South Florida Boating Guide

Where to Eat, Snorkel & Play

The Boating Capital of the World

South Florida is a popular tourist destination in its own right. In the winter especially, people from all over the world travel to the shores of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and the Florida Keys. Each region offers boaters unique places to eat, swim and plenty of water for sporting activities. South Florida is the ideal location for boating.

Boating is a way of life in South Florida. Miami is known as the Cruise Capital of the World and neighboring Fort Lauderdale is known as the Yachting Capital of the World. The Florida Keys have an international reputation for great fishing. If you’re looking for the holy grail of boating, it’s South Florida.

Best Snorkels Spots in South Florida

Thanks to year round warm temperatures snorkeling is pretty much always doable in South Florida. While you can jump in the water just about anywhere, we recommend the following spots for optimal fish and coral spotting.

John Pennekamp State Park, Key Largo

John Pennekamp State Park is internationally recognized as a diving and snorkeling spot. We recommend taking your boat rental to the southernmost tip of the park at White Banks Reef. There you will find a reef with more than 400 types of fish and coral. The park offers snorkel and mask rentals, if needed.

Peanut Island, Riviera Beach

Once a lush island, Peanut Island has recently been developed into a boating destination. You can see the island from the mainland. It’s a favorite local spot for boaters to anchor in the sand and hang out on the shore. The shore on the east side of the island is rocky, making it perfect for spotting fish and bright coral. If you jump in just offshore you can swim around more than half of the island with your face in the water and your feet on the ground thanks to the shallow waters.

Red Reef Park, Boca Raton

A short swim from the beach in Boca Raton reveals red rocks with colorful fish under the water’s surface. The parking can be a nightmare, so coming by boat is the preferred method. Red Reef Park is a hot spot for locals and visitors. We recommend jumping in just off lifeguard tower nine.

Favorite Destinations for South Florida Waterside Dining

You know what else you can do in Florida? Go to dinner on a boat. The area offers hundreds of restaurants accessible by boat. If you’ve never docked and dined make sure it gets on your must-do list. The restaurants below are our favorites in this region:

Coconuts in Fort Lauderdale

A local staple, Coconuts features casual seafood dining. You can dock your boat and sit down to a meal and drink while watching the sun fade away below the Fort Lauderdale shore. If you want to hang with the locals, this is the place to be.

Old Key Lime House in Lantana

The Old Key Lime House is a colorful restaurant in the inlet of Palm Beach County. The restored home offers multiple dining and drinking areas, including a watchtower that serves alcohol with uninterrupted views of the inlet. The food and attire is casual, just like the vibe.

Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill at The Standard in Miami Beach

There are not many boat-up dining restaurants in Miami Beach, but that doesn’t really matter because Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill is good enough to make up for it. Locals boast that it serves the best fries in the city.

The Easiest Way to Rent a Boat in South Florida

As you would imagine, getting your hands on a boat rental in the boating capital of the world is not hard. Boatsetter makes it easy. A ridesharing company for boaters, Boatsetter offers pre-screened boats to boat seekers for half and full day intervals.

Using our online database you can search for a boat rental in your area, pay for your reservation and confirm the transaction. We work hard to make the process as simple as possible and offer no cancellation fees up to 24 hours in advance. Ready to make your reservation? Review our tips for renting a boat in Florida.

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