Cruise a fun-loving string of Florida Atlantic Coast playgrounds rich with activities worth a dropped anchor—from fishing in Stuart to strolling the sand in Vero Beach, from exploring Melbourne to surfing the break off Cocoa Beach.

By Jani Parker
February 22, 2017
Vacationers gather to relax and take in the views of the Port Salerno shoreline.
Photo: Kenzie + Riehm

All year, we're collaborating with Waterway Guide Media to bring you the best segments of the 1,243-mile-long Intracoastal Waterway on a journey from Key West, Florida, to Norfolk, Virginia, at the end of the (watery) trail. This issue: a treasure trove for both adventure and relaxation on your path from Stuart to Port Canaveral . See leg one, Key West to Key Largo, here.

Mile 988 + 7 nautical miles west: Stuart: Go Fish
This warm-hearted town that is neighbor to beach-blessed Hobe Sound and Jensen Beach is proud to call itself the "Sailfish Capital of the World," so soak up the fishing life (and lore), including charters out of Port Salerno.

Photo: Courtesy of

Mile 952: Vero Beach: Beach and Shop
Take a free shuttle from the marina to the beach or to fun shops along the waterfront on Ocean Drive. Outdoor concerts and plays make for free year-round fun at Riverside Park.
Tie Up: Dockage rates start at $1.60 per foot per day at cruiser-friendly Vero Beach City Marina.


Photo: Courtesy of Ryan Verzaal

Mile 918: Melbourne: Festivals and Food
Plan to hit this town on the second Friday of each month for Friday Fest, a lively street festival full of food and music. Don't-miss photo ops: the historic district's vibrant murals.

Photo: Richard Cummins/Getty

Mile 897 + 6 nautical miles east: Cocoa Beach: Surfs Up
Catch your fill of waves at this surf-savvy hometown of legend Kelly Slater, with surfing and SUP lessons at Ron Jon Surf School.


Photo: Kevin Beasley/Photoshelter

Mile 893 + 7 nautical miles east: Port Canaveral: Beach Bar? Bingo!
For a pure Florida night, hit the beach-sand dance floor beneath palm trees and tiki torches at Milliken's Reef. Have a signature Beach Babe cocktail at one (or all) of Milliken's three bars.
Tie Up: Dockage rates are $2.25 per foot at Cocoa Village Marina in historic Cocoa Village, home to art galleries, boutiques, and fun eating.

READY TO SET SAIL? Order guidebooks and begin planning your boating adventures at

NO BOAT (YET)? Treasure Coast Sailing Adventures offers morning discovery, afternoon adventure, and romantic sunset sails on the schooner Lily, which is also available for private charters. Lily departs daily from Shepard Park in downtown Stuart.