Miami is one of America’s most popular tourist destinations and a favorite for boaters from all over the world. The city is famous for its sunny weather, iconic beaches, and vibrant nightlife.
With more than half of its population born outside of the U.S. and more than 100 languages spoken in the broader Miami-Dade area, Miami is a true melting pot and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on the west, the Caribbean Sea on the south, and the North Atlantic Ocean on its east, Miami offers a perfect scenery to sail in an endless grind of waterways, beaches, and tropical islands.
Whether you come with your own boat or opt for a boat rental in Miami, these are some great places to visit in Miami by boat:
7 of the Best Places to Visit by Boat in Miami
1. The Miami Beach Architectural District
Dock your yacht at the luxurious Miami Beach Marina and explore famous South Beach, full of everything Miami has become famous for: music, extravagant parties and loads of suntanned revelers.
Walk north along Miami Beach to encounter the splendorous Miami Beach Architectural District, a historic district also known as ‘Old Miami Beach Historic District’ or ‘Miami Art Deco District’.
The most prominent landmark here is a mansion on Ocean Drive where Gianni Versace, a famous Italian fashion designer, was assassinated. It is so popular actually that it’s the third most photographed home in the USA, right after the White House and Graceland.
There are around 960 historic buildings in the district, mostly built from 1915 to 1940 and typically recognized by their curved edges, neon light, porthole windows, and overall symmetry.
A stroll around this glamorous neighborhood will take you back to the Jazz Age and its architectural splendor.
2. Nixon Sandbar
Sandbars are all the rage in Miami. One of the most picturesque ones is the Nixon Beach sandbar, especially when the tide is low.
Located in Key Biscayne, this renowned sandbar is perfect to dock your yacht and enjoy the crystal clear waters around the beach.
The sandbar draws locals and visitors alike and is a great way to meet people. Let the kids run around, enjoy the great Miami weather and meet other boaters.
This classic Miami watering hole regularly hosts extravagant parties as well. A perfect introduction to Miami’s crazy nightlife!
Tip: The Haulover Sandbar is another popular sandbar and boating spot in Miami. It’s often listed as one of the best sandbars in Miami.
3. SeaSpice Restaurant – Miami River
Miami River offers a thrilling range of restaurants, boutiques, and markets for visitors who want to experience the lavish Miami lifestyle.
With numerous spots to dock your boat, the SeaSpice restaurant is a brilliant spot to have brunch or dinner.
Conveniently located on the bank of Miami River, this popular restaurant attracts some of the most famous members of the local jet set.
Offering delicious seafood, freshly crafted cocktails and a stunning view of the sea, it is an incredible place to visit when boating in Miami.
4. Coconut Grove
Next on our list of places to visit in Miami by boat is the oldest part of the city; Coconut Grove.
Sailing clubs and marinas dot the waterfront in this upscale neighborhood that was constructed in the 1870s.
Despite being situated in the middle of Miami, Coconut Grove is a surprisingly quiet and relaxed part of the city offering a great array of boutiques, galleries, & sidewalk cafes.
A special place in this area worth visiting is the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens – an early 20th century Italian Renaissance garden.
5. Crandon Park – Key Biscayne
Are you looking for a luxurious marina in Miami for your yacht?
Anchor at Crandon Park Marina boating slips that can lodge big yachts up to 80 feet in length. Located perfectly next to the coastlines of Crandon Park, the marina is a full-service marina.
Crandon Park, an 808-acre (3.27 km²) urban park in metropolitan Miami, provides something for all kinds of travelers including hiking, biking trails, a tennis center, golf course, and stunning beaches.
It’s a park loaded with a rich ecosystem of mangrove, coastal hammock and seagrass beds making it an ideal place to explore the natural beauty of Miami.
6. Dry Tortugas National Park
Located west of Key West island and near the Gulf of Mexico, the Dry Tortugas National Park displays splendid stretches of coral reef, ideal to practice your snorkeling skills.
Established in 1992, this 64,000-acre national park is mostly submerged under crystal blue waters, with seven small islands.
The park is open year-round and is particularly famous for its spectacular coral reefs and the impressive Fort Jefferson.
Dry Tortugas is located a bit farther from Miami and therefore perfect if you are looking for a multi-day trip.
Stop at the Florida Keys along the way, swim, snorkel, and moor at one of the many marinas along the way. It’s definitely worth the trip and a beautiful boat ride to get to Dry Tortugas!
Note: All vessels must file a free boat permit at Garden Key before recreating within the park. Visit the National Park Service website for more information.
7. The Miami International Boat Show
As sailing lovers probably know already, the Miami International Boat Show is a major event taking place annually in Miami, which happens to be the cruise capital of the world.
Organized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Miami International Boat Show features state-of-the-art models of powerboats, sailboats, engines, electronics, and marine accessories displayed by more than 2,000 manufacturers.
The show attracts around 100,000 boating enthusiasts from all over the world and some of the most impressive boats you will ever see.
There probably isn’t a more appropriate place to visit by boat in Miami than the Miami International Boat Show!
I hope these tips have given you some inspiration. And I am sure you will love boating in Miami!
- What to Do, Where to Eat and Where to Stay in Miami, Florida
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- Sailing Across the Atlantic – My Experiences Sailing From the Canary Islands to the Caribbean
Map of 7 of the Best Places to Visit in Miami by Boat
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