Top Places to Go Sailing in the US

Updated: January 14, 2019 | Contains affiliate links

Looking to be one with the water and take on a new adventure at sea? Well the US has an abundance of great waterways and oceans for you to explore. Sailing is a great physical activity for you to try on your next trip. Here are some of the top places to go sailing in the US.

Maui, HI

Allowing you to look down at the crystal clear water, sail alongside schools of dolphins and bask in the sunshine, it’s no surprise Maui offers a great place for sailors to embark on a journey. Maui has excellent winds that provide the perfect conditions for those looking to spend the day or afternoon exploring the island by sea. Not to mention the amazing, warm climate of Maui allows you to sail year round.

Maui, Hawaii - Sail boats anchored in port
Maui, Hawaii – Sail boats anchored in port.
See my photos from Maui

If you are planning to visit the islands in Hawaii, read my first time Hawaii visitor checklist.

Catalina Island, CA

Catalina Island is just a short boat ride from Los Angeles, making it extremely easy to access. This area provides all sailors from beginners to those more advanced with the perfect terrain to challenge them or provide them with a relaxing ride. This area in California is another that offers great sailing conditions year-round, so you don’t have to worry about going at the wrong time.

Avalon, Catalina Island - Amazing view of Avalon Bay seen from the top floor of the Avalon Casino
Avalon, Catalina Island – Amazing view of Avalon Bay seen from the top floor of the Avalon Casino.
See my photos from Catalina Island

If you are sailing near Catalina Island you have to come ashore also at Avalon. For a few hours you can enjoy walking around Avalon and relax on the beautiful beaches.

Charlotte, NC

Lake Norman in Charlotte, North Carolina is a large tranquil lake that provides the perfect conditions for a relaxing boat ride. If you find yourself in Charlotte during the summer months, setting sailing on this lake may just be the highlight of your summer. You can rent a sailboat from Lake Norman Community Sailing center or port your own boat here for as little as $2,000/year.

Key West, FL

Another location with crystal clear water and year-long great sailing conditions, Key West is a sailor’s dream. The location of Key West provides for excellent winds on the ocean side that can really help you pick up speed and challenge even an advanced sailor. If you travel to the other side into the Gulf of Mexico you can find the perfect conditions for a more peaceful ride where you can view the beautiful coastline or catch some sun.

San Juan Islands, WA

This sweet sailing spot provides the best conditions in Washington, or maybe even the US all together (despite the fact that the islands are actually closer to Canada than to the US). The conditions can get rather cold in the winter months, so it is advised to go in the summer months. However, if you’re willing to brave the cold waters and weather it is possible to sail here year round.

Seattle, Washington - Small sailboat sailing towards San Juan Islands
Seattle, Washington – Small sailboat sailing towards San Juan Islands
See my photos from downtown Seattle

Seneca Lake, NY

Alongside some of the best wineries on the East Coast, Seneca Lake is one of the larger lakes making up the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. Sail through wine country on this beautifully serene lake with a bottle of wine, some good food, and good company. A peaceful sail on one of the most beautiful lake in the state of New York will have you feeling relaxed and recharged.

About the Author: James Neff graduated with a Communications BA specializing in Journalism. James has authored hundreds of articles for publications, including Forbes, Inc, and CIO.

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