If you love boating, have you ever wondered where the best cities are to live? Maybe you already live, dock, or charter your luxury motor yacht out of one of these great boating cities, or maybe after you read this list, you may consider relocating! In any event, here are the Top Ten Cities in the US to live if you love boats and boating, as compiled by Boat US and Red Fin.
Miami, Florida – Not surprisingly we start our list right here in SOFLA with Miami. Unlike most of the other cities on this list, the main appeal to Miami and all of Florida for boating is its extended boating season. Sure, you need to be aware of Hurricane Season, and prepare accordingly, but, for the most part you can enjoy time on your boat in and around the “magic city” all year round. Sportfishing, miles of canals, intriguing islands, and a world-class night life, the Miami area has it all – and it is all best experienced by boat!
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – SOFLA makes another appearance with Ft. Lauderdale, “the Venice of America,” so-called because of its over 300 miles of canals and waterways. Ft. Lauderdale is a yachting hub, with world-class marinas and top-flight yacht service companies. It is also home to one of the world’s largest and most well-known boat shows, the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Tampa, Florida – Florida’s great yachting cities are not restricted to the east coast. On the other side of the sunshine state is another boater’s paradise – Tampa! The Tampa–St. Petersburg area has a lot of great places for boating, including the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Caladesi Island. Tampa does not have as many inland waterways as her east coast cousins, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, but she still has much to offer yacht owners.
Minneapolis, Minnesota – Before you start to think every place on this list is in Florida, you may be surprised to find Minneapolis among “America’s Tropics.” However, did you know that despite its very short boating season there are three times as many boat owners in the state of Minnesota as there are in Florida! In fact, Minnesota has the largest number of boat owners in the country, per capita, with one boat for every six residents. Minneapolis has many small lakes and rivers that allow for a lot of waterfront property in the city, and of course the Great Lakes are only a few hours away.
Long Island, New York – At one hundred miles long, 20 miles wide and surrounded by water, Long Island’s relationship with luxury yachts and all things boats and boating is legendary. From the jet-setters of the Hamptons, to calm bays and inlets to access to the open ocean, plus proximity to the “Big Apple,” Long Island has everything for the boat owner, and more! In addition, Long Island is an easy cruise to other great Northeast yachting destinations.
Austin, Texas – Austin may be known more for music than it is for waterfront living, and it may not have waterways as extensive as the other cities on this list, but it does have warm weather nearly year-round, making boating a favorite pastime for residents. People in Austin love to go boating on Lake Travis and Lake Austin. There are a lot of waterfront homes, with private dockage on both lakes.
Chicago, Illinois – Chicago was the site of an America’s Cup qualifying event this past summer, but that is not all that is making the “windy city,” an up and coming yachting hub. Chicago and the areas in and around Lake Michigan have a rich sailing yacht tradition. Like many other cities before it such as Newport, RI, and West Palm Beach, whose relationship with the yachting world started out as a sailing capital, Chicago is now broadening its appeal not only to sailboats, but owners of motor yachts as well.
Providence, Rhode Island – Rhode Island has a long standing yachting and boating tradition. And like boat owners in Minnesota, these salty New Englanders don’t mind braving colder weather to get out on the water. Certainly you would think that a state with “Island” in its name would naturally be a great place for boating, and you would be right. Rhode Island isn’t called the “Ocean State” for nothing! The state has an amazing amount of waterfront property with direct access to the water, especially on Aquidneck Island. In addition to Providence, which has the added appeal of being a cosmopolitan city, other popular communities for boaters include Narragansett, East Greenwich, Warwick, Bristol, and of course, Newport.
Seattle, Washington – The largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle rests on an isthmus between the Pacific Ocean’s Puget Sound and freshwater Lake Washington, which flows into it through the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Many of the area’s most popular neighborhoods are walking distance to Puget Sound. The so-called “Emerald City” is surrounded by water, so its appeal to yacht owners and boaters of all sorts, is easily understood. In addition to the Puget Sound, there is an abundance of lakes and waterways where you can canoe, kayak, sail, snorkel, jet ski, paddleboard, and enjoy just about any other kind of water toy, or water activity you can imagine.
Annapolis, Maryland – People who dream about living on the water have a lot of options in Maryland. From the posh waterfront condos in Baltimore’s inner harbor, to cliff-side homes along the Severn River, to neighborhoods with community boat slips around Annapolis and the quaint fishing towns on Kent Island. Chesapeake Bay is a Mid-Atlantic sailing capital, its tributaries are laden with history and scores of rivers, inlets, and waterside communities. The Bay is full of rivers, coves, anchorages, and there are dozens of full-service marinas in the area.
The List Goes On…
This list represents some of our personal favorites, and those of other yachting enthusiasts the world over. If your favorite is not on this list, or if there is some location you think we left out, let us know about it, we would love to update our list.
And, if you are thinking about relocating to or docking your yacht in one of these cities, why not check it out by booking a yacht charter.
Choosing the right charter experience can be challenging. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Charter Specialists, or call us at (855) 318-6328.