Setting sail on a gorgeous body of water, island hopping, exploring coastal towns and hidden beaches is an unbelievable experience. The first thing you need to do is decide where to go. You’ll find that there are some truly breathtaking places for sailing adventures in the United States. Sailing anywhere you wish is a thought many of us only dream of – with your private pilot’s license, you can make it happen. If you’re looking for great places to sail, we think these 10 incredible destinations are ideal. Keep reading to find out more!
1) Cape Cod, New England
Cape Cod is a classic sailing destination in the U.S. Along the salty coast of the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find numerous nautical landmarks, timeless architecture, unforgettable harbors and much, much more. There’s a reason why sailing enthusiasts come back to the New England region year after year – its unmatched beauty offers endless opportunities to explore on your sailboat.
2) Lake Superior, Minnesota
While all of the Great Lakes are worth a visit, Lake Superior, the largest of them all, stands out above the rest. With some of the best fresh-water cruising in the world, Superior offer endless opportunities for exploration. 350 miles long, 160 miles wide and 1,300 feet deep, the greatest of the Great Lakes offers crystal clear water, unique sailing environments, rocky inlets and bustling cities along its shores.
3) Grand Haven, Michigan
Grand Haven, located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, is known for its sandy beaches, expansive boardwalk and sail-friendly harbor. Cruise the water and take in all the glory of this Midwestern seascape. If you get tired of exploring the harbor and want to put your feet back on ground, head inland and spend a few hours shopping or dining at one of the many establishments on the boardwalk.
4) Gulf of Mexico, Florida
The aquatic wonder that is the Gulf of Mexico is one of the best sailing destinations in the U.S. With its white-sand beaches, many islands, deep-sea fishing opportunities, beach towns that offer plenty of shopping and golfing, the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect place to set sail. The bay and Intracoastal Waterway are considered easier to navigate, whereas the East Pass Area into the Gulf of Mexico, with its tides, currents and swells, calls for an experienced sailor.
5) San Francisco Bay, California
For the ultimate enthusiast, sailing the San Francisco Bay is an exciting experience. Not only is the bay spectacular, there are amazing things to see, from the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, famous Alcatraz Prison, Angel Island and Sausalito – plus, you can see the gorgeous city of San Francisco by sailboat, offering a unique view from the water. In addition, you’re also likely to see many seals, sea birds and even dolphins!
6) Lake Havasu, Arizona
While Lake Havasu in Arizona may draw many powerboaters in the summer, sailing dominates in the winter. Coastal fronts from California come down from the north, creating perfect sailing conditions, especially compared to the weaker breezes of June, July and August. Arizona’s warm climate year round provides temperatures in the 60s and 70s from November to April. Explore 400 miles of coastline surrounded by a mountainous and desert landscape. Havasu’s maximum depth is just under 1,000 feet, but there are a ton of places to pull up and drop your anchor to relax and enjoy the day.
7) San Juan Islands, Washington
For a breathtaking, year-round sailing adventure, head to the San Juan Islands in the state of Washington. This archipelago features lush, old-growth forests and dramatic seascapes that will impress any sailing enthusiast. While the Pacific Northwest is known for its snows, the San Juan Islands aren’t quite as treacherous, however, it’s recommended to stay away from sailing in the chilly waters between November to early April.
8) Chesapeake Bay, Maryland/Virginia
With its storied maritime history, picture-perfect towns and countless coves, creeks and anchorages, there are few places in the U.S. that are as easy and mesmerizing to sail as Chesapeake Bay. There’s an almost endless supply of secluded, sandy beaches along the coastline. You’ll also find some incredible 19th-century mansions and lighthouses throughout the outer shore. As such, this region has long been a favorite getaway for those searching for an unforgettable sailing adventure.
9) Outer Banks, North Carolina
With its chain of barrier islands, rich history and abundant natural resources, the Outer Banks have become a popular playground for adventurous sailors. However, while you’ll undoubtedly experience fantastic sailing, it’s not known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic for nothing – so always take extra care when cruising through the Outer Banks. Over 2,000 ships have sunk on this coastline thanks to submerged sandbars and gravitating shoals.
10) Lake Dillon, Colorado
There’s nothing quite like sailing among the Rocky Mountains on Lake Dillon Reservoir. Built in 1963 by the surrounding valleys, three rivers feed into the lake, including the Snake River, Blue River and Ten Mile Creek, as well as two outlets, where the Blue River runs north, and the Roberts Tunnel, which carries water through the Continental Divide. While winds can be volatile due to the mountainous landscape, they tend to stay consistent at 11 knots and typically blow west to east.
Ready to Reach Your Favorite Destinations?
With a newly minted pilot’s license, you can jet off to these sailing destinations whenever you feel like getting out on the water and exploring the most beautiful places in the U.S. – get in touch with Inflight Pilot Training to learn more about gaining the freedoms afforded by learning to fly.
Inflight is a leading pilot training company serving the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. With a reputable training program and an extensive roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, it’s our goal to help you realize your dream of becoming a professionally trained pilot. We can help you reach new heights.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.