Who says boating season has to end at the end of summer? Not us! Regardless of whether you live in a warm weather state like Florida, or in a state that experiences all four seasons, there’s plenty of ways to keep boating all year long.
Fall and winter, in particular, is a great time to enjoy the best that boating has to offer. While you may have to bundle up for cooler temperatures, the waterways tend to be less crowded and the scenery is downright beautiful.
Here’s five fun ways to extend your boating season into autumn and winter:
1. Fall Fishing
In our opinion, there’s never a bad time to go fishing. In fact, you might even find that the fish are biting more during those fall or winter days where the sun is shining bright and heating up the top of the water. Shallow water fishing is ideal for these seasons, and you’ll want to pay close attention to the birds. Birds tend to hover and fly over areas of the water where fish are active.
Enjoying a great meal with a great view is always a good time, especially when it’s a waterside view—but, there’s something about driving your boat to a local restaurant, docking in a nearby slip, and THEN heading in for a meal that really amplifies the entire experience.
If you don’t feel like dining in, order ahead and take it to-go. Find your favorite cove or sandbar to anchor, and enjoy a picnic onboard.
3. Fall Foliage Cruising
Summers may bring sunshine and tanlines, but autumn brings that perfect cool breeze and picturesque leaf peeping opportunities. You just can’t beat a backdrop with all the leaves changing into those eye-catching reds, oranges, and yellows.
Some of the best locations for fall foliage cruising are in the Northeast and Midwest, in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania.
4. Boat Camping
Sure, camping in the summer is fun—but do you really enjoy those sweaty, humid nights tossing and turning in your sleeping bag? Or fighting off the mosquitos at all hours of the day? We didn’t think so.
Sleeping on your boat during the fall and winter not only offers a more pleasant climate for camping, but it provides the perfect excuse to dock up on shore, start a bonfire, and roast some s’mores.
5. Lighted, Holiday Boat Parades
Whether you prefer to participate or spectate, lighted boat parades are a beloved winter tradition that brings together our love of boating with the vibrant spirit of the holiday season. Many parades even hand out awards to participants for having the most creative design or decorations. Of course, adding music to your floating showcase is always a bonus.
If you find yourself in the crowd, don’t forget to bring along the kiddos. Holiday boat parades are a great event for making memories that will last a lifetime—and who knows, they might even see Santa float by.