Whether you live in the Far North or the Deep South autumn brings changes that can be glorious and fantastic for boating. Up north the splendor of fall foliage and crisp temperatures offer fabulous opportunities for cruising to favorite or new destinations. For those in the southern parts of the country, the fall, with its cooler and less humid air, presents the optimum environment to get away. Here are 10 destinations to consider exploring this fall season.
This historic seaport village was founded in 1654 and continues to maintain its vintage New England charm. This small town boasts two world class attractions; the Mystic Seaport Museum, a preserved village replicating the heyday of Mystic’s seaport heritage and the Mystic Aquarium with amazing displays of sea life marine creatures. The Mystic Downtown Marina is the closest marina to the main street shops and restaurants.
Actually located in Oxon, Maryland, the National Harbor Marina is a destination in and of itself. Directly across form Old Town Alexandria and 15 minutes from Washington D.C. the National Harbor Marina is home to 150 shops, over 30 restaurants and the Capital Wheel and Carousel. The Capital Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel that has gondolas providing spectacular views of the Potomac River, Old Town Alexandria and Washington D.C. There are also hotels for those with runabouts that want to stay the weekend.
It is reported that Put-in-Bay has the best walleye and perch fishing in the country. However, there is a whole lot more to do at Put-in-Bay. The unique two by four mile South Bass Island sports the nation’s third tallest monuments, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorating the Battle of Lake Erie. There are plenty of quaint restaurants, shops and local pubs along with historic homes. There are organized events through October including “The Wake,” a tradition in Put-in-Bay celebrating the passing of another summer season. The fun culminates with the popular Halloween Boo Bash at the Bay. Miller Marina is a great place to take it all in.
Beaufort, South Carolina
Beaufort is one of South Carolinas’ oldest and most beautiful cities. The Downtown Marina of Beaufort is a must. Located within 300 yards of Beaufort’s captivating historic business district with charming restaurants and bed and breakfast inns. Directly across from the marina is the recently renovated Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Horses and carriages carry visitors on tours of the city and there are river dolphin watch tours. A temperate year-round climate make visiting Beaufort in the fall a special treat.
Stuart has a lively, cosmopolitan downtown with lots of eclectic shops and restaurants many with sidewalk seating that provides great people watching. Known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” there is lots of sport fishing boats coming in and out of the St. Lucie River inlet. Additionally, MarineMax Stuart is conveniently located on the St. Lucie River and ready to assist with any of your boating needs while you enjoy your time in Stuart. The Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage provides a convenient location to the downtown frivolity. The Sailor’s Return restaurant makes an excellent alternative to the walk to downtown. Specializing in steaks and seafood it offers a more sophisticated menu. Fall is the beginning of Stuart’s active boating season.
Tarpon Springs, Florida
Know for its sponge docks and Greek cuisine, Tarpon Springs is a singular experience and just 20 minutes north of MarineMax Clearwater. With the largest ratio of Greek Americans of any city in the Untied States, needless to say there are very authentic Greek restaurants lining downtown along with sponge, gift and souvenir shops. There is a museum depicting the history of Greek culture in Tarpon Springs. The Epiphany celebration includes the blessing of the fleet and the tossing of a cross into the river for local youths to clamor for the honor of retrieving it. Turtle Cove Marina is just a short stroll to the Tarpon Springs Aquarium and all the action downtown.
Called the “Forgotten Coast” for a reason, this part of Florida has not seen the development that made Destin a tourist destination and Military bases that made Ft. Walton Beach and Panama City Beach grow into big cities. Apalachicola has preserved its old Florida, local feel that is engaging. The new Water Street Hotel and Marina is only a few blocks from the downtown center with excellent restaurants and shopping. Known for their Apalachicola oysters and local fishing industry the restaurants offer some of the freshest seafood anywhere.
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Located in the heart of Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks is an extremely popular vacation and resort destination. The fall offers boaters a less crowded lake to enjoy. And, as the weather cools the water stays warm enough to play in. With a large variety of terrific waterside eateries boats can hop from one to another sampling a wide range of tastes and entertainment. There are public ramps scattered all around the Lake of the Ozarks for access. Typically, the second week of October brings on the spectacular fall foliage that lasts for a few weeks signaling the end of the boating season. A cruise around the lake to view the foliage is a favorite activity of our MarineMax Lake Ozark customers.
Corpus Christi, Texas
The Corpis Christi Municipal Marine is the focal point of Corpis Christi‘s active downtown. To encourage visitors, moorage is free during the daytime. The Corpis Christi’s Bayfront has had recent improvements with several restaurants within a short walk from the marina. A short cab ride takes visitors to the Texas State Aquarium and the U.S.S. Lexington, a World War II aircraft carrier. Shopping at the Palmera mall offers dining and an air conditioned environment.
Lewisville Lake, Texas
One of the largest lakes in Texas, Lewisville Lake spans 29,000 acres and has 233 miles of shoreline. On a hot summer day it seems like everyone in Texas is out on the lake in all kinds of floating contraptions. In the fall the lake takes on a more laid back feel. However, if partying is the goal, Party Cove near Westlake Park will still be rocking on the weekends. Pier 121 Marina is a popular marina on the lake with the newly redeveloped Wet Bar restaurant and also is home to the MarineMax Dallas Yacht Center.
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