A secluded blue water cove is Catalina Island one of the best destinations to charter a private yacht

The winds are shifting, the mercury is rising, and the tides are rising all in our favor. Which means it’s time for one thing and one thing only. It’s time to book your yacht for a summer vacation unlike any other. 

This summer, get off dry land and step onto your own floating piece of paradise by booking a boat to take you through some of the most majestic waters across the United States. Be it a single day, a long weekend, or a sailing with no ending date, yachting will surely up the ante on a vacation season to remember. Need a little help plotting your course? Here are nine stunning places to rent a yacht and set sail this summer.

Newport, Rhode Island

It doesn’t get more quintessentially New England than booking a yacht charter off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. The luxury enclave has long played host to the rich and famous (and rather infamous too) and plays host to several boating events throughout the summer, culminating in the Newport International Boat Show in September. Because Newport is a sailing town first, we suggest booking a sailboat for your charter. Dream Yacht Charter has seven boats available in Newport Harbor, including two sailing yachts and five catamarans. The Bali Catspace is particularly stunning and comes with three cabins, three baths, and a gorgeous sundeck to soak in the summer sun.

San Juan Islands, Washington

Image Courtesy of Infinity Yachts

Sailing around the San Juan Islands affords boaters the chance to soak in some of the most beautiful scenery in the lower 48. The surrounding hillsides are a verdant masterpiece in the summer, with their lush greens set off by the deep blue waters surrounding the craggy shoreline. And, as a bonus, boaters here even have the chance to spot some rather spectacular wildlife, including orcas who often meander through. Infinity Yachts offers a plentiful selection of vessels to choose from including sailboats and motor yachts. The Serenity is a particularly handsome boat, which includes four king suites, its own fishing tender, and plenty of indoor and outdoor space for guests to enjoy.

Miami, Florida

Image Courtesy of Miami Charters

For a warm-weather yachting adventure head south to Miami, arguably the most yacht-friendly city in the U.S. The crystalline waters here were made for cruising, and the ultra-chic and party-ready vibe makes it a place where travelers can come knowing that any time will be a good time on the water. In Miami, sailors are flooded with choice as to where they can rent a boat, but Miami Charters is a great place to start the search. Pick a vessel based on your group size and how long you wish to hit the water. We suggest starting by taking a peek at the 62-foot Azimut, a super sexy vessel fit for up to six guests. The interior is a crisp white, while the exterior boasts rich, dark woods that are ideal for laying out, drinking champagne, and getting a Miami golden glow.

Catalina Island, California

Though the entire California coast is stunning, its best yachting space may lie just off the coast around Catalina Island. The waters around the island offer brilliant views of the towering cliff sides, shimmering clear waters, and perhaps a little dolphin spotting too. Come dock here for a few days to venture across the island, and circumnavigate the island to find private corners for a quick dip in the chilly Pacific waters by booking a boat with Anchor Yacht Charters. Choose between a motor vessel or a sailboat like this 82-foot Schooner. Crafted by American boat designer John Alden, the vessel comes with dark wood interiors and bright white decking, making it feel like a throwback to a different boating era.

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis is yet another historic boating community. The town, founded in 1695, quickly became an essential port for the soon-to-be nation and, following WWII, became the place for large boat manufacturers, including the Trumpy family, who were well-known for their luxury vessels. You can still see this in full effect today by booking a charter through Sailo. The company offers access to a number of private boats, including this 50.5-foot Jeanneau. The sailboat is ideal for up to six guests who want a modern interior to set off the old-school sails outside.

Portland, Maine

Set off on one more New England adventure with a yachting excursion down the coast of Maine. The northern state is the spot to be for a more rugged seaside experience and is the ideal spot to bust out the L.L. Bean sailing gear. To maximize your trip, set sail from the state’s most famous port city — Portland. Start by searching through Boat Bookings, or head directly to the page for the Bella Sky, a sleek Hatteras that can fit up to six guests across four glamorous cabins per trip.

New York, New York

If skyscrapers are more your thing, then New York City may be the harbor for you. The cultural mecca offers sailors the chance to get out onto the Hudson and beyond, cruising past some of the most awe-inspiring architecture on earth, as well as past Lady Liberty herself. Again, there are plenty of yacht chartering services to choose from that dock in the city, but to help you get started, try searching through Prestige Yacht Charters. It offers sailboats and motorboats like the Vivere, a 116-foot Azimut that comes with a brilliant white exterior, a spacious interior, and even a hot tub on the deck just in case you or your guests are feeling a warm dip.

Traverse City, Michigan

Image Courtesy of Great Lakes Sailing Co.

Don’t let the oceanside towns have all the fun this summer. Head out for a Lake Michigan charter with Great Lakes Sailing Co. The charter company will take you through the spectacular waters around the lake, including to some of its deepest points that can reach up to 700 feet in depth. For the most luxurious lake getaway possible, book a few nights on Spirited Away, a three-cabin boat that comes with cozy interior spaces and plentiful outdoor lounge areas that are ideal for watching either sunup or sundown over the lake.

Anchorage, Alaska

Image Courtesy of Yacht Charter Fleet

Have a yacht getaway unlike any other by heading north…way north… to Anchorage, Alaska. Smaller vessels allow for people to get to places large cruises simply can’t around the Alaskan coast, which is why companies like Yacht Charter Fleet are ideal for those looking to explore every nook and cranny they can. For a trip that marries both adventure and luxury, book the Serengeti, a 130-foot boat that can accommodate up to 12 guests. While its interiors and deck are certainly impressive, its selection of toys is perhaps the biggest draw. This charter comes with access to Jet Skis, diving equipment, kayaks, and fishing equipment to help guests fully immerse in their watery surroundings.