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The summer is here but as we continue to deal with COVID-19, many people are putting a hold on their vacation plans altogether. Fortunately, boating is still one outdoor activity that provides an outing for you and your family while you practice social distancing.

Another great thing about owning a boat – especially a Grady-White, Robalo, or Chaparral – is that you’re able to find other ways of transportation to get to your vacation. Forget about flying or driving this summer. Take your boat and enjoy every moment of the journey!

If you live in Southwest Florida, we’ve prepared a list of places to take your families or friends on a vacation with your boat. We compiled destinations into a few groups: day-trips, overnight trips, and weeklong trips and also included some quick facts about each.

We highly recommend reviewing all CDC guidelines and checking on each individual location to ensure you can travel there. All of this is subject to change based on regulations from the state.

Boating Day Trips

The beauty of boating from Southwest Florida is the keys and little islands you can visit. Here are some from Fort Myers to Marco Island.

  • Cabbage Key – great for natural beaches and experiencing the “Old Florida” style
  • Useppa – one of the top 25 true island retreats in the world according to Conde Nast
  • Boca Grande – known for its excellent fishing
  • Sanibel – great for a romantic getaway or family trips
  • Captiva – great for outdoor lovers as there is a lot of biking, sailing, birding, and water activities
  • Pine Island – offering a quiet atmosphere for those who want a relaxing vacation
  • Keewaydin – a local “best-kept secret!”
  • Marco Island – our top pick! You should visit the dome houses while you are here. They are truly something out of the ordinary!

Aerial view of Captiva Beach

Boating Weekend Trips

These destinations could also be a day trip but who would want to stay for a weekend and relax.

  • Key West – by boat, it only takes a few hours to get to Key West. Key West is a great destination for a romantic getaway or a fun weekend with friends on Duval Street.
  • Key Largo – the first and northernmost of the Florida Keys. It’s great for nature-lovers and those looking for a quiet island escape.
  • Anna Maria –Anna Maria is located near Bradenton and offers pristine beaches and loads of outdoor activities for families with kids.
  • Dry Tortugas – Located about 67 miles west of Key West, on its main island you’ll find the historic Fort Jefferson and an inactive lighthouse. It is also renowned for its fishing, snorkeling, and diving with its numerous nearby wrecks and reefs. For those looking to overnight on the boat, there’s a well-protected mooring field, just pick up a free permit from the Park Service.

Aerial view of Dry Tortuga

Weeklong Trips

If you are ready to go full-on vacation mode and need more than a weekend getaway, here are some good places to check out.

  • Amelia Island – this is in northern Florida near Jacksonville. Things to do include visiting parks, shopping, sights and landmarks, and art galleries.
  • Abaco, Bahamas – this is for those who are feeling extra adventurous! After the devastating impacts of Hurricane Dorian last year, Abaco in the Bahamas is reopening for travel. Our top spot is the Green Turtle Club Resort & Marina, which you’re able to navigate to by boat. This resort does require a negative Covid-19 test, among other things, to stay.

Aerial view of Abaco island, Bahamas


We highly recommend reviewing all CDC guidelines and checking on each individual location to ensure you can travel there. All of this is subject to change based on regulations from the state.

As you can see, you can keep some of your summer vacation dreams alive! These are just a few of the places that you can take your boat to for a quick getaway or fun day on the water.

For more information about Fish Tale boats and boats for sale, call us at (239) 463-4448.