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Intracoastal VS. The River as a place to call home for the boat... HELP!

My wife and I are planning a move to Florida and I am getting all the input I can about boating on the river vs. on the intracoastal.
Being that we are moving from the North East, and have enjoyed the surroundings of Narragansett Bay and destinations from Cape Cod down to Long Island, NY, we are wondering if there is a match for us down in Florida.
Our boat is a 38' Cruisers Yachts, aft cabin w/ fly bridge and 16 ft. bridge clearance.
We are looking for a house in between Jacksonville and St. Augustine. ( My Wife loves the Conch House Marina.)
Our boating style is as follows:
I'd rather be close to my boat and further from work. We currantly live 5 min. from our boat.
Many days we go there after work just to sit and enjoy the view and have dinner.
Sometimes we go for a sunset cruise on a week day evening. Short cruises in our area are easy due to all the close places to grab a hook in a cove and relax. If you Google Maps "warwick cove, RI" you will see where we are.
Occasionaly we go for a cruise to nowhere just putting along. A place to anchor at the far end of such a cruise is always nice too.
Now... a place to set hook is important because no one likes being bounced around by current, waves or the passing idiot who can't slow down. Quiet, calm, tranquil places with flat water and low wind are high on the list and pretty easily obtainable in our area.
We seek the same in our week end journeys, just further in distance.
I realize that the great distance between the intracoastal North end at the river to the lower area of St. Augustine is probably a day trip to go from one end and back. ( is that a good estimate?)
I also realize that the same applies to the river North near Mill Cove, to the river Southern near Mandarin and Fruit Cove.
We also like to swim off the boat a lot and don't want to worry about what may be in the water with us :)
We obviously have to pick a marina or waterfront home on the river or on the intracoastal... we can't have both.
Any information you can offer or opinions are greatly welcomed and appreciated.
We're gathering info from as many sources as possible to make our final decision.

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