It’s hot. And while this heat might give us the perfect excuse to order a second frozen margarita – that isn’t exactly cooling us off. We need water, ladies. More specifically – lazy rides down NC rivers. Gather your swimsuits and sunscreen because Scoop is taking you on a trip to the best places to go tubing around CLT.
Cape Fear River – Lillington, NC
If you’re looking for lazy, look for Cape Fear River Adventures in Lillington, NC. With 2 miles of water deep enough to lay back and cool off without fear of hitting bottom, a Class I rapid adventure, and a unique wildlife habitat its the perfect balance of relaxed adventure. The whole trip takes about 5 hours and will run $20 for adults and $15 for children. For those of us who can’t stop thinking about that frozen margarita we mentioned earlier, there are floating cooler tubes that run for $10. Interested? Cape Fear gives you all the details you’re looking for in their online video.
Dan River – Stoneville, NC
Make your reservation to “get on the Dan” and get tubing. Dan River Adventures runs floating trips Wednesdays through Sundays this summer with times varying based on river conditions. Located in Stoneville, NC, the Dan River offers a palpable day trip that is just a short 2 hour drive from the heart of our city. Pack your lunch and stop at one of the many “islands” you’ll encounter on your float down.
New River – Boone, NC
If you’ve ever found yourself at Appalachian State University, there’s a good chance you have made your way to New River – a popular adventure destination for students and families alike. Multiple companies offer tubing trips down the river that ranges in depth from 2 to 8 feet. Look for an adventure tour that offers hard bottomed tubes (like New River Tubing Adventure) for your best bet at a lazy ride down NC’s oldest river.
Green River – Saluda, NC
Family owned and operated Green River Cove Tubing wants to take you on an adventure. For those of you who want a little more thrill in your ride, the Green River offers slightly more rapids at a faster pace than many of the other NC rivers while still offering the relaxation of a lazy tubing itinerary. Green River Cove offers two rides and charge $10 for the 3 mile loop and $15 for the 6 mile roundabouts. After your trip, head to Green River BBQ to fill up on local, southern staples.
Catawba River – Marion, NC
Grab your “river recliners” and float down the Catawba River with Catawba River Outdoors. The entry point is located just 40 minutes outside of Asheville, NC near Lake James in Marion. The trip includes about 5 hours on the adventure’s section of the 220 mile river with time to swim and explore left at the end of the trip. This is lonely planet’s reccomendation for the best NC tubing.
Deep Creek – Bryson City, NC
If you want the best NC Mountain scenery during your tube adventure, head to Bryson City’s Deep Creek. There are many companies that offer tubing but look for one that fits your needs. The upper section of the river is perfect for families looking to float in peace. Adventure seekers should make their way to the lower levels where rapids give you a run for your tubing money. Either way – ask your tour guide if the route includes a ride past Tom Branch Falls!
Little River – Townsend, TN
If you’re headed to Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains be sure to check out tubing on the Little River. Smoky Mountain River Rat offers tubing adventures all summer long on both the upper and lower sections of the river. The lower section tour is great for families and offers a lazy float, scenic views and an optional stop for rock jumping. If you are looking for adventure pumping rapids and cool swimming pools – choose their upper river float instead.
French Broad River – Asheville, NC
For the socialites out there, make the French Broad River your tubing go-to. Located in Asheville, NC, the French Broad offers a more popular option for tube tours with multiple options for water entry. Float past unbeatable NC mountain views and local breweries as you make new friends during their high season in July and August. Asheville has never been this fun.