There’s a very real reason you may be craving a vacation by the water.
Every year, thousands of travelers head to islands, beaches, lakes, and pools to lay back and relax. As humans, we have a strong relationship to water: We have gathered by it, cleansed with it, used it as a passage to travel and explore, and now research suggests water affects our mental state — for the better.
Marine Biologist and best-selling book author Wallace J. Nichols says that being near, on, or in water helps improve our mind and overall sense of well-being. The brain state is called “Blue Mind,” and it helps offset the “Red Mind” caused by daily stresses. When we hear, feel, and see water we can be overcome with a sense of calm as our cortisol levels go down.
Four in five Americans report that being on the water relaxes them, according to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research and Discover Boating. Discover Boating is a public awareness effort, supported by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, to increase interest in recreational boating by offering guides and resources on the accessibility and affordability of boating.
When you're booking your next trip, you can take the beneficial effects of water into consideration. Whether it’s by kayak, sailboat or yacht, there are a lot of ways to get on the water.
To motivate would-be boaters, Discover Boating has created the Go Boating Today site. Enter a zip code, and you'll see boating opportunities nearby. There are boat rentals and charters for everything from fishing to sailing to water sports — and there are nearly 95,000 miles of shoreline in the U.S. and even more lakes, so there’s bound to be a boating experience for everyone.
Discover Boating also has a list of popular lakes for houseboat rentals, which might be the most underrated way to vacation. Renting a houseboat on a lake can feel like a private cruise without the open seas.
If you're looking for ideas on where to go, Lake Cumberland, in Kentucky, is the largest lake east of the Mississippi, Lake Powell in Utah has with grand views of the red rocks, and Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania has a gorgeous, forested shoreline.