Are you ready to have the boating summer you’ve always dreamed about? Because we have the destinations you are sure to love! Every year we hear from Snag-A-Slip boaters far and wide who share their top spots on and off the beaten path. Here are the hot spots for every type of boating experience, from fishing, sailing and cruising, to every type of watersports. You only need to bring your sense of adventure for the perfect summer getaway!
Where to go and where to dock this summer
Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Boothbay Harbor is a classic seaside Maine town, known as the “soul of the Coast”. It has everything a quintessential Northeastern town should – and more! It’s right on the coast, is quant, has great shops, cafes and restaurants, and grand and beautiful inns. It invites you to unwind and relax by the ocean, or fill your days with adventures like hiking, kayaking, and biking.
This region is also the land of statuesque lighthouses, scenic islands and seal-covered rocks. From Boothbay it’s a short trip to ten lighthouses – yes ten! The list includes famous lighthouses from Burnt Island and Ram Island, to Squirl Point and Doubling Point. You’re sure to be enchanted with the beauty and history of these towering beacons.
There are also events for every member of your crew. Two of the local favorites are the annual Fishermen’s Festival, and Windjammer’s Day. But the list is always changing and always exciting. Regardless of what you choose to do, or not to do, a trip to Boothbay Harbor is sure to gift you with memories to last a lifetime.
Where to dock:
Located on the east side of Boothbay Harbor, with perfect views of Maine’s spectacular sunsets, is Carousel Marina. It has all the bells and whistles that a boater could want in a vacation spot. Also, the well-loved Whale’s Tale Restaurant is right on the property.
Hodgdon Yacht Services is a lovely facility located on the shores of Boothbay. It’s an ideal stopover point when heading east from Portland in Boothbay Harbor. With generous amenities and a knowledgeable and friendly staff, the marina is a great place for a undisturbed getaway.
Boston is truly among the world’s great cities. It’s loved for its art and culture, revolutionary history, food and shopping, music, family fun, and of course its famous harbor! Along with its captivating coastline, the city is packed with amazing things to do weekends, weekdays and all year around. So, on those odd days when the weather isn’t good for water adventures, you can rest assured the selection of things to do indoors is endless.
In addition to all the city proper has to offer, there is always a variety of fairs and festivals showcasing everything Boston. From the annual Harborfest, usually in late June-early July, to the Tango Festival, you can always find a celebration going on . Each bursting with entertainment, dancing, wine and beer, and food – especially seafood. Lobsters and oysters on the half shell abound!
Where to dock:
Constitution Marina in Boston is located right in the Harbor, just steps away from historic sites like the Bunker Hill Monument, The USS Constitution Museum and the Museum of Science. This great marina sets itself apart with the perfect location and fantastic amenities. It’s also an ideal place to watch the Fourth of July fireworks over Boston Harbor!
A self-proclaimed Hurricane Hole (protected area that can avoid surge and winds), Admirals Hill Marina is also conveniently located in Boston Harbor. The full-service marina provides boaters with all the necessary amenities – plus some. Easy access to downtown Boston means you are only steps away from everything Boston has to offer.
Oriental, North Carolina
Nestled within the inner banks, Oriental has been dubbed “The Sailing Capital of North Carolina”. It sits along the magnificent Neuse River, which is intertwined with many smaller creeks. In this area, the boating season never ends. The marvelously wide waters call to boaters year-round – ideal for sailing, cruising, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. And if you enjoy racing, there are regattas happening just about every month of the year.
When you’re ready to come off the water, Oriental has a wide range of activities for you and your crew. There are historical walking tours, a history museum, art galleries, restaurants, specialty shops, concerts, and plays – not to mention cycling and tennis. But, of course, when your ready to kick back and relax, there are many sprawling parks, where you can fully enjoy the charm of small-town riverside living. Famous for its friendly atmosphere, be warned that Oriental can be contagious. Boaters have been known to “stop for the night”, only go ashore, fall in love and make this their home port.
Where to dock:
Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor is a cozy place to rest along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). It has all of the essentials needed for a relaxing break from cruising – for you and your boat. The pet friendly property has a beautiful picnic area overlooking Whittaker Creek and the Neuse River, making for the perfect place to enjoy a meal while watching the boats pass by. It is also conveniently located close to the heart of town.
Blackwell Point Marina is a charming marina nestled along the banks of Smith Creek, a branch of the Neuse River. Located in a private community in a protected area on the water, you will enjoy space to yourself and peace of mind. The marina also has a generous list of amenities onsite, all while being nearby shops, restaurants, bars and more!
Clear Lake Shores, Texas
The Clear Lake area, known as the “yachting Capitol of Texas”, has so much for boaters to do and see. It’s the home of Space Center Houston, where astronauts give talks, and hands-on exhibits allow you to explore NASA’s programs and discoveries. Just across the area’s namesake lake, is the legendary Kemah Boardwalk with its retro rides and casual and delicious bayside restaurants. In addition to the summertime fireworks and live music, the boardwalk magically transforms into a holiday wonderland, during the winter season.
If it’s glorious nature you’re looking to commune with, you’ll find it at the vast wildlife reserve, Armand Bayou Nature Center. The center offers everything from night hikes and kayak tours, to photo hikes. There are also year-round events for wildlife lovers of all ages.
Where to dock:
Portofino Harbour Marina, also home to the Portofino Harbour Yacht Club, offers cruisers on the Gulf Coast a convenient stop with plenty of amenities. Located just 30 miles southeast of downtown Houston, this quiet marina, is just steps from the Kemah Boardwalk with rides and activities, as well as shops, restaurants and bars.
Legend Point Marina is nestled between Houston and Galveston Island. With over 250 boat slips available to accommodate boats up to 50 ft, this marina has everything a boater is looking for. This marina is pet friendly, so bring your four-legged friend along for the adventure. This marina is also just minutes from the famous Kemah Boardwalk.
San Diego, California
San Diego calls to all boaters who have ever done a little California dreaming. Not only does it have endless coastline and sunshine, this waterfront city boasts top-notch restaurants, breathtaking vistas, history and culture. It will certainly take a few days to see all there is to see and enjoy. Once you’ve explored all the beaches and surf spots, you’ll want to head over to SeaWorld San Diego to experience the glory of our seas. You’ll also want to make a stop at Mission Bay Aquatic Park, one of the world’s largest instructional waterfront facilities. They are everything water, from surfing, sailing, and wakeboarding, to stand up paddling, waterskiing and windsurfing.
When you’re ready to come ashore and explore all San Diego has to offer, you won’t be disappointed. A great place to start is Balboa Park – “where culture, science, and nature collide.” It’s 1,200 acres of striking emerald green in the heart of the city. It’s also home to over 16 museums, multiple performing arts venues, gardens, trails, and the San Diego Zoo. Needless to say, San Diego will not disappoint!
Where to dock:
At Sun Harbor Marina, boaters can expect personalized, high-touch, customer service and a well-maintained, eco-friendly facility. In fact, Sun Harbor Marina is the first-ever certified green marina in the world. It offers a great home for boaters looking to explore the waterfront off the water. The marina is conveniently located just 10 minutes from downtown San Diego. By water, the marina offers direct access to the San Diego Bay and the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is a luxury resort located on the North San Diego Bay. The marina can accommodate vessels up to 60 feet and is loaded with marina and resort amenities. When staying at the marina, boaters will have access to hotel discounts including discounts on food, beverages, and hotel rooms. In addition, boaters can use the hotel amenities such as the swimming pool, jacuzzi, and fitness center.