Water covers over 70 percent of the world. It’s vital for all forms of life. For some, it’s crucial for recreation and entertainment. While only about 7 percent of the water on Earth covers the U.S., up to 90 percent of Americans live an hour or less from a navigable body of water. Luckily, you can hire a private jet to fly to the best nautical destinations in the world, without flying across any oceans to experience these great voyages.
Once a major port along the Chesapeake, Oxford’s calming charm has been a favorite among boaters for centuries. Some find the fantastic boatyards and historic heritage so addictive that they put down permanent roots—or at least purchase one of restored historic homes to add to their collection of vacation residences. The area has one of the best junior sailing programs in the country, along with enough hidden creeks and coves to keep you busy for endless seasons.
Seattle has a bad reputation for its drizzly weather. In reality, the showers are worth it for the beautiful weather that arrives every spring, summer and early fall. Boaters love that during the summer, humidity levels are relatively low, the temperatures are cooler, and the nights are long. Hundreds of miles of protected saltwater encircle 80 percent of the city limits that the Cascade and Olympic mountains surround. There’s so much water that many of city’s more affluent residents commute by boat from their waterfront homes. Lake Union and Lake Washington make up some of Seattle’s best boating communities. Seattle is also home of the most pleasure boats per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.
Newport, Rhode Island
One of the most popular and well-known boating towns in New England, Newport Harbor is the America’s Cup port of call. Boaters from around the world come to check out excellent regattas, lounge in upscale yachting facilities and dine on fresh seafood. With breathtaking Gilded Age mansions, the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk and neighborhoods with distinct maritime charm, it’s simple to see why Newport remains a favorite.
Florida is home to several of the best boating destinations in the world. St. Petersburg, for example, has a top-notch boating and services infrastructure. The area has water that’s suitable for every type of preferred boating style, from sailing to cruising to offshore fishing.
In Ft. Lauderdale, it seems as if life revolves around water. With 300 miles of inland waterways and 23 miles of beaches, the more than 40,000 yachts based in the city’s marinas make Ft. Lauderdale the yachting capital of the world. Why drive to Miami or the Keys when you can take your boat?
The Florida Keys, particularly Key West, are a boater’s paradise. With the laidback lifestyle, carefree attitudes and some of the best sunset views on the continent, cruising is one of the most popular activities.
Newport Beach, California
With the buzzing nautical activity in San Diego to the elite yacht clubs of San Francisco, California is one of the premier boating destinations on the West Coast. If you take your private airplane just south of Los Angeles, you’ll find the largest pleasure-craft harbor in the world, Newport Beach. The 10-mile stretch of coastal paradise boasts warm temperatures throughout the year and the city is just as elegant on land as it is from the water. You don’t have to stray far from the harbor to get a great view of the thriving marine life, bay-front mansions and the 100-plus vessels decked out for the holiday parade each December.