7 Incredible Boating Destinations in the South that Aren’t in Florida
The South has a charm and allure that draws in millions of visitors, who seek to bask in the sun and soak up the history and culture that can be found in every corner of the region. With the hot weather and sunshine that the South is known for, getting out on the water is a must for beating the heat.
While Florida is undoubtedly the most well-known Southern state for boating, it’s only the beginning. There are numerous amazing cities along the coast and inland to enjoy during adventures in the South. It’s easier than ever before to get out on the water with the world’s largest boat rental marketplace, GetMyBoat, bringing renters and boat owners together to help everyone make waves.
Here are 7 places to add to your travel and boating bucket list in the Southern United States:
The Outer Banks
The coast of North Carolina is a popular spot for water sports like surfing and fishing, and spending time on a boat cruising around is always a good time. Renting a boat is simple and will make it easy to explore a stunning area known as the Outer Banks. This is a chain of barrier islands in the Atlantic that stretches for over 200 miles. Comprised of sand dunes, charming seaside villages and quiet beaches, it’s a prime location for a family trip.
Traveling with an avid angler or fishing enthusiast? Book a fishing charter from Cape Hatteras to spend a day out catching tuna, striped bass, oysters, snapper, grouper and more. You’ll cruise the waves in a center console or trawler boat with a fishing guide, who will provide all the bait, tackle and gear.
Other epic experiences to have while vacationing in the Outer Banks include stand-up paddleboard tours around the Hatteras Villages and sailing excursions. Bask in the golden hour on a sunset sailing cruise, learn how with sailing lessons or enjoy a sailboat rental for a few hours on the Outer Banks.
For boating lovers who prefer lakes to the ocean, the massive reservoir of Lake Norman is an excellent place to go. The calm waters make it the ultimate place to rent a boat or try paddlesports like kayaking or SUP. Get in on the sporty, outdoorsy culture of Lake Norman during your visit and have tons of fun and adventure. Rent a wake boat for enjoying water sports and cruising around the lake under the summer sun.
Charleston is a fantastic city to enjoy by water. This coastal gem not only boasts a rich history and a thriving food scene, but Charleston also offers incredible opportunities for boating, fishing and water sports. In recent years, due to the explosion of culinary and nightlife, the city has become a hub for special events travel, like bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Renting a boat in Charleston will enable you to soak up the sun or take a tour to hotspots like Fort Sumter monument or Sullivan’s Island. Planning a party? Celebrate with a captained charter that includes food, drinks and music onboard. Cruising along the shoreline will provide views of historical homes and buildings, and a cruise out to Folly Beach is the answer for visitors looking to sunbathe in the sand.
A classic summer beach town, Myrtle Beach is a hot spot on South Carolina’s coast for boat rentals and water experiences. With an iconic boardwalk, beautiful beaches and warm sunshine, visitors to Myrtle Beach have to make time to get out on the waves. From surf lessons to booking a fishing charter for a day of making catches, there’s no shortage of amazing experiences to have in Myrtle Beach.
Easily the most-visited city in Louisiana, New Orleans is the ultimate place in the Deep South to enjoy time on a boat. Its waterways and nearby beaches provide the perfect way to relax, away from the crazy crowds on Bourbon Street. During the summer months, rent a boat and cruise the waves, sightseeing at Natchez Harbor, Lake Pontchartrain or around Alligator Bend.
An item that tops every traveler’s bucket list for a visit to Louisiana is a swamp tour. No trip to the state is complete without visiting the bayous. Choose from airboat tours or kayak trips with a guide to take you out on the water, where you’ll get up close and personal with alligators, wild birds, crocodiles and more. You can also go fishing with the best fish-finder in the swamps of New Orleans.
Atlanta might be the capital city, but Savannah is the heart and soul of Georgia. It offers a vibrant nightlife, beautiful botanics (be sure to check out the iconic Spanish moss trees that line parks and streets) and wonderful activities in the outdoors. It’s a multi-purpose city, full of activities for visitors of all interests.
From riverboat cruises (perfect for getting a tour and learning about the city) to sailing trips or fishing excursions, Savannah aims to please active travelers of all kinds. Rent a boat on your own or book a tour with a captain if you want some local insight.
While in Savannah, take a boat trip to nearby Tybee Island, where you’ll be greeted with white sandy beaches. Here you can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to propel yourself along the shoreline and into the waterways that weave inland.
Arguably the most popular lake in the entire state of, Lake Lanier is the freshwater gem of Georgia. It’s the perfect destination for water sports enthusiasts, families with kids who love to swim, anglers and everyone in between. Rent a boat on Lake Lanier to explore this expansive reservoir with your friends or family during the summer months—it’s the perfect lake escape.
Flyboarding on Lake Lanier is a thrilling adventure to try, a unique experience where you’ll fly out of the water on a jet pack, propelling yourself over the lake. It’s an adventurous sport that is surprisingly easy to learn. Jet skis, motor yachts and other powered watercraft are popular choices for rentals—perfect for families looking to cruise and enjoy a picnic on the lake.
The fun doesn’t stop at motorized boats though. There’s a lot of fun to have on the waters of Lake Lanier with man-powered watercraft too. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle along the shore to enjoy some exercise during your visit to this stunning reservoir.