These days, taking a family on a vacation is no easy feat. Not financially and not logistically. It requires money, planning, and time! But it is totally worth it! Times are changing and so are vacation options. You don’t need to go to Disney Land to have a great family experience. Why not plan a vacation around kayaking?
Almost anywhere there is water, there is someone who rents kayaks. But, if you have your own, that is great! There are so many great paddling destinations in the United States it would take forever to list them all. The best part about a kayaking vacation is that you often get to experience a new place or situation that so many others don’t get to! Kayaking out to a secret cove, or down a calm moving river in a desolate canyon are all great ways to bond with your friends and family, get exercise and have a fantastic and unique vacation experience! Kayak rentals are often inexpensive and allow for hours of fun. If you already have your own boats, you don’t even need to worry! Occasionally, there will be basic park or paddling fees, but for the most part, after you have the kayaks, paddling is a free experience!
While I advocate planning an entire trip around paddling, it isn’t necessary. A lot of major vacation destinations have kayaking available. Almost all coastal areas have kayak rentals as do most major lakes. One of the coolest experiences can be floating down a non-rapid river through the forest. All these paddling excursions are great ways to view the area wildlife and see great views of the river banks, ocean beaches and lake shorelines. You can swim, get a suntan and relax, all at the same time!
There are thousands of places to plan a paddling vacation, but here are just a few that I love personally! A good old Google Search will do the trick if you want to look into other destinations.
Lake Powell, UT
Teton National Park
Pocono Mountains, PA
Islamorada, Florida (But really, anywhere along the coast of FLA is fantastic!)
Ocean City, MD
Ocean City, NJ
Bear Lake, UT
Columbia River Gorge, WA and OR (This whole area is filled with amazing alpine lakes and rivers)
Great Lakes Region – Midwest (MI, MN, WI, IL)
Finger Lakes, NY
Always know your personal limits and be sure to check on the types of water conditions before you paddle. Also check with local parks to see what the regulations are. Don’t forget your lifejacket and sunscreen!