The beauty of Florida’s Gold Coast offers plenty of attractions for charter yacht vacationers, from the sparkling Atlantic Ocean and tropical climate to family activities and views of stately Palm Beach mansions. You’ll enjoy cruising along the Intracoastal Waterway parallel to the A1A Highway, and will find plenty of reasons to stop and enjoy.
The best place to enter the Intracoastal is through the Lake Worth Inlet, also known as Palm Beach Inlet. It is located in central Palm Beach County south of Singer Island. Nearby marinas include Sailfish Marina (which also boasts an indoor aquarium), the Town of Palm Beach Docks which lie four miles south of the inlet, Palm Harbor Marina, and the Palm Beach Yacht Club & Marina.
Peanut Island is one of the best places for boating in Palm Beach County. This man-made island just north of the Lake Worth Inlet has free docks for day use, anchorages, swimming, sandbars, restrooms, picnic areas and camping. Hang out on the northern sandbar with a tropical drink in hand, or, sail around to Peanut Island’s south side to the snorkeling lagoon or Palm Beach Maritime Museum.
Palm Beach’s Intracoastal Waterway offers excellent diving and snorkeling. Due to the Gulf Stream, crystal clear warm waters are rife with large marine life. A particularly notable dive spot is the Blue Heron Bridge. There are also two reef systems parallel to the West Palm Beach coastline which are great for underwater viewing of sea turtles.
If you anchor your rental yacht, don’t miss West Palm’s Clematis Street, a popular corridor of boutiques, restaurants and the unique Clematis Fountain. The South Florida Science Museum, Palm Beach Zoo, beaches, water parks and Lion Country Safari will keep families entertained all day. Afterwards, reserve a spot for live music at the outdoor Coral Sky Amphitheater.
Many waterfront restaurants are equipped with boat docks. In Palm Beach Gardens, you’ll want to try the Waterway Café or Panama Hattie’s, just south of the PGA Bridge. Singer Island offers the Gallery at Sailfish Marina, and at Riviera Beach, disembark from your charter yacht at the Crab Pot on the northwest side of the Blue Heron Bridge.
Enjoy a huge variety of attractions during your day charter or charter excursion of Florida’s West Palm Beach.
The South Florida city of Fort Lauderdale in Broward County boasts two easily understood nicknames – “The Yachting Capital of the World,” for its large number of boats and numerous marinas, and, “The Venice of America” for The New River that runs through the heart of downtown much like the famed waterways of the ancient Italian city.
In addition, Fort Lauderdale is the world’s second busiest cruise ship port where tourists flock into town to enjoy its beaches, shopping, waterfront restaurants and entertainment districts.
The Gallery at Beach Place is one of those entertainment areas, perfect for visiting at lunch or dinner after a few hours at Fort Lauderdale Beach. Another hot spot is Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District along the New River, with its restaurants and bars to while away a fun afternoon or evening. Other top Fort Lauderdale sight-seeing delights include The Museum of Discovery & Science, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and the historic Stranahan House.
If cruising by yacht charter up from the south, the Port Everglades Inlet is the best entry into the Intracoastal Waterway that runs north and south parallel to the coast.
Fort Lauderdale and Broward County have over 30 marinas so you are sure to find one for provisioning your yacht, with great choices including the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Resort & Marina, Bahia Mar Yachting Center, or the Marriott Portside Marina. Two good spots to anchor your charter yacht include the well-protected Lake Sylvia – a free anchorage off of the Intracoastal Waterway, and the city’s mooring ball area on the south end of the Las Olas Bridge.
One of the joys of yachting in Fort Lauderdale is pulling up to a dock alongside one of the city’s many waterfront restaurants. Enjoy tasty fare and docking for your charter yacht at 15 th Street Fisheries, Blue Moon Fish Company or the Southport Raw Bar, or try Bahia Cabana. Choices with boat docking along the New River include the River House or the Downtowner Saloon.
Navigate your charter yacht to Fort Lauderdale – The Venice of America!
south florida intercoastal waterways
A yachting adventure along Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway offers easy navigation and incredible scenery from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. Stretching over 1000 miles from Norfolk, VA to Key Biscayne, the Intracoastal Waterway, or ICW, is a combination of manmade canals and natural waterways maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The ICW ribbons Florida’s coastline for 380 protected miles of delightful cruising – the ideal way to see South Florida.
What will you enjoy most as you explore along South Florida’s ICW – the areas of unspoiled natural beauty, the dockside restaurants to suit any palate, or the architecturally striking high rise cities?
In Broward County, Fort Lauderdale’s New River showcases the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District filled with restaurants, taverns, museums and shopping. The ICW through Fort Lauderdale is lined with waterfront mansions beautiful beyond the imagination.
Leaving Fort Lauderdale and cruising south, Dania Beach is the site of Harbor Towne Marina, as well as John U. Lloyd State Park which offers ocean access through the Intracoastal Waterway to the Port Everglades inlet. The next stop south in your charter yacht is Hollywood, Florida, the 10 th largest city in the state. It is well worth going ashore to enjoy the city’s many pleasures such as horse racing, casinos, golf, and the quaint Hollywood Beach and Boardwalk with its unique shops and restaurants.
Hallandale is next on the route south, with its waterfront homes and condos galore. Entering Miami-Dade County, boaters also enjoy Aventura, which features plentiful marinas including Turnberry Isle Marina and Williams Island Marina for provisioning. Aventura is known for its upscale condominiums as well as malls and exclusive boutiques featuring goods from all over the world.
Cruise on south into North Miami Beach where modern condominiums make you wonder if you are in Florida or perhaps a more northern metropolis. Sunny Isles Beach is a notable stop. Shortly you’ll arrive at Miami’s Biscayne Bay where the ICW broadens and you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the international city of Miami.
Continue yachting under the Julie Tuttle Causeway and McArthur Causeway. Key Biscayne is essentially the end of the Intracoastal Waterway where the Atlantic and the ICW become one.