South Carolina was the first state to officially recognize National Marina Day to celebrate the waterways that provide so much economic and tourism benefits to the state. This holiday is held every June 12th to encourage responsible water-related activities. You don’t have to wait around as every day throughout South Carolina people are actively hitting the open waters in Hilton Head, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.
Texas might be well known for the hot desert days with an occasional cactus and tumbleweed. However, it is also home to a few large port cities like Corpus Christi that make Texas a great spot to visit for those who love to be out on the water. This city is largely built around the water and is a hub for watersports and sailboats.
The state of New York has over 500,000 registered boats and is the only state that touches an ocean (Atlantic) and a Great Lake (Lake Erie and Lake Ontario). Other notable areas for water recreation are the Finger Lakes in the north and the remote lakes in and around the Adirondack Mountains. The most famous spot in the Adirondacks would be Lake Placid. Although it was home to the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, in the summer the sounding area is a vacationing hot spot for many water sport enthusiasts.
Although much of California is experiencing a drought, the Pacific Coast is the perfect spot to take in some fun on the water. California is home to the most registered boats with over a million on the water. The Colorado River runs along the southern border of California and is a popular place for boat enthusiasts. The state of California makes it very easy to access the pristine 3,000+ miles of coastline with over 500 public boat ramps.
The state is interconnected by large river systems including the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland River. You can navigate throughout the entire state by this system of connected river systems. The state is broken down into four regions in terms of boating and water access, each of which has many public access points to the waterways. This is the only state to make our list that is land locked and not immediately next to a large body of water.
This may be the biggest surprise on our list to many of the readers but when you think of all the lakes, ponds, bayous channels, creeks, the Gulf, swamps and even ponds, it’s clear that Louisiana is a boater’s paradise. You can take your boat out on the Gulf Coast for deep sea fishing and other activities or inland for any one of the many large lakes brackish and freshwater Louisiana has to offer.
The Door County peninsula of Wisconsin is the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” The 300 miles of shoreline make it a great boating destination for locals within the state. You can also drop anchor in any of the 15,000+ lakes around Wisconsin ranging in size from a few acres in size to the largest Lake Winnebago which covers 137,000 acres, or 215 square miles. Wisconsin also is situated on both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.
While no one may be quite sure why Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is part of the state, it includes some of the state’s most beautiful shores and vacationing hot spots. If you plan to visit Michigan in the near future, your boat or personal water craft is likely a necessity of the trip as there are over 11,000 lakes and 3,100 miles of Great Lakes coastline. For reference, Texas and California have roughly the same amount for their border as coastline. The Pure Michigan website makes planning your next trip very easy from choosing a campground or hotel, to finding a fishing charter or renting a boat.
Florida may be situated on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, but what many don’t realize that the Sunshine State is also home to nearly 8,000 lakes. While the Florida Keys of the south get the most attention, the best fishing and vacationing spot is Cedar Key, FL which is an island cluster accessible by road and situated just an hour drive southwest of Gainesville. Florida is also home to many large cities along the coastline with Tampa, Fort Myers, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale being popular vacationing hot spots for boaters.
While Minnesota’s unofficial slogan is “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, they actually have quite a few more. Technically the state has 15,291 lakes and of those only 11,842 are lakes with a name. Leech Lake and the surrounding water tributaries are home to many vacation homes and camping places for you to visit while enjoying some of the state’s best fishing. While much of the boating done within the state is for fishing, there are plenty of large lakes and areas for personal motor sports as well.