|:: The Atlantic IntraCoastal Waterway ::
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|How to cruise the Atlantic ICW - click next.
|Wacca Wache Marina, Washington City Docks, Okracoke, Lady's Island Bridge
Marina, and Elizabeth City. These are all some of our favorite stops on the Atlantic ICW.
From Wacca Wache Marina, you can take your dinghy or rent a car and visit Pawley's
Island. There, you will find the Hammock Shop Village, an eclectic mix of specialty stores
and restaurants, such as the High Hammock Maverick Seaside Kitchen, which alone is
worth the side-trip.
At Beaufort, if you pass under Lady's Island Bridge, and go to Lady's Island Marina, about
100 feet or so, from the Marina you will come to a real hole in the wall (dive looking) bar
called the "Filling Station". This is one place where looks are deceiving. At happy hour
every day, they serve up the best eats for the dollar of any place on the entire Great Loop.
Here, you will find cheap drinks and a cheap meal that will absolutely blow your mind. The
meal changes every day. The last time we were there, it was "hamburger & hot-dog" day. For
$3.00, (yes, only 3.00) cooked over a wood fired grill, we had one of the best burgers in the
world together with one mighty fine (big-thick) hot-dog. Both (yes, you get both) come with
your choice of all the fixings plus potato salad and beans - and it's all for only $3.00. We
stayed an extra day just to go back for "steak night". The "Steak Night" meal is $6.00 but it's
a steak with all the sides you expect to pay $30.00 for.
Point is. . . There are many little "jewels" like these that are hidden along your route around
the Great Loop. While we like to call your attention to the ones we find, the very best ones
indeed will be the ones you find on your own, and tell us about.
|On the east coast, some of the traffic in fall and spring is by snowbirds who regularly move
south in winter and north in summer. The waterway is also used when the ocean is too
rough to travel on. Numerous inlets connect the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico with the
Intracoastal Waterway. The Intracoastal Waterway from Fort Myers to Longboat Key is a
favorite destination for visiting sailors and fishermen alike.
The waters from Fort Myers through Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor have to be
one of the most diverse boating and fishing locations anywhere in the world. Pine Island
Sound is bounded on the west by Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva Islands. Hundreds of
islands dot the Sound; redfish, snook, pompano and speckled trout delight the patient
angler. To the east, Pine Island's mangrove shorelines, tidal creeks and oyster bars still
resist the crush of development. Explore Matlacha, Pineland and Bokeelia for a taste of the
real Florida, where Calusa Indians farmed and fished 1,000 years ago.
Further north in Charlotte Harbor sits Cayo Costa State Park, a spectacular wild and
scenic gulf coast island accessible only by boat. Nature trails, safe harbors, cabins, tent
sites, hiking and biking trails and miles of deserted beaches make this a must-see location.
The Intracoastal runs along the eastern shore of Cayo Costa before heading inland at Boca
Grande Pass, "Tarpon Capital of the World."
At the southern end of this section of the Intracoastal sailors pass through Card Sound
before reaching Key Largo, the first island in the famous Florida Keys chain. The largest of
the Keys, Key Largo is famous for its diving and fishing. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State
Park, the nation's first underwater park, is the crown jewel of the area.
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|:: The Great Loop Route ::
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|The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway - or ICW
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