There are few more attractive places to go sailing than Florida. The waves gleam almost as brightly as the fair shores of the Florida Keys, America’s most exotic archipelago. In this guide to Florida sailing holidays from Fort Myers Beach you’ll find out where to go, and what floats our boat.
It’s not just on the surface the Florida Sailing holidays are near perfection. Beneath invitingly clear and calm water sits a beautiful coral reef. An amazing sight to see even from the surface, jump in for a snorkel or explore the depths with a spot of diving as you sail in Florida.
Southwest Florida International Airport is the main airport to reach Fort Myers. You’ll find it around three miles east of Interstate 75. A taxi from the airport to will cost around $50 for three passengers. You could also drive from the north or plan an adventure to reach Fort Myers Beach by water from Miami.
Are you going to be in Miami anyway? Or are arriving flying into there – after all, Miami International Airport serves a lot more long-haul flights from Europe? If so rent a boat in Miami instead and sail around the end of the Florida Peninsula to Fort Myers Beach.
The journey will take a few days subject to the weather conditions and how often you stop. You can visit Florida Keys, the Everglades, Marco’s Island, Little Shark River and stay at plenty of safe anchorages along the way. Alternatively you can do the same journey on an organised cruise or a motor boat.
As part of this guide to Florida sailing holidays from Fort Myers Beach it’s worth mentioning that if your mast is less than 49 feet, you could float across the Florida Peninsula. Head up the Okeechobee Waterway from Fort Myers to the Caloosahatchee River to Stuart, then head down the AICW (Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway) to Miami.
For those who have chosen sailing holidays from Fort Myers Beach here are a few of the best options to get on the water.
South of the Gold Coast, Lake Worth is in fact more like a river sailing experience, given its centrally-dredged waterway. You’ll have to be mindful of the varying depths on either side of the dredging and the boat traffic bridges which open according to a restricted timetable (some open on demand, others at certain hours of the day).
Keep an eye out for the manatees round here during Florida sailing holidays from Fort Myers Beach.
No Florida sailing trip is complete without a visit to the Keys. Starting at Key Largo, head south around the alluring curve of the islets. Watch out for shallow water and threatening shoals at the beginning and end of channels.
From there, navigating Hawk Channel shouldn’t be too much of a headache – its admittedly long reef (170 miles) is clearly marked. For Featherbed Bank you’ll need to summon all your skinny-water skills and avoid the no-go depths.
It’s as if the First Coast combines all the best aspects of all Florida sailing. The Georgia-Florida Line whisks you past creeks, sloughs and rivers. Plus sights such as Civil War-era Fort Clinch and Fernandina Beach, a town that has been colonized by more nations than anywhere else in the Americas: 8 to be precise.
In the winter months beware of a fierce 3+ chop around Fernandina Harbour. This is the result of a lengthy fetch and ebb tide getting hit by a powerful nor’wester.
When approaching the Nassau River, keep a look out for illuminated marker no. 46. Round it and hang a south for Fort George Island one of the highlights of sailing holidays from Fort Myers Beach.
The inside route of the Hawk Channel is an angler’s dream come true. The flats here thrive with tarpon, snapper, sea trout and game fish, for which an active tackle is highly recommended.
After a pleasant afternoon’s fishing it’s well worth anchoring at South Miami-Dade for an excellent seafood lunch. Or to check out the plush Loggerhead Club & Marina or educational Biscayne National Park.
We hope you found this guide to Florida sailing holidays from Fort Myers Beach useful. Please check out our sailing holidays as you could find your perfect trip.