It’s always great to have your next international vacation booked, but in those in-between times, there’s a lot to be said for a staycation – especially in a country as vast as this one. We don’t know about you, but one of the first things we think of when considering any type of trip is the boat experiences on offer, which is why we are proud to offer you our top picks!
1. San Juan Islands, Washington
The 172 islands scattered between the US and Canada are a treasure trove of wildlife (think whales, sea lions, seals, jumping fish and eagles), which goes a long way in explaining why it’s always buzzing with boats!
An unmissable activity is a whale-watching boat tour, where you’ll not only enjoy the spectacular views of Seattle with a side of cool ocean breeze but be given a chance to learn how to sail, too!
2. Maui, Hawaii
Boaters have long flocked to these beautiful shores – and for very good reason! Maui, in particular, boasts year-round sailing conditions that continue to lure boaters to its cliff-fringed coastline, vibrantly colorful coral reefs and humpback whales.
A glass-bottom boat tour is a particular highlight, getting you up-close and personal with the exotic barrier reef that the schools of fish call home.
It’s hardly surprising that Florida should have so many incredible boating options to choose from, right? Here are some highlights:
- The Florida Keys. The 100 miles of sparkling blue waters between the tip of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, connected by a breathtaking archipelago of 800 islands, is – as you might imagine – a world-class sailing spot that really must be seen to be believed. Of course, driving the Keys is a right of passage while here, but to really appreciate the underwater oasis, you must do so by boat. Fishing, snorkeling, sailing and water skiing are just some examples of the things you can do here before cozying up with a loved one – margarita in hand – to watch the sun go down.
- There’s nothing quite like zipping along the swampy waters on an airboat. The hope is always to spot a crocodile or two, but – quite honestly – it’s a great experience regardless!
- Miami Pirate Boat. Ahoy there, mateys! Hop aboard the El Loro for an 80-minute voyage around the Venetian Islands, Star Island and the downtown Miami skyline – spotting the homes of the rich and famous while you go! Suitable for all ages, you won’t regret booking this!
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- Thousand Islands. Glass-bottom boats and epic cruise boats take center stage on this spectacular archipelago between New York and Canada.
- Niagara Falls. But – of course – you can’t not hop aboard the Maid of the Mist and immerse yourself in 600,000 gallons of falling water. Put simply, an unmissable experience.
5. Chicago, Illinois
Famous for both its waterways and architecture, book yourself onto one of the city’s most popular cruises to learn all about its iconic landmarks.
6. New York, New York
You won’t get much closer to the Statue of Liberty – and the other iconic landmarks here such as One World Trade Center – than by boat, passing under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges as you glide through.
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’re looking to treat the other half to a bit of romance, you won’t get much better than a lazy float down the Mississippi River atop a Jazz Dinner Cruise. Tantalize your taste buds while you savor the stunning skyline of New Orleans, smooth music filling your ears. What could be better?
- San Francisco. The jaw-dropping waterfront isn’t the only reason to hop aboard a boat in San Francisco. Because so many of the city’s top attractions, such as Alcatraz, are located along the bay, it’s also a great way to tick off all the highlights at once.
- Echo Park, Los Angeles. Make like a swan and hire a fun pedal boat – shaped like the most graceful of birds – to appreciate all the sights around you.
Also read: Top Travel Destinations Outside America
9. Saguaro Lake, Arizona
A perfect way to explore the lakes and coves of the Salt River reservoir – framed dramatically by tall canyon walls – is by kayak.
So, where will you go first?