There’s a good reason why so many of our favorite big cities are located on or by the water. For hundreds of years, proximity to water has provided these cities with sustainability and the ability to conduct travel and commerce in more efficient ways.
Of course, for us boaters, there’s another key benefit of cities built near large bodies of water: it often makes for better boating!
While soaking up nature as you cruise on the water is a unique experience of its own, there’s something special about cruising against the backdrop of a breathtaking city skyline—and there are a few cities that are especially apt at providing this experience. Read on to see a list our favorite spots.
New York, New York
To most visitors, New York City evokes images of shopping in Times Square or high finance at Wall Street—but for boaters, there’s just as much to enjoy off the pavement! Boating on the Hudson River is a unique experience every devout boater needs to try at least once. You can cruise through the beautiful, vividly colored Hudson River Valley before making your way to the industrialized leg of the river where you can soak up the Manhattan skyline.
San Diego, California
There’s so much to do and see in sunny San Diego—and its famous zoo is just one of them. Head to the San Diego Bay for a truly pleasant day of boating, and enjoy the city skyline against a backdrop of coastal mountains while you do so.
San Francisco, California
Another California gem, the San Francisco Bay offers boaters a diverse set of ways to see the water, the bridge and the famous San Francisco skyline. You can cruise around AT&T Park, head toward the Golden Gate Bridge or marvel at Alcatraz Island before calling it a day.
The Chicago River gives boaters the one-of-a-kind chance to cruise directly through the heart of the Windy City. Your voyage through “Loop,” Chicago’s central business district, will be one unlike any other adventure you’ve experienced yet.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Florida is already known as a key destination for boaters of every type, so it’s no surprise that it offers a boating-by-the-skyline experience like no other. Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway allows boaters to make their way past extravagant waterfront homes and the cityscape itself before heading into the Atlantic Ocean for fishing, water sports or whatever else you have planned.
Seattle, Washington is surrounded by water—so it makes sense that this city is home to a wealth of boating opportunities that blend the beauty of nature with the awe of the cityscape. Whether you’re boating on Puget Sound or Lake Union, you’ll be sure to experience both.
Which of these big cities do you hope to cross of your travel bucket list this year? Let us know in the comments!