Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Popularly called the "Venice of America," Fort Lauderdale has the Venetian feel of a floating city. Its 165 miles of canals and waterways weave all around and through the city. And combined with Florida's year-round boating weather, that means boaters of all types can easily spend entire days without setting foot on land.
"We even have our own bus system on the water," says Mike Driver, dockmaster of Lauderdale Marina. "It started out as a water taxi service using 26-foot boats. Now they can carry up to 46 people around the canals."
The water is such a vital part of the Fort Lauderdale area that it's no surprise that marina and boat-related business is a driving force in the city, topping $5 billion annually. Perhaps fittingly, the world's largest in-water boat show takes place here every October.
Scorecard (scale of 1-5)
Waterfront Availability: 5
Ease for Boaters: 4
Strong Boat-Related Business: 5
Number of Good Boating Days: 5