Sunny by day, glittering by night, boating in Florida is irresistible. The 1,350-mile coastline is the longest of any state in the mainland United States, and its unique heritage has had countless influences, with Native American, European, Latino, and African-American cultures among them. From historical charm of St. Augustine, to hot nights in Miami, Florida offers something for every boater.
Historical Saint Augustine
Cobblestone streets, centuries-old buildings, hidden courtyards and alluring cafes help define this historic district of Saint Augustine — the oldest continuously occupied town in the U.S. Bring a little history to your boating in Florida and plan a stop here!
Jump aboard the Old Town Trolley Tours to explore the major attractions, including a highly rated wildlife reserve. Shoppers head for the markets, both farmers and flea. The Starving Artist consignment boutique is a great place to discover the work of local artists. Foodies can choose from more than 400 eateries, including Crave Food Truck, popular for its healthy, creative offerings, and then head to Stogies Jazz Club for a night cap, some live music and, if the mood strikes, a cigar. As if all this activity weren’t enough, the 43 miles of fine, golden sand beaches offer endless shelling, sunning, surfing and swimming.
Boat slips are available at Rivers Edge Marina on the ICW, which has an 8-foot depth and accommodates vessels up to 80 feet. Home to Hurricane Patty’s, this on-site bar and restaurant is an ideal location to stop on your trip along the ICW.
Diverse and Vibrant Palm Beaches
Boating in Florida isn’t complete without a visit to the Palm Beaches. A 47-mile stretch of beach along the coast from Jupiter to Boca Raton encompasses a number of towns called the Palm Beaches. There are several towns worth a visit in this area of Florida, including the quiet town of Jupiter, which remained largely undeveloped farmland until the 1940s. The many elegant, upscale homes give Jupiter a residential feel, a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of many Florida resorts.
Jupiter’s Riverwalk is a beautifully landscaped pathway that winds along the waterfront past marinas, parks, restaurants and watering holes such as Jetty’s and the famous Square Grouper. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, built in 1860, is open for tours seven days a week. Tranquil Dubois Park is a favorite spot for families. The lagoon’s clear, calm, shallow waters make for perfect swimming for kids. And don’t miss the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, right in the center of town.
Boat slips are available at JIB Yacht Club, or their sister marina Blowing Rocks Marina. Both marinas offer affordable slip rates and a number of amenities great for boating in Florida. From pump out, fuel, showers, free wifi, and restaurants onsite, these Florida marinas have you covered. Stock up on supplies at one of their shops before you next leg of the ICW.
When boating in the Florida Palm Beaches, it’s worth it to visit Lake Worth. This vibrant beach town offers a revitalized downtown with an eclectic mix of antique stores, specialty shops, restaurants, art galleries, music venues and special events. Golfers will love a stop here as well – the Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course, is one of the most scenic courses in The Palm Beaches and is right on the Intracoastal Waterway and Lake Worth Lagoon.
With dockage available at Palm Beach Yacht Center in Lake Worth, Florida there is no reason to not make this the next stop on your trip. A full-service yachting center, this marina offers ultra-modern docks in a great location.
Hot Nights in Miami
Miami is a rite of passage for boating in Florida! There’s so much to do. A collection of urban districts, charming beach villages, and unique ethnic neighborhoods, Miami Beach has an international flavor all its own.
The Design District sports more than 130 art galleries, antique dealers, high-end restaurants and one-of-a-kind shops. The stand-out Wolfsonian-FIU Museum displays 180,000 objects from the 1850s to the 1950s. The area is showcased during Art Deco weekend in January.
Often called the American Riviera, South Beach’s Deco fantasyland is one of the most photographed and filmed areas in the country. Along with the stunning architecture, glamorous nightlife and shopping promenades like Lincoln Road, there actually is a spectacular beach.
Nearby Collins Avenue is home to the Miami Salsa Congress, a five-day music and dance event held in July.
No one will go hungry in Miami Beach. Among the myriad amazing options are Taquiza, serving handmade tortillas; Lure Fishbar, with oysters and butter-poached lobster; Otentic Fresh Food, for French fare in an intimate setting; and Sunset Harbour’s gastropub, Pubbelly.
Article adapted from Marinalife.