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Boating Destination Reviews for Travelers Along the Eastern Seaboard

Annapolis, Maryland: A boaters’ kind of city

annapolisGeorge Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson walk into a bar … No, it’s not the beginning of a joke. These three Founding Fathers actually hung out in Annapolis, Maryland, on occasion. They were known to stop in for a pint at Middleton Tavern by the harbor, where you can still order a mug of suds and slurp some oysters, with rickety floors underfoot.

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Catch the action in Cuba

cubaThe secret’s out: Cuba is open to Americans and we’re beginning to flock there (you only need to file a 3300 form with the U.S. Coast Guard). And that makes sense. With its rich history and exotic charm lying a mere 90 miles from Key West, it’s easy to see why this destination is so desirable for intrepid boaters. And the untapped sportfishing opportunities just miles from Cuba’s storied shore, well, they’re just the icing on the cake.

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Local knowledge: Greenport, New York

greenport_nyGreenport has always catered to mariners. The village, between New York City and New England on the easterly tip of Long Island’s North Fork, is casual and history-filled. It has stores and services within walking distance of the water, plus a fresh local food scene along the working and recreational harbor. Oyster beds, farms, orchards and vineyards stretch in all directions by land and sea, and a summertime farm stand sells fruit and produce every day outside the supermarket just up from the waterfront. And if you need to provision for the boat, as well as for the galley, Preston’s Chandlery and W.J. Mills & Co. continue to serve visiting boaters, as they have for a century and a half.

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The beautiful beacons of New England

SekonnetPointRIThe history of America’s lighthouses is wondrously wide ranging. It is about the farsighted colonies that built the first lighthouses on the East Coast to welcome commerce to their shores, embracing the founding of the nation and its dramatic expansion across the continent. When the inaugural federal Congress convened in 1789, one of the first issues it took up was whether the federal government or the states would be in charge of lighthouses, and in one of its earliest acts, Congress made lighthouses a federal concern. From that point forward, as the country grew, so too did the number of lighthouses, creating a necklace of beacons and literally lighting the way for the settlement of new territories and states.

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Local knowledge: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

portsmouthMore than a century ago a local writer referred to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as “The Old Town by the Sea.” Its connections to the nautical past still run deep.

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