As one of the hottest tourist areas in the world, Miami has earned its reputation as Florida's most famous and premier vacation city. For boaters, in particular, the Miami-Dade area offers fantastic boating locations for all sorts of recreation. If you are a boater looking for a beautiful, tropical locale that has something for everyone to enjoy, Miami needs to be your next boating destination.
If your travel plans in Miami include a boat rental, but you do not have boating experience or are unfamiliar with the waterways of the city - book a captained charter. Find yacht rentals and boat charters with professional Miami captains who will not only make sure everyone is safe on board, but they can also bring you to secret places only the locals know about in Miami.
Not sure where to start with planning your boat day itinerary for Miami? Ask your captain for recommendations! Some ideas to get you started include:
From the coral reefs of Biscayne Bay to the meandering marshes of the Everglades, you will find plenty of waterways to explore over during your boating vacation in Miami. Sightseeing on the water is a special way to see this waterfront city - marvel at the skyscrapers of Downtown, cruise to quiet islands, or party at the sandbar. With so many types of aquatic environments to choose from, it’s no surprise that there are numerous water activities to enjoy as well.
Are you visiting Miami for a special occasion? Make the party planning easy and book a party boat for an unforgettable celebration. A captained boat charter makes a Miami Booze Cruise much safer - so hire a professional to keep your group safe while having a ton of fun on the water.
Feeling hungry during your boat day? Plan a stop at a boat-up restaurant to enjoy the “dock & dine” lifestyle enjoyed by Miami locals who regularly bring their boats to various waterfront restaurants to indulge in a meal on the weekends.
North Bay Village, Harbor Island, and Treasure Island are a group of three small islands often referred to as the “Three Island Paradise.” This spot was once a popular winter refuge for snowbirds, as well as a hotspot for the rich and famous. Nowadays, North Bay Village enjoys a quieter, more residential atmosphere, but there are still several excellent restaurants worth checking out, including Shuckers Waterfront and CJ Cafe.
In addition to its dining offerings, much of the appeal of boating around North Bay Village lies in its proximity to both Biscayne Bay, South Beach, and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as nearby Pelican Island, a 10-acre bird sanctuary and nature preserve. Here, you can enjoy a respite from the hectic city and take advantage of the picnic areas, barbecue grills, and sand volleyball courts. Pull into the Pelican Harbor Marina after a full morning of boating for an afternoon in the island sun.
Miami Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. Split into North Beach, Mid Beach, and South Beach, Miami Beach is a great place to go if you want to get a sampling of all that Miami has to offer. Stop at popular nightclubs, restaurants, shops, and more are all accessible on this barrier island, which somehow manages to strike a balance between a low-key beach town and a sophisticated city.
Along Miami Beach lies the Art Deco Historic District (which includes Ocean Drive — famously featured in films such as Scarface and The Birdcage), and it’s a must-see for architecture aficionados. In addition to Art Deco buildings, you can also spot classic examples of both Mediterranean and Streamline Moderne architecture around the island.
After a day of boating, the Miami Beach Marina in South Beach is a full-service facility that provides 400 boat slips. This marina has no fixed bridges, and its deep water is especially conducive to both boating and fishing. Once you have put the boat to bed, treat yourself to a night on the town with a world-class meal in one of Miami Beach’s many eateries, or catch a free performance or movie at the Miami Beach Sound Park.
To the south of Miami Beach lies yet another picturesque barrier island — Virginia Key. This is a popular place for Miami natives and visitors alike to go when they want to escape the crowds and relax by the water. Head into Rickenbacker Marina — a full-service marina — and spend a few hours ashore on one of Florida’s best little-known gems. The Virginia Key Beach Park is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and offers classic family fun. Stop your boat and check out the restored carousel, miniature train, playground picnic areas, and events like the Virginia Key Grassroots Festival. Keep your eyes peeled for marine life, including manatees, when boating in this area.
Traveling to Miami with your dog? If your furry friend could do with a bit of shore leave, Hobie Beach is the only beach in the Miami area that allows dogs to run free. It also allows you to rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, or even windsurfing equipment so that you can find out for yourself why Hobie Beach is also often referred to as “Windsurfer Beach.”
Coconut Grove is a true example of Floridian culture. Just south of the city of Miami, this town is a charming place to visit during your boating adventures in Biscayne Bay. Coconut Grove provides activities and culture without being too “touristy,” and is a popular gathering place for the local younger set to have fun without garnering the reputation of being solely a party town. If you’re boating here, it’s an excellent place for snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing. Stop at Dinner Key Picnic Islands Park or West Island Park
There is plenty to love about this coastal getaway, as it has everything from funky boutiques to phenomenal restaurants and art galleries. The world-renowned CocoWalk — a one-stop dining and entertainment destination — is reason enough for a visit during your boating tour. Coconut Grove also has plenty of history and culture to enjoy. The Coconut Grove Arts Festival happens annually, and the Barnacle Historic State Park and Vizcaya Museum and Gardens are both just a short jaunt from the bayside.
Boaters can utilize the Dinner Key Mooring Facility or tie up their boat in one of 582 slips in the Dinner Key Marina (the largest wet slip marina in Florida). From there, you can explore the many delights of the shore before making your way back out onto the water for further escapades in the bay and beyond.
Across the bay from Coconut Grove, you will find the sprawling island of Key Biscayne. On the northern third of the island, below Virginia Key, is Crandon Park, which features the most popular beach on the island. Guide your boat into Crandon Park Marina to take advantage of the park amenities — beach volleyball, kayak rentals, self-guided nature tours, eco-adventure tours, and a plethora of cabana shelters to picnic under. For further adventure, consider a guided tram tour of Bear Preserve, a 264-acre natural preserve just to the north of the island.
In the middle of Key Biscayne is a village by the same name, where you can take care of your shopping or dining needs. Cruise into “No Name Harbor” where you can sleep overnight on your boat. The southern portion of Key Biscayne is taken up by the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area. This area is home to the oldest standing structure in the county: the Cape Florida Light. It’s a lighthouse that dates back to 1825.
Jump off your boat in Key Biscayne, and you can enjoy a quaint, quiet beach, paved bike paths, fishing along the seawall, and two al fresco restaurants that offer up delectable Cuban and seafood cuisine. Key Biscayne is the perfect place to enjoy unvarnished Florida wilderness away from the throngs, and to gain access to both Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Whether you are a boater looking to experience the best beaches, the culture, and history of Florida, or simply to explore beyond the beach, then it is time to chart a course to Miami. With its white beaches, quaint towns, metropolitan excitement, and dense mangrove forests, the very best of Florida await you. Miami is a dynamic city that has the distinction of offering just as many thrilling experiences on land as it does on the water. Its unique culture can’t be experienced anywhere else. Whether you’re an avid sailor, a yachting enthusiast, or a water sports fanatic, you’re sure to remember boating in Miami as one of the most exciting vacations you’ve ever had.
If you plan on bringing your own boat to Miami, or if you plan on chartering one during your stay, you will undoubtedly need to look into staying in a marina. Luckily, there are a large number of marinas to choose from, many of which offer excellent amenities. A few well-reviewed marina options in Miami include:
Miami is an exciting metropolis that can offer visitors a wide variety of experiences on land in addition to the water. Foodies will relish the plethora of culinary choices for which Miami is renowned. Cuban food and coffee are very popular, and seafood dishes are a particular specialty. Unique to the region is a style of cuisine known as “Floribbean,” which is an intoxicating blend of Caribbean and Latin American influences.
Miami hosts a large number of annual festivals. Carnaval Miami brings about the Calle Ocho Festival (one of the world’s largest Latin street festivals). Art Basel Miami (often referred to as the “Olympics of Art”) is the largest art exhibition in the world and is a yearly highlight of Miami’s active art calendar. You can enjoy exciting cultural experiences year-round, including musicals, operas, concerts, and ballets, as well as the chance to explore many museums and art galleries. If you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors soaking up the gorgeous tropical sunshine of Florida, then you can take advantage of over 80 parks and gardens that lie within the city’s limits.
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Need more reasons to visit Miami, or want a more comprehensive guide to the beaches and things to do there? Check out this Miami Travel Guide for unique things to do to make the most of your vacation in Miami.
Boat rental prices in Miami vary significantly. You can find great deals on smaller boats for as cheap as $50/hour. Fancy yacht charters can cost up to several thousand for a day of cruising with a captain and crew.
There are many amazing boating destinations in Miami. Cruise to the sandbars like Nixon Sandbar or various party islands like Star Island and Fisher Island where you will see celebrity mansions. Check out Coconut Grove or Dry Tortugas National Park by boat rental in Miami.
Boat license rules in Florida and Miami depend on your age. If you were born after 1988 you will need to complete a boat safety education course and receive a safety identification card.
Boating season in Miami is year-round - warm temperatures and lots of sunshine makes it possible to rent a boat at virtually any time of year. Hurricane season runs from June to November, but unless you see a hurricane in the forecast, chances are that it’s still a good time to rent a boat.
The best time to visit Miami is during one of the big events in Miami like Art Basel, Ultra, Art Deco Weekend, Jazz Festivals, and more. You can go for the event and feel the excitement of the crowds, rent a boat and enjoy the Miami lifestyle.
The water temperature in Miami is always in the 70s, with the low being around 71℉ and the high (typically in July) around 79℉.
Yes! Boat charters from Miami to the Bahamas are a great option for people looking to enjoy a boating vacation from Miami. The boat trip from Miami to the Bahamas takes about 2.5 hours, but you can extend the trip into multiple days if you want to stay overnight on your boat in the Bahamas.
To rent a boat in Miami (Florida) you must be 18 years of age and have completed a boater safety education course. If you have a boating license from another state, this can apply to the requirements to rent a boat here.
Miami has many different types of boats to rent. Everything from pontoons to luxury motor yachts, sailing catamarans, fishing boats, and jet skis are available to rent for enjoying Miami on the water.
While Airbnb has a few boats or yachts that you can sleep in overnight at marinas in Miami, they do not allow you to go out on the boat. GetMyBoat specializes in top-quality boat rentals and yacht charters in Miami that allow you to leave the dock and experience the water.
Boats listed on GetMyBoat offer boat rentals with or without a captain. You can always communicate with the boat owner through GetMyBoat before confirming your booking to ensure your captain and crew needs are met.
Boat and yacht rentals are a great idea for hosting a bachelorette party while in Miami. Spending the day on the water celebrating the bride-to-be guarantees it will be a party she will never forget. Get your favorite ladies together and organize a final “sail before the veil” party with a private yacht or boat charter for a bachelorette. Many Captains offer special packages for bachelorette parties, so be sure to mention the occasion when booking. Check out our Bachelorette Boat Party Guide for everything you need to know about throwing a bachelorette boat party in Miami!
Most boats will have a sound system with either an AUX connection or Bluetooth connection which will allow you to play your own music. It is always best to check with the captain on the specifics prior to booking.
Many boat rentals and charters include the use of floating toys like lily pads, inflatable unicorns, and other items that are perfect for a swimming stop to relax in the water. If you’re hoping to have a float day in addition to your boat day, check the boat listing’s description and ask the boat captain or owner if they have floating toys that are included before confirming your booking.
Amazing and fun experience. Nicky the captain was awesome. He has a great personality and meets all the needs of each individual guest. I would highly recommend using Francisco boats and ask for Nicky. You can’t go wrong. Our captain Nicky also waited with us for our Uber ride to show up. Superior service!
My girlfriend and I had so much fun. Just be aware that captain and fuel fee are not included in the quote. Make sure to get clear on that when accepting the offer. Our captain, Cesar, was super kind, caring and pleasant. I proposed to my girlfriend on the boat and Cesar took fantastic photos. He really felt like a family member then.
Awesome experience. Wish we booked more hours the kids enjoyed the water. We booked perfect timing as the sun was setting perfect views. The kids also got to drive the boat a bit and they really enjoyed. Would book again. Leo was very accommodating.
Carmen was truly incredible. From the second we got on to the second we got dropped off he made sure to accommodate us all. He added great energy to our experience and would highly recommend using Carmen if your looking to rent a boat.
Thank you Julian, Chris & Dana for an amazing day!!! Weather was gloomy during our trip but Chris had all the spots figured out to avoid the rain as much as we could! Look forward to our next trip to book with Julian again!!! Amazing experience and crew made it that much better!!!
We absolutely loved our experience on this rental- the captain and first mate were wonderful (thank you Leo and Allison!), the amenities were great, and our entire trip from departure to return could not have been more beautiful. Our only regret is not booking for more hours- seriously, you could spend all day on this boat! Thank you so much, we look forward to renting with you again.
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