrop for dinner on the dock. Nighttime on the water is a different experience that gets more intimate or crazy, depending on who you are with.
3. The Keys
Near Miami is also the Keys, which stretch for over 100 miles and land between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. The Keys are known for their great snorkeling, free-diving, and fishing, make it to land and you found yourself in the capital of Key Lime Pie of the world! Every variation of key lime pie you can think of will be easiest found in the streets of Key West, the most southern Key in the chain. Key West is more of a vacation destination that people like to explore for a few days. However, you have another option of docking your boat there for a day and experiencing “Keys culture” that includes hundreds of beach bars, seafood shacks, and margarita-focused restaurants that allow you to take your drinks to go and even drink while walking along the sidewalks of Duval street. We can’t forget about Bahia Honda State Park, a great place for snorkeling, diving, and finding new fish friends in the reefs.
All in all, there are many boating spots sprinkled around the United States, and the ones detailed above are only a select few. We chose these because of what they have to offer and the diversity lying in the destination. Alaska, Miami, and the Keys are all viable options for those looking to have fun on the water and create a new memory in these trying times.