5 Ways to Get Out on the Water Last Updated: November 2023

With hundreds of miles of shoreline on Long Island Sound, more than 1,500 lakes and ponds, and rivers of every size and description, Connecticut is an excellent playground for those who like to have fun on the water. Here are some ideas to get you started.

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1| Kayaking Long Island Sound, Lyme

Connecticut's many points of interest along the shore are very popular among kayakers, the favorite of all perhaps being paddling around and among the Thimble Islands in Branford. Take a Connecticut Coastal Kayaking tour through the islands (you can use your own kayak or rent one), taking in local history, architecture and bird-watching, to name just a few of the local diversions.

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2| Sailing Long Island Sound, Westbrook

Long Island Sound has long been recognized as one of the great cruising grounds for sailors of boats both large and small. There are charters available from one end of Connecticut's coast to the other. Whether you want to learn how to sail yourself or just relax and take in the sunset, Joy Ride Charters' 35-foot “Hado” is a very good way to go.

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3| Rafting the Housatonic, West Cornwall

One of the best ways to spend a day in northwestern Connecticut is to get out on the Housatonic River in a raft. Clarke Outdoors of West Cornwall will drive you upriver with your raft and then pick you up again after you've floated 10 miles along the Housatonic's moving flatwater and easy whitewater. You can even lunch midway and get a shower at day's end.

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4| Tubing on the Farmington River, New Hartford

One of Connecticut's great summer pleasures is floating down the Farmington River on an inner tube with Farmington River Tubing. The 2.5-mile course downriver begins at Satan's Kingdom Recreation Area and takes you through three sets of rapids. Be sure to call ahead at (860) 693-6465 to check river conditions.

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5| Water Skiing/Wakeboarding, New Milford

Connecticut's largest lake, Candlewood Lake, is also one of its great outdoor playgrounds. Gerard's Waters Edge in New Milford rents ski boats and pontoon boats and also water skis, wakeboards, inner tubes and other water toys.