Written by Donna Bowden
October 2020
The Club at Admirals Cove Clubhouse | Southern Waterfront Communities | Marinalife
The Club at Admirals Cove Clubhouse by Evan Schiller

COASTAL, COMMUNITY-BASED living seamlessly pairs the land and the sea. With convenient water access and top-of-the-line marine facilities showcased in many of these developments, how do you decide which one is right for you? The choices seem endless with stellar amenities such as challenging golf courses, active clubhouses, tennis courts, pools, spas, walking and biking trails, and palate-pleasing restaurants that are all integrated into southern waterfront lifestyles.

The best part of all – the boat is never far away. The growing demand for this enjoyable way of life has spurred the development of communities in the Southeast. To help you pick the perfect place to hang your hat and dock your boat, here are some of the maritime highlights of fine facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and both coasts of Florida.

North Carolina

Albemarle Plantation
Albemarle, NC, 800-523-5958
In reach of the Outer Banks as well as the historic towns of Edenton and Elizabeth City, this community is like living in a nature preserve. You can sport fish in the Gulf Stream or kayak and sail in the sanctuary of rivers. Raised boardwalks lead to the 166-slip marina on Albemarle Sound for boats up to 60 feet. The on-site Osprey Yacht Club is popular with residents. (albemarleplantation.com)

River Dunes
Oriental, NC, 800-975-9565
At the mouth of the Neuse River near Pamlico Sound on the ICW, the inland basin marina here is tucked into a peninsula. With 400 slips and 8-foot depths, vessels up to 150 feet can dock comfortably. The community’s Harbor Village has it all, including a pavilion with live music, and the charming town of Oriental is minutes away. (riverdunes.com)

The Bluffs
Cape Fear, NC, 910-383-2820
This casual, golf-cart friendly community fronts the Cape Fear River. It has been masterfully planned with a 50-slip marina in the works as well as a river waterfront park and boat launch. Ponds are scattered throughout the property, and a six-acre lake serves as the site of a clubhouse, playground, fishing pier, and launch for kayaks and paddleboats. It’s a short drive to the port city of Wilmington. (thebluffsnc.com)

St. James Plantation
Southport, NC, 800-245-3871
The popular St. James Plantation has more than 5,000 residents and a whopping 81 holes of golf. The marina sits on the ICW with 155 wet slips and dry-stack for another 320 boats. More than 100 activity clubs include everything from poker to polka. Add to that a beach club, chapel, amphitheater, pavilion, ponds, bridges, gardens, dog parks and kayak launch for easy access to the vast network of backwaters. (stjamesplantation.com)

South Carolina

Grande Dunes
Myrtle Beach, SC, 877-347-2633
In popular Myrtle Beach, Grande Dunes stretches from the Atlantic to the Carolina Bays Preserve. Marina Park, a two-acre landscaped outdoor venue, overlooks The Marina at Grande Dunes, directly on the ICW with 126 wet slips for vessels up to 120 feet. The Mediterranean-style Ocean Club is the social centerpiece. (grandedunes.com)

Grande Dunes by Del Webb | Southern waterfronts | Marinalife
Grande Dunes by Del Webb

Hilton Head Plantation
Hilton Head Island, SC, 843-681-8800
Superyachts up to 200 feet can find a home at Hilton Head Plantation. More than 4,200 residents of the 4,000-acre community enjoy the services of Skull Creek Marina on the ICW with access to the Atlantic and Port Royal Sound. In addition to a plethora of amenities, Hilton Head Plantation offers 10 miles of leisure paths and the popular Dolphin Head Recreation Area. (hiltonheadplantation.com)

Windmill Harbour
Hilton Head Island, SC, 843-785-4775
Charleston-style residences are the trademark at Windmill Harbour, a community of 172 acres on Jenkins Island, adjacent to the ICW. A unique lock system at the 258-slip marina protects 30- to 70-foot yachts from seven-foot tides and wakes from the ICW. The community enjoys the on-site South Carolina Yacht Club and the services of a full-time harbormaster. (windmillharbour.org)


The Landings
Skidaway Island, GA, 912-598-0500
A short drive from downtown Savannah, this multi-age community on a 6,300-acre island has two deep-water marinas and five distinct clubhouses. Landings Harbor Marina, at the northernmost end of the island, is ideal for fishing boats with slips and dry rack launch. At the southern end, Delegal Creek Marina takes boats up to 125 feet with 9-foot draft access at mid-tide. (thelandings.com)

Richmond Hill, GA, 912-445-0299
Interconnected neighborhoods with a lagoon, park and wooded views weave through this conservation-based community outside Savannah. Marina Village includes the Bryan County Boat Launch Facility, which can hold 188 boats up to 35 feet and has access to the ICW and Great Ogeechee River. The Atlantic is nine miles away. Lakes and lagoons throughout are perfect for small boat exploration of the Low- Country beauty. (livewaterways.com)

Cumberland Harbour
St. Marys, GA, 800-497-4925
In the historic seaside city of St. Marys, the second oldest city in America, Cumberland Harbour features premier deep-water home sites with views of Cumberland and Amelia Islands. There is also small boat storage and a community dock. The 1,100-acre peninsula is surrounded by the St. Marys River, the North River and the ICW, with access to the Atlantic Ocean and Cumberland Island National Seashore. (cumberlandharbourga.com)

East Florida

The Moorings
Vero Beach, FL, 772-231-5131
The Moorings presents miles of pristine beaches and deep-water access to homes and condominiums behind an eight-mile seawall along the Indian River. The deep entrance channel makes for easy passage to the ICW. Two private marinas within the community can accomadate crafts up to 100 feet. The prestigious Moorings Yacht & Country Club is luxurious. Fort Pierce Inlet is nine miles south, should you want to hop over to the Bahamas. (themoorings.com)

Sailfish Point
Stuart, FL, 772-225-6200
The lifestyle at Sailfish Point, located on the southern tip of Hutchinson Island, is a blend of quiet and active, yet hustle and bustle are close at hand. Nearby Stuart is perfect for shopping; Palm Beach is one hour away. The Sailfish Point Marina & Yacht Club at the mouth of the St. Lucie Inlet, has 84 slips for yachts up to 125 feet and an additional 45 dry slips for boats up to 25 feet. The active yacht club includes more than 50% of the families living at Sailfish Point and welcomes members who don’t own a boat. (sailfishpoint.com)

Admirals Cove
Jupiter, FL, 561-744-1700
The Club at Admirals Cove is an amenity-rich centerpiece that threads this Gold Coast community together. Camaraderie among mariners is strong at The Admirals Cove Yacht Club, formed by residents for just that purpose. The marina, where super- yachts up to 130 feet will find a home, is just west of the ICW with Jupiter Inlet two miles north and the port of Palm Beach eight miles to the south. (admiralscove.net)

West Florida

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort/Baytowne
Sandestin, FL, 850-267-8180
The Village of Baytowne Wharf is at the heart of living or vacationing at the 2,400-acre Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, while Baytowne Marina is its artery to Choctawhatchee Bay. The 113-slip marina at the village takes yachts up to 140 feet. A tram service runs loops between the Florida Panhandle beaches and a plethora of multi-age activities at Baytowne Wharf, while a number of clubs unite the community. (baytownewharf.com)

One Particular Harbour
Bradenton, FL, 888-562-9606
Inspired by the Jimmy Buffet song of the same name, One Particular Harbor is a laid-back island community with an Old Florida feel and village names such as Changes in Attitude, Banana Wind, and Nothin’ but a Breeze. The state-of-the-art marina with deep-water access is just across the sound from Anna Maria Island and before the island bridge. Shopping and recreation are a hop away at Bradenton and Bradenton Beach, and you can put your property in the short-term rental program if you don’t stay year-round. (minto.com/usa/florida/Anna-Maria-Island-new-homes/One Particular-Harbour)

South Seas Island Resort | southern waterfront | Marinalife
South Seas Island Resort

Longboat Key Club
Longboat Key, FL, 855-314-2619
Whether you own real estate — a home, villa, or condominium — or solely dock at the marina (equity ownership available), you can enjoy the luxurious amenities at this resort. The deep-water Longboat Key Club Moorings takes vessels up to 150 feet and has 291 storm-protected slips behind a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico. There is a shuttle to the resort and a concierge to help you through it all. (longboatkeyclub.com)

Gulf Harbour
Fort Myers, FL, 239-433-5111
The Gulf Harbour Yacht & Country Club, a member-owned equity club on the Caloosahatchee River, enhances the yachting lifestyle at Gulf Harbour. The 22 distinct neighborhoods, with a total of 1,600 residences, are minutes away from Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island. The 186-slip Gulf Harbour Marina takes yachts up to 97 feet. Enjoy boating on the ICW and the Gulf of Mexico. (gulfharbour.com)

South Seas Island Resort
Captiva Island, FL, 239-472-5111
Located on 330 acres — the site of a key lime plantation 100 years ago — this resort on tropical Captiva Island has two marina locations. Yacht Harbour Marina can take yachts more than 100 feet; Bayside Marina is for boats under 25 feet. If you are not in the market for one of the exclusive residences for purchase, there is a wide range of home, villa, cottage, and townhouse vacation rentals available at this lovely port of call.(southseas.com)