Florida is surrounded on 3 of its sides by water. Naturally, this, paired with the tropical climate of Florida makes the state a perfect candidate for yacht exploration. With all of the options, however, how can you possibly decide where you want to go first? Regardless of where you start, be sure to put these top 5 Florida yachting destinations on your list.

#1: Jacksonville and St. Augustine

Jacksonville, Florida is a city that leads to the state’s largest inner waterway, the St. John’s River. It is located in a prime position to offer yachters all the best in cuisine and lodging and is filled with marinas, ship supply stores, and plenty of docks. After passing through this town, be sure to head about 40 miles south to check out St. Augustine, the oldest city in America. It was established by Spanish settlers in 1565 and is home to plenty of history in the form of art galleries, museums, and historic tours. It is even home to the Castillo de San Marcos, which was built by the Spaniards in 1672.

#2: Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Pensacola

These three yachting attractions are located very close to each other and are definitely somewhere you should not miss if fishing is one of your interests. Fort Walton Beach is home to plenty of beaches and harbors to visit, as well as incredible deep-sea fishing. Destin is another fishing hotspot, known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” It has incredible emerald green waters, plenty of fishing tournaments to entertain you, and the claim of five separate world records for saltwater fishing. Finally, Pensacola offers a place to rest with white-sand beaches and sheltered harbors galore.

#3: Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is home to more than 40,000 yachts and features over 300 miles of inland waterways, earning it the titles of “Yachting Capitol of the World” and “Venice of America.” It is located near the Gulf Stream, making it an ideal spot for fishing. You will also find that there are miles of coral reef just a little off shore, which is a haven for scuba divers. Another thing to note is that Fort Lauderdale is a prime spot for great cuisine- there are thousands of restaurants throughout the county and you will find a little bit of something for everyone.

#4: St. Petersburg

Are you looking to check out Florida’s night life or do you prefer a day excursion to places like Honeymoon Island, Caladesi Island, and Anclote Key? This area boasts some of Florida’s most popular white-sand beaches and all the hustle and bustle you would expect from a busy city. You can plan day excursion, hit the night life, listen to some live music, or even catch a game at Tropicana field. It is a destination that can provide any number of experiences.

#5: The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys describes a group of islands, each of them with its own personality. The great thing about the Keys is that there is literally something for everyone on your yacht to do, whether you are interested in catching some deep sea fish or scuba diving to explore coral reefs and ship wrecks. The islands span across more than 125 miles, so you are sure to stay busy on your excursion. You may even want to spend a few days yachting across this popular Florida yachting destination so you do not miss anything.

Yachting is a great water sport for anyone with a yacht and a license. If you get the chance to hit Florida on your adventures, be sure to check out these 5 best yachting destinations.