Travelers to Portland looking to commune with nature need only make the short drive to the tubing put-in on the Willametter River, a local favorite during Oregon's hot summers. If you're visiting in late July, take part in the BIG Float, a group trip down the river to support environmental preservation.
Floating the Guadalupe River near New Fraunfels has become a Texas summer pastime – one you can experience for yourself. Float for 1 to 3 miles through the beautiful Texas Hillcountry, and when you finish, you'll be only a short drive from Austin or San Antonio.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, north Georgia's Chattahoochee River fills with tubers floating through the alpine town of Helen, just 90 miles northeast of Atlanta. A watery journey will last from two to four hours, depending on where you put in. What are you waiting for? Go shoot the 'Hooch!
Photo courtesy of Libby McMillan
St. Clair River in Port Huron, MI
Each summer on the third Sunday in August, hundreds of tubers gather to participate in the Port Huron Float Down, a tradition stretching back to 1977. The unofficial, homegrown event is the perfect way to kick back, relax and socialize while enjoying the St. Clair River.
Florida's Rainbow River is one of the state's most popular tubing spots. You can rent tubes from the park, and your entrance fee covers the cost of a shuttle back to your car for a stress-free day on the water. The crystal-clear waters are also perfect for canoeing or kayaking.
Floating Washington's Yakima River feels worlds away from "real life," thanks to its remote nature and scenic beauty. You can even make a weekend out of it by camping out at the launch site before or after your river trip. Alcohol consumption isn't allowed, making this a family-friendly floating option.
In the middle of the Catskills Mountains of New York lies a 5-mile stretch of the Esophus River known for its superb tubing. Adventure seekers can get their thrills on the rapids-filled upper course, while families or first-time floaters can enjoy the gentle currents of the lower course.
You'll find three options for tubing the American River near Sacramento, but the best (and most relaxing) is the Coloma Run from Marshall Gold Discovery Park to Greenwood Creek. The other two sections, the Gorge and Chili Bar Run, are better left to the helmet-wearing experts.
Taking a trip down the Madawaska River takes you past some of Ontario's most stunning scenery. During the summer months, you'll find flat waters perfect for a family trip, but if you're looking for a little more excitement, you can take on the rapids of the nearby Ottawa River instead.
For excellent river tubing near Seattle, drive to Leavenworth and float down the Wenatchee River in July and August. River trip operates in the area even offer pet tubes, so your four-legged friends can join in the summer fun. Don't forget the cooler tube!