Boating in Polk County, Central Florida

With a name like Central Florida’s Lakes Country, you would expect ample opportunities to explore our lakes by boat, and that is exactly what you get. Whether you are fishing, nature cruising, or pulling skiers, our lakes are the place your boat needs to be.

With more than 550 lakes in Central Florida’s Lakes Country, boating, nature cruises and waterskiing take top priority on sunny afternoons. Public boat ramps and rental companies make it easy to rent a boat and explore our waterways; in most cases, visitors need only a valid drivers’ license and some brief instruction.

Water Skiing

Polk County is also recognized as the “Water Ski Capital of the World” and home to Cypress Gardens, the Water Ski Hall of Fame and the American Water Ski Association (the United States Olympic Committee’s National Governing Body). Cypress Gardens and Winter Haven’s famed Chain of Lakes, are the competition and training venues for numerous national and world championship competitions.

Boat Racing

Central Florida’s Polk County is a top choice for international power boat racing. The annual Orange Cup Regatta is held on Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, and the Race For the Kids US Title Series Boat Races is held in Winter Haven and Lake Alfred. Many of Polk County’s lakes are also used for water sports, events, and training, as well as testing by marine manufacturers.

See our Facilites Guide for a complete list of boating and water sports venues. If you would like more information about hosting a boat race in our area, please contact Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing at 863-551-4750.

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