5 Best Boating Vacations for Families with Young Children

Vacationing with young children is a delicate balance that should not be taken lightly. So much so, that a vacation can turn into a stressful nightmare if not planned properly. A majority of times parents like to opt for children friendly resorts like club-med, however, it is fun to step out of that mold. Planning your own, personalized boating vacation with your family can be so much more rewarding, and can be a better bonding experience. Here are the top 5 boating vacations that allows each member of the family to indulge in a succulent retreat.

1. Bar Harbor, Maine

A seminal tourist destination, Bar Harbor, Maine offers a family friendly place to moor for a day. Head to dry land and take the kids to the lobster hatchery, because those crustaceans are for more than just eating. Children are guided through a hands-on tour of the lobster life cycle, from egg to adult. Also available at the hatchery is an oceanarium, providing children with an engaging look at various marine animals though the use of a touch tank. If the kids haven’t had enough of sea creatures, there’s a lobster museum on site as well.

2. San Diego

Both of these Southern California luxury destinations offer the outdoor lifestyle and world-class living amenities to please both, the children and the parents. From sunrise surfing to SeaWorld trips the options for fun activities are endless, while premier golf courses and Country Clubs in Rancho Santa Fe, provide visitors and residence with an incredible luxury experience. To park your yacht the harbor proximity is extremely convenient, and there is no shortage of amazing oceanfront condos in San Diego and the surrounding high-end neighborhoods such as Rancho Santa Fe.

3. Atlantis

No, not the legendary sunk city. Atlantis is a luxury resort located on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Visitors can moor their boat at the resorts private harbor, making the resort a hassle free get-a-way. The bridge to Nassau allows adults the opportunity to enjoy the cities’ tropical nightlife, or get a bite to eat at an island restaurant. For kids, Atlantis offers several programs to entertain, and educate, about the local wildlife. Sea Squirts is a one-hour interactive program featuring twenty minutes of marine activities, and forty minutes of feeding the marine life. Children get to personally feed stingrays and sharks, making for a memorable and exciting experience.

4. Thousand Islands

The Thousand Islands region of New York State is located at the western end of the St. Lawrence River, bordering Lake Ontario. The area is less visited than others on the list, making it a more relaxed, family friendly atmosphere. Bonnie Castle Resort and Marina offer’s visitors a resort setting, with a private marina offering transient dockage. Nestled on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, the resort is located a short distance away from Alexandria Bay, a quaint village offering shopping and restaurants. Located across the river from Bonnie Castle Resort, is Boldt Castle. Originally an unfinished castle constructed out of love, it now serves as a tourist attraction. Kids are sure to love the grandeur of the castle; it replicates something straight out of a fairytale.

5. Cape Cod

Families sailing to Cape Cod can stay at the Chatham Bars Inn. The Inn offers an abundance of family activities, with a private quarter mile beach, whale watching, a seal cruise, bicycling, and a nature walk. For those willing to explore the cape, the Cape Cod Duck Mobile, located in Hyannis, MA, offers families a ride on an authentic military amphibious vehicle. Tour the town of Hyannis, and then take to the sea, exploring serene beaches and striking waterfront homes.

6. Beach Haven

Long Beach Island Beach Haven, New Jersey offers enough for the entire family. Adults can take in the beach, shop downtown, or attend a local art fair. The entirety of the island is only eighteen miles long, allowing boaters to marina hop if a change of scenery is needed. Children will enjoy Beach Haven’s local ice cream shops, mini golf course, and Fantasy Island Amusement Park and Arcade. They can also cool off at Thundering Surf Water Park, which offers multiple-day passes to keep the kids entertained for the vacations’ duration. Beach Haven Yacht Club Marina provides transient docking to leave the boat while the family heads to shore.