Sometimes anglers even as hardcore as I am just like to take a cruise, enjoy some bird watching, or wonder what it's like to live in a mansion along one of Florida's scenic waterways.
Here are a few favorite rides for the southern half of Florida's East Coast.
The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) between Stuart and the Jupiter Lighthouse is a ride of about 25 miles through towering mangroves and past the gorgeous mansions on Jupiter Island. This is the southernmost stretch of the Indian River Lagoon, one of the most biologically diverse waterways in North America. There are great bars and restaurants on either end of the run, including several where you can tie up in Stuart's Manatee Pocket. In Jupiter, make sure you check out the legendary Square Grouper Tiki Bar at Castaway's Marina.
The Lake Worth Lagoon runs from North Palm Beach to south of Boynton Beach. Preserves and habitat restoration efforts offer plenty for the nature lover to enjoy. Munyon Island is a great restoration success story that teems with fish, ospreys and manatees. Peanut Island is a great party spot and point of diverse interests just to the south of the Blue Heron Bridge, across from great waterfront dining at the Sailfish Marina. From there, heading south, the ICW will take you between the thriving City of West Palm Beach and the mansions of the Town of Palm Beach. Stop off at the Old Key Lime House in Lantana for drinks and great food.
Perhaps the ultimate Florida cruising adventure is to make the crossing clear across the state via the Okeechobee Waterway, starting up the gorgeous St. Lucie River, in Palm City, across Lake Okeechobee and down the magnificent Calooshatchee River to the Port Charlotte area. There's a great stopping point in Clewiston, at the Roland & Mary Ann Martin Marina.
Enjoy the ride, and the scenery.