Take Me To The River


Front-Row Action

Whether you’re looking for a mellow ride or an adrenaline rush, these boating and floating adventures will give you your river fix. 

MILD Take a history cruise

Hornblower’s leisurely one-hour river cruise takes you past Old Sacramento’s famous historical sites, including the Delta King, I Street Bridge, Tower Bridge and the Air Force docks. (916) 446-1185; hornblower.com

Rent a pontoon boat

Cruise the Sacramento River in a shaded, cushy pontoon boat, the largest of which can hold up to 16 people. All watercraft come with large couches, a canopy and a hookup for music. (916) 223-2220; sacramentoboatrentals.com

Sightsee by paddleboard

Sacramento Stand Up Paddlesurf offers paddleboard tours of the Sacramento River from West Sac to Riverbank Marina. After all that exercise, reward yourself with bites and libations at Chevys on the River. (916) 607-5720; sacramentostanduppaddlesurf.vpweb.com

Learn to kayak

Sacramento State Aquatic Center’s two-day river kayaking course gets novice kayakers (12 years and older) acclimated with downriver paddling along the calmer waters of the lower American River Parkway. (916) 278-2842; sacstateaquaticcenter.com

Mother Lode River Center

Load up the family and head to this activity-packed park in Lotus for a full day of river action. You’ll hit the challenge ropes course and zipline from 9 a.m. to noon, enjoy lunch on the grounds, then raft the South Fork American River from 1 to 5 p.m. (Heads up: Minimum age is 8 years old.) 6280 Highway 49, Lotus; (530) 626-4187; malode.comWILD

Drink up

On American Whitewater Expeditions’ Wine & Whitewater trip, you’ll spend one day tasting El Dorado County’s finest varietals, the next rushing down the Class III rapids of the American River’s South Fork. (530) 642-0855; americanwhitewater.com 

Kiteboard with a pro

Head to Rio Vista (one hour south of Sacramento) for an exhilarating, one-on-one kiteboarding session on Sherman Island, one of the top kiteboarding locations in the country. (707) 374-3053; sheldonkiteboarding.com