Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay

Boating the East Coast- Where to Stay and Eat

We are almost four months into lockdown due to the global pandemic. As states start to reopen, some people cannot wait to eat at their favorite restaurants again, attend church services, and sunbathe at the beach. However, some people are still skeptical about the situation and want to continue practicing social distancing measures. A popular way they are social distancing is by boating on the water. We give you a rundown of boating on the East Coast in regards to where to eat and stay.

We live on the Intercoastal Waterway in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and could not help but notice all of the sailboat and yacht traffic going up and down the ICW and a few miles offshore since lockdown started. Then we thought, what better time to cruise the East Coast than now? We sat down with one of our brokers, Andrew Cooper, and discussed what it is like to travel from Florida to Maine by boat. He informs us where most boaters begin and take breaks during their journey up the coast.

Q. Where did you stop on your way from Florida to Maine?

“One summer we made the trip from Ft. Lauderdale and made it as far North as Southwest Harbor, Maine on a Northern Marine Tri Deck 151 Motor Yacht. We left Bahia Mar Marina in Ft. Lauderdale and stopped in Fernandina Beach, FL and docked up at Fernandina Harbor Marina. From there we went to Charleston, SC and on to Beaufort, NC. We stayed at the Beaufort Town Docks and ran from Beaufort to Coinjock, NC via the Pamlico Sound. The Sound can get rough at times but for us it was calm and we made it in good timing. From Coinjock we carried on to Norfolk, VA via the Albemarle sound. That was a cool experience to see the docks crowded with more than 75 Navy Ships, as it is home to the largest Naval Station. From there we carried on to Cape May, NJ where we stayed the night and refueled at South Jersey Marina.

On the morning of July Fourth, we headed towards the sunrise for our 150 mile journey to Chelsea Piers, NYC. We cruised in the New York Harbor for the fireworks that night and got to relax. It was awesome to see the show and the lights of the city from the water.

Our next stop was Newport, RI and then on to Gloucester, MA  and stayed in the same harbor that the famous Andrea Gail called home. Which was a commercial fishing vessel that was lost at sea during the Perfect Storm of 1991. Later, in 2000, it was the subject of the movie “The Perfect Storm.” From there we went to Portsmouth, NH. We stayed in New Hampshire for about a week and traveled around the area and did some work on the boat.

Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay
**SORCHA Motor Yacht – Yachtworld

From there we headed further North to Portland, ME where we stayed for the night at DiMillo’s Marina. This Marina was unique. We tied up right next to an old gambling boat that had been converted into a restaurant.  Our Northernmost port of call was Southwest Harbor, ME. We stayed there for close to a week exploring the area, whale watching, swimming, and much more. Maine is beautiful in the summertime–warm sunny days and cool, comfortable nights. The water temperature remains cold year around with the average temperature in July being 61 degrees. Overall, we had a very pleasant voyage and look forward to doing it again too. If you are thinking of cruising the East Coast I recommend reading below for more information on what Marinas and Restaurants to visit while you are visiting the United States beautiful coastal cities.”

Q. What are some essential supplies boaters should pack?

“When traveling this distance you have to plan ahead. Food, drinks, maps, GPS, etc. Boaters must make sure all technology is working and have all Coast Guard recommended safety equipment before they pursue their journey. It is also important to have a freezer on board that way you can pack many meals to store food and drinks. You also need to know how much fuel you will burn and map out where you can stop to refuel.”

Q. How long is the journey from Florida to Maine?

“It really depends if you are taking the trip to stop and visit places along the way or if you are aiming to get to a destination as quickly as possible. In our case, we made the trip from Fort Lauderdale to Maine in three weeks. On some boats of this size you can make the trip non-stop in about 3 or 4 days cruising at a more economical speed. Others will stop in certain ports overnight just for fuel and some sleep and start again in the morning in order to get to their next spot for essentials and then continue on again until they reach their final destination.”
Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay

Q. Are there any areas in particular in the ocean that boaters should be aware of?

“There is always the threat of submerged objects such as shipping containers, logs, tug lines that have broken loose and can fowl your props and those are just a few examples. In some locations like the Bahamas and FL you have to know the waters well and watch for coral reefs as a run in with those can sink a boat easily. Up North there are submerged rocks and those can be extremely dangerous as well. In Maine for example the tide swing can be 20 + ft exposing rocks and other hazards that are not visible at high tide. It is important to always be vigilant when operating a boat whether it is in new waters or an area you have boated in for years.”

Q. How many miles offshore do boaters typically cruise?

“It really depends where you are going. A straight line is always the fastest and most efficient way to travel. In some cases you can end up 100+ miles offshore traveling from point A to point B. Other times you may only be 10 or 15 miles offshore. In some cases, when the weather is bad you have to stay in the Intracoastal Waterway while you travel.”

Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay
Q. Are there any local restaurants or  “Hole in the Walls,” people stop at for beer, food, fuel, etc.

“I think all boaters have their favorite whole in the wall destination for a cold drink after a long day of fishing or traveling. Captains that make the trip North and South each season moving boats begin to find restaurants they like and get to know people at certain marinas. One example is Coinjock Marina in Coinjock, NC. If you have ever been through there then you have certainly tried their prime rib! Below is a list of popular marinas and restaurants boaters can go to during their voyage.”

Start – Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Lauderdale Marina 
(954) 523-8507
1900 SE 15th Street

Bahia Mar Marina 
(954) 627-6309
801 Seabreeze Blvd
**Pictured Below

Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay

Places to Eat:

Shooters Waterfront ($$) – American (New), Seafood
(954) 566-2855
3033 NE 32nd AveGilbert’s 17th Street Grill ($$) – American, Burgers
(954) 768-8990
1821 Cordova Road

Coconuts ($$) – Seafood, Breakfast & Brunch, Salad
(954) 525-2421
429 Seabreeze Blvd

Stop 1 – Fernandina Beach, Florida


Fernandina Harbor Marina
(904) 310-3300
23 S. Front Street
**Pictured Below

Places to Eat:

Timoti’s Seafood Shak ($$) – American (New), Seafood
(904) 310-6550
21 N. 3rd StreetThe Green Turtle ($) – Cocktail Bars, Music Venues
(904) 321 2324
14 S 3rd Street

Le Clos ($$$) – French
(904) 261-8100
20 S 2nd Street

Stop 2 – Charleston, SC


Safe Harbor Charleston City
(843) 723-5098
17 Lockwood DriveThe Harborage at Ashley Marina
(843) 722-1996
33 Lockwood Drive

Places to Eat:

Dave’s Carry-Out ($) – Seafood, Soul Food
(843) 577-7943
42 Morris StreetMaui Tacos – Charleston ($$) – Mexican, Hawaiian
(843) 793-4441
200 Meeting St Unit 2

Halls Chophouse ($$$$) – Steakhouse, Seafood, Bars
(843) 727-0090
434 King Street
**Pictured Below

Stop 3 – Beaufort, NC


Safe Harbor Beaufort
(843) 525-6664
1006 Bay Street
**Pictured Below

Places to Eat:

KC Mike’s Smokin ($) – Barbeque
(843) 379-2378
81 Sea Island PkwyOld Bull Tavern ($$) – American (New), Gastropubs
(843) 379-2855
205 W Street

Dockside Restaurant ($$) – Seafood
(843) 379-3288
71 Sea Island Parkway

Stop 4 – Coinjock, NC


Coinjock Marina
(252) 453-3271
321 Waterlily Road
**Pictured Below and the Yacht Andrew Traveled On

Places to Eat:

Coinjock Marina & Restaurant ($$) – Seafood
(252) 453-3271
321 Waterlily RoadCurrituck BBQ Company ($) – Barbeque, American, Burgers
(252) 453-6618
4467 Caratoke Hwy

Stop 5 – Norfolk, VA


Marina Shores Marina
(757) 496-7000
2100 Marina Shores Drive

Places to Eat:

Repeal Bourbons and Burgers ($$) – Burgers, Cocktail Bars
(757) 321-8885
202 22nd StreetDockside Seafood Market ($$)- Seafood, Seafood Markets
(757) 481-4545
3311 Shore Drive
**Pictured Below

Isle of Capri Restaurant ($$$) – Italian
(757) 428-2411
39th Street & Atlantic Ave

Stop 6 – Cape May, NJ


Utsch’s Marina
(609) 938-8187
1121 Route 109

South Jersey Marina
(609) 884-2400
1231 Route 109
**Pictured Below

Places to Eat:

Lucky Bones Backwater Grille ($$) – Seafood, Bars, American
(609) 884-2663
1200 Rte 109 S.

The Pier House ($$$)
(609) 898-2244
1317 Beach Ave

Quincy’s Original Lobster Rolls ($$) – Seafood
(609) 600-3571
709 Beach Ave

 Stop 7 – Chelesea Piers, NYC


Marine Max Manhattan
(212) 336-7873
59 Chelsea Piers
**Pictured Below

Places to Eat:

Bateaux New York ($$$$) – Venues, American
(212) 352-1366
Chelsea Piers Pier 61Roth Bar – Cafe, Bars, American
548 W 22nd Street

Cookshop ($$) – American, Breakfast & Brunch, Wine Bars
(212) 924-4440
156 10th Avenue

Stop 8 – Newport, RI


Bannister’s Wharf Marina
(401) 846-4500
1 Bannister’s Wharf
**Pictured BelowNewport Yachting Center
(401) 847-9047
4 Commercial Wharf

Places to Eat:

The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar ($$$) – Seafood, Wine Bars
(401) 846-2260
1 Sayers WharfThe Black Pearl ($$) – Seafood, Hot Dogs, Sandwiches
(401) 846-5264
Bannister’s Wharf

Tin Can Crab Shake ($$) – Seafood, Cajun
(401) 608-2300
472 Thames Street

Stop 9 – Gloucester, MA


Essex Marina
(978) 786-6833
35 Dodge Street

Places to Eat:

Blu Karma ($$) – Asian, Sushi Bars
(978) 791-0244
6 Purchase StreetSeaport Grille ($$) – Seafood, Salad, Sandwiches
(978) 282-9799
6 Rowe Square
**Pictured Below
Destino’s Submarine Sandwiches ($) – Sandwiches, Salads, Breakfast
(978) 283-3100
129 Prospect St.

Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay

Stop 10 – Portsmouth, NH


Wentworth By The Sea Marina
(603) 433-5050
116 Morgans Way
**Pictured Below
Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay

Places to Eat:

Lexie’s Joint ($) – Burgers, Sandwiches, To-Go
(603) 319-4055
212 islington StreetRow 34 ($$) – Seafood, Bars
(603) 319-5011
5 Portwalk Pl

The Black Birch ($$) – American, Gastropubs
(207) 703-2294
2 Government Street

Stop 11 – Portland, ME


DiMillo’s Marina
(207) 773-7632
148 Commercial St

Places to Eat:

DiMillo’s Restaurant and Lounge ($$) – Seafood
(207) 773-7632
148 Commercial StLuke’s Lobster Portland Pier ($$) – Seafood
(207) 274-6097
60 Portland Pier – Old Port
**Pictured Below

Maine Oyster Company ($$) – Seafood
(207) 650-5383
38 Portland St – West Bayside

Lukes Lobster, Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay

Last Stop – Southwest Harbor, ME


Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina
(207) 244-0117
11 Apple Ln
**Pictured Below

Places to Eat:

Beal’s Lobster Pier ($$) – Seafood
(207) 244-3202
182 Clark Point RdPeter Trout’s Tavern and Inn ($$) – Gastropubs, Burgers
(207) 244-8619
48 Shore Road

Xanthus at the Claremont Hotel ($$$) – Tapas/Small Plates
(207) 244-5036
22 Claremont Road

Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina, Boating on the East Coast - Where to Eat and Stay

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