While Indiana is known for its landscapes, it also provides an excellent starting point for exciting boating expeditions, including cruising along the calm waters of Lake Michigan, exploring the hidden gems of Lake Huron and immersing yourself in the grandeur of Lake Superior.
Each lake offers a distinct charm and a wealth of experiences for boating enthusiasts. The Great Lakes have it all — sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, charming islands and vibrant coastal communities. And countless destinations only accessible by boat are waiting to be discovered beyond the well-known attractions.
There’s magic to be found beyond the Great Lakes, too. Consider going up the coastline where you can travel by boat through islands and the Gulf of Lawerence.
Exploring the Great Lakes by Boat
As you navigate the Great Lakes, explore the charming harbor towns that line the shores. Some places to go by boat include South Haven, Michigan, and Port Washington, Wisconsin. These locations offer opportunities to dock your boat and immerse yourself in the local culture. Wander through the streets, visit the shops and indulge in these communities’ culinary delights.
If timing permits, try to coincide your trip with annual boating events such as the Chicago to Mackinac Race. Witnessing the skill and excitement of boaters racing across the waters is a thrilling experience that will enhance your voyage.
Lake Michigan’s Treasure Trove of Natural Beauty
Prepare to be mesmerized by the stunning shores and sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. Consider boating by Indiana’s Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk or venturing north to the Indiana Dunes National Park. Here are some more places to explore around Lake Michigan:
- Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse: Located at the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, this lighthouse offers panoramic views of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. Explore the maritime museum housed within the lighthouse and learn about its important role in guiding ships through the area.
- Grand Haven Lighthouse: Situated at the entrance of the Grand River, this pair of lighthouses is a beloved landmark in the vibrant beach town of Grand Haven. Due to the boardwalk that borders the Grand River and Pier, this lighthouse is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the Midwest.
- Indiana Dunes National Park: Cruise along the shoreline of Indiana Dunes National Park, home to beautiful dunes, sandy beaches and diverse ecosystems.
- Door County: Boat along the scenic coastline of Door County, known for its charming waterfront villages, orchards and lighthouses. Explore the unique rock formations of Cave Point County Park and indulge in local delicacies like cherry pie.
A Journey Into Tranquil Lake Huron
Gliding through its crystal-clear waters, you’ll encounter picturesque islands like Mackinac Island. Explore the island’s charming Victorian-era architecture, take a leisurely bike ride along its scenic trails and savor the famous fudge that has made Mackinac a culinary spotlight. Look for lighthouses dotting the shoreline, each with its own fascinating history.
Here’s where to explore:
- Tawas Point Lighthouse: Located within Tawas Point State Park, this lighthouse sits at the end of a sandy peninsula.
- Mackinac Island: Approach Mackinac Island by boat and experience a step back in time. With no motorized vehicles allowed, the island is a haven for cyclists and horse-drawn carriages.
- Georgian Bay Islands National Park: Discover the network of islands, anchor in secluded bays and enjoy hiking trails and pristine beaches. The national park covers 63 islands. Keep an eye out for the famous Flowerpot Island with its unique rock formations.
The Majestic Wilderness of Lake Superior
As the largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior captivates with its rugged coastline and unspoiled wilderness. Head to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, where towering sandstone cliffs and shimmering turquoise waters create a breathtaking sight. Traverse the lake’s pristine waters, indulging in fishing, kayaking or even embarking on a memorable shipwreck diving adventure.
Visit the following landmarks while you navigate Lake Superior:
- Split Rock Lighthouse: Standing proudly atop a cliff on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Split Rock Lighthouse was designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russel Tinkaham.
- Whitefish Point Light Station: Situated on the southeastern shore of Lake Superior, this lighthouse is known for its rich maritime history and proximity to the infamous shipwreck area known as the “Graveyard of the Great Lakes.”
- Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: These 21 picturesque islands and their rugged shoreline offer endless opportunities for exploration and are examples of a place where you can only travel by boat.
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: Marvel at the towering sandstone cliffs, rock formations and waterfalls along the shoreline of Lake Superior. From your boat, you can appreciate the national lakeshore and catch a glimpse of its resident wildlife, such as eagles or otters.
Boat Coastal Adventures in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
For Indiana residents seeking coastal adventures beyond the Great Lakes, consider taking your boat up to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a captivating destination just a short distance from home. Nestled between the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, this vast body of water is a gateway to many coastal wonders and unique experiences. The Gulf of St. Lawrence promises coastal expertise within reach for Indiana residents seeking a memorable getaway. Here are some highlights to consider:
The Magdalen Islands
The Magdalen Islands (Îles de la Madeleine) are an archipelago known for their landscapes and vibrant culture. Boat around the islands, famed for their distinctive red cliffs. Their distinct geography results from ancient sandstone formations sculpted by wind and waves over millennia. Witness breathtaking panoramic views from vantage points such as Cap-des-Rosiers and Étang-du-Nord.
The Magdalen Islands are home to some of the most diverse beaches in Canada. From the sandy expanses of Plage de la Grande Échouerie to the secluded coves of Dune du Nord, these beaches offer an idyllic setting for relaxation, sunbathing, beachcombing and water activities.
Indulge in the fresh and delectable seafood cuisine for which the Magdalen Islands are famous. The islands offer a gastronomic adventure focusing on local, sustainable ingredients, from succulent lobster and crab to smoked herring and mussels.
The Magdalen Islands are dotted with historic lighthouses. Visit the East Point Lighthouse or the renowned Pointe-à-la-Renommée Lighthouse, which has been converted into a museum.
Prince Edward Island
Just off the coast of New Brunswick in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence lies Prince Edward Island, a place of enchantment and natural beauty. Stop off at the Anne of Green Gables Heritage site while relishing fresh seafood delights. Exploring Prince Edward Island by boat allows you to appreciate its coastal landscapes, encounter wildlife and gain a different perspective on its towns and attractions.
As you approach Prince Edward Island by boat, you’ll have the opportunity to see and boat beneath the Confederation Bridge. The bridge spans 8 miles (12.9 kilometers) and connects the island to the mainland of New Brunswick.
Explore the coastal towns of Prince Edward Island, such as Charlottetown, Summerside and North Rustico, from a unique vantage point. Admire the colorful houses, bustling waterfronts and picturesque harbors as you cruise along the shoreline. Many towns offer docking facilities, allowing you to disembark and explore their quaint streets, local shops and restaurants.
You may spot playful seals, porpoises and even the occasional whale breaching the surface of your boat. Birdwatchers will also experience the diverse bird species, including bald eagles, herons and sandpipers.
Prince Edward offers unique charm and natural beauty. Consider island-hopping to destinations like St. Peter’s Island, Governors Island or the Northumberland Strait’s smaller isles. Explore their secluded beaches, nature reserves and bird sanctuaries for an off-the-beaten-path experience.
Build Your Boat With Formula Boats
We conclude our exploration of the best places to boat in the world and invite you to take your adventures to the next level with Formula Boats. Based in Decatur, Indiana, Formula Boats is a family-owned company producing world-renowned boats for over 65 years.
We have a rich history of innovation and craftsmanship, constantly pushing the boundaries of design and technology. Formula Boats exemplify uncompromising quality in every detail, from the iconic FAS³TECH® hull to our luxurious performance cruisers and yachts.
To embark on your boating adventure with Formula Boats, visit our website and explore our range of models and customization options. Build the boat of your dreams and experience the thrill of cruising the waters with the utmost style and performance.
Visit Formula Boats to build your custom boat and embark on your next great boating adventure.