While travelers flock to the beaches and theme parks for their summer vacation, why not experience Florida from a different perspective? Take to the waterways this summer in Martin County, a quaint destination on the Sunshine State’s east coast where uncrowded beaches and pristine nature preserves play the backdrop to an epic watersports paradise. You’ll have everything from boating and fishing to paddling and diving right at your fingertips during your stay in this Treasure Coast hot spot. Even some of the hotels, like the Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, offer marinas as well as waterfront and beachside accommodations and activities for travelers. Here are six can’t-miss aquatic adventures for the ultimate summer getaway in Martin County.
Cruise with Sail La Vie
Venture out for some fun in the sun in Martin County aboard Sail La Vie, a tiki-inspired cruise boat that offers a variety of specialty tours along this idyllic Treasure Coast destination. Sip your favorite beverage while soaking up picturesque skies during a relaxing sunset cruise or take an excursion to a local sandbar, where you can roll out the flotation Lilypad and enjoy playing on the slide, sunbathing or chilling at the built-in bar onboard while listening to your favorite tunes. It’s the ultimate adventure for experiencing a Florida lifestyle only locals enjoy. If you’re up for more adventure, Sail La Vie also offers an inshore fishing charter, where you can unwind with a cold beer or glass of wine in one hand while you fish the St. Lucie River for snook, redfish and Spanish mackerel. Whether you prefer a laid-back lifestyle or an adventure on the water, Sail La Vie has a little something for everyone to enjoy.
Go Stand Up Paddleboarding
Stand up paddleboarding is one of the fastest-growing watersports in the country, and there’s no better place to experience this outdoor adventure than Martin County. Stuart-based Liquid Aloha Paddle Co. is a popular choice for rentals, lessons, group paddles and eco-tours. You can put in right behind the shop and explore Manatee Pocket or you can take your board for the day and paddle out to local mangroves to spot manatees, dolphins, turtles and more. If you’re new to the sport, you can take a lesson with one of Liquid Aloha’s SUP instructors or get a few pointers from the staff before heading out on your own. Paddleboarding is the perfect way to spend the day on the water, mixing in a bit of exercise while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
Book a Deep Sea Fishing Charter
If an adventure at sea is what you’re looking for, head out with Stuart Big Game Fishing to experience some of South Florida’s finest offshore fishing. Hop aboard the 60-foot, custom build boat from the marina at the Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort and head out to sea in style. On board, you can reel in the memories during a 6-, 8- or 10-hour fishing trip along Florida’s Treasure Coast where you’ll hook sailfish, wahoo, king mackerel, cobia, grouper and snapper. If you’d rather chase the monsters of the deep and Florida’s biggest game fish, this charter boat offers daytime and nighttime swordfishing trips, as well as 14-hour journeys to the east side of the Gulf Stream, where you’ll find tuna and marlin. Anglers of all skill levels are welcome and Stuart Big Game Fishing makes the trip easy for travelers, supplying all fishing tackle and bait, as well as drinks, snacks and sandwiches on all trips.
Set Sail on the Schooner Lily
If a tranquil day at sea is more your style, set sail on the serene waters surrounding Martin County aboard the historic wooden Schooner Lily. Leave your worries onshore and take in the fresh air and area’s natural beauty as you glide on inland waters on a two-hour sunset sail. You can help the captain and first mate raise the sails or sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. Be sure to bring your camera or binoculars for spotting local wildlife, and you’re welcome to bring snacks and beverages on board.
Kayak to St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
Florida has some amazing state parks, but St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park in Martin County is a favorite among kayakers. This unique state park is only accessible by boat, making it feel like a private island hiding along the Treasure Coast. The park boasts a 4.2-mile kayak trail where you’ll paddle through mangrove-lined coves and maritime hammocks as you pass blue heron, white ibis, snowy egret and other wading birds that call this park home. If you visit between March and October, you’ll likely spot a turtle or two, as St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park is a popular nesting area for loggerhead, leatherback and green turtles.
Explore a Shipwreck While Scuba Diving
Take your adventure underwater and explore some of the best reefs and shipwrecks in Florida. Stuart Scuba offers several dive charters including wreck diving for all skill levels and depths. Wreck diving allows you to explore the history of the area, as well as the community of fish and corals that gather at the wrecks. One of the most popular dives in this area is the wreck of the Georges Saint Valentine. This site is on the national Register of historic places and is Martin County’s only underwater archaeological preserve. The wreck is only 100 yards offshore and rests in shallow water, so you can dive or snorkel to explore this historic underwater site.
With so many watersports at your disposal in Martin County, you’ll experience fun in the sun on Florida’s east coast like never before. To start planning your epic watersports adventure in Martin County, head to DiscoverMartin.com.