Written by Alexa Zizzi
January 2022

Among all of Marinalife’s contests and celebrations through the year, one of our most highly anticipated competitions is the Best Marina Contest. Each year, participants cast thousands of votes for top-notch marinas that provide exceptional customer service and hospitality to guests. The winners are chosen by a five-month survey of boaters in the United States and abroad. We are thrilled to announce the winners of our 12th annual Best Marina Contest. Thank you to all of the hardworking marina staff and dedicated boaters who participated. Look for the 2022 Best Marina Contest announcement in our summer issue to cast this year’s vote!

Best Large Marina 2021

orange beach marina - best marina contest - marinalife
Orange Beach Marina

1st Place
Orange Beach, AL
This charming destination along the Gulf Coast boasts state-of-the-art docks, facilities and top-notch, friendly marina staff. With 161 in-water slips, the marina offers a safe, fully protected harbor and family-friendly environment for all types of boaters. On-site you find two retail shops, yacht and engine repairs, and fishing charters, as well as two dining options — Fisher’s Upstairs or Fisher’s Dockside.

Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina - best marina contest - marinalife
Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina

2nd Place
Hilton Head, SC
As the largest deep-water marina on Hilton Head Island, Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina is a secluded paradise in the heart of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. The marina boasts 190 wet slips on floating docks accommodating boats ranging from 15 to 150 feet and offers an overnight dock with fuel and pump out at the slip. The beautiful Shelter Cove Marina promenade is packed with seven waterfront restaurants and numerous jewelry, clothing and gift shops. The property also offers seasonal entertainment, as well as seasonal shuttle service to access Palmetto Dunes Resort amenities. Activities offered on-site include fishing, eco and dolphin tours, water sport charters, kayak rentals and more.

Herrington Harbour South
Herrington Harbour South

3rd Place
North Beach, MD
Centrally located on the Chesapeake Bay, this spacious resort offers beachfront lodging at the Herrington Harbour Inn, upscale amenities and gorgeous wedding venues. The marina boasts 600 slips, and annual slipholders receive access to amenities such as free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, fitness center, fuel dock and a calendar of events for all ages. Overnight guests can swim in the Olympic-size pool, relax on the private beach, and enjoy the grills and picnic area. Kids will love the playground and kiddie pool. Kayak and paddleboard rentals are complimentary. Feast on fresh seafood at Ketch 22 or delicious sandwiches and wraps from Chesapeake Market & Deli just minutes from the docks.

Best Small Marina

Chicks Marina - best marina contest - marinalife
Chicks Marina

1st Place
Kennebunkport, ME
Tucked away on the idyllic southern coast of Maine, Chicks is known as one of New England’s cleanest marinas as it strives to continuously upgrade facilities to ensure safety and efficiency. Recently renovated, the marina has seasonal and transient dockage, custom boat care services and indoor, heated winter storage. The property has about 50 slips and is the only marina in Kennebunkport to offer 91 Octane gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.


Gurneys - best marina contest - marinalife

2nd Place
Newport, RI
Situated on a small island along Narragansett Bay, Gurney’s Newport is a premier New England destination. The state-of-the-art marina offers 22 slips accommodating boats up to 125 feet. Guests can stay in plush rooms and suites and experience the resort’s upscale amenities including access to the pools, fitness center, full-service spa and on-site restaurants. Feast on delicious food at The Pineapple Club or sip on Tuscan espresso and artisanal coffees while enjoying breakfast at For Five Coffee. The property also features a Kid’s Club, lounge, fire pit and hosts seasonal live music and entertainment.

Deltaville Yachting Center - best marina contest - marinalife
Deltaville Yachting Center

3rd Place
Deltaville, VA
Just one mile from the Chesapeake Bay, this full-service marina located on Broad Creek between the Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers has been serving boaters since 2001. The marina offers 76 slips for transients and long-term rentals, as well as a boatel, yard and winter storage. Service includes engine and transmission repairs, repowers and rebuilds, gelcoat and fiberglass repair, A/C installation, repaints and rigging services. Chesapeake Yacht Sales, hosting a large inventory of used power and sailboats, is always on site as the Virginia and North Carolina dealer for Catalina Yachts Sailboats and True North Cruisers.

Special thanks goes to Sunbrella, our contest sponsor. Sunbrella marine canvas fabrics have been a trusted choice of boat enthusiasts and marine manufacturers around the world for almost 60 years.