A boat docked in a South Florida marina, waiting to be taking out.

Exploring South Florida Marina Options: East Coast vs West Coast

March 19 2024

Are you dreaming of casting off into the sun-drenched waters of South Florida, with its azure skies and endless horizons? Whether you’re considering a permanent move to the Sunshine State, planning a vacation getaway, or seeking the perfect long-term dock for your cherished vessel, exploring South Florida marina options is your gateway to coastal paradise. 

With its vibrant blend of cosmopolitan cities, picturesque waterfronts, and world-class amenities, South Florida beckons boaters and adventurers alike to embark on a journey of discovery. Join us as we delve into the myriad marina options that grace the shores of South Florida, offering endless possibilities for your next move, vacation, or long-term dock.

South Florida Marinas: East Coast vs. West Coast

Florida’s marinas offer diverse experiences along the Southeast and Southwest coastlines, each with its own distinct characteristics that appeal to different types of boat owners.

Southeast Coastline

Florida’s southeast coastline consists of two distinct coasts: Treasure Coast and Gold Coast. The Treasure Coast is the home to Indian River County, St. Lucie County, and Martin County, while the Gold Coast is home to Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County. 

Pros of South Florida Marinas – East Coast

  • Bustling boating culture with vibrant nightlife and upscale amenities.
  • Easy access to urban conveniences, entertainment options, and services.
  • Well-developed boating infrastructure with numerous marinas and docking facilities.
  • Close proximity to major airports and transportation hubs.
  • Potential for higher boat resale value due to demand and popularity of the area.

Southwest Coastline

Florida’s Southwest coastline also has two distinct coastlines: Lee Island Coast and Paradise Coast. Lee Island Coast is the home to Lee County, where you can find a variety of barrier islands like Sanibel, Captiva, Marco Island, and Ester. Over on the Paradise Coast, you’ll find Naples, Bonita Springs, and Cape Coral which offer a luxurious coastal living experience. 

Pros of South Florida Marinas: West Coast

  • Tranquil waters and pristine beaches with a closer connection to nature.
  • Slower pace of life and laid-back atmosphere, ideal for relaxation and serenity.
  • Abundant wildlife and natural scenery, including mangrove forests and marine sanctuaries.
  • Lower risk of tropical weather systems and storm-related damage.
  • Potentially lower cost of living and marina fees compared to the Southeast.

East Coast: South Florida Marina Options:

Bahia Mar Yachting Center – Fort Lauderdale

A flagship destination for boaters in Fort Lauderdale, Bahia Mar Yachting Center is renowned for its superb waterfront access, offering direct entry to the Intracoastal Waterway. The center boasts an impressive 250-slip marina in Florida and can accommodate yachts up to 300 feet. Its unique features include a world-class hotel on-site, proximity to Fort Lauderdale Beach, and signature events such as the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Miami Beach Marina – Miami Beach

Situated at the gateway to the Caribbean, Miami Beach Marina is a full-service facility acclaimed for its exceptional location right next to Government Cut, with no fixed bridges and deep-water access. The marina stands out for its 400 wet slips that can accommodate vessels up to 250 feet, advanced docking facilities, and vibrant nightlife options in the surrounding South Beach area.


Port Everglades – Fort Lauderdale

Not just a marina but one of the most significant ports in the USA, Port Everglades uniquely serves as a gateway for both cargo and cruise ships. Its strategic location near the Atlantic Ocean and extensive infrastructure cater to a variety of maritime needs, including service for superyachts. Its proximity to Fort Lauderdale and the Hollywood International Airport makes it an ideal hub for international boaters.


Palm Harbor Marina – West Palm Beach

As the only marina located in Downtown West Palm Beach, Palm Harbor Marina offers more than just docking facilities; it presents a luxury lifestyle with its upscale amenities and services. With over 200 slips available for yachts up to 250 feet, the marina is a favorite for its state-of-the-art facilities, exceptional customer service, and easy access to the vibrant dining and shopping options of Palm Beach.


Hollywood Marina – Hollywood

Hollywood Marina is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and comprehensive range of services, catering to both local and visiting boaters. The marina offers convenient access to the Atlantic Ocean, making it a favored spot for fishing and leisure cruising. Its facilities include dry storage, boat ramps, and a waterfront park, emphasizing recreational activities.


Riviera Beach Marina – Riviera Beach

Standing out with its recent multi-million dollar renovation, Riviera Beach Marina is now a modern, full-service facility that combines state-of-the-art docking amenities with entertainment options. The marina is part of a larger Marina Village that includes a waterfront promenade, shops, restaurants, and a public market, making it a lively destination for boaters and visitors alike.


Harbortown Marina – Fort Pierce

Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce offers a mix of natural beauty and excellent boating facilities. It’s recognized for its protected harborage, offering direct access to the Fort Pierce Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean without fixed bridges. The marina is pet-friendly and provides amenities like a ship store, fuel dock, and onsite dining options, catering to both recreational and professional mariners.


West Coast: South Florida Marina Options

Pink Shell Resort and Marina – Fort Myers Beach

Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina is a beachfront paradise that caters to both resort guests and boating enthusiasts. Its marina offers direct Gulf of Mexico access and is equipped to host vessels up to 100 feet. Unique to Pink Shell is the blend of luxurious resort amenities with marina services, including beach access, multiple pools, and spa facilities, providing an unmatched vacation experience for boaters and their families.


Fisherman’s Village – Punta Gorda

Fishermen’s Village combines shopping, dining, and entertainment with marina services, creating a unique waterfront experience. The marina provides transient and permanent slip options and is surrounded by an array of boutiques, restaurants, and vacation rentals. Its distinctive feature is the integration of a lively commercial complex with the marina, offering boaters and visitors an enjoyable stay.


Cape Coral Yacht Basin – Cape Coral

This facility is a centerpiece of the Cape Coral community, offering access to the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf of Mexico. While it is currently recovering from Hurricane Ian, the Yacht Basin is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, community park, and beach area, making it a beloved spot for local events and gatherings.


Naples City Dock – Naples

A cornerstone of the boating community in Naples, offering top-notch services including gasoline and diesel fuel, a ship store, and docking for vessels up to 60 feet. Its proximity to downtown Naples puts boaters close to fine dining, shopping, and the picturesque Gulf beaches. Unique for its scenic location and comprehensive amenities, Naples City Dock remains a preferred choice for discerning boaters seeking the charm and luxury of Naples.


Marina Jack – Sarasota

Located on the sparkling waters of Sarasota Bay, Marina Jack is a picturesque marina offering a blend of luxury and tranquility. Boasting 316 slips and first-class amenities, including a full-service fuel dock, ship’s store, and waterfront dining establishments, Marina Jack is a favorite among boaters seeking a sophisticated retreat on Florida’s Gulf Coast. With stunning views of downtown Sarasota and easy access to nearby attractions, Marina Jack embodies the essence of waterfront living.


Choose the Marina That’s Right for Your Lifestyle

The perfect marina in Florida isn’t just about where you dock your boat; it’s about finding a place that resonates with your lifestyle and enhances your boating experience. Whether your priorities lie in luxurious resort amenities, proximity to vibrant nightlife and dining, the tranquility of nature, or the convenience of comprehensive boating services, there is a South Florida marina that meets your criteria. 


Choosing the right South Florida marina is ultimately a matter of personal preference, influenced by the unique characteristics that set each facility apart. From the bustling, amenity-rich environments of places like the Pink Shell Resort and Marina and Fishermen’s Village to the serene, nature-oriented settings of Harbortown Marina and Naples City Dock, Florida provides a spectrum of maritime havens.


Curious about how floating docks can enhance any marina? Reach out to AccuDock today to discuss floating dock options for your Marina.

AccuDock is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of Floating Docks
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