New England boating has its own distinctive flavor and a Connecticut boat rental can get you there. Whether you’re sailing Long Island Sound for the day, cruising to a weekend destination, or undertaking a weeklong trip, you’ll be traveling the same waters navigated by countless fishermen and mariners. You can enjoy the experience even if you’re currently without a boat, as Connecticut boat rentals make it easy to get you (and your family) on the water.
Explore Norwalk’s Family-Friendly Attractions
In southern Connecticut, Norwalk Harbor stands as a powerhouse recreational and commercial boating center. When you cruise in from Long Island Sound, select one of 15 marinas vying for your docking dollars. Or, snag one of 500 moorings and motor in by dinghy.
Once ashore, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a must-see destination. Located in a revamped 1860s iron works factory, the Aquarium showcases live sharks safely housed in a massive 110,000-gallon tank. You’ll also find rays, seals, and loggerhead turtles in environments that simulate their natural habitats. If you (or the kids) thrive on touch tanks, get up close and personal with the rays, sharks, and moon jellyfish. Top off your Aquarium experience with a visit to the facility’s IMAX Theater.
If the younger kids are getting fidgety, the Stepping Stones Museum for Children will have plenty to occupy their racing minds and active bodies. Designed for children from 1-10, this small museum has a “learn through play” philosophy embedded in every exhibit. If it’s raining outside, find the big picture windows, where you’ll find water wheels affixed to the rain gutters. In other words, there’s always an opportunity for learning here.
If you have some extra time, hop aboard a 45-foot catamaran for a captivating tour of 54-acre Sheffield Island, including the 10-room Sheffield Island Lighthouse. Built in 1868, this decommissioned granite structure spurs visitors’ imaginations, as they envision life on the island before electric power.
Take Time to Gunk-hole the Connecticut River
If you have a week to burn, the Connecticut River is tailor-made for leisurely excursions. After you navigate the shallow shifting sand bars at the river’s mouth, and putter past the breakwater, you’ll find miles of beautiful marshland punctuated by five charming small towns.
Essex, Hamburg Cove, Selden Creek, Goodspeed Landing, and Old Saybrook are all worth a visit. Marinas are readily available, making it easy to visit one town daily. Or, choose one enticing destination, and explore everything this waterfront town has to offer. And if you can’t wait to make this trip, but don’t currently have a boat, explore Connecticut boat rentals options and get yourself on the water.
Experience New London’s Historic Waterfront
For a step back in history, pay a visit to New London, on the banks of the lower Thames River near Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound. During the Revolutionary War, New London functioned as the American naval operations base.
Today, New London’s waterfront bustles with freighters, ferries, and Navy ships, so keep a sharp lookout when you enter the harbor. After docking at a convenient marina, enjoy the town’s many restaurants and cultural attractions.
Two points of interest stand out. Visit the Custom House Maritime Museum, site of the nation’s longest continuously functioning customs house. If you’re a naval history buff, the United States Coast Guard Museum is like a nautical time capsule. Here, you’ll find memorabilia from 200 years of Coast Guard operations, offering a look into the lives of fearless mariners through the generations.
Visit Nationally Acclaimed Mystic Seaport
Take time to visit the nationally renowned Mystic Seaport, the United States’ largest maritime museum, situated along the scenic Mystic River in northern Connecticut. First, pinpoint the Mystic River entrance near the convergence of Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound. Traveling upriver, navigate the Mystic River Bascule Bridge before reaching the Mystic Seaport Marina’s docks. When viewing this protected setting, it’s easy to see why Mystic formerly served as a leading regional seaport.
While docked at the Marina, your boat’s crew will enjoy complimentary Museum admission. This perk is worth its weight in gold. While you’re there, view the many intriguing maritime exhibits, and marvel at several well-preserved sailing ships. Tour historic vessels, and browse the 19th-century seafaring village. Best of all, soak up the grounds’ timeless flavor after daytime visitors leave.
Of course, all these explorations will stimulate your appetite and pocketbook. In downtown Mystic, just a short stroll from Mystic Seaport, numerous restaurants and shops can satisfy those urges.
Kick-Start Your Boating Plans with Connecticut Boat Rentals
Maybe you’re ready to enjoy some laid-back Connecticut cruising, whether for a day, a weekend, or an entire week. If you don’t have your own boat, don’t worry. Just contact Boatsetter
, the top-ranked boat-sharing company that makes it simple for boaters to connect with local boat owners.
With Boatsetter, pinpointing Connecticut boat rentals is easy. Within a few minutes, you can book a privately owned sailboat or powerboat near your homeport. If you don’t have much boating experience, or you want to relax and leave the driving to a professional, hire a licensed Coast Guard captain to handle the vessel.
Best of all, Boatsetter
boats are docked in coastal ports and on scenic lakes throughout the United States. You’ll even find Boatsetter vessels in several international boating hot spots
. So, pull up your calendar and contact list, find a nicely equipped boat, and book yourself a captain (if you choose). Then, start assembling your boating gear, because your Connecticut boat rentals
are in your future!