Florida is an amazing place to explore by boat. However, there are surprisingly few waterfront hotels or resorts with boat slips. These are the top ones in the State.
THE PLANTATION ON CRYSTAL RIVER, CRYSTAL RIVER
The Plantation is the best hotel and resort to keep your boat when visiting Crystal River. This hotel is the launching point for all the area’s activities, including snorkeling, fishing, diving, nature tours, manatee tours, and rentals. Here, you’ll be able to launch your boat at their private boat ramp, park your trailer, and dock your boat during your stay. Also, the Adventure Center is located on-site and is your place for everything boating.
HOTEL ZAMORA, ST. PETERSBURG
Located in beautiful St. Pete Beach, Hotel Zamora is a very nice boutique hotel that’s one block from the beach and has a very popular rooftop bar. The hotel has a five-slip marina that is first come first serve. Hotel guests can use the dock at a rate of $15/night and once you secure it upon arrival it’s reserved for you throughout your stay.
WATERLINE MARINA RESORT & BEACH CLUB, ANNA MARIA ISLAND
Anna Maria Island is one of the best beach towns in all of Florida. One of the only waterfront hotels with slips in this area is the Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club. This boutique hotel has 50 slips for boats up to 45 feet and is perfectly located to enjoy some of the most beautiful “Lazy Locations” in all of Florida. Overnight slip rentals range from $50 – $100 night depending on boat size and day of the week. Also, there isn’t a boat ramp on site.
THE INNLET, BOCA GRANDE
Boca Grande is my favorite beach town in all of Florida and also is the gateway to the boating paradise of Charlotte Harbor. One of the best places to stay for boaters is The Innlet. The Innlet is a small, boutique hotel that is affiliated with the larger Gasparilla Inn. There is a great restaurant one site as well as a pool. The hotel has 20 rooms with boat slips and also has a private boat ramp.
TWEEN WATERS ISLAND RESORT & SPA, CAPTIVA ISLAND
One of my favorite places to stay on Captiva is Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa. Besides being Gulf Front and offering wonderful lodging, Tween Waters also has an amazing marina that provides convenient access to Southern Charlotte Harbor. The marina consists of numerous slips for boats of all sizes. The largest being 115’. Additionally, Tween Waters has a private boat ramp and trailer storage.
BOAT HOUSE MOTEL, MARCO ISLAND
Marco Island is a beautiful location and offers amazing fishing and boating. Additionally, Marco Island is very close to some fantastic sandbars and downtown Naples. The Boat House Motel is a small hotel that only offers three boat slips. For those who trailer their boats, you’ll have to arrange your boat launch and trailer storage with a local marina.
OCEANS EDGE RESORT & MARINA, KEY WEST
A beautiful new resort located on the ocean side of Key West is Oceans Edge Resort & Marina. This high-end resort has nice overnight accommodations as well as loads of amenities. The marina consists of 165 slips and can handle boats of just about any size. Also, they offer overnight trailer parking on site.
HAWK’S CAY RESORT, MIDDLE KEYS
I’ve visited Hawk’s Cay several times and even though it’s expensive, you can’t beat the convenience and amenities. Located in the Marathon area, Hawk’s Cay is a very popular hotel and resort for boaters, especially for families. The resort has 85 slips as well as a private boat ramp and overnight trailer parking.
PARMER’S RESORT, LOWER KEYS
The Lower Keys are quickly becoming my favorite part of The Florida Keys because of the amazing boating and uncrowded waters. One of the best places to stay if you’re a boater is Parmer’s Resort. The resort offers plenty of dockage and has a private boat ramp on its property. Ample trailer parking is offered across the street. Another thing worth noting is the boat ramp is narrow and I wouldn’t recommend it for boats over 26 feet.
MARRIOTT HUTCHINSON ISLAND BEACH RESORT & MARINA, STUART
Stuart is one of the nicest locations in Florida and is a boating paradise. One of the best places to stay is the Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort & Marina. The hotel has plenty of slips available for boats up to 72ft. The daily rate is approximately $3.50/ft and they offer trailer parking for those who trailer their boats. While they don’t have a boat ramp on site, the boat ramp at Causeway Park is steps away and very convenient.
CAPE CROSSING RESORT & MARINA, CAPE CANAVERAL
Located on the Canaveral Barge Canal, Cape Crossing Resort & Marina is a perfect place to bring your boat. World-class fishing and rocket launch viewings are just some of the activities that this area offers. As an added benefit, Cape Crossing has a private boat ramp and trailer storage on site.
CONCH HOUSE MARINA RESORT, ST. AUGUSTINE
St. Augustine has an amazing history and offers numerous activities. In addition, St. Augustine has some amazing beaches too! When exploring the area by boat, one of the best hotels to base out of is The Conch House Marina Resort. The resort consists of numerous rooms, a wonderful restaurant with massive character, and an awesome lounge/tiki bar. For those who trailer their boat, the resort offers a lot for overnight trailer storage, and boats can be launched and retrieved at the Lighthouse Park Boat Ramp approximately one mile away.
WELAKA LODGE & RESORT, ST. JOHN’S RIVER
One of the best resorts to visit when planning to boat the St. John’s River is Welaka Lodge & Resort. This is the perfect location for access to world-class fishing and amazing freshwater springs. The resort consists of numerous cottages and includes amenities like a pool, RV sites, a bar & restaurant, and a nice marina. An off-site boat ramp is located within walking distance and the resort offers overnight trailer parking.
TARPON LODGE, BOKEELIA
Located at the northern end of Pine Island in Charlotte Harbor is Tarpon Lodge. This resort is a fantastic hotel with an “Old Florida” feel. The lodge offers hotel rooms as well as cabins and is set on a large property with a pool and excellent restaurant. The marina is equally impressive and is the perfect place for bay boats, skiffs and smaller center consoles. Tarpon Lodge doesn’t have their own boat ramp therefore, everyone uses the one next door at Pineland Marina. You can park your trailer at Tarpon Lodge.
PIRATE’S COVE RESORT & MARINA, STUART
Pirate’s Cove is a nice resort located inside the “Manatee Pocket” in Stuart. It’s a hub of activity due to its convenient location and long list of amenities. Here, you’ll find wonderful lodging, a restaurant, pool, a full service marina, and even a ship’s store as well as a bait & tackle shop. I stayed here back in 2003 when I visited on my Tiara. It was a fantastic place. Unfortunately, they don’t have a boat ramp so you’d have to launch at Sandsprit Park just down the road. The resort charges $15/night for on-site trailer storage.
FUSION, TREASURE ISLAND
This boutique hotel is located just two minutes from a fantastic beach, has a full menu of amenities including a rooftop bar, bike rentals and more. Hotel lodging consists of two and three bedroom suites. In addition, Fusion also has a brand new, 18 slip marina that can handle boats up to 71′ in length. There is no boat ramp or trailer storage on site.
HONTOON LANDING RESORT & MARINA, DELAND
This beautiful hotel is located on the St. John’s River just north of Blue Spring State Park. This full-service resort is a fantastic place to stay while exploring “Old Florida” on your boat. Hontoon Landing has an on-site boat ramp and offers daily trailer storage for guests.
THE GALLEON, KEY WEST
This resort is located in the heart of “Old Town” Key West and is in the center of the action. The Galleon is loaded with amenities and has been one of the most popular resorts with boaters for many years. People arriving by boat can pull up to one of the many boat slips. For those trailering their boats, you’ll want to launch at the City Marina at Garrison Bight and store your trailer there as well. Call ahead to make reservations.
NAPLES BAY RESORT & MARINA
Located in the heart of Downtown Naples and directly on 5th Ave. is Naples Bay Resort & Marina. This upscale resort offers transient boaters or vacationers the best of both worlds. Beautiful beaches, fantastic shopping, nearby sandbars and excellent resort amenities make this resort & marina one to remember. Located inside Naples Bay, it’s easily accessible via Gordon Pass.