#10 Austin, Texas, Metropolitan Area from The Best Places for Boaters

The Best Places for Boaters

#10 Austin, Texas, Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 3.1%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $455,000
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 9
Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 3,528

Austin doesn’t have as many waterfront homes as other cities on the list, but it does have warm weather nearly year-round, making boating a favorite pastime for residents. On hot days people will cool off by kayaking on the river, or they’ll take their boat to the lakes nearby.

“People in Austin love to go boating on Lake Travis and Lake Austin. There are a lot of waterfront homes on both lakes, which are really expensive because they’re in high demand,” said Cyndy Stewart, a Redfin real estate agent in Austin. “Those who can’t afford to live right on the water often join boat clubs, where you can have access to a boat for a fee, but don’t have to worry about the storage and maintenance of it.”

#9 Seattle, Washington, Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 3.9%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $498,000
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 4
Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 5,214

Seattleites aren’t going to let a little rain get in their way of the water. Many neighborhoods are walking distance to a lake or Puget Sound, making it easy to find a great spot for any type of boat.

“We’re surrounded by water, so it’s only natural that there are a lot of boaters! In addition to the Puget Sound, there a ton of lakes and waterways where you can canoe, kayak, sail, crew, jet ski, paddleboard, kiteboard, you name it,” said Allie Howard, a Redfin real estate agent in Seattle. “For events like Seafair and the Fourth of July, everyone makes a point to go out on the water and celebrate together. If you’re a boating fan, Seattle is a great place to live.”

#8 Chicago, Illinois, Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 4.9%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $265,350
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 5
Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 4,537

The only thing preventing more people from owning a boat in Chicago may be the cold fall and winter months. During the summer, Chicago residents have plenty of lakes to choose from, including the fifth largest in the world, Lake Michigan.

“Between the Chain O’ Lakes and Lake Michigan, there’s a lot of waterfront property and places to boat in the Chicago area. Some people here have been boating all of their life and have inherited a boat from their family,” said Glenn Rickel, a Redfin real estate agent in Lake County. 

#7 Baltimore/Annapolis, Maryland, Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 3.5%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $629,900
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 6
Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 4,899

There are a lot of people who own boats in and around the Chesapeake Bay area, particularly in Annapolis, but there’s not as much waterfront property as other cities on the list, which means that homes on the water are a lot more expensive. The median sale price of homes that aren’t on the waterfront is $242,115, but that number jumps to $629,900 for homes on the water – representing a 160 percent home price premium, the most of any city on the list.

“People who dream about living on the water have a lot of options in Maryland. From the posh waterfront condos in Baltimore’s inner harbor, cliff-side homes along the Severn River, neighborhoods with community boat slips around Annapolis and quaint fishing towns on Kent Island, there are homes for sale at a variety of price points,” said Kim Dixson, a Redfin real estate agent in Annapolis. 

#6 Long Island, New York

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 7.5%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $639,000
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 5
Recreational Boat Registrations by State per 100,000 Residents: 3,685

Long Island lives up to its name, with water everywhere you look. However, the residents don’t own as many boats as they do in other cities on the top 10 list, and there are fewer boat dealers as well.

“Long Island offers plenty of places to boat, including the Great South Bay, Long Island Sound, the Atlantic and multiple harbors,” said Peggy Papazaharias, a Redfin real estate agent in Long Island. “There’s a lot of waterfront property, and many of the homes have bulkheads and docks where people store their boat. Some even have lifts for jet skis!”

#5 Providence, Rhode Island, Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 4.6%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $424,950
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 4
Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 5,995

Much like Minnesota, residents in Rhode Island don’t mind braving colder weather to get out on the water. The state has a lot of registered boats and boat dealers, and there’s a lot of waterfront property thanks to the river, ocean and bays. Because boating is so popular, boat slips are often sold for a premium; for example, there’s one that is on the market for $310,000.

“Boating is huge in Rhode Island! I think there are 12 or so high schools in the state with sailing programs,” said Jeremy Krause, a Redfin real estate agent in Providence. “Rhode Island is called the Ocean State for a reason; you can basically boat anywhere from Westerly all the way up to Providence and back down to Newport. The state has an amazing amount of waterfront property with direct access to the water, especially on Aquidneck Island.”

#4 Virginia Beach, Virginia, Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 11.9%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $334,800
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 6
Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 4,534

Virginia Beach had the third highest percentage of waterfront homes, thanks to the bays, lakes and ocean. There aren’t as many boaters as Minneapolis, but there are a few more months of the year where temperatures are above 60 degrees.

“With the ocean, bay, river, lakes and many other bodies of water, there are so many places to boat in the Hampton Roads area,” said Alyssa Cokinos, a Redfin real estate agent in Hampton Roads. “Some of the most popular are Lynnhaven Inlet, Rudee Inlet and Smithfield Station, where you can pull in for fuel and restaurants.”

#3 Minneapolis, Minnesota, Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 6.8%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $359,650
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 4
Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 24,164

Minneapolis has a short boating season, but the residents don’t seem to mind. The percentage of people who own a boat in Minnesota is more than three times that of Florida. The city has many small lakes and rivers that allow for a lot of waterfront property in the city, and of course the Great Lakes are only a few hours away.

“Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and whether you have a canoe or a Cabin Cruiser, there’s a lake that is just perfect for you. Minnesota has the largest number of boat owners in the country and per capita there is one boat for every six residents,” said Chris Prescott, a Redfin real estate agent in Minneapolis. 

#2 Tampa, Florida, Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 14.1%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $260,000
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 12
Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 7,324

With great weather, an avid boating community and plenty of coastlines, Tampa came in a close second to the Miami area as a great city for boaters. The city has fewer canals and lakes, reducing the amount of waterfront property available, but there are still plenty of options.

“The Tampa–St. Petersburg area has a lot of great places to boat, including the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Caladesi Island. You’ll always see sailboats and motorboats in the water when you’re hanging out at the beach,” said Wendy Peterson, a Redfin real estate agent in Tampa. 

#1 South Florida—Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach Metropolitan Area

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Portion of Listings on Waterfront: 32.1%
Median Sale Price of a Waterfront Home: $295,500
Months with Mean Temperature of 60+: 12
Recreational Boat Registrations in State per 100,000 Residents: 7,324

In addition to the Atlantic Ocean, cities in South Florida have canals and lakes that increase the amount of waterfront property available. With so much water and warm weather year round, it makes sense that residents would take up boating as a hobby.

“People of all backgrounds own a boat and everyone loves to go out on the weekends,” said John DePhillipo, a Redfin real estate agent in West Palm Beach. “The ocean and lakes are popular for sailing and motor boating, and on the smaller bodies of water you’ll see people kayaking and paddleboarding. There’s a lot of waterfront property available thanks to the rivers and lakes, but the homes on deep canals, inlet waterways or the ocean will fetch a premium price. The sea life is great here; sometimes manatees will jump out right on your dock, and you can see dolphins in the waterways. Florida has so much to offer for boaters!”