The National Marine Manufacturers Association announced the top 10 boating states, based on annual sales, and Discover Boating identified affordable, must-visit boating destinations within each state.
"Considering 90 percent of Americans live within a one-hour drive of a body of water, boating is an ideal way to spend quality time outdoors with family and friends," said Carl Blackwell, vice president of NMMA and Discover Boating.
The No. 1 state is Florida at $1.2 billion in annual boat sales, with the recommended hot spot being Treasure Island, a tropical community in the Tampa Bay area popular for cruising with the family and angling for kingfish. As of now, the region currently remains untouched by the BP oil spill that occurred earlier this spring when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded April 20. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 68 percent of the Gulf remains open for fishing at this time.
Texas is second at $906 million in annual boat sales, with the recommended hot spot being Lake Austin in the heart of Austin. Third is California at $417 million in annual boat sales, with the hot spot being Big Bear Lake, 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.