As the summer months come to an end, it doesn’t mean your boating adventures have to. Late September through early November offer some of the best times to marvel at nature’s stunning fall foliage while experiencing some of the top boating destinations in the world. Get your boating fix in before winter and encounter less crowded waterways, incredible scenery, and crisp weather — perfect for outdoor activities. Here are the top five fall boating destinations to add to your bucket list this season.
Fall time is one of the best times out of the year to visit Bar Harbor, Maine. As the autumn colors take over, the breathtaking backdrop includes rocky cliffs, forests, and mountains that rise over the ocean, creating the most picturesque view. This popular boating destination provides plenty of options for dockage and moorings. On land, explore diverse shops, delightful restaurants, and visit the area’s top attraction — Acadia National Park. Miles of coastline make for the perfect outdoor escape. Outdoor enthusiasts can participate in hiking, bird-watching, a scenic drive on Park Loop Road, and more.
This boat-friendly town comes alive in the fall with vibrant colors of yellow, red, and orange. Leaf-peepers flock to Boston in the autumn months to catch a glimpse of the beautiful foliage. Almost everything is accessible from the harbor, with many marinas to choose from. Explore the Boston Harbor Islands for exquisite views or cruise over to Stellwagon Bank for one of the best spots in the world to whale watch. Prime whale watching season goes through November. On-land experiences include apple picking, one of Boston’s most famous fall activities, and sightseeing through the downtown area.
Block Island is another A-list boating destination that offers spectacular sights, a charming, quaint city, and fantastic dining options. Fall time brings less traffic to the area and is the perfect place to experience the change in season and slower pace. The 9.7 square mile island features lighthouses, nature preserves, museums, historic buildings, and art galleries, all accessible by foot or bike. When it is time to grab a bite to eat, this destination is top-rated for foodies. Options include fresh seafood dishes, fine-dining options, clam shacks, taverns, cafés, and more.
This bustling city provides many fall-time activities that include Riverfest, Oysterberfest, Cape Fear Kite Festival, N.C. Surf to Sound Challenge, and the Carolina Beach Marathon. Beyond the multitude of activities, Wilmington, North Carolina, highlights the changing leaves of fall, mild temperatures, and gorgeous Autumn sunsets throughout September and early November. Historic sites, diversity of cuisine, the South Front District, and live entertainment options offer plenty to do while exploring on land. One of the most popular fall activities is fishing. Anglers can anticipate reeling in anything from wahoo and spotted sea trout to yellowfin tuna and black drum.
Stretching over 533 miles and nestled in the heart of Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis is one of the most popular boating destinations in the world. From St. Michael and Rockhall to Chestertown, Annapolis is the ultimate playground for boaters. The fall season is one of the best times to visit as the city provides many fall foliage viewpoints including, the C&O Canal National Historical Park, the U.S. National Arboretum, Sugarloaf Mountain, and many more. The town also participates in several activities including, boat shows, festivals, ghost tours, and much more. On-land, the quaint city promotes plenty of shopping, entertainment, and dining selections.
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