Spend time out in the sunshine and water! These are the best outdoor water activities – from swimming to rafting!
Swimming has numerous health benefits for adults and children, with a study by Swim England showing that swimmers live longer, improve their mental and physical fitness, and (in the case of children) leads to better physical, cognitive, and social development. Being near water or close to a natural body of water also has the ability to lower stress, with studies showing that just a few minutes in this type of setting can be a powerful means of relaxation.
If you are planning your upcoming summer vacation and you’d like to make water a focus, the following activities may inspire you to choose your destination.
Canyoning Along A River
If you enjoy physical challenges and you like rewarding your physical efforts with a refreshing swim, then canyoning near a beautiful water feature may strike the right chord with you. Canyoning involves traversing a gorge via a combination of hiking, climbing, rappelling, and swimming.
You may need to hike for an hour or so, for instance, until you rappel down a gorge into a pristine circle of water. If you live in West Virginia and you’d like to try this activity, there is a company called Ace Adventure Resort that takes kids and adults on rock climbing and rappelling tours in New River Gorge, just north of Fayetteville in Fayette County. You can opt for half- or full-day tours, depending on your fitness level.
Cooling Down in a Swimming Hole
If you will be travelling to a southern state like Texas, then make it a point to jump into a natural public swimming hole, one of which (Marton Springs in Austin) is three acres large. Recommended swimming holes in the Texas hills include:
- Hamilton Pool Preserve
- Dripping Springs (featuring a semi-circular cave and heavenly waterfall)
- Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberly (featuring a cool creek framed by lush trees)
- Krause Springs in Spicewood (featuring a natural swimming hold and grotto formed by 32 springs).
Many beautiful swimming holes can also be found in Arizona, Missouri, and New Hampshire.
Snorkeling for Lovers or Coral and Sea Life
If you love nothing more than discovering the beauty of underwater life, then why not choose a vacation spot where you can snorkel alongside family and friends?
The U.S. is filled with gorgeous seaside havens featuring stunning marine species. Top destinations to watch out for include:
- Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys (where you can encounter a bevy of sea turtles up close)
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo (where you will find coral reefs, mangroves, and fish, and, if you’re lucky – manatees, dolphins, and tarpon)
- Crystal River Preserve State Park in Florida (tourists can freely swim with manatees, making this a bucket list snorkeling destination)
Natural spots relax human beings and have an uplifting effect on their mood. In the summer, water-bound destinations are particularly appealing and there is so much more to see than just beaches and lakes. Make your next vacation as active as it is entertaining, opting to see the U.S.’s top water holes, gorges, and snorkeling spots.