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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

Summertime is upon us, and that means it’s time to soak up some sun. Tubing down the river with friends offers a nice change of scenery. Whether it’s a lazy drift, a party river, or something with some fun rapids, few things are better when it comes to beating the summer heat. But don’t forget to prepare. Pack light and keep your phone, wallet, and keys in a dry bag; apply plenty of sunscreen; wear a pair of sunglasses that float; know the rules on drinks; don’t bring glass bottles or Styrofoam coolers, and pack out what you pack in. Now get out there and enjoy these top 6 tubing rivers in America!

RELATED: This is the ultimate cross-country National Parks road trip

Snoqualmie River: Fall City, WA

If you live in Seattle or you’re just visiting, adventure into spectacular Pacific Northwest scenery with your friends for a float down the Snoqualmie River. Only 30 minutes from downtown, Fall City Floating rents everything from tubes and sunscreen to water shoes, dry bags, and coolers. They’ll also transport everyone upstream to just below the famous Snoqualmie Falls. Your meandering 2.5 to 4-hour float starts here. The water is a bit chilly, but the river is lined with beaches where you can pull over and soak up the summer sun.

Find a fantastic hotel in Fall City here. 

Ginnie Springs: High Springs, FL

Woman in bikini peacefully relaxes on green swimming tube and floats down lazy river bathed in late day golden sunlight

Thanks to the area’s crystal clear spring water, Ginnie Springs is a go-to destination in North-Central Florida just an hour from Gainesville. Visit the Ginnie Springs General Store to pay your admission fee and pick up a single or double tube along with other float essentials. Then, enter the water at Beaver’s Landing for a lazy float down the Santa Fe River. The journey past palmettos and underneath a canopy of Spanish oak dripping with moss takes about an hour, but depending on the current, it could be longer. Just remember to bring your sandals for the short 15-minute walk back to the parking lot.

Stay close to Ginnie Springs with one of these hotels. 

San Marcos River: San Marcos, TX

When temps hover above triple digits in San Marcos—located just 30 miles from Austin—it’s time to head for the San Marcos River. The water is 72 degrees and slowly flows through pecans, oaks, and magnolias making it the perfect cool-off experience. Texas State Tubes’s “walk up and tube” option takes about three hours, and they’ll shuttle you back upstream when you’re done. You can also pick up refreshments and rent a tube from the San Marcos Lions Club, then play around for a while before shooting the falls at Rio Vista Park. Just hold onto your drink.

Book your San Marcos hotel here.

Truckee River: Reno, NV

In a region of the Sierra Nevada range better known for whitewater rafting, the Truckee River’s relaxed waters send tubers on a more chill 5-mile float. Pick up supplies and a $25 tube at one of the local gas stations or enjoy an inexpensive tour with Sierra Adventures, then be ready for anything. A day on the Truckee also means seeing everything from makeshift floating devices and party camps set up on a beach to super soaker battles between fellow tubing parties.

Find the perfect place to stay in Reno here.

Apple River: Somerset, WI

Photo of teenage girls swimming in the river while hanging out in nature; enjoying their youth and friendship and spending a hot summer day outdoors.

A day spent tubing down the Apple River is one of the great traditions of the Midwest, not to mention an epic party scene every summer. River riders here tie their tubes together, throw the communal cooler with drinks in the middle, then float for 2.5 to 3.5 hours, stopping midway at a sandbar for some food and sand volleyball. It gets even better. The Apple River Hideaway rents tubes for minimal prices and rolls out various music and camping festivals all summer long.

Find a great place to stay near the Apple River right here.

Potomac River: Harpers Ferry, WV

Photo of girlfriends relaxing on inflatable rings in the river

If whitewater tubing is more your thing, the Potomac River is calling your name. Gear up at River Riders, then take on their exciting, self-guided tube ride, voted as one of the best tubing trips in America. It’ll send you paddling around obstacles, through flat water and shallow areas, and down class I-III white water. It also passes by the historic town of Harper’s Ferry. Go with a friend or battle the rapids with a large group of your most adventurous buddies. Keep in mind this 1-3.5-hour adventure is best for people in good physical condition and who are strong swimmers.

Find a good deal on hotels near Harpers Ferry here.

Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Florida, Seasonal, seattle, Texas, Texas, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

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