An avid sailor for years, Jim Feldkamp has explored the waters around the coasts of America and beyond, experiencing the best sailing routes the world has to offer. Here, he shares with readers five of the top sailing destinations he’s discovered in the United States.
Sailing isn’t for everyone, as experienced sailors like Jim Feldkamp tell us that it requires strength, know-how, and determination in the often-unpredictable ocean waters. However, sailors are also quick to share their love of the sea and the one-of-a-kind experiences they’ve had while navigating sailing vessels using the wind as their guide.
Jim Feldkamp has long held a passion for sailing and has traveled to some of the world’s most exotic destinations to cruise along. Below, he shares five of his personal favorite sailing destinations here in America.
The weather in Hawaii is relatively the same throughout the year, providing warm sailing conditions with plenty of Pacific wind to fill your sails. Besides being one of the most beautiful and iconic sailing destinations in the world, Hawaiian islands like Maui are surrounded by strong trade winds that may prove to be a difficult challenge for novice sailors. However, if they can manage, Jim Feldkamp says they’ll sail across some of the most beautiful seas anywhere in the world.
Key West, FL
Key West is made up of a chain of islands jutting off the southernmost edge of Florida. The water is always warm there and full of sea life such as coral reefs and dolphin pods, making it an ideal sailing destination for any level of sailor. Key West also has plenty of options for chartered sailing or rented vessels, making sailing there just as laid back as the locals’ lifestyle.
Jim Feldkamp says this is the premier sailing destination on the East Coast and it even boasts the self-proclaimed title of ‘Sailing Capital of the World.’ The waters off Newport, RI are filled with sailors year-round who enjoy the charming houses along the coastlines and the historic structures like old bridges and lighthouses. The area is also known for hosting Olympic sailing trials before the official games begin.
The Channel Islands, CA
Sunny California offers plenty of tourist cities and iconic coastlines for sailors looking for adventures both in and outside of the water. Wildlife in the Californian waters include seals and schools of beautiful fish as well as frequent appearances by migrating whales. The rocky shore, high cliffs, and periodic caves make the Channel Islands a top destination for boaters of all types.
San Juan Islands, WA
Closer to Canada in the north than any other sailing destinations on his list, the waters there are typically frigid between November and April when the mainland is experiencing its winters. However, the San Juan Islands remain mostly dry during this time. The landscapes off the coastline are truly unique and the dark, chilly waters in the north offer a different style of sailing altogether.
“America has plenty of prime sailing destinations with plenty of options for beginners, experts, and everyone in between,” says Jim Feldkamp.