The Insider’s Guide to Boating in South Florida
We've gathered some insider info to help you optimize your time in the Sunshine State, with tips for experiencing the best of the sea and shore. This year, don't just settle for leaving the cold behind! Instead, head off the beaten path and discover these can't-be-missed activities scattered across the expansive area referred to locally as South Florida. Can you say, "Best vacation ever?"
Best snorkeling destinations in South FloridaThe world just below the waterline offers up a new view for those willing to jump in. Snorkeling is a great way to experience the beauty of the ocean and South Florida offers a multitude of world-class snorkeling options to travelers headed south this winter.
- Biscayne National Park in Miami – Biscayne National Park, a mere hour away from Miami, offers some of the area's best snorkeling. The park is 95% underwater and offers picturesque views below the waterline of shipwrecks and sea life aplenty.
- Drift Diving in Fort Lauderdale Beach & Lauderdale By-The-Sea - If your South Florida vacation is further north, look to the new trend of drift diving around Fort Lauderdale where you drop a dive flag and snorkel around one of the 50 shipwrecks in this easy- to- access area. (Note: you should be a strong swimmer for this activity.)
- Red Reef in Boca Raton - Red Reef is an amazing artificial reef that’s easy to access from the shore and home to a wide variety of colorful species of fish, as well as sea turtles, eels and stingrays. After the snorkeling, a stroll along the boardwalk is a must!
Dining out Dockside—It’s the “South Florida way”Dinner and drinks are better when you arrive by boat. In South Florida, there’s no shortage of great waterfront dining options.
- Rusty Pelican – Check out the Magic City’s skyline from this local hot spot that’s also frequented by celebrities. The Rusty Pelican is rustic and it’s Miami-casual, but the food is world-renowned. Enjoy a glass of white wine and seared scallops while watching the sunset over Biscayne Bay.
- Pelican’s Landing – Snuggled among the beautiful yachts near Fort Lauderdale’s Pier 66 is Pelican’s Landing. Upstairs from the marina with 360-degree views of the city, there’s (usually) live music.
- Sailfish Resort – West Palm Beach—on the northern side of South Florida—is where you'll find a true slice of local flavor. A quick boat cruise from the ever-popular Peanut Island Sandbar (one of West Palm Beach’s favorite family-friendly spots to raft up and hang out), Sailfish Marina is where fish are brought in fresh from the Atlantic Ocean by local fisherman.