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Last year we were all hot and heavy over river tubing, but there’s still plenty of wet and wild spots that we missed. For those taking a visit to upstate New York this summer, the Tubby Tubes Company would love to show you around their backyard. They’re only a few minutes away from the tourist traps of Lake George in Lake Luzerne, and they'll be floating families everyday through Labor Day.
Unlike some of our past picks, this place is all about comfort and laziness. No rushing waters here or the need to wear sneakers to avoid a rocky bottom, because with an average depth of just three feet and a sandy bottom, it should be smooth sailing. There’s two different flavors of tubing to choose from with the Buttermilk Float lasting for two hours, and The Lumberjack lasting three hours. The costs for both run between $22 and $26 depending on how long you want to float around.
Check your calendar, because the end of summer is near! However, there’s no need to panic if you find yourself near Austin for the Labor Day weekend. Not only is Schlitterbahn, one of the country’s best water parks, just around the corner, but there’s also a pretty good tubing spot. We’ve spent a lot of time on the water this season, so we thought one more nugget would hold us over until next Memorial Day.
Canyon Lake is home of River Sports Tubes, and they are all about having fun on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers. Just remember not to have too much fun since boozing while cruising is totally fine on this tube trip. However, if you’re going on Sunday, just wait to crack open a cool one until after noon. It’s illegal to drink in public before that—way to go Texas.
When you think of warm weather, Vermont isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind. However, temperatures this weekend will be in the upper 80s in some places, so it’s fine to put the off the yard work for another week and hit the river. Vermont River Tubing fired up the tubing season in June, and things will run through Labor Day weekend—so you only have a few more weeks to start floating.
Reservations aren’t required, so you can just show up and drop your butt in a tube. It’s only $10 to take a trip down the White River, and you’ll be rewarded with an afternoon of relaxation. If you get lost looking for the place, just ask locals where the Stockbridge Yacht Club is located—they’ll know where you’re talking about.
Things start each day at 10:00, so if you get there around opening you’ll be able to get in a couple trips before the sun starts to set. Lately the river has been doing pretty well, so you don’t have to worry about dragging your lower half along the rocky river bed. Still, wear some old sneakers to protect your tootsies, just in case.
Related Stories: [Photo of wacky tubers in another location: Evil Erin]
· Vermont River Tubing [Official Site]
· Seattle's Terrain Is Good For At Least One Thing: Rivers For Tubing [Jaunted]
· Tubing coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of wacky tubers in another location: Evil Erin]
High temperatures in and around Seattle have finally settled down, but residents of the The Emerald City probably still need a good way to beat the heat. Our suggestion is to head a few hours outside of the city proper and make Leavenworth your day trip destination. Not only will you be able to test out your kayaking and rafting skills, but you can also just sit back, relax, and slowly tube down the Wenatchee River.
The tubing season has finally opened on the river, and things will run until the end of summertime—we’re thinking that means Labor Day. To get outfitted for your 2-mile down river journey, the outfitters at River Rider provide fancy tubes equipped with handles and cup holders—perfect for holding your Snapple.
There’s plenty of fun in the sun to be had on Florida’s Emerald Coast, the stretch that encompasses much of the panhandle, but sometimes you want a little more than sand and clear water. That’s why, during your next spring break massacre in Panama City, head westward to Milton and book a tubing trip with Adventures Unlimited.
The outfitters offer more than just inner tube travel; they also have canoe, kayak, and even fishing expeditions. However, for those looking for an afternoon float, you’ll enjoy a four-mile trip down the Coldwater River. Nevermind the river's nameyou’ll be comfortablebut the organizers do recommend an 80-degree daytime temperature for ultimate enjoyment.
It’ll set you back $17 per person and if you want a separate tube for your cooler, as this is the Redneck Riviera after all, that will be an additional $8 please. Give a call or check online for river conditions, because if the water gets too rough, certain trips are canceled and they’ll ban booze on the river. Lately it’s been green—which means you and your beverages are good to go.
Related Stories: [Photo: ian_ransley]
· Adventures Unlimited [Official Site]
· Float Through The Tunnels of an Old Sugar Plantation In Hawaii [Jaunted]
· Water Sports coverage [Jaunted]
Most of the tubing adventures that we’ve covered so far can be easily accessed by car, but today’s trip will cost you a little bit more cash to get there. If you find yourself on the island of Kauai, and need a little bit more excitement than relaxing with umbrella drinks, then you may want to consider giving Kauai Backcountry Adventures a call. They offer exclusive access to the irrigation system of the former Lihue Plantation, and you get to see it all from the comfort of a tube.
The ditches and tunnels were once used to keep sugar crops nice and hydrated, but things have been quiet since 2000, and are now open for us to enjoy. Hop in your tube and take in views of the coastline, ocean, and the island’s vast valleys. Just be thankful that you are enjoying the hard work of the former plantation workers—all the irrigation channels were dug by hand.
Tours depart throughout the day, so if you want to hit up that buffet breakfast at your resort, you’ll be fine. The trip is a little expensive at $100 per person, but you will get a picnic lunch and everything else to float safely through the plantation. They even throw in headlamps so that you don't get too scared floating through the tunnels.
Related Stories: [Photo: Official Site]
· Kauai Backcountry Adventures [Official Site]
· Tube Flotilla Set To Travel 8 Miles Down Michigan River [Jaunted]
· Best Tubing Spots coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Official Site]
If you’ve yawned at our best tubing spots so far, we’ll try to intrigue with something a little more exciting. The River Rat Society is prepping for their Second Annual Port Huron Float Down. It’s less a lazy tube drift and more like a hilarious adventure. Participants are welcomed (and encouraged) to hop into whatever floating device they have, whether it be tube, raft, or blow-up boat, and just head down the river.
This year’s event kicks off on Sunday, August 16, at 1:00 pm as sailors and floaters drift down the river from Port Huron, Michigan to Marysville. It’s a pretty far journey, about eight miles, and life jackets are required for anyone daring to make the trip. Although we’re thinking booze will help keep everyone warm, there are some warnings on the site about hypothermia—so this little jaunt isn’t necessarily as safe as the lazy river at the local water park.
The event is absolutely free to everyone, just BYO floating device. Be sure choose a good one that you can maneuver quickly; you’ll want to stay clear of the commercial traffic trying to get work done on the river. Keep your passport handy in one of those waterproof baggies, because if you float too far to one side of the water you’ll be entering Canada. You don’t want any trouble with the Mounties.
· Port Huron Float Down [Official Site]
· Get Ready To Float Down The Hooch In Northeast Georgia [Jaunted]
· Tubing coverage [Jaunted]
If you’re looking to beat the heat and humidity of the nation’s Southeast, then Helen, Georgia should be on your shortlist. Not only does the town traditionally feature cooler summer temperatures thanks to its location within the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it also does its best to recreate an alpine village; zoning laws ensure that the town’s buildings feature a little bit of Bavaria, including architecture from the old-world and cobblestone streets. It’s not quite the Alps, but it is the Appalachians.
Once you’re done touring a little bit of faux Europe, you’re probably going to want to cool off from all that excitement. Grab a tube and plop your butt into the Chattahoochee River. There’s two different river courses to choose from, but definitely go for the longer 2.5 hour journey. A bus will load you up and take you up river, so when you’re all done you can be fully prepared to peruse the gift shop or chow on some picnic foods.
The Cool River Tubing Company will be floating people down the river all summer through Labor Day. It’s only $5 for adults, and if you want to go all day a pass only costs $9. This is definitely a sweet deal for an afternoon filled with splashes and sunburn. If the river ride gets a little boring they have a waterside too, but that’ll cost you a few extra bucks.
Between New York City and Philadelphia sits a good place to spend a summer afternoon baking in the sun and splashing in the water. It's Frenchtown, New Jersey, and you’re welcome to sit your behind in a tube and comfortably travel about five to six milesa dream distance considering many tubing runs are only a few miles.
Delaware River Tubing allows tube travelers to float down the river between the Pennsylvania and New Jersey state lines, so you’ll be able to get two state stickers for that map on the back of your Winnebago.
The unique part of this river adventure is that you’ll be likely spending time with their Famous River Hot Dog Man. Halfway through your journey you’ll put on the turn signal and pull over along the river’s shore to order up a couple hotdogs or a cheeseburger, and enjoy it from the comfort of your rubber seat. Best of all, most tickets include a “free” meal from the floating restaurant.
Weekend tubing starts at about $19 and includes your life vest, a place to stash your keys, and meal on the river. Parking will set you back $6, so try your best to pile into one car. Double and Triple tubes are available on a first come first serve basis for those that just can’t bear to be apart from their sweethearts. Just hurry up and make your plans as the season will end before you know it on September 29.
Related Stories: [A Vintage Delaware River Tubing Photo: Joe Shlabotnik]
·Delaware River Tubing [Official Site]
·Tubing The Apple River: Slow Speeds, Fast Sunburns [Jaunted]
·Water Sports coverage [Jaunted]
[A Vintage Delaware River Tubing Photo: Joe Shlabotnik]
We’ve quickly discovered that there’s nowhere better to beat the heat than from the comfort of a tube floating down a river. Despite the intense sun heating up the tube so that it almost burns your skin, all is well once you hit a wave and get dumped into the cooling waters below your seat. That’s why we fully recommend a trip to Farmington River Tubing in New Hartford, Connecticut within the Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area—scary, huh?
Other river locations may have turned into party scenes, complete with special floating cooler rafts designed to hold your thirty-pack. For better or for worse, booze isn’t allowed on this river adventure, so things are more serene and peaceful. That is of course until you hit some of the rapids with only a tube to help you out. Officials at the river request that you are comfortable swimming through Class III rapids—you know, just in case.
Only $20 will get you a 2.5-mile ride down the river. Bring an old T-shirt to be a little more comfy, since you’ll be wearing a snazzy life jacket during your journey. An old pair of sneakers does wonders to help protect your feet when you try to avoid some of the river’s larger rocks. When you're all done, a bus will bring you back to where you parked your car, and if you want to go again, it’ll only cost you $10.
With all the recent rain in the Northeast lately, the river should be running at full steam, so remember to use the buddy system.
Related Stories: [Photo: Joshua.Rose80]
·Farmington River Tubing [Official Site]
·Tubing The Apple River: Slow Speeds, Fast Sunburns [Jaunted]
·Water Sports coverage [Jaunted]
When you think of Phoenix in the summer, you probably think of the sweltering heat and imagine yourself dodging in and out of the comfort of air conditioning. A relaxing trip down a river in a tube doesn’t even seem like a possibility, but it is, and you can beat the summer rays only 30 minutes outside the city.
After a short ride towards Mesa, you’ll find yourself floating and bobbing along the Lower Salt River in the middle of the Tonto National Forest. Although tubing is usually a relaxing experience, there are some rapids along this route to keep you on your toes. Also, they encourage picnicking along the river and even rent out special tubes to float your cooler right along side your group.
Someday when the ozone layer has become more hole than layer, summer will be ruined for open-water activities like tubing, because the risk of skin cancer will be too great. So we'd best live it up while we're young and there is still SPF enough! That's a pretty dire way to characterize the best tubing spot in Wisconsin, but no man-made lazy river can compare to the Apple River's natural sloth.
The allure of this tributary of the St. Croix close to Minneapolis is passed around every summer among circles of would-be road-trippers. A few gentle rapids keep tubers moving along, and while the scenery isn't the greatest, the wide, slow rock of the Apple that once made it perfect to float logs downstream from virgin forests to busy sawmills attracts boaters from all over.
The tubing "scene" isn't for kids on the Apple -- online reports indicate a preponderance of casual nudity and beer cans -- but you can always placate them with a later-summer visit to Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells.