Memorial Day Weekend by Boat. Best Way to Kick Off the Summer!

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How do I describe my backyard? Water, water everywhere! Living in Southwest Florida, I’m a hop, skip and a jump to Charlotte Harbor, Florida’s second largest estuary, and Gulf of Mexico. The best way to enjoy this area is on a boat.

Welcome to My Backyard - Ibis at Sunset at Englewood Beach and Gulf of Mexico, Fla. Perfect to Discover Boating.

Welcome to My Backyard – Ibis at Sunset at Englewood Beach and Gulf of Mexico, Fla. Perfect to Discover Boating.

In fact, Charlotte Harbor has been named a top sailing destination by SAIL magazine. In addition to sailing, the area is home to world-class fishing (sidebar: named the top tarpon fishing spot by Sport Fishing Magazine), shallow waters for paddle sports, intriguing spots for snorkeling and diving, and open water ideal for every other type of boat ranging from jet skis to powerboats to recreational boats.

Charlotte Harbor is One of the Top Sailing Destinations in the World.

Charlotte Harbor is One of the Top Sailing Destinations in the World.

The Charlotte Harbor area is also home to a collection of barrier islands only accessible by boat and this Memorial Day Weekend I’ll be kicking off summer 2016 by hopping on a boat with others and heading to Cayo Costa State Park for the first time. I’m over-the-moon THRILLED I’ll finally be able to visit this state park. I’m totally long overdue in soaking up the sun and shelling on this barrier island, after all, I’ve only lived here for 8 years. (Yes, that’s sarcasm.)

Grandpa and Grandma H. After Fishing from a Boat Up North. Sadly, I Never Knew this Grandpa.

Grandpa and Grandma H. After Fishing from a Boat Up North. Sadly, I Never Knew this Grandpa.

My grandfather helped me discover boating when I was a wee one by taking me out into Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico during my spring break visits. The thrill of racing across open water and feeling and tasting the sea spray will always stay with me, as well as his love of saltwater fishing. Over the decades, I’ve found my ways for getting on the water and in a past life, was a boat owner.

Water, Water Everywhere Is In My Backyard, Perfect Place to Discover Boating!

Water, Water Everywhere Is In My Backyard, Perfect Place to Discover Boating!

When people tell me they just moved to Southwest Florida, one of the things I hear most of them say is they want to get on the water and discover boating. Lucky for them, I’m familiar with Discover Boating, a national, nonprofit program on behalf of the U.S. recreational boating industry that assists people to get on the water and enjoy boating.

Through DiscoverB, an unbiased online resource, boaters can find watercraft fitting their lifestyle and checkbook, as well as locate boat rentals, charters and education courses, along with how-to videos and nautical lingo.

Power Boat Offshore Englewood, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico

A Power Boat Races Offshore Englewood, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico

Not only is Discover Boating ideal for residents, it’s a fantastic resource for those traveling and wanting to get onto the water. Simply, there are some people who don’t want to haul their watercraft or they’re not boat owners and want to get on the water.

For those who have boated, there’s an emotional connection you’ll never forget, whether you cruise once or hundreds of times. I’ll always remember those special moments with my grandfather on his boat.

If you want to see what I mean about that emotional connection, check out this inspirational video called “Good Run.” 

Little Gasparilla Island is Only Accessible By Boat.

Little Gasparilla Island is Only Accessible By Boat.

Hope you get your boat on this summer!

Disclosure: This blog post is brought you by Discover Boating, a national campaign helping people get on the water to enjoy the boating lifestyle.

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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