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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.
Best decision we made for this trip was to go with James’s boat! It was perfect! And Luis and Ana were. The icing on top! We had so much fun, the crew was attentive and personable, I felt like they enjoyed having us just as much we enjoyed being there. Can’t wait to book them again!
Book! The yacht was beautiful, there was plenty of space for a group of 10 (which was supposed to be 13 and I could tell everyone still would be comfortable). The crew was awesome, laid-back and despite a few shenans in my group, we were definitely safe! The process to book was simple in terms of signing contracts and waivers, and I would book with Emocean Boats again.
To be honest, we thought it was a little sketchy at first and had a lot of doubts about going. But, we ended up going and we had an amazing time! There were six 18-year-olds and five 17-year-olds and we had no trouble with this arrangement. The directions are detailed because it can be confusing, but the boat, activities, captain Emiliano, and everything else was incredible! Ed was super friendly and communicative, Daniel the water taxi guy was great, and Captain Emiliano was the best! Just make sure to bring drinks and food for the duration of the trip. It is totally worth the value and would book again if in Miami again!!
Alexi was outstanding. The trip was fantastic and he was enthusiastic about showing us the sights of Miami. He even showed us an island where he could jump into the water and swim for a bit. After that he showed us nice parts of the city. Overall it was fantastic and I would highly recommend. Also, if you book the sailboat I would recommend his other boat. It is more expensive but it is 100% worth it.
For starters, James was awesome at communicating and made sure that I had all of the information that I needed to find the boat as well answer any questions pertaining to the day of. Luis and Ana were my captains and they were phenomenal. I would not want to use anyone else when I come back to Miami. He had a fun tour planned for us, was informative regarding homes along the strip, he ensured we had a great time by being such a wonderful host and Ana did an amazing job helping him by taking photos, serving drinks and food and making sure that we were great the entire time. 10/10 James, Luis and Ana
This was our first boat ride, and we loved it. The boat was clean, the crew was fantastic, and the itinerary was just suitable for my family of 11. My kids loved it so much that they insisted on returning in the same boat and at the same spot. Captain Orlando Gaitan and his assistants were very helpful to my family and me; they took care of us and was available if we had any question. I recommend anyone with family or without; if you want to enjoy the open sea at its best then do consider getting a boat from Marcel and ask for Captain Orlando Gaitan and his amazing crewmates.
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