Explore the best of sailing in the US

The United States offers a range of diverse destinations for the perfect sailing holiday. From the charming coasts and major hubs in New England and the Mid-Atlantic to the dramatic cliffs and popular beaches on the Gulf Coast and Pacific. Yacht charter holidays in the U.S. allow you to experience an alternative side to the country’s most popular destinations.

Highlights
  • Beaches of the Florida Keys
  • Lobster fishing ports in Maine
  • Dolphin and whale watching in Oregon and California
Quick Info

Airports
Florida Keys (MTH), Bangor (BGR), Portland (PDX)

Boat base locations
Key West, Yarmouth, South Portland

Tips
Key West Nature Preserve, Acadia National Park, Tillamook State Forest

Best time to sail
May – September

Currency
US Dollar

Language spoken
English, Spanish

Things to do and see when sailing in the US

With world-class monuments, historic sites, fantastic beaches, and incredible natural parks, the United States remains one of the top-visited sailing destinations. Each piece of the coast offers a little something for everyone. For nature lovers, New England’s many beaches, national parks and mountain ranges will be a major draw while sailors looking for a glimpse of works by some of today’s most popular artists should not miss the galleries and museums in the bustling city of Miami.

key west florida sailing usa

With world-class monuments, historic sites, fantastic beaches, and incredible natural parks, the United States remains one of the top-visited destinations.

Discover when sailing in the US:

  • Bay Harbor, Miami, Honolulu and countless other great historic hotspots have ports for stopping off and visiting on your travels.
  • Eat great shellfish at Galyn’s at Bar Harbor in Maine, or try Caribbean fusion cooking at Area 31 in Miami.
  • Sail into New York City and dance at Marquee or Cielo, or at Sevilla and Holocene in Portland.
  • Enjoy Acadia National Park by the sea in Maine, with scenic beaches nearby.
  • Diving and other watersports are also plentiful.
  • Visit Long Island, New York, and go scuba diving, or try to hang gliding over the Gulf of Mexico in New Orleans. Sail the Potomac River and visit Washington, D.C. with its National Mall housing the majority of the city’s museums.
  • The state of Florida also offers many opportunities for water sports enthusiasts. On the eastern coast, you can try surfing or go snorkeling around Marco Island in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The possibilities are endless and offer thrilling excursions ashore for fun and culture when sailing in the U.S.

Boats in the US

Rent a Sailboat in the US
Rent a Catamaran in the US
Rent a Motorboat in the US

Sailing conditions

The California and Oregon coastline is a little rougher, even in the summer, and recommended for more experienced sailors who will nonetheless take advantage of gorgeous beaches, islands and nature. As always, check local conditions for the time of year you intend to sail, and book moorings ahead of time at peak season to avoid disappointment. Remember you can also book a skippered sailing holiday with Zizoo.

Sailing Conditions
  • Conditions vary so it is best to do some research and check local information for the area you’d like to visit.
  • The coast of Florida is ideal for a sailing holiday in the early part of the year, with dry conditions and air temperatures of 26°C or higher and a warm 24°C in the water.
  • Wave heights vary from coast to coast.
  • In Bay Harbour, in Main, winds are up to about 10 knots on average with waves usually under a meter.
  • The Mid-Atlantic includes New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and others, while the Keys in the south-east offer fine weather.

Suggested sailing route

Whether you decide to go sailing for a day or for a weeklong holiday, sailing opportunities in the US are endless. New England is an exceptional area for scenic routes, visiting Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island. The Mid-Atlantic includes New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and others, while the Keys in the south-east offer fine weather. Florida is situated on the Gulf Coast and California and Oregon on the Pacific Coast. Not to be forgotten are Alaska, which offers magnificent mountain scenery and wildlife, and the gorgeous island of Hawaii.

One of the most popular sailing routes for those going on a sailing holiday in the southern US, is sailing to the Bahamas from Florida. Read our route to sailing to the Bahamas from Florida for more inspiration.

Bay Harbor in Maine remains a popular base location for sailing around New England. The Keys, including at Key West Bight Marina, are a great place to escape to at the beginning of the year when most of the country is still in the cold heart of winter. Down from the coast of Oregon, Long Beach is one of California’s most popular coastal hotspots, with a marina and nearby islands like Santa Catalina. You’ll have access to a wide range of destinations not available to those that stick to the land.

Whether you decide to go sailing for a day or for a weeklong holiday, sailing opportunities in the US are endless.

Read helpful articles for your next sailing holiday