Whether you are planning a sailing trip or you are thinking about relocating, you may be wondering where some of the best sailing opportunities are in the US. Let’s check out some prime destinations, some of them well-known, others hidden gems.
1. Newport, Rhode Island
We’ll start with one of the best-known destinations for sailing in the US. In fact, Newport’s nicknames include “The City by the Sea” and “The Sailing Capital of the World.” Located on the Narragansett Bay, it is about 33 miles away from Providence.
In Newport, you will find multiple sailing clubs, among them the Ida Lewis Yacht Club and the New York Yacht Club. The America’s Cup Races ran here for decades, and the Newport Bermuda Race still does. Moreover, it is presently the home of the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
2. Annapolis, MD
That brings us to another iconic sailing destination in the US, Annapolis. This city is located where the Severn River empties out into the Chesapeake Bay. Close to Baltimore and Washington DC alike, it gives you access to a bustling metropolitan region as well as the coastal waters.
Annapolis was the previous home of the National Sailing Hall of Fame. The reason it is such a destination for sailors is because the Chesapeake Bay offers a wide range of conditions which suit different skill levels and preferences. So whether you are a beginning, intermediate or advanced sailor, Annapolis is worth a visit.
Also, if you are interested in taking in a boat show, Annapolis is the place to be, as it hosts the US Sailboat Show, the US Powerboat Show and the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show.
3. Maui, HI
Another popular destination to add to your bucket list is Maui. This is the place to go if you want to challenge yourself to learn how to handle more than two dozen distinct different types of wind. It also can offer you a balmy sailing getaway when it gets too cold to get out on the water in New England.
4. Grand Haven, MI
If you want a freshwater sailing experience, consider Grand Haven, MI, which gives you access to beautiful Lake Michigan. May-October is considered the ideal time of year to head out on the lake.
What may also be of interest to you in Grand Haven is discovering Coast Guard History dating back to 1924. You can take part in the yearly Coast Guard Festival, and you also can visit a replica of the Coast Guard cutter Escanaba.
5. Wayzata, MN
Getting off the beaten track a bit, another location to consider for sailing in the US is the city of Wayzata, which you’ll find about 9 miles from Minneapolis. As you might expect, a lot of people live here and commute to work in Minneapolis or elsewhere in the surrounding metropolitan region.
Wayzata is right on the edge of Lake Minnetonka. As many of the locals are pulling in big salaries from the city, they are able to afford to sail. But during the summer, many sailors travel to Wayzata from around the country. Racing is a big deal here, so if you want to test your skill against others, this is a great place to see what you’re made of.
Just be aware that during the winter, the water freezes over, making sailing impossible. So, it is a seasonal delight. But over the winter season, you can dive into a new, related challenge—ice boating!
6. Somers, MT
Another northern state which offers some surprising sailing opportunities is Montana. To be specific, you will want to visit the small unincorporated community of Somers, which has a population of just over 1,100 people. That is actually considerable growth since 2000, when the population was under 600.
Somers is located right by Flathead Lake, offering you an amazing sailing destination which is remote, scenic, expansive and breathtaking. There is no other larger natural freshwater lake anywhere in the contiguous US west of the Missouri River’s source.
Along with the grandeur of the scenery, another feature of Flathead Lake which makes it appealing for sailors is the predictability of its winds. This can make it a good environment in which to learn if you are a novice or intermediate sailor.
Now you know some of the top destinations for sailing throughout the US, including both saltwater and freshwater experiences. Whether you hit a popular destination like Annapolis or somewhere more remote like Somers, you can have an amazing time harnessing the winds and exploring US waters.