Cruising and destination stories typically focus on vacation pursuits. There’s a plethora of recommendations on shoreside excursions, restaurants, shops, and more. Did you know, however, that many megayacht marinas are ideal if you’re heading to a concert? Some of the best sailing destinations worldwide happen to be in major cities, in fact. Even among smaller cities, they often let you walk or take a taxi to see your favorite act.
Here are our picks for five of the best sailing destinations for quick access to concert venues. Some may surprise you.
- Barcelona. The Spanish city has plentiful music clubs. But the marquee names in pop and rock music head to the Estadi Olympic (above), a.k.a. Olympic Stadium. Comprised of a few buildings, it’s near OneOcean Port Vell. In addition, the marina has helped put Barcelona on the map among the best sailing destinations in Europe. It accommodates yachts to 623 feet (190 meters). Some megayacht concert-goers checked out U2 this summer at the stadium, in fact. Next up: Lady Gaga performs on September 21, followed by the Rolling Stones six days later.
- Brooklyn. Manhattan gets the lion’s share of attention in New York. But, Brooklyn boasts the Barclays Center, which hosts concerts when the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Nets aren’t in town. It also boasts ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina, for yachts to 250 feet (76.2 meters). The marina remains open through the end of October. Ideal, considering renowned rocker Roger Waters performs September 11 and 12 at the Barclays Center, followed by Paul McCartney on the 19th. Ed Sheeran closes out the month.
- London. With The O2 Arena, Hyde Park, Royal Albert Hall, and many more, London is a concert-goer’s dream. Thankfully there’s a marina nestled in the city. In fact, St. Katherine Docks is next to the famed Tower Bridge. Managed by Camper & Nicholsons Marinas, it has slips for yachts to 131 feet (40 meters). Check out John Legend at The O2 on September 12, or Ray Davies at Hyde Park on September 9. Then there’s Symphonic Queen, a tribute to Queen by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at Royal Albert Hall on October 6.
- Seattle. Seattle has long been among the best sailing destinations in the world, with small boats and superyachts visiting year after year. While it has marinas all over town, Bell Harbor Marina, for yachts to 150 feet (45.7 meters), is directly downtown. So, too, are Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, which hosts shows when the sports teams are on the road. Tom Petty is celebrating his 40th, and last, anniversary tour by playing Safeco Field on August 19. Coldplay headlines at CenturyLink Field on September 23.
- Wilmington. Wilmington, North Carolina isn’t a hotbed of megayacht activity. However, it is home to Port City Marina, which is certainly among the best sailing destinations along the U.S. East Coast. Situated in the heart of the historic downtown, Port City Marina accommodates megayachts to 250 feet (76.2 meters). Your chef will love the local farmer’s market, which runs on Saturdays through December. Better yet, Port City Marina is home to the Shell. The Shell is a waterfront venue with a 4,000-person capacity. It’s hosting shows by hip-hop artist Nelly and country superstar Willie Nelson on Labor Day Weekend.