The Ultimate Guide to Exploring The Great Loop

How to Travel Eastern North America by Boat

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Explore the most beautiful parts of the country in the comfort of a boat rental. For an unforgettable adventure, consider seeing the country along one of the easiest and most beautiful water routes out there: It’s called The Great Loop.

Depending on the route you take, The Great Loop ranges from five to seven thousand miles of rivers and waterways in Eastern North America. It covers 22 states and parts of Canada as well. Those who frequently travel The Great Loop – known as Loopers – are the communities of people from all around the country that you may meet along various stops.

It really is the journey of a lifetime – many enthusiasts plan for travelling this loop for months on end, or even years. If you’re ready to begin preparing for your trip around The Great Loop, we’ve got the ultimate guide for everything you need to know.

What are my boat rental options for travelling in The Great Loop?

There are many options available to you depending on your preferred travel style. In the past, people have used sailboats, powerboats, and yachts – even kayaks, too! – but the most common boats used are pontoons and recreational trawlers. This is because they tend to provide the most amount of living space for boats of similar size.

When choosing a vessel as your boat rental, it’s important to consider what you need for both comfort and convenience. After all, you will be living on the boat for the better part of a year! Take a look at our list of boat rentals to see which are best for you.

What will I see on The Great Loop?

You don’t have to have a “deadline” for when you begin or end, but you may want to bring a tentative itinerary or a travel guide. One of the best things about The Great Loop is that many of the routes are not chiseled in stone. You can make as many frequent or infrequent stops as you like! Here are just a few of the areas you will be able to see on your trip:

  • The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
  • Delaware Bay
  • The Great Lakes
  • Heartland rivers, including the Hudson, Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi
  • The Gulf of Mexico
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Parts of Canada

You can start your excursions from any point along the route. It’s easy to take your time at each location for water sports activities, swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and fishing. Be prepared to see a little of everything while on your vacation. There’s historical monuments, long stretches of mountain landscapes, lighthouses, and many more points of interest. Don’t forget your camera! And of course, beautiful lakeside cities for dining and shopping.

What kinds of resources do I need to travel The Great Loop?

Since this kind of voyage can take several months up to a year, remember to stock up on important items. Make a list of everything you may need for the year as well as maps, charts, and information about docking facilities in advance. This also means keeping important documents such as your passport and other personal papers in a safe place on board, especially if you decide to take a detour into Canada. You may have to be prepared for charges and fees along the way, funds for emergencies and restocking supplies, and of course, a budget for sightseeing at your favorite stops.

Finally, be aware of weather and climate changes. It’s smart to plan your boat rental around the seasons, since storm areas, hurricanes, and severe weather may be a possibility as you sail. Boaters should make sure all conditions are safe and easy to navigate at a variety of depths.

What are the best ways to stay connected with friends and family while traveling?

Other than phone and internet connections, there are a lot of ways to keep in touch with those closest to you and memorialize your travels along the loop. Some travellers also like to set up times and dates to meet friends or family members in specific cities and locations along the way. This means you can visit with loved ones who can tag along for parts of your journey!

Keep a written journal handy to track every place you visit and the monuments you witnessed there. This will be very useful in the future if you ever plan on making the same trip in the future.

Finally, let Boatsetter be your guide. If you’re planning to travel along The Great Loop, we’ve got you covered with the best boat rentals and all the support you need for an incredible journey. For more information and some great free resources for your cruise, go visit

Can’t you see yourself sailing along The Great Loop relaxing, dining, and having a great adventure?
We hope you have an amazing and unforgettable journey!

You’ll look great on these boat rentals!

Luxury Double Decker Pontoon Party Boat with Slide

Bennington 22 SSi Pontoon with plush seating

Pontoon Boat Rentals Virginia Beach Charter 8 Seat Party Boat FREE GAS

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