When it comes time to plan a vacation for spring break or during the summer months, many families have different ideas about the location and the activities involved. Some might choose a theme-park vacation while others might feel that a round of historic monuments constitutes summer fun.
However, if you and your family love boats and being on the water, your vacation looks a lot different. Your family is completely familiar with the process of packing up a truck and hitching up your boat to visit your favorite sailing or boating destination. But you might not have considered some of these places in the United States that are considered to be among the best boating destinations in the world.
So as the winter months are fast approaching, consider some of these fantastic destinations for boating enthusiasts and their families, and dream of summer vacations to come.
1. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Located just a few hours south of both Kansas City and St. Louis, Lake of the Ozarks is the prime destination for summer fun on the water. With over 1,100 miles of shoreline and nine public access boat ramps which offer short term slip rental, Lake of the Ozarks is an excellent place for the boating family to spend their summer vacation.
Several private lodging options are available, as are numerous choices for camping right on the shores of the lake. For those members of your family that might like a dry land experience, activities like hiking, horseback riding, and spelunking are available. Shopping can also be found in the quaint little towns and village that surround the lake. This is truly a one-of-a-kind destination.
2. Lake Mead, Nevada
For those boaters who live in the southwestern United States Lake Mead is the perfect choice. Located just a few hours’ drive from several major cities, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the country, and offers a stunning backdrop of canyons, cliffs, and rock formations. Exploring this area from the water is easily one of the highlights of any boater’s life.
Lake Mead boasts four marinas, all of which offer short-term slip rental. However, due to the lake’s popularity it is wise to book in advance. These marinas also offer a wide range of boat repair services, and new boat sales which you might want to consider after you donate your old boat to charity.
3. Lake Shasta, California
If a remote mountain lake that is home to abundant wildlife sounds like your family’s idea of fun, look no further than Lake Shasta. Lake Shasta is located a few hours north of Sacramento and right in the middle of the Trinity National Forest, and it offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and incredible recreational opportunities.
Known around the world for its stellar fishing, Lake Shasta is home to numerous species of trout and other cold-water fish. Black bears, elk, and deer frequent the shoreline and there are ample hiking trails as well. Lodging choices run the gamut from a campsite to a luxury hotel, and ample launch ramps and boat slips are available.
4. Sanibel Island, Florida
On Florida’s southwest coast, just off of Ft. Meyers, are Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The clear, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico make this a very attractive destination for boating enthusiasts, and the proximity to the rest of the Florida coast make it a spot that appeals to everyone.
Boaters have the option of renting a short-term slip either on the mainland or on the island. Either is a great choice; staying on the mainland gives those in your group the option of exploring Ft. Meters, while basing your vacation on the island cements the “get away from it all” ideal. Regardless of your decision, you’ll have an abundance of choices when it comes to activities.
5. Lake Powell, Utah
Lake Powell is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of boating destinations in the United States. Its location on the borders of southern Utah and northern Arizona means that it features good weather all year round and it attracts visitors from all over the world.
Lake Powell covers an area of more than 250 square miles and offers hundreds of secluded coves and other areas to explore. You can either bring your own boat or rent one at the lake. Nine marinas are available at Lake Powell for short-term slip rental, and three of these are only accessible by boat. Lake Powell is an excellent choice if you’re looking to truly get away from it all and enjoy the beauty of the area from the comfort of your boat.
While most boat owners are quite adept at finding the best bodies of water in their area, sometimes you might want to experience something new. Any of these locations are excellent choices for a family friendly boating getaway. Which one will you choose for your summer vacation?