Summer Boating Activities: 7 Things for Your To-Do List

Summer is in full swing, and by now you’ve probably been out on your boat at least a few times (and if you haven't, be sure to read How to Start Boating: Breaking Down Barriers). But, have you tried something different—like, really different—while out cruising? Tow sports, fishing, and swimming are all fun, but it's time to mix things up!

Here's seven summer boating activities you absolutely need to try—we guarantee they'll be boatloads of fun, for all ages.


1. Boat Camping

While regular camping involves pitching a tent, boat camping simply means sleeping on your boat. Sleeping under the stars is an incredible experience. Plus, when you’re away from shore, you and your kids can identify plenty of constellations.

10 Tips for a Successful Boat Camping Trip


2. Going to a Concert By Boat

Cities around the country have music venues sitting ocean-, lake-, and riverside, plus plan concerts on barges. Additionally, some marinas arrange bands all summer long to entertain slip holders. See what’s going on in your area. This is the one time that rocking the boat won’t be a bad thing.

Boat Songs: The Ultimate Boating Playlist



3. Boatgating at a Ballgame

Root, root, root for the home team from your own decks, rather than the upper deck of a baseball stadium. Or, arrive in style at a marina near a ballpark and enjoy some onboard tailgating before heading over to the game. Either way, it beats sitting in traffic.

10 Best MLB Stadiums on the Water


4. Golfing—Off a Boat!

Speaking of sports, did you know there are biodegradable golf balls, made especially for boaters? In fact, the balls turn into fish food. Grab your golf clubs and tee up.

Turn it into a game for your kids, too. Deploy a blow-up inner tube, and whoever scores a hole in one gets to pick your next boating destination. For other fun ideas to keep the kiddos entertained onboard, check out 6 Boredom Busters for Kids: Boating Edition.

Boat Yoga: 5 Poses to Do Onboard Your Boat



5. Sightseeing by Sea

While traditional tourists are jamming up sidewalks and streets, you’ll have plenty of elbowroom exploring your favorite cities by boat. In fact, you’ll enjoy views of skylines that are impossible to take in unless on the water.

10 Best Boating Destinations in the U.S.


6. Dock-and-Dine

Everything is better on a boat—and of course that includes food. While grilling and cooking out onboard is an awesome way to spend an afternoon onboard, there's something about tying up at your favorite dockside restaurant that will get your mouth watering.

You can tie up to the dock and grab a table next to the water, or order ahead for grab and go.

Dock-and-Dine Basics: 5 Tips for Waterside Dining



7. Sunrise & Sunset Cruises

Due to the uninterrupted horizon, the sunrise and sunset directly over the water simply can’t be beat. Mother Nature never disappoints morning or night.

If you’re not too keen on getting up extra early, no problem. The famous green flash—a second or two of green coloring in the sky, due to refracting sunlight—tends to happen more often at sunset than sunrise.

Read Next: 10 Fun Things You Can Do on a Boat



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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2018 and updated in July 2021.