10 Great Places to “Float Your Boat”

Think your home state has the best boating in the country? The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and its Discover Boating campaign recently announced the top 10 boating states of 2009, along with some great boating hotspots in each. Keep reading to see if your state made the list!

According to NMMA and Discover Boating, the top 10 boating states, ranked in order by total annual expenditures for new powerboats, motors, trailers and accessories in 2009, and some popular on-the-water destinations are:

Hotspot: Treasure Island – A tropical community that’s part of the Tampa Bay area is popular for cruising with the family and sportfishing the infamous Kingfish.

Hotspot: Lake Austin – In the heart of energetic Austin, Lake Austin offers an ideal setting to cruise, waterski, fish and be entertained with a plethora of restaurants and live music     venues to dock at along the shore.

Hotspot: Big Bear Lake – Cruising, sailing or waterskiing, Big Bear Lake, just 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, offers something for every boater. Don’t own a boat? Boats and equipment can be rented at one of the many marinas that dot this resort community’s 23 miles of coastline.

North Carolina
Hotspot: Lake Norman – Just north of Charlotte, Lake Norman is the largest man-made lake in the Carolinas at 34 miles long, boasting 520 miles of shoreline. This popular boating destination provides year-around water access with boating activities of all types for novices and experienced captains, plus chartered cruises for those just looking to take in the scenery.

New York
Hotspot: Lake Champlain – Spanning 120 miles from Quebec to Whitehall, N.Y., Lake Champlain is renowned for its beautiful scenery and boating opportunities, particularly fishing – named one of the top five bass fishing destinations in the U.S. by FLW Outdoors magazine.

Hotspot: Shreveport – Louisiana’s “Other Side” is a sportsman’s paradise. Straddling the Red River where watersports are plentiful, and adjacent to Cross Lake, which offers 13.4 miles of scenic cruising, excellent fishing and sailing, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast.

Hotspot: San Juan Islands – The San Juan Islands, located in the northwest corner of Washington – just 90 minutes north of Seattle, are like no other archipelago, boasting diverse natural beauty with rocky shores, sandy beaches, towering forests and sweeping grasslands. The 700-plus island chain is home to hundreds of anchorages and harbors and is perfect for boating because their waters are protected, tucked away behind
Vancouver Island.

Hotspot: Rehoboth Beach – Rehoboth Beach has everything needed to enjoy all facets of recreational boating and offers hundreds of slip and boat rentals. Whether interested in cruising, crabbing or clamming, waterskiing or fishing, the area offers a summer getaway perfect for the family.

Hotspot: Traverse City – With 181 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and surrounded by 149 lakes that are 10 acres or larger, Traverse City is a hub for recreational boating, offering a variety of ideal settings for sailing, fishing, waterskiing or Great Lakes cruising.

Hotspot: Detroit Lakes – With more than 400 lakes within a 25-mile radius, Detroit Lakes offers a summer vacation for every type of boater and plenty of family fun. An abundance of public boat launches, marinas and boat rentals, makes it easy to discover boating in Detroit Lakes.
Agree? Disagree? What are your favorite boating hotspots?

For state-specific information about boating and fishing, including regulations, getting a license and available education programs, visit the TakeMeFishing.org.

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Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro

Stephanie Vatalaro is vice president of communications for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns where she works to recruit newcomers to recreational fishing and boating and increase awareness of aquatic conservation. Stephanie grew up in the Florida Keys as the daughter of a flats fishing guide. Outside of work, you can find her fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck of Virginia.