Nothing beats the joy and excitement of getting out on the water during summer. From lakes, beaches, and waterways that get packed in no time to never-ending exhilarating adventures and spectacular views, summer is the perfect time to do something different outdoors that’s good for your soul.
There are a lot of fun-in-the-water attractions and activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you and your friends are first-time jet ski riders looking for that one-of-a-kind thrill, or you want to take your family out on a boating trip and indulge in the serene experience of capturing stunning backdrops, all of that is possible.
Plus, the simple acts of stepping onto a boat and unplugging can do more wonders for your physical and mental well-being than you may think. In his best-selling book “Blue Mind,” marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols details the scientific reasons why being close to bodies of water gives anyone a wellness boost: water reduces cortisol levels and lowers stress and anxiety.
Another survey by Wakefield Research and Discover Boating shows that around four in five Americans report that being on the water relaxes them.
America’s Top Destinations for Water Adventures
Can’t wait to head out and explore all that Mother Earth’s waterways have to offer? We’ve got you covered with some of the best spots in America to hit the water and up the ante on your summer challenge and action-packed holidays.
1. Lake Pleasant in Phoenix, Arizona
This majestic beauty is every water lover’s dream. The largest lake around Phoenix and Scottsdale, Lake Pleasant offers a plethora of great summer activities. Here you can ride the waves on your wakeboard; let go of your fears and power up those jet skis; set up camp or have a picnic with family and friends; or just sail those blues away and bask in the peacefulness of the pristine blue waters and the surrounding desert landscape.
With 10-acres of water surface, this family-friendly oasis offers one too many opportunities to beat the Arizona heat. Rent a boat in Lake Pleasant and try your luck with catching big fish like channel catfish, white bass, and largemouth bass.
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
The capital of beach sports deserves a spot in any ranking of the world’s most fabulous places for water sports. This true natural wonder is well-known for its legendary surfing destinations — with waves of all shapes and colors — for beginners and experienced surfers alike.
Besides attracting surfers from around the globe, Hawaii is also top of mind for those who want to kick it up a notch and take on scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing, kayaking, ocean rafting, and more. You won’t get enough of the spot’s impressive marine life that features an abundance of colorful fish, rich coral reefs, turtles, and many more.
3. Newport, Rhode Island
Would you brave the cold weather just to get out on the water? New Englanders surely would not mind as they continue a longstanding tradition of indulging their need for open water and historical sightseeing.
Newport in Rhode Island has been a longtime beloved destination for boaters and mariners. It also boasts outstanding yachting facilities, making you more eager to sail through stellar waterfronts while marveling at the historic harbor, mansions, and colonial architectural designs. If you’re done boating, you can also head to the many nearby beaches to relax and soak up the sun or just check out fresh seafood from dozens of local restaurants.
If extreme water sports are your thing, then you should not miss Michigan. This state is home to picturesque landscapes and is famous for its large lakes, colorful cliffs, and powerful waterfalls. Get your adrenaline fix and set your sights on some kayaking, parasailing, kiteboarding, surfing, and even shipwreck diving.
The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in northern Michigan will keep the adventurer in you in awe as you take a fantastic kayaking expedition through crystal clear waters. Torch Lake, meanwhile, is the largest among four lakes in Bellaire, Michigan, and is a perfect spot for some fishing, swimming, and picnicking.
5. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Lauded as the “Venice of America” and the yachting capital of the world, Fort Lauderdale will undoubtedly wow water enthusiasts with its 300 miles of waterways, over 40,000 yachts, and 100 marinas. Here you can go fishing, kayaking, parasailing, diving, and more. The area is also a paradise for snorkelers, as it features a thriving marine ecosystem swarming with wildlife and coral reefs.
Fort Lauderdale is also home to one of the world’s largest boat shows, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. It has since gained attention as an epitome of resort-style living, with world-class marinas, glamorous resorts, and golf courses.
Make The Most Out Of Your Summer Trip
Here are some tips and reminders so you can plan your best summer escapade yet.
Rent A Vehicle
From saving money and avoiding wear and tear to taking advantage of unlimited mileage, there are a lot of reasons why you should consider renting a car while traveling. Look for reliable vehicles with plenty of cargo room for all of your luggage, food, supplies, and gear.
Use A Life Jacket
A majority of boating deaths are due to drowning, which could have been avoided by wearing life jackets or any other flotation device. Even if you’re confident about your swimming skills, you shouldn’t neglect to wear a life jacket while onboard. Make sure that the vest fits you correctly.
Go With A Buddy
It’s risky to be out in the water alone. Always bring someone with you when you venture out to sea and inform your friends and family about where you are going and how to reach you. Plus, tagging someone along will make your water experience much more fun!
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead
Don’t think twice about stocking your first aid kit, safety gear, and other necessary equipment. It pays to be fully prepared before you go out on the water so you can be confident about your comfort and convenience.