While East Coast sailors head up north to escape sweltering summer temps and stormy hurricane season, West Coast-based boaters have a little more longitude to explore, from the fjords of British Columbia all the way to the Channel Islands off the coast of sunny Southern California. Read on for part two in our three-part series on Top Summer Cruising Destinations.
Vancouver and Victoria
Before you head into the wilds of British Columbia (or after you return), step off the marina right into downtown Vancouver, with luxury shopping, live music and theatre, fine dining, and art galleries within walking distance of your berth. If you're cruising with the whole family, there's a multitude of family-friendly activities in Vancouver, from touring the Granville Island markets, to exploring Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium. Sail out to Vancouver Island to B.C.'s capital city, Victoria, where you can find unlimited outdoor activities, take in the historic British colonial architecture and gardens, and savor delicious food and drink in the thriving restaurant scene. From Vancouver Island, it's easy to island-hop your way around between the Gulf Islands, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and beyond.
Explore the stunning natural beauty of British Columbia navigating around fjords, basking in the unusually warm waters of Desolation Sound, marveling at Princess Louisa Inlet's awe-inspiring gorges and waterfalls, and fishing for salmon or tendering ashore to sample fresh seafood like a local. Yachting in British Columbia is a dream come true for sailors who appreciate the rewards of nature's splendors that await you when you reach those special destinations accessible only by boat.
Another cosmopolitan spot on American soil in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle offers premier yacht support and moorage facilities alongside all the cultural spoils of a large city, including world-class dining, iconic destinations like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, and quirky activities, like renting a Hot Tub Boat. Head ashore for an inland excursion to the Hoh Rain Forest, one of the few remaining temperate rainforests in the U.S., where you can camp, hike, and spot elk, black bears, otters, and more against a backdrop of ancient, giant trees.
Take a dive down south with a cruise around Santa Catalina Island, one of eight islands in the archipelago along the Santa Barbara Channel off the coast of Southern California. Scout seals, sea lions, and other inhabitants of the kelp forests above and below the waves with snorkeling and scuba diving adventures, or scoot around Avalon in a golf cart for delicious waterfront dining. With numerous coves, beaches, hiking trails, and yacht club outposts, there are plenty of activities to suit a wide range of moods and tastes for adventure on and around Catalina Island.
Stay tuned for Part III of our Top Summer Cruising Destinations series, when we leave North America and head to international waters in the Mediterranean. If you're just joining us for this series, we're giving away a free YETI Hopper Flip 8 soft cooler stuffed with DWY merch and two crew shirts customized with your boat's name. Enter to win by posting a picture or video from your favorite summer cruising destination on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the hashtag #DWYSummerSeriesContest. Don't forget to double-check your hashtag spelling so we can track your entry. We won't be able to track entries from private accounts, so make sure your account and post is public (at least while the contest is running!) if you'd like to be entered. We can't wait to see more of your adventures!