When it gets scorching hot during the summer, there are only three tried and true escapes: cold beers, movie theaters, and hopping in the water. While all three work for beating the heat, getting wet is usually the most fun. And though we would never speak poorly of a day spent by the pool, cooling off in the great outdoors beats a tub full o’ chlorine in every way (check that: almost every way, cabana boys are all too rare at swimming holes and hot springs). Just try cliff diving, white water rafting, or surfing in your buddy’s pool (unless your buddy is Kelly Slater).
Ready for another classic summer-spent-soaking-outside adventure? Try tubing. There isn’t much else on earth better at combing scenic views and sipping brews. Add a few dozen friends and you’re making priceless memories, pal. Given the abundance of great rivers that traverse our country, we asked travel writers for their favorite floats and then hand-picked the best in the country. Some of these rivers are naturally beautiful, others bring the party, and others still are just plain old relaxing as hell.
Go get your float on.