Surrounded by sunny beaches and lush greenery, Hilton Head, South Carolina is a haven for any sports and wildlife enthusiast.
The island plays host to many prestigious sporting events throughout the year with over 24 golf courses available to tee off. Take a moment to explore the natural wonders of Hilton Head. Anchoring the southern tip of the state’s coastline, the environment takes center stage. It’s not unusual to see loggerhead sea turtles, dolphins and manatees in the waters.
Explore the countless nature trails or enjoy one of the top 10 family beaches in the country. Hilton Head is home to several luxury gated communities, and a resort destination with 12 miles of white sand beaches, world-class restaurants and top-rated golf courses.
Make sure you visit the Harbourtown Lighthouse, this colorful iconic landmark has been welcoming visitors for decades. Experience Hilton Head’s infinite opportunities and make your Island vacation an unforgettable one.
Secluded in a hidden grove, Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina is a laid-back paradise in the heart of South Carolina's Lowcountry. At the center of Hilton Head Island, the marina is nestled near beautiful beaches, plush golf courses and a delightful community that makes you feel right at home.
The recently dredged marina along Shelter Cove Harbour has 190 wet slips on floating docks, as well as on-site, dry storage for kayaks. Easily accessible from the Intracoastal Waterway, the spacious marina can accommodate a variety of boats ranging from 15-150 feet. The facilities feature newly renovated restrooms and showers, complimentary laundry, bikes for slip renters and bi-weekly pump out. Also included are free Wi-Fi, on-site gas and diesel, plus tons of maintenance, cleaning and special services such as boat launch, tow, storm prep and trailer storage.
This destination embodies a warm community within its resort-style quarters offering more than 15 shops, multiple restaurants, and activities including on-site fishing, Eco- and dolphin tours, and water sport charters. Experience a variety of aquatic activities from surfing the waves along the shore to kayaking and lagoon fishing.
Lodging and upscale accommodations are offered at both Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina and across the street at sister property, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. A complimentary shuttle for guests runs from April to September.
The beautiful Shelter Cove promenade is packed with seven waterfront restaurants, jewelry, clothing and gift shops, and many activities. Check out the award-winning ELA's on the Water to enjoy fresh seafood and prime-cut steaks in a peaceful ambience or Scott's Fish Market, the area's largest outdoor restaurant specializing in locally sourced Lowcountry seafood for more than 30 years. After dinner, head over to Frosty's Italian Ice for homemade Italian ices and fudge or the lovely Hilton Head Social Bakery for delicious French sweets.
A few new additions include The Other Sister's Wine Bar, Dream Boutique or Pure Salt Studios, where you can experience a relaxing dry salt therapy session. Also, check out the new Memory Lane Portraits, where you can get professional beachside photos taken for any occasion.
Brad Marra, chief operating officer for Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort says accessibility is one of the best perks at this destination. Shelter Cove Marina is the largest, award-winning deep-water marina on Hilton Head Island. The area is calm and gives boaters the option to dine and shop just footsteps from the dock.
Hilton Head Island is known for its natural beauty and wildlife and for a number of activities. Our region's main attraction would have to be golf, as well as the beach.
Dance the night away at Spring Music & Taste on the Harbour where local bands perform at the Neptune Statue at the marina on Thursday nights. This year's events run from March 26-May 14.
Catch the Hilton Head Art Festival along the promenade this Memorial Day weekend, featuring works from 100 artists.Also beginning Memorial Day weekend, don't miss this year's 32nd annual HarbourFest, with music, vendors, face painting, fireworks and entertainment from a locally famous clown named Cappy.
From New England's northern harbors down to Florida's southern shores you find world-class, championship-level golf courses that boast high-end designs, polished greens and stunning waterfront views.
The following list presents golf resorts and courses that honor the sport's rich history and genteel culture. With the arrival of warm weather and desire for oceanfront breezes, it's the perfect time to treat yourself to 18 holes at an upscale golfing getaway or consider a membership at one of these summertime destinations.
Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf ResortBoothbay Harbor, MEBoothbay Harbor Country Club is an 18-hole championship course located in beautiful mid-coast Maine offering three ways to stay and play lodging in the Oceanside Resort, cottages or stunning villas. In 2020, the property introduced new exclusive golf villas that offer six-bedroom luxury rentals equipped with a gourmet open kitchen. Amenities include a wellness center with a heated saltwater pool, fitness center, tennis and pickleball courts. Arrive by sea and dock at the on-site marina or arrive by land and enjoy luxury boat excursions and private coastal tours on a Hinckley picnic boat. boothbayharborcc.comWhere to Dock:Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort Marina
The Samoset Resort Golf CourseRockport, MEOut of this 18-hole championship course, 14 holes offer dazzling views of the Atlantic Coast. Originally designed in 1902 with nine holes, it was rebuilt by architect Robert Elder in the early 1990s. With the help of architects Jeffrey Cornish and Bradley Booth, the later improvements boosted its success and popularity in New England. The Samoset Resort offers lodging in private-terrace guestrooms, suites and cottages overlooking Penobscot Bay. Choose from tranquil views of lush gardens, the pool or the course, plus amenities such as wellness treatment and indoor/outdoor relaxation areas at the spa on-site. samosetresort.com/golfWhere to Dock: Journey's End Marina
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf ClubBrewster, MAResort guests and club members can enjoy plenty of perks when visiting this picturesque retreat. With $50 million put into renovations to its villas, restaurants and mansion rooms, the high-end facilities and amenities at this destination are spectacular. Join the golf club and gain additional access to the fitness center, nine tennis courts, six pools and the nearby Ocean Edge Bayside Private Beach. The private, 18-hole Troon PrivÃ© is Brewster's only Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. oceanedge.com/golfWhere to Dock: Hyannis Marina or Provincetown Marina
Rum Pointe Seaside Golf LinksBerlin, MDA few miles south of Ocean City, Maryland's vacation town, this Scottish-style links boasts views of Sinepuxent Bay overlooking the coast of Assateague Island where wild horses roam freely. This Dye family-designed course is situated on green fairways of bent grass with bayside views on 17 of the 18-hole course. Legends of notorious pirates Captain Kidd and Blackbeard allegedly sought shelter on these grounds during their journeys smuggling treasures across the Bay. Enjoy stay and play options through Ruark Golf Packages offering multiple courses, dining and lodging accommodations on the beachfront shores of Ocean City. rumpointe.comWhere to Dock: Sunset Marina
Fishers Island ClubFishers Island, NYJust off the coast of New London, CT, at the eastern end of Long Island Sound, you find the charming Fishers Island with a population of hardly over 100 people. The private Fishers Island Club is exclusive to members only but features outstanding amenities such as access to five tennis courts, golf and tennis pro shops, dining, clubhouse and beachfront access. This quintessential coastal club is located among gorgeous beaches, prime real estate and a community of gracious residences. Golf Digest rated the club #10 out of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses in 2019. ficlub.netWhere to Dock: Fishers Island Yacht Club
Grande Dunes Resort CourseMyrtle Beach, SCAs Myrtle Beach is a notorious golf hub and home to more than 90 courses, it's tough to choose the best. But when it comes to coastal gems and all-inclusive luxuries, Grande Dunes takes the cake. This resort offers an on-site course that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and lodging at The Marina Inn Grande Dunes luxury hotel with a marina conveniently located next door. Enjoy a variety of stay and play specials and golf vacations at courses all across Myrtle Beach such as Barefoot Resort & Golf and Prime Time Signature Golf Courses.marinainnatgrandedunes.com/golf_packages.htmlWhere to Dock: Grande Dunes Marina
The Ocean Course at Kiawah IslandKiawah Island, SCThis phenomenal course was originally planned to sit behind the dunes on the eastern end of Kiawah Island until legendary designer Pete Dye's wife, Alice, suggested raising it to give players stunning coastline views from every hole. Designed with two courses in one one for easterly and the other for westerly wind you can experience up to an eight-club difference each round depending on the wind's direction and strength. Choose from nearly 500 resort villas and private homes that can accommodate up to 15-20 people an ideal vacation for anything from golf buddy trips or a couple's retreat to an extended family getaway. kiawahresort.com/golf/the-ocean-courseWhere to Dock: Bohicket Marina & Market (local) or Safe Harbor Charleston City (transient)
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront ResortHilton Head Island, SCFor more than a half-century, the world-class golf course at Palmetto Dunes has been a crown jewel of Hilton Head Island. The beachside resort is packed with everything an outdoor enthusiast could desire: three championship courses, tennis, pickleball, biking, fishing and more. Choose courses from renowned designers including the Robert Trent Jones course where a lagoon winds its way through half of the holes, the challenging George Fazio course guarded by bunkers and water hazards, or the Arthur Hills course, regarded as one of South Carolina's most unique layouts. palmettodunes.comWhere to Dock: Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina
Omni Amelia Island Golf ResortFernandina Beach, FLThe enchantment of Amelia Island is legendary throughout Florida and this Pete Dye-designed championship course is one of Omni Resorts' finest destinations. Just off the coast, you can enjoy challenging courses with beautiful views overlooking the marsh and amenities such as a full-service spa, pool, dining, heath and fitness center, and luxurious oceanfront resort accommodations. omnihotels.com/hotels/amelia-island/golfWhere to Dock: Oasis Marinas at Fernandina Harbor Marina
Sea Island Golf Performance Center & ResortSea Island, GAThis exquisite performance center is perfect for golfers of all skill levels and dedicated to those who want to improve their game. Instructors tailor to individual needs and use state-of-the-art technology to make the most of lessons. Try one of the championship courses: Seaside (15 holes flanked by marsh and ocean views), Driftwood Putting Course (adjacent to the lodge with more ocean views), and the Retreat Course (sand bunkers and undulations for a challenging game). For full access to the golf club and tons of amenities, stay at The Inn at Sea Island, The Lodge, The Cottages or The Cloister. seaisland.com/golfWhere to Dock: Morningstar Marinas Golden Isles
Seminole Golf ClubJuno Beach, FLCentury-old banyan trees and lush green landscapes align this regal members-only club designed with elevation changes based on Atlantic winds. As one of the most exclusive private golfing communities in South Florida, the course borders Seminole Landing, a posh gated community and ex-home of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren. The community has easy access to boating excursions, tennis, beachfront property and much more. For real estate and golf club info visit homes3.com/seminole-landingWhere to Dock: Palm Harbor Marina or Loggerhead Marina, Palm Beach Gardens
Crandon Golf at Key BiscayneKey Biscayne, FLJust 10 minutes from Miami, this colorful course on the clear waters of Biscayne Bay is an exotic golfer's paradise. Surrounded by mangroves, tropical foliage and breathtaking waterfront views, the 18-hole championship course was the site of the Senior PGA Tour for 18 years. Enjoy unique game experiences such as challenging sand traps, mangrove thickets and saltwater lakes. Lessons with pro instructors are also offered at the Crandon Golf Academy. golfcrandon.comWhere to Dock: Crandon Park Marina
Looking for a fun, child-friendly spot for your next family getaway or summer vacation? Here are 10 places the whole family will love!
The Narragansett Indians called it Manisses Island, meaning island of the little gods. It's fitting then that Block Island is now one of the top kid-friendly destinations in New England. Just 10 miles off the southern coast of Rhode Island, this glacial remnant remains blessedly unspoiled in fact, more than one-third of it is conservation land. Start your day by enjoying any of the 17 miles of beautiful beaches, then hike or bike inland along the many stone-line roads that crisscross the rolling hills and open meadows. An abundance of wildflowers, migrating birds and other animals inhabit Block Island, including camels, llamas, sheep and emus at Abram?s Animal Farm & Petting Zoo. It's just a short walk from New Shoreham, the island's only town, where you can poke around the Historical Society Museum and dine on fresh seafood.
Block Island Boat Basin (401-466-2631, blockislandboatbasin.net)Champlin's Marina (401-466-7777, champlinsresort.com)
Known as the nation's oldest seashore resort, Cape May hasn't lost a step since it became a popular leisure destination in the 1880s. In fact, the passage of time has only made its authentic Victorian buildings more charming. Kids will love the boardwalk, with all of the kitschy shops you would expect and the white sandy beaches (you'll need to purchase beach tags for the family). The list of things to do is so long it's impossible to include it all here. Take a ghost tour, hit a water park, rent a bike, kayak or paddle board, hire a fishing guide, go dolphin and whale watching, play mini golf or explore the zoo. Visit the Nature Center of Cape May that offers summer children's programs every week including birding expeditions, ocean exploration, whale and dolphin excursions and a youth fishing camp. Even on a rainy day you won?t be bored! For families who want modern amusement park attractions, North Wildwood makes a great day trip and is just a short drive away.
South Jersey Marina (609-884-2400, sjmarina.com)Canyon Club Resort Marina (609-884-0188, canyonclubmarina.com)
Looking for a family-friendly spring break vibe along a picturesque sprawl of sand? This is the place. Virginia Beach is prime resort territory, featuring a two-mile boardwalk and oceanfront strip with high-rise hotels, restaurants, shops and entertainment galore. The beach is the main attraction, of course, with jet ski rentals,parasailing, kiteboarding, surfing lessons and sport fishing. But the excitement doesn't diminish away from shore. Ocean Breeze Waterpark, two miles south, offers 16 waterslides and a million-gallon wave pool. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center has hundreds of hands-on exhibits, including an outdoor aviary and marshlands. And you can't miss First Landing State Park, where the Jamestown colonists alighted in 1607. Camp, hike, swim, boat, bike and explore while soaking in the historical and educational displays.
Rudee's on the Inlet (757-425-1777, rudees.com)Virginia Beach Fishing Center (757-491-8000, virginiafishing.com)
This congenial low-country resort island has a lot to offer families beyond the popular golf, spa, tennis and shopping pursuits for mom and dad. Its pristine beaches and marshes rank high with nature lovers, and several outfits offer guided kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking and horseback riding tours to experience them. The Coastal Discovery Museum teaches about the local ecology and cultural heritage, which includes Native Americans, European colonists, African-Americans, pirates and soldiers, and you can tour important historic sites on your own or with an organized group. Sea Pines Resort, at the southwest end of the island, has hiking and biking trails, a beach club, and waterside dining plus, you can take a ride on the America's Cup sailing yacht Stars & Stripes or the replica pirate ship Black Dagger.
Harbour Town Yacht Basin (843-671-2704, harbourtownyachtbasin.com)Skull Creek Marina (843-681-8436, theskullcreekmarina.com)
This secluded islet is unique among the Florida Keys in that it was developed primarily with family in mind. (If you want rowdy nightlife, look elsewhere.) The key player is Hawks Cay Resort, a 60-acre property surrounded by private homes. Designed for casual luxury, the resort is a destination unto itself, featuring five pools, five eateries (one an ice cream parlor), villas, shops, tennis courts, a spa and a fitness center. Water lies at the heart of the action: There's deep-sea as well as flats fishing, diving and snorkeling along a live coral reef, kayak and paddleboard tours, jet ski rentals and kiteboarding classes. Like dolphins? The on-site research facility let?s you view, feed, swim with and even help train these amazing animals. No wonder Travel + Leisure magazine readers voted the kids program here to its 'best of' list.
Hawks Cay Marina (305-743-7000, hawkscay.com)
When you're talking about Paradise Island as a family getaway, you're talking about Atlantis, the beach resort metropolis that resembles a cross between SeaWorld and Oz. Its 141-acre Aquaventure Waterpark features 18 water slides and a mile-long river ride with waves, rapids, tunnels and more. Eleven different pools beckon, or you can snorkel alongside tropical fish in mythical, man-made ruins. Dolphin Cay lets you interact with dolphins and sea lions. There's even the CRUSH nightclub and cafe for kids 9 to 17. Atlantis Kids Adventures & Camps offers supervised activities and expeditions for children ages 3 to 15, including junior scuba, junior golf and marine adventures. And did we mention the miles of on-site shopping, restaurants, spas, gaming and private beaches? Atlantis truly offers a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation experience.
Marina at Atlantis (242-363-6068, atlantis.com)
Ohio?s Lake Erie shore is a great coastal retreat for Midwest boaters, with the town of Sandusky topping the list of family hot spots. Along with its beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets, this city tucked between Toledo and Cleveland is home to the roller coaster capital of the world in Cedar Point Amusement Park. In addition to 17 coasters (rated from aggressive thrill to mild thrill), the park has live family entertainment, a water park, a beach and kids camp programs. There are no less than three other water parks nearby - Kalahari, Great Wolf Lodge and Castaway Bay - plus diverse attractions such as the Sandusky Maritime Museum, Lagoon Deer Park and Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, a year-round haunted house, that up the ante with bouncy houses and a skate park. For auto racing fans, the Sandusky Speedway offers high-speed thrills from April through October.
Cedar Point Marina (419-627-2334, cedarpoint.com/rides/Marinas/Cedar-Point-Marina)Battery Park Marina (419-625-6142, batterypark.com)
The Windy City has long been a stopover for those traveling the Great Loop, and with its outstanding family attractions, it's not hard to see why some find it hard to leave. Navy Pier, once a military training facility but now a major tourist destination, consists of 50 acres of parks, promenades, shops, eateries and more. Take a ride on the 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel, see an IMAX movie or check out the childrens museum. Speaking of museums, Chicago has a zillion of them - the Field Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium for starters. A new Chicago Maritime Museum is scheduled to open soon in a facility adjacent to the Chicago River. Visit it on foot or see it from one of the many guided boat tours offered throughout the city.
Burnham Harbor (312-747-7009, chicagoharbors.info/harbors/burnham/)DuSable Harbor (312-742-3577, chicagoharbors.info/harbors/dusable/)?
A visit to sunny, mild-weathered San Diego can take on many different themes: historic, natural, adventurous ... or all three. Start at the downtown waterfront with the Maritime Museum of San Diego and its full-rigged iron sailing ship, Star of India. Nearby, the USS Midway Museum on the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20thcentury features 60 exhibits, a collection of 29 restored aircraft and two light simulators. Next, head over to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home to more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where you can ride a expedition truck into the field. SeaWorld San Diego turns 50 this year with special surprises, gifts and performances throughout the year. Last but not least, LEGOLAND California Resort offers rides, shopping, dining, a water park and an aquarium, all built around connecting fun and learning.
Sunroad Resort Marina (619-574-0736, sdmarina.com)
Wait, the birthplace of slackers makes a great family vacation destination? You bet! People forget that long before grunge music, Seattle was known as the outdoor playground of the Northwest. A primeexample is Discovery Park, a 534-acre green space overlooking Puget Sound that includes two miles of tidal beaches as well as dramatic sea cliffs, active sand dunes, thickets and streams. You can rent a boat for the afternoon or take classes at the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union or just check out its historic photos and exhibits. Seattle has no shortage of worldclass museums, including the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Pacific Science Center and the Seattle Children?s Museum. The Olympic Sculpture Park offers art activities, performances and much more. Finish the day with a thrilling trip to the top of the Space Needle.
Bell Harbor Marina (206-787-3952, portseattle.org/Marinas/Bell-Harbor- Marina/Pages/default.aspx)
Marinalife asked. Boaters answered. And so we listened. After many submissions from our Marinalife members we selected the top 12 southern boating destinations. With the summer in your wake and temperatures cooling in the north, there's no better time to pick up anchor and head south to these excellent destinations.
Visitors to this quaint village like to spend time watching the water, where there's often a beautiful craft to admire, while the fall breezes sweep through the marsh grasses. The river that flows by these shores is the Neuse River, which dissolves into the Pamlico Sound to the north. From Oriental, you can watch recreational and commercial vessels as they navigate the Intracoastal Waterway, which runs down the middle of the Neuse. Then, go for a bike ride through town (the terrain is flat), and don't forget to bring along binoculars, as Oriental is a favorite destination for birders. If you're tying up for the night, head to River Dunes. Rated one of the top 25 marinas in the North America, it offers floating docks within a protected 28-acre inland basin harbor.
In this town, anchoring the southern tip of the state's coastline, the environment takes center stage, due to development being regulated here. Wildlife abounds, and it's not unusual to see loggerhead sea turtles, dolphins and manatees in the waters. While Hilton Head is home to several luxury private gated communities, it's also a resort destination with 12 miles of white-sand beaches, world-class restaurants, top-rated golf courses and other sports, including tennis. To spend the night in style, reserve a dock at Harbour Town Yacht Basin located at Sea Pines Resort. The full-service marina, with fuel dock and marine supply store, is home to the famous red-and-white striped Harbour Town Lighthouse that many associate with the island.
Celebrating its 450th birthday this year, it's the nations oldest city, and its charms are timeless. Located along the banks of the Matanzas River, St. Augustine, with its narrow cobblestone streets, was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers (see the coquina bastions of a Spanish fort that guards the bay). A visit here should include an exploration of the shops and eateries around the Historic District. St. Augustine also is the site of the fabled Fountain of Youth, which is worth a visit, as the once-dated attraction has been restored in recent years and even features a boatyard with a 16th-century-style craft. After the walking tour, hit the gorgeous beach at Anastasia State Park, then tie up at Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor, just a mile from St. Augustine Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean.
Here, along a golden stretch of the Atlantic shore, is a destination that's one part old-world glamour and another new-age sophistication. Palm Beach is touted as one of America's first luxury resort destinations, and it maintains that status today. There are the signature Mediterranean-revival mansions and upscale shops that boast a beautiful clientele. While there's plenty to do in Palm Beach (think dining, shopping, golfing and nightlife), if you're up for exploring beyond the borders of town, you can head south to Delray Beach another classic town in the Old Florida tradition or north to the barrier islands of the Treasure Coast. For an overnight stay, tie up at Palm Harbor Marina where the crowd is international and the facilities top-notch or at Old Port Cove Marina, with an onsite restaurant, shower and laundry facilities, gym and lounge.
As a tourist destination, Key West has a lot going for it, including an average temperature of 79°F, 19th-century architecture, a laid-back lifestyle, a wonderful art scene and top dining options. Of course, you will also find an array of bars and t-shirt shops along Duval Street, but jump on a bike to venture beyond. Key West is still a place that feels a world apart from the rest of the continental U.S. The population is diverse, and Key Westers pride themselves on their tolerance of all peoples, and even all animals (most restaurants allow pets). But its finest asset is location. At the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys, and just one mile wide, the water overwhelms land and makes for the type of views romantic travelers dream of. For an overnight, dock at Stock Island Marina Village, boasting 220 slips or Conch Harbor Marina, in Key West Bight.
Located in the heart of Florida's Tampa Bay Region, Sarasota has much to offer cruisers, particularly in the fall, as many boaters in the north head in this direction for their annual pilgrimage in pursuit of the sun. The beaches in Sarasota and throughout the region are some of the best in the country, and you'll find a different vibe at each one, from mellow stretches of sand for shell collectors to social hubs that draw sun lovers with live music and dancing. There are also charter fishing boats, parasailing experiences, and sidewalk shopping and cafes. If you're craving culture, try Sarasota's Ringling Museum of Art. There's so much to do in this locale that you might want to spend a few nights. One of the top facilities in town is the Hyatt Regency Sarasota Resort & Marina.
Panhandle hot-spots like Destin, Florida, have attracted boaters for years, but the growing popularity has made for congested waterways and beaches. If you're looking for another pretty port along this pretty stretch of the Gulf of Mexico, one that's less crowded and in some ways more affordable, try Orange Beach, Alabama. Downtown Orange Beach is situated on a peninsula that juts into Perdido Bay, just minutes from the open waters of the Gulf, and also adjacent to a number of coves and backwaters that offer miles of sheltered shoreline for exploring, fishing, water skiing and swimming. Orange Beach has a number of upscale developments, as well as family-oriented activities that range from go-kart tracks to golf courses. Tie up at Orange Beach Marina, named one of the Top 25 Marinas by Power & Motoryacht Magazine, accommodating vessels up to 130 feet or Homeport Marina, in nearby Gulf Shores. For your service and maintenance needs, stop in at Saunders Yachtworks.
The British Virgin Islands are among the top boating destinations in the world, yet those who have cruisedthese waters more than once say a return trip isn't complete without stops at two of the most beloved islands: Virgin Gorda and Anegada. Lovely Virgin Gorda runs at a pace so slow that goats still wander across the roads in places like North Sound. There are also great sites like the Copper Mine Point (for history), Virgin Gorda Peak (for hiking) and the incredible Baths (you'll flood your Instagram feed with photos of this natural wonder). Anegada is fourteen miles north, a flat coral-and-limestone atoll just nine miles long and two miles wide. Though the reefs are a sailor's nightmare, they are gold for snorkelers, especially in the waters around Loblolly Bay on the north shore. There are moorings at most islands in the BVI; if you're hankering for a marina stay, try the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda or Scrub Island Resort Marina.
The calm and protected waters of the Abaco Islands are beautiful and define this chain of islands as the sailing capital of the Bahamas. Yet the waters are not just for cruising. Reefs make for excellent snorkeling, diving and fishing. And then there are the beaches. From island-long stretches to strips as short as your boat, there's a beach suited to everyone's liking. There are many luxury services in the islands too, from five-star accommodations to fine dining and pretty shops. There's island-style fun, too, including great beach parties. Our favorite being the Sunday pig roast at Nippers on Great Guana Cay. Full-service marinas include Hope Town Inn & Marina, Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour and Treasure Cay Beach Marina & Golf Resort.
Among the most precious assets of this island, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the CaribbeanSea to the south, are 1,000 miles of beaches. But this is a land of contrasts too, with mountain landscapes, brown rivers and rain forests. Accommodations offer a broad range, from surfers' camps, to boutique hotels and megaresorts. The vibrant lifestyle of this Latin- Caribbean country where Spanish is the national language makes the Dominican Republic a unique cultural experience. Also notable is the fact that a stay here can represent a very good bargain, even in a place like Casa de Campo, one of the world's largest resorts and top golfing destinations, which offers Marina Casa de Campo. Cruising yachtsmen also like Ocean World in Puerto Plata.
There are many good reasons to visit one of Mexico's prettiest resort towns in the fall. Among them are scores of excellent restaurants, lively nightclubs, sandy beaches and local gems like Old Vallarta, featuring winding cobblestone streets and quirky boutiques. Puerto Vallarta is also a top golf destination, with exclusive links and accessible courses for all players. As you might expect at an international coastal destination, there are watersports of all kinds, from windsurfing to snorkeling to scuba diving. A popular place for transient boaters is Paradise Village Marina, located in a protected natural lagoon and part of a luxury resort property, which means guests have access to all of the hotel's amenities.
Just 20-plus miles across from Newport Beach is a glimpse of what an underdeveloped slice of Southern California looks like. Catalina has mountains, canyons, coves and beaches, and water so clear it draws divers, snorkelers and kayakers. Avalon is the main town, an old-fashioned beach community where golf carts are preferred on streets and pleasure boats bob in the bay. When you come off the water, absorb a bit of the island's history. In 1919, William Wrigley Jr., the chewing-gum magnate, helped to develop the island, raising one of its most famous landmarks, the Casino, in 1929. There are four general mooring areas around the island. Moorings are rented on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon arrival, call the Harbor Patrol on Channel 9 for information.