There’s comfort to be found in the routine of getting your boat ready and heading out on waters you know well. Sometimes it’s found in the relative quiet you get during that time and sometimes it’s getting a familiar thrill from setting the hook or spending time with friends and family. But just beyond the horizon, beyond the everyday trips you might take, there are new waters, new experiences, and new fish to explore. You just have to do a little looking and planning first — and you definitely should because there’s something to be said about going somewhere completely different and discovering boating from a new angle. One way or another, everyone should try to branch out with their boating, at least once. So here are four kinds of adventures worthy of any boat trip bucket list.
4 Kinds of Adventures Worthy of Any Boat Trip Bucket List
1. Paddling Excursions
Between the close connection you have to a paddle-propelled boat and the direct sense of give and take you have with the water, it’s hard to compare a paddling experience with any other boat trip. There’s plenty of variety to be had, too, from calm floats down streams to battles with rushing rapids. We'd recommend trying at least one of these (if not all of them at some point!):
- Kayaking through untouched wilderness
- Canoeing and camping
- Drift-boating while fly fishing
- Paddleboarding over serene lakes
- Group rafting adventures through white water rapids
Also, if you want to explore some of the best waters that you can dip your paddle in, be sure to consider these.
It can take some work to stay in a houseboat, but it’s a truly unique lodging experience. It’s a great option for a variety of travel groups, too, often appealing to couples who want to get away as well as families and friends who want to share the experience. When you do stay in a houseboat, there are many benefits, with the best being how the calm of the water and access to fishing and swimming are right outside your doorstep.
Here are some great places to consider a houseboating experience:
- Lake Cumberland (Kentucky)
- Rainy Lake (Minnesota)
- Lake Powell (Arizona / Utah)
- Lake of the Woods (Ontario, Canada / Manitoba, Canada / Minnesota)
- Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri)
- Dale Hollow (Tennessee)
3. Coastal Charter Fishing
There are plenty of fish in the sea, or at least it may seem that way when you have the right guide for coastal charter fishing. Ranging from outings that use similar techniques to inland fishing to those that may be completely unlike any fishing you’ve done before, coastal charter fishing opportunities boast of a diverse selection of fish found in a variety of locations.
For the best experiences, we’d highlight the three following options in particular:
- Inshore Coastal Fishing — Often involving mangrove swamps or grassy flats in the southeastern United States, inshore coastal fishing is a blast because you often get to hook redfish, trout, and other species all day long.
- Offshore Coastal Fishing — With a reputable and experienced captain taking you to deep water, there’s nothing like hooking big saltwater fish. This could be marlin, tuna, shark, or any number of other species where you will never forget the fight and might even enjoy delicious filets to take home.
- Great Lakes Coastal Fishing — Tropical fishing may have a special appeal, but don’t overlook the Great Lakes for a mix of inshore and offshore fishing experiences. Target species include fish fry favorites like walleye and yellow perch as well as fish you may be surprised to see growing to monster proportions in freshwater, like Muskellunge, Northern Pike, and Salmon, to name a few.
4. Tourist Boating
If you’re looking for a relaxing experience that’s family friendly, consider tourist boating. You’ll find options for this kind of boat trip all over the country, especially when you travel to tropical destinations, nature parks, and historic sites. In particular, consider the following favorites:
- Island Boats and Water Taxis — Especially prevalent in tropical areas (think Destin, Florida and Crab Island), island boats and water taxis make it easy to take day trips with groups as they travel to popular places for adventuring and fun in the sun. Usually, this means a good mix of taking it easy, seeing natural sights (like Dolphins), and lots of playing.
- Airboats — Airboats are a great way to get back into swamps and bayous so you can see creatures you may have never seen up close before, including elusive waterfowl, reptiles, and fish. Loud as they might be, they often provide ear protection and are known to be fun, safe, and fast.
- Ferries — Usually a more economical option for sight-seeing and transit to places of interest along the water, you can find ferry rides in a variety of locations. This includes rides to see the natural beauty of Puget Sound in Washington state, rides along iconic cityscapes like Boston Harbor in Massachusetts, rides that provide access to the tropical views of the Bahamas, and rides to historical destinations like Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Plan Your Boat Trip and Add Party Vibes
Whether your next move is planning an epicly fun boat trip or just heading on down to party cove, make sure you have a fun playlist ready to go. And if you want to make it extra easy, start with our Party Cove Playlist on Spotify!
You can stream our playlist here: