There’s no argument that Florida is the boating capital of the US, but where are the best boating destinations for power boats in this gorgeous sunny state? With places on the Gulf Coast, the Keys, and South Florida getting a lot of attention year-round, one tends to overlook the great power boating destinations located right here on our Space Coast! With tons of ideal spots for fishing, cruising, nature viewing, water sports, sightseeing, and even socializing, Space Coast boating has a lot to offer.

With considerably less congestion than other boating hot spots, if you’re looking for a more relaxing boating experience, this is where you’ll get it. Catch glimpses of dolphins, manatees, and other wildlife while cruising down the ICW on your way to Ski Island, the Sebastian Inlet, or one of the infamous redfishing spots on the Mosquito Lagoon.

It’s also the only place in the world where, with the right timing, you can watch rocket launches right from the water!

Some Favorite Power Boating Destinations on the Space Coast:

Ski Island

If you’re feeling social, and looking for a place to party Jimmy Buffet style with the local boating community, Ski Island is a must-visit. Located on the Banana River just west of Port Canaveral, Ski Island is a smaller island just minutes away from Kelly Park, Harbortown Marina – Canaveral, and the locks (28.411313, -80.641545). From beach volleyball,  kids games, and sometimes live music, to water sports of all kinds, there’s no telling what kind of fun activities you’ll encounter at this local hot spot.

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Great photo of Ski Island by BoatFlorida.com

Sebastian Inlet Area

The Sebastian Inlet is a navigational channel between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean, allowing boaters and fisherman access to offshore waters. Located right at the Brevard and Indian River County line, it’s a great spot for reeling in snook, redfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and more! Check out How to Fish the Sebastian Inlet for some really useful fishing information and tips, and don’t forget to share your catch on the local Daily Fishing Report!

Spoil Islands along ICW South of Melbourne Causeway

South of Melbourne on the Intercoastal Waterway, you’ll find a string of spoil islands. These can make great destinations for a day of grilling out on the island, fishing, wildlife spotting, or even camping. The surrounding waters are good for water sports, with the islands providing protection from the north and south. Want to anchor your larger powerboat? The area around ICW marker 21 (between the first and second spoil islands as you come south from Melbourne) is an ideal, protected spot.

Bird Island and Honeymoon Island in Newfound Harbor

These two islands are located right next to each other within the Banana River near the lower reaches of Newfound Harbor. This is a great spot to do some bird watching, if that’s your forte, or you could spend the day fishing or enjoying water sports in the calmer shallows of the Banana River.

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Honeymoon Island & Bird Island on the Banana River, south of Merritt Island

Spoil Islands near Brewer Memorial Parkway

If you are looking for somewhere farther north on the Space Coast to explore, there are a number of spoil islands around the Brewer Memorial Parkway that won’t disappoint. The most notable of these is “Spider Island”, just south of the bridge.  There’s lots of wildlife to be seen in this area, including a few pods of dolphins that like to circulate the area looking for baitfish; they also love to play in the wake of large powerboats, so keep your eyes peeled on the way! While you’re out enjoying the day, make sure to do your part to keep Florida wildlife safe by familiarizing yourself with the area’s manatee zones.

Choice Areas of the Mosquito Lagoon

An estuary with brackish water, the Mosquito Lagoon has several species of fish that usually only spawn in the Ocean.  The Mosquito Lagoon is best known for its (sometimes giant) redfish, with nicknames like “Redfish Capital of the World” thrown around among fishing circles.  To see some of the action going on here, check out the Central Florida Fishing Report for the area, which is updated seasonally.