Find Your Florida: Everything the Sunshine State Has to Offer the Waterborne

Posted December 20, 2023 in Brokerage & New Build by Ashleigh King

More than a century after Henry Flagler established Florida as a winter vacation destination, Florida’s East Coast is once again having its moment as the preferred getaway for the holiday season. Navigator looks at all the Sunshine State has to offer the waterborne.

Famed for its natural and manmade attractions, Florida has long been the traditional winter home of American aristocracy. Today the Sunshine State is attracting the waterborne to its world-class marinas, beautiful beaches, exclusive golf clubs and top restaurants dotted along the Intracoastal Waterway. From the vibrant cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, to the upscale town of Boca Raton and the affluent mecca of Palm Beach, celebrate the holiday season with friends and family in these chic hotspots.

Palm Beach

What Newport is to New England, Palm Beach is to Florida. For more than half a century the city has been the golden dream of the Sunshine State; the traditional winter home of American aristocracy. Separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway, Palm Beach is known for its upscale lifestyle, luxurious resorts and sprawling oceanfront estates, one of which was the former Kennedy family estate and boasts 200 feet of ocean frontage. As with most of Florida, the beaches in Palm Beach are beautiful, more so for the waterborne as with all the private estates, access can be limited without a yacht (or tender). The cultural scene is also superb, thanks to a wealth of patrons dedicated to the arts, and of course, with so much wealth congregated in one small area, the island is home to some of Florida’s most exclusive restaurants, including Bice and Le Bilboquet. But what really attracts the superyacht set ashore is the city’s iconic shopping street, Worth Avenue, which is lined with designer boutiques, art galleries and upscale shops.

Where to berth… The newly-updated Town of Palm Beach Marina went through a $40 million renovation to deliver berthing for yachts up to 294’ (90m) just steps away from Worth Avenue and the town’s finest dining establishments. Cruise the waterways aboard the 189’ (57.6m) W. Prices from $450,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to 10 guests.

Boca Raton

Cruise south down the Intracoastal Waterway to the upscale Boca Raton, the southernmost coastal city within Palm Beach County. Designed by architect Addison Mizner in 1925, the entire city is built around an elegant Mediterranean Revival style and is bursting with art and culture. It is also home to two championship golf courses, five miles of white-sand beaches, and tennis courts galore. If sport isn’t on your holiday itinerary, head to Mizner Park for a variety of international designer labels and local boutiques, as well as a spot of culture at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Time it right and catch a concert at the Mizner Park Amphitheater.

Come evening, step ashore and soak up Old World elegance at the historic Boca Raton Luxury Resort & Club, a sprawling pink palace where you can recharge at the world-class spa and dine on some of the finest cuisine in all of South Florida, including the Principessa Ristorante and The Flamingo Grill.

Where to berth… The conveniently located Marina Harborside provides the ideal berthing spot on the shores of Lake Boca Raton. Sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by a half-mile strip of beach, the 28-slip marina accommodates yachts up to 150’ (46m) and provides easy access to the legendary resort, downtown Boca Raton and Mizner Park. The 122’(37.19m) GALE WINDS will be cruising Florida’s coastline this winter season. Prices from $80,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to eight guests.


From relaxing on Miami Beach to all manner of watersports, to a round of golf, Miami is all about the outdoors. Whether jogging alongside South Beach’s pastel-colored hotels or cycling the boardwalks to the tip of Key Biscayne, there is plenty to keep the most active of charterers busy. For those looking for a dose of culture, Miami’s Art Deco district is packed with restored Art Deco hotels, while the galleries in the Design District provide the perfect way to spend a relaxing few hours browsing. Time it right and head to the annual Art Basel Miami Beach early in December for the ultimate art scene.

When it comes to dining, Miami’s gourmet scene is heavily influenced by Cuban and Caribbean cuisine. For oysters and champagne, The Setai on South Beach is the perfect place for an aperitif before moving on to a seafood feast at Joe’s Stone Crab. This world-famous establishment has been open since 1913, before Miami was even a city, and is so popular you may need to wait for a table, but it’s worth it.

Where to berth… Welcoming vessels up to 550’ (167.7m) and tucked alongside the MacArthur Causeway, Yacht Haven Grande Miami at Island Gardens is the perfect marina for charterers looking to explore both downtown Miami and South Beach.

Fort Lauderdale

The affluent and ever-expanding hot spot of Fort Lauderdale attracts the waterborne to its 300 miles of enviable waterways and vibrant culture ashore. Miles and miles of continuous beach provide the perfect setting for outdoor living, with nature trails from Hugh Taylor Birch State Park to Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park to beachfront enjoyment along the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk.

Once overlooked, Fort Lauderdale’s culinary scene has exploded in recent years, and the city offers the complete spectrum of authentic ethnic cuisine to fine waterfront dining to luxury hotel restaurants helmed by award-winning chefs. From the waterfront Mastro’s Ocean Club to the beachfront Evelyn’s at the Four Seasons, the former spring break capital has grown up.

Where to berth… With its optimal location on the Intracoastal Waterway, Pier Sixty-Six Marina features 5,000 linear feet of dockage with 164 slips, welcoming vessels up to 400’ in length. Experience a long weekend charter aboard the 122’ (37.19m) SERENITY 122. Prices from $85,000 per week, plus expenses, for up to eight guests.

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