Boundless Boating Fun and Our Best Picks in NW Florida!

Customers of Emerald Coast Marine Center enjoy endless opportunities to bask in the best of boating throughout the area!

There is a plethora of boating activities within minutes of the marina, featuring boundless opportunities for fun, food, sightseeing and exploration! Boaters can expect to view marine life in all its splendor and glory, from dancing dolphins who routinely frolic in your boat’s wake, to sea turtles, manatees and more!

The staff of Emerald Coast Marine Center are pleased to share some of our favorite area boating destinations!


In the Niceville and Destin area, boaters can take a leisurely cruise along the Intracoastal Waterway, with plenty of optional stops at popular waterfront restaurants including our own, The Local’s Eatery. Nothing beats arriving by boat, perching directly on the waterfront, enjoying fresh catch of the day, perhaps listening to live music … and toasting the good life with friends and family!

Niceville’s main attraction for boaters is the Fred Gannon State Park on Rocky Bayou, which is a great site for inshore fishing and wake sports.

In Destin, Crab Island is considered boating mecca, a famous enclave known for its sugary soft white-sand bottom, spectacular turquoise waters and shallow depths.

On any given day, hundreds of boaters arrive, drop anchor and simply chill. Boats and yachts of all shapes, sizes and styles gather to celebrate the boating life! It’s a wonderful venue for rafting- up and relaxing. Kids of all ages love the giant water slides and recreational activities. And if you’re in the mood for a cool drink, ice cream or food-truck-style fixings, there are plenty of vendors ready to serve up the goods!   

Nearby Noriega Point is another favorite destination where boats pull up for picnicking and swimming. Located directly across from the famous Emerald Grand Resort with its vast array of retail shops and restaurants, Noriega Point offers the best seat in the house for seasonal firework shows.

The staff of Emerald Coast Marine Center regularly lead customer rendezvous to this venue for the fireworks show, which are always well attended and make for great memories!

Directly past Noriega Point is the famous East Pass outlet, the angler’s gateway to a world of fabulous fishing adventure! Destin has been officially dubbed the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” for good reason.  Fishing aficionados come from many points around the globe to experience our rich fishing heritage. Seasonal species abound in area waters!     


A quick cruise to areas near Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton reveals awesome spots for fishing and watersports adventures including wakeboarding, wakesurfing, waterskiing and kiteboarding. Whether you cruise the gulf or find a hotspot on the ICW, there are plenty of picks to enjoy your favorite boating past time!


From our Panama City Beach facility, boaters all flock to the area’s top boating destination, Shell Island, a seven-mile undeveloped stretch of barrier island situated between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. Known for its snowy-white sand beach and its abundance of shells, it’s a terrific place to drop anchor and stroll along its natural shoreline, exploring its natural habitat that attracts a variety of birds, crabs and green sea turtles, among other coastal life.  This is a great escape for picnicking, swimming and dropping a line!


Above and beyond the handful of our favorite staff picks, there are plenty of additional spots just waiting to be found!

Be sure to send us your pix and nominations of favorite boating spots for our Facebook page and social media platforms … if we choose to spotlight it, we’ll reward you with a fun prize pack! Send your pix and recommendation to

Have a blast … and be safe on the water!

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