11 Ideas To Spice Up Your Boating Bucket List

Whether your local warm weather has you in the summer mindset 365 days a year or this time of year means brisk temps are right around the corner, there’s something about the months between May and August that just hits differently on the water. Kids are home from school, watermelon is in season, and the fishing is good!

If you’re like us, you never want this time of year to end. So, we put together 11 ideas to help you pack as much fun into these final weeks of summer and keep the fun going into fall.

  • View from a yachts at sunset

    1. Sunrise Cruise

    Take a quick sunrise or sunset cruise to enjoy some precious moments together with your loved ones. It’s a wonderful way to start the morning or wrap up a busy day. Once school is back in session, schedules are more hectic, and you’ll look back and be grateful for these moments on the water together. Of course, make sure you have the proper equipment and lights on your boat if you’ll be boating at dark. (Check out this video for some rad technology to help you navigate at night.)

  • two people wakeboarding

    2. Watersport Whirl

    You are never too old to give water athletics a whirl, whether wakeboard, tubing or waterskiing⁠—give it a whirl. Check out this episode of Boating Tips LIVE featuring Andy "Wiggy" Weigman,  wakesurfer extraordinaire and Co-Director of the Midwest Wakesurf Association.

  • Men fishing off of a Boston Whaler boat

    3. Fish for a Feast

    Try sport fishing and use your fresh catch to create a delicious dinner. Need more fishing tips? Hear from Captain Paul Gage and Anthony Armao to get hot tips about coastal fishing from Clearwater, FL to The Bahamas.

  • Girl snorkeling

    4. Snorkel Scavenge

    There is no reason to pay for a tour when you can create your very own scuba or snorkeling experience. No matter where you live, there are many opportunities for you to explore what's underneath the water. Find a MarineMax event near you!

  • Boat out on the water searching for routes

    5. Travel Trek

    Take a new route or explore something new. Whether it’s a restaurant you’ve been dying to try or an undiscovered sand bar. Hear tips from the pros on plotting your boating route to take summer adventures to new destinations.

  • Family and friends spending overnight on their boat

    6. Overnight Anchor Adventure

    Slumber party! Grab the popcorn and some cozy blankets. You’ll love listening to the calm waves as you drift to sleep. Cruising boats like these are perfect for an overnight adventure.

  • Couple having a romantic dinner on a boat

    7. Date at Sea

    Grab your charcuterie board and significant other and enjoy a romantic experience, just the two of you, out on the water. Try these 25 EASY Boat Snacks to Try This Summer.

  • Many boats out on a sand bar

    8. Raft Up

    Rafting up with other boaters is one of the true pleasures of the boating life. Relax while the kids play in and on the water and enjoy shared food and beverages. Make sure you’re rafting up the right way in order to avoid damaging boats and injuring participants. Check out our article on raft-up tips and tricks.

  • MarineMax Events

    9. Try Your Hand at a Poker Run

    A poker run is an event where participants, using their boats, visit anywhere from 5 to 7 locations and draw a playing card at each one. The point is for each team to get the best poker hand by the time they are done. Grab your boating friends and organize one yourself for one last big summer hurrah. Or, keep an eye on our MarineMax events and join our next poker run!

  • Girl Geocashing

    10. Go Geocaching

    Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. The caches are mostly on land, but there are several caches that require a small boat to get to or can optionally be reached via boat. On this website, you can learn more about Geocaching and see if any of these boat caches are near you.

  • Smith family next to their Aquila

    11. The Great Loop

    Perhaps the biggest boating bucket list item of them all is the Great Loop! The American Great Loop is a 6,000-mile circumnavigation of the eastern United States that stretches from Canada to Florida. Though it can be completed in as little as two months, many “Loopers” take about a year on the voyage. Experienced loopers recommend boaters plan their Northern legs in the summer months. Some boaters take the loop in segments, doing one stretch before spending time at home, and returning for another section when time allows.

fishing boat with people on board running slowly across glassy open water

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