5 Ways To Staycation Like a Pro

Nationally cooped up in the house for months is surely good enough reason to celebrate on the water the first chance you get. And with social distancing remaining a cautionary measure across the states, it’s the perfect time to take a staycation this boating season. Just you. The immediate fam. The pooch. The boat. Local waters. A true staycation means touring places in your community never traveled before—or you never knew existed. Haven’t drifted down a particular river route? Lake zone? Or seaway? Now is the time. Staycations help cut travel costs, decrease the stress from mapping out long trips and save on navigational time. Can’t beat such summer solitude. But if you need more direction to carry out this neighborhood voyage, consider these all-inclusive waypoints and activities for leisure, fishing, yachting and watersports during hot days ahead.

  • View of fireworks at night from the water


    Your town’s or city’s annual go-to location—just boat side. During Fourth of July, most municipalities hold local firework demonstrations to spectate from the water. For more over-the-top skyline sparks, boaters near the Boston area can plan for the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. The country’s largest and oldest public Fourth of July event—and one of the biggest outdoor concerts in the world—includes a free concert and fireworks display. New Jersey boaters and watersports enthusiasts can watch another memorable fireworks extravaganza from Atlantic City’s Marina District and Boardwalk. Other water views to commemorate Independence Day: Minneapolis’ annual Red, White and Boom Festival; the Windy City’s firework and dinner cruises on Lake Michigan; and America’s Birthday Bash at Bayfront Park for 4th of July in Miami.

  • Man grilling and cooking on a boat


    Your favorite site for docking and dining. This location may very well be your own backyard or a daytrip to a local park. Use your imagination. Turn grilling onboard into a classy affair over steaks and wine. Whatever you grill, remember to do so safely. If you’re at a marina, make sure to check with marina staff before you fire up the grill. MarineMax boaters have so many area options to eat first, explore after. Floridians have Key West as a popular bearing to have supper, sail and sightsee from your boat. For those northbound yachting families, Newport, RI, is a fun staycation to experience seaside attractions and hometown tours all along the waterfront district.


  • Kids River tubing and having fun


    Endless riverways in your region. Those not-a-care-in-the-world moments often happen while floating down a river. This “lazy” adventure is popular in the South. Georgia boaters can tube for days in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The mountains’ comfy weather conditions permit daylong journeys along the Nantahala, Toacca and Ocoee rivers. Down South detail: The Ocoee River is where the 1996 Olympic Whitewater competitions took place. So if you want to turn breezy drifting into a rapid rush, this watercourse is exactly where the pros did it. A few other tubing adventures to consider around the country: James River in Scottsville, Virginia; Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, Texas; and Tuckasegee and Oconoluftee rivers in Cherokee, North Carolina.

  • A man catching waves while surfing


    Some of the most popular places to ride serious waves are on the East Coast for ex­perienced surfers and newbies. South Car­olina boaters will want to nestle in barrier island Folly Beach for a while. With waves historically reaching up to 10 feet, Folly Beach is known for “The Washout.” This narrow beach strip provides perfect surf conditions to shred waves and/or watch some of the dopest surfers in action. More epic oceanfronts to pursue: Cocoa Beach, FL, in what is referred to as the “East Coast surf capital” of the U.S.; and Virginia Beach, VA—the birthplace of East Coast surfing and cradle to the East Coast Surf­ing Championships. Watersport junkies in The States’ south-central region can count on Austin, TX, for fast fun. Even though wakesurfing and wakeboarding hold the No. 1 and 2 spots in adoration throughout the “River City,” waterskiing, wakeskating and kneeboarding also have special places within its freshwater recreational world. Add Austin’s largest lake, Lake Travis, onto your to-visit list, too. The nearly 65-mile-long waterhole provides plenty of space.

  • Boat cruising during sunset


    Civil, nautical and astronomical twilight times along the Gulf Coast. As the sun is winding down to create some of the most psychedelic sky bursts, you can always have a front bow seat from Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Rich reds, oranges and yellows artfully collide during the summer season. A hot spot for waterfront views is 6,500-acre Gulf State Park. The park features multiple launch points, 2 miles of beach life and a fishing pier for various sunset outlooks. Beach town Fort Morgan also offers a range of evening ambiences—from pastel to deep rainbow strokes painting its skies.