Where to Boat this Summer

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Where to Boat this Summer

Photo credit: Getty

2020 has been a year of growth and change. On the upside, nature has had the chance to recharge and blossom. And as the general population continues to avoid crowds, boating has emerged as one of the most popular activities due to its restorative quality and socially distant nature. It is with this in mind that we offer you this list of lesser-known and undeveloped spots where you can boat and anchor out during this summer.

Lake Sylvia

If you've been boating for a while in South Florida, then you have most likely been in Lake Sylvia. Known as a "hidden gem" with the locals, Lake Sylvia is a saltwater lake inside the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale. It has no access to land as it is surrounded by private, luxury waterfront homes. This unusual location makes Lake Sylvia a delightful place to anchor for the day and relax in your boat with a good book, or kick up the tunes and refreshments and have your own boat party (but keep it 10 people or less, please, and no rafting up!).

The lake is located at N 26° 06.315' / W 080° 06.720'. There is a sandbar in the middle of the lake, so you must be cautious in your approach and come in "hugging" the east shore.

Click here for more tips on getting to Lake Sylvia

Dry Tortugas National Park

The remote location of Dry Tortugas National Park ensures much smaller crowds than your typical sandbar. The park lies 70 miles west of Key West and can only be reached via boat or seaplane, making it a perfect spot to really get away from it all.

Dry Tortugas National Park is made up of gorgeous clear water with seven small islands and is home to Fort Jefferson, the largest brick masonry structure in the Americas (however please note tours of the Fort are currently closed). The surrounding area is teeming with vivacious coral reefs and marine life. You will no doubt have a blast exploring the natural habitat.

According to the Dry Tortugas official website, the park has reopened its concessions tours, campground, restrooms, and bookstore. Garden and Loggerhead Keys are open from sunrise to sunset. As the park is not affected by state ordinances, marine waters and harbors remain open.

Please visit the official Dry Tortugas National Park website for more information.

Image 0656: Cayo CostaCayo Costa State Park

9 miles of pristine beaches and restricted access make Cayo Costa State Park a must-have on our list.

You can only get to Cayo Costa State Park via private boat or on the $35 ferry, which travels to the park only a few times a day. There is no development in the park, so pack your lunch and bring plenty of water! You will be rewarded with a rare, unspoiled piece of Florida paradise where you can spend the day snorkeling, swimming, shelling, birdwatching, and enjoying the local wildlife.

If you are based on the Florida east coast, you will need to travel via the Okeechobee Waterway beginning in Stuart and plan your stays and meals at nearby locations. This is a trip that will require careful planning, so take your time. It will be worth it.

As of July 3, the park is still open. For more information, please visit the Cayo Costa State Park official website. For help planning your trip across the state, visit this page.

Sightseeing along the coastline

A cruise up and down the Florida coastline makes for a lovely day on the water. Take in the cityscapes from the solitude of your boat or yacht. Anchor out a few yards from the beach and enjoy a refreshing swim in the ocean at absolute leisure. If your boat is equipped with a grill, enjoy some all-American hotdogs or burgers while you dip your toes in the water. We honestly can't think of a better way to spend the day.

Wherever you choose to go this summer, please follow safety ordinances during the coronavirus pandemic and practice safe boating. Here's to the Boat Life!

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