Looking for something outdoorsy to do that requires ZERO athleticism? Tubing is the answer! Get out on a Virginia river and float the day away.
Sure, kayaking and canoeing are nice and all, but wouldn't you rather just flop down on a tube and let the current do the work? Grab a few friends and a cooler and head to one of these spots to try your hand at tubing.
As an activity, tubing is great for anyone ages 6 and up. You should be able to comfortably sit in/on an inner tube for anywhere from two to five hours, so this might not be the best bet for anyone with back or neck problems. Most excursions will only allow groups of two or more, so check the fine print before you book. Safety vests will be provided with your tube rental fees.
The best way to prepare is to bring the right gear. Water shoes, plenty of sunscreen, and a hat or visor are the bare minimum if you're going out on a hot, sunny day. You'll also be INFINITELY happier if you bring your own cooler packed with ice, snacks, and beverages. Floating can be thirsty work!
You'll check in at an outpost and either be transported to a drop site or picked up at a landing site. That's it! Excursions go out in groups, so there will be plenty of company on the river. Now that you've got the basics down, here are three Virginia companies that will get you out on the water.
Shenandoah River Outfitters
ADDRESS: 6502 South Page Valley Road | Luray, VA
PHONE: (540) 743-4159
RATES: $22 per person, $6 for a cooler tube
DURATION: 3-5 hours per trip, depending on river conditions
Shenandoah River Outfitters takes you tubing out on the beautiful Shenandoah River. In addition to tubing, kayaking, and canoeing, they offer campgrounds and cabins for rent if you want to make a weekend of it.
Courtesy of Shenandoah River Outfitters
James River Runners
ADDRESS: 10092 Hatton Ferry Road | Scottsville, VA
PHONE: (434) 286-2338
RATES: $25 per person, $8 per cooler tube
DURATION: 2-4 hours, depending on river conditions
Tubing with James River Runners takes you out on the James River from a drop-off point west of Richmond. They also have canoes, kayaks, and rafts for rent, as well as campgrounds with all the amenities.
Courtesy of James River Runners
Virginia Outdoor Center
ADDRESS: 3219 Fall Hill Avenue | Fredericksburg, VA
PHONE: (540) 371-5085
RATES: $20 per person
See the beautiful Rappahannock River as you spend the day floating by. The tubing trips with Virginia Outdoor Center are just a mile long and about an hour, but you can do it as many times as you'd like before the last afternoon pick-up. A rental is essentially an all-day pass so it's more flexible than some of the longer trips with other excursion companies.
Courtesy of Virginia Outdoor Center
Is river tubing something you do every year? Do you have any tips for first-timers? Let us know in the comments!