You’ve got a new boat, a full stock of supplies, and even a sailing first aid kit ready to go. There’s just one problem: you don’t know where to sail to! Fortunately, there are lots of great islands and waterways to sail to throughout the US and just off the coast. Let’s take a look at some of those islands so you know where to head on your next aquatic adventure.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
First up is Hilton Head, located in South Carolina. This wildlife-rich island offers some of the best spots to go kayaking, jet skiing, and parasailing. If you take your boat here, you can also fish freely in certain areas, or dock at shore to experience exquisite shopping and dining venues. In fact, Hilton Head is home to over 200 distinct and high-quality restaurants to check out!
If you’re in the mood for a long-term sailing adventure, try Kauai, Hawaii! Hawaii in general is a great place to sail around. But Kauai Island is among the best of the best spots, especially if you visit Hanalei Bay. It’s visually unforgettable and a perfect place to go exploring in your sailboat. All in all, it’s a great place to hang out all day, swim in warm waters, and even fish a little bit while taking in a gorgeous sunset.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island isn’t technically an island, as it’s connected to the mainland via a few bridges. Regardless, as a sailor we highly recommend visiting Newport at the earliest opportunity. This is one of the busiest harbors in the US, and it’s home to some of the most beautiful shores along the Continental states.
Should you choose to dock for a while, you’ll find historic museums, great restaurants, and the famous Eisenhower House. There are also plenty of parks near the dock if you fancy a day in nature onshore rather than aboard your boat.
Santa Catalina, California
Santa Catalina Island is one of the most famous destination locations for sailboat owners. Located off the coast of California, this vacation favorite includes architecture that’s very reminiscent of buildings found in ancient Greece, plus baby blue skies most of the year.
This unique island includes many tourist attractions, like land expeditions, scuba diving, ocean excursions, and much more. You might also wish to abandon your boat for a brief time to check out one of the Santa Catalina glass bottom boats, which offer a dazzling tour of the seafloor life.
South Bass Island, Ohio
Then there’s South Bass Island, located off the coast of Ohio in Lake Erie. This island is home to Put-in-Bay, which draws nearly 1 million tourists each year. This island is a stellar place to sail to for its beautiful waters, the winery on the coast, and the easily accessible forests and beaches, which offer plenty of outdoor activities for you and anyone else who accompanies you.
San Juan Islands, Washington
The San Juan islands off the coast of Washington are scenic and comfortable all year round, with 70°F averages in the summer and 40°F averages in the winter. Thus, it’s a perfect year-round sailing destination, especially if you like to take charter sailboats. You can also take sailing practice courses from one of the many schools near the coastline.
Key West, Florida
Key West in Florida is part of the famous Florida Keys. It’s a tourist-heavy destination, but it’s still a fun and engaging place to sail to thanks to its fantastic year-round weather (provided you don’t arrive during hurricane season between the months of June and November).
Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is home to the Apostle Islands, which include 22 distinct islands throughout Lake Superior. The Apostle Islands offer protected bays, natural beauty, unforgettable sunsets, and even the Apostle Islands Yacht Club: a cool party to join if your boat is on the fancier side.
Mt. Desert Island, Maine
Last but not least, consider traveling to Mt. Desert Island, located off the coast of Maine. This is home to the world-famous Arcadia National Park. Here, you’ll find many miles of biking and hiking trails, as well as a free bus system that takes you around the land attractions. Of course, you can stay on your sailboat and view the magnificent Park from afar or go fishing off the coast.
Ultimately, you have to choose which of these islands you want to travel to and tour. Can’t decide? Why not visit each of these islands sooner or later? In any case, we’re certain you’ll have a blast!