5 Boating Destinations to Try in 2017

01/17/2017

If the harsh winter weather has you stuck on land until the spring thaw, there’s only one thing to do … well, OK one thing besides shopping for the latest gadgets or catching up on the best boat movies of all time. We’re talking about planning all those awesome destinations you’re going to hit once the boating season begins.

 

We took an extensive spin around the Web for the hottest destinations to add to your list this season. Maybe you’ll find a new spot to try out, or an old favorite you’ve been meaning to return to!

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

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(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Discover the nation’s largest man-made lake not built for flood control, covering 55 acres and featuring 1,150 miles of shoreline. Nicknamed “the Missouri Dragon” (after its winding shape), this majestic lake offers numerous public-access boat ramps, and there’s no shortage of lodging options, some of which provide boat slips. Lake of the Ozarks State Park alone boasts more than 80 miles of shoreline and features a 10-mile aquatic trail that leads you past a variety of natural communities. For more information, visit the Lake of the Ozarks State Park website.

Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee

Boaters come from far and near to enjoy 35,000-acre Chickamauga Lake, especially the south end closest to the city of Chattanooga. For public access, check out Booker T. Washington State Park, which provides boat ramps for fishing, water skiing, and pleasure boating as well as 353 acres of land for picnicking, biking, and hiking. For more information, visit www.chickamaugalake.info and the Booker T. Washington State Park website.

 

Lake Michigan

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(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

 

There’s a reason why we call them the Great Lakes, and for many boaters, Michigan is the greatest of all. Especially popular is the cruise around the Lake Michigan Triangle, from Chicago, Illinois to Saugatuck, Michigan to Michigan City, Indiana. (For a detailed description of the triangle cruise and recommendations for lodging, dining, and entertainment along the way, check out this photo essay by Yachting magazine’s Marty Richardson.) Another favorite Lake Michigan destination is Green Bay — yes, home of the Packers, as well as home to the City Deck, featuring 720 lineal feet of dock space. For more information, visit www.michigan.org/boating.

 

Lake Havasu, Arizona

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(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

 

Situated amidst the desert landscape of Arizona’s Mojave County, Lake Havasu is rapidly becoming a favorite boating destination. Offering 60 miles of waterways, the reservoir features a bevy of hidden coves and beaches, plus year-long water temperatures of 75-85 degrees. And you can even hop over to the Bridgewater Channel for a look at the famous London Bridge. (So, how did one of England’s most famous landmarks wind up in Arizona? Click here for the scoop.) For more information, visit www.golakehavasu.com.

Lake Washington, Washington State

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(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

 

No wonder people love Seattle — it’s situated between two delightful boating destinations, Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Lake Washington offers 33 miles of freshwater, ideal for both pleasure boating and sport fishing (especially for largemouth and smallmouth bass, rainbow and coastal cutthroat trout, and yellow perch). Be sure to check out Liberty Bay and the historic city of Poulsbo, also known as “Little Norway on the Fjord.” For more information, visit www.lakewaparks.com.

 

Boating adventures await in 2017 — where will yours take you?