Water Adventures

Water, water everywhere

Boy on Boat

That’s what you will find when you’re looking for water activities in New York! From vacations on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to canoeing or kayaking trips on lazy upstate lakes, you’ll love to dip into New York water. You'll also discover tour boats on almost every large lake and waterway in the state, where you sit back and enjoy the scenery. 

Traverse the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway – with 30 lighthouses illuminating the region’s maritime heritage; bustling port cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Oswego, Ogdensburg) and charming waterfront villages; not to mention Niagara Falls/River, Lakes Ontario and Erie, and the St. Lawrence River.

The Antique Boat Museum, North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum in the 1000 Islands, ramps things up a nautical notch from May through October with speedboat rides, boat shows, special events, boat building classes and more. If the romantic notion of a magnificent castle only accessible by water on Heart Island makes your heart beat faster, you’ll love Boldt Castle and the tale of its origins, neglect and restoration. Adirondack Water Ski and Wakeboard School’s certified instructors make New York water activities fun and safe with all levels of lessons for Lake George skiing, wake skating/surfing, barefooting, tubing and more! For high river adventures and family fun, try whitewater rafting at challenging upstate rivers, water skiing at Daggett Lake (the warmest upstate lake), fly fishing on Ausable River, or discover lesser-known Adirondack streams and backcountry brook trout ponds.

Docked Boat in New York

In the Finger Lakes, you can ‘walk on water’ or experience 50-feet of floating luxury. Fuzzy Guppies has The Human Waterball, a favorite for families at Waterloo Harbor Campground, and Canal Side Experiences offers water activities including boating, kayaking, canal tours and even overnight houseboat stays (sleeps 4 to 6). In charming Canandaigua, rent or buy kayaks, hydro bikes, scuba and windsurfing gear. Cayuga Lake Cruises offers delicious water adventures: dinner, luncheon, brunch, happy hour and cocktail cruises give a panoramic view of lake and countryside. And, for an elegant Keuka Lake cruise, enjoy a meal on the majestic 65-foot vintage yacht, Esperanza Rose.

The majestic sweep of the Catskill Mountains bordering the Hudson River make sailing trips a breathtaking experience, regardless of season. At Mohonk Mountain House, named #1 Resort Spa in the U.S. (Conde Nast Traveler, 2013), a half-mile long 60-foot deep mountain lake is the perfect summer respite for water activities including swimming, boating and fishing.

When in Phoenicia, “tube the Esopus!” where courses range from gentle to exhilarating in a five-mile stretch in the heart of the Catskills. 

Two New York Fly Fishing Boats

The Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat takes you down the Peconic River to Flanders Bay on a “floating classroom!” You’ll discover the ecological wonders of Long Islands’ waterways and the Peconic Estuary through hands-on exploration. And yes, take a saltwater fishing charter trip from Montauk: the captain of the MOVIN On Sport Fishing Charter Service knows all the best spots for canyon fishing, trophy striped bass, tuna, shark and more. Ready for the ultimate New York City water tour? Bike & Boat offers novel day-trips through waterfront parks.

Then there is the New York State Canal system stretching 524 miles across the state. If you have a week, you can traverse the 57 locks and 17 lift bridges between Albany and Buffalo. 

Ready, set, go – to the New York waters!

Related Sites:

New York State Beaches
Erie Canal Video 
Official Long Island Tourism Site: Beaches 
New York State Parks: Regional Swimming Facilities 
NYS Dept. of Env. Conservation: Fishing  

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