Written by Missy Johnston

The marsh of Lake Okeechobee, Florida

The marsh of Lake Okeechobee, Florida

While it’s always nice to set sail for Greece, France, or some exotic location, it’s easy to forget how wonderful vacations can be closer to home. A Florida yacht charter that includes Lake Okeechobee, for instance, packs wonderful beach atmospheres and southern charm into a week-long excursion through the Sunshine State. The Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale private yacht itinerary is a tour of the whole southern tip of Florida, from the Keys to the Caloosahatchee River, on through Lake Okeechobee, and back to the east coast.

Lake Okeechobee is far more than just a pass-through location on the Okeechobee Waterway on a Florida luxury yacht charter itinerary. This fishing and boating paradise has earned its reputation as Florida’s “inland sea” for good reason. There are plenty of things to see and do in the second-largest freshwater lake in the U.S. The following list provides some great examples.

An elegant Sandhill Crane in Lake Okeechobee, Florida

An elegant Sandhill Crane in Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Clewiston: Tasty

Known as America’s Sweetest Town, Clewiston offers visitors a unique opportunity to tour the Sugarland Farm and sample some locally processed sugarcane. In addition, the town’s museum is located in the historic police station and jail.

Just offshore, the waters of Clewiston are rich with largemouth bass, speckled perch, bluegills, crappies, and catfish. Anglers might be able to snag freshly caught fish for the yacht’s chef to prepare.

The Scenic Trail: Perfect for Hiking and Cycling

Great Blue Heron looking over Okeechobee Lake in Okeechobee, Florida

Great Blue Heron looking over Okeechobee Lake in Okeechobee, Florida

Thirty-five feet above the lake sits the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail. The trail stretches the entire 110-mile circumference of the “Big O.” Hiking all the way around could take nine or ten days, but visitors are able to spend short periods of time taking in the fresh air and scenery overlooking the lake. Birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts are in luck, because the lake is famous for its osprey, egrets, wild turkeys, kites, alligators, and manatees. Visitors sometimes glimpse a bobcat or a wild hog at a distance.

Seminole Reservation and LaBelle: Rich with History

Lake Okeechobee features two historic hotspots of interest. The Big Cypress Seminole Reservation delights in sharing its history and native culture with visitors who come to see the lake, which they aptly named “Big Water.”

The town of LaBelle is another great option for history enthusiasts. Visitors delight in experiencing “Old Florida” culture and touring the quaint country town’s bookstore, honey stand, citrus fields, and town hall.

Lake Okeechobee is worth spending a day exploring all there is to see and do on a yacht charter itinerary circumnavigating southern Florida on a luxury yacht charter.

Caspian Tern crosses an inlet at Lake Okeechobee

Caspian Tern crosses an inlet at Lake Okeechobee