From Bend to Boston, these great rivers are worth centering a trip around.
American rivers provide a backdrop for adventure and discovery. Here are five to consider anchoring a trip around.
Blackfoot River, Greenough, Mont.
Fall asleep inside your luxury tent on the banks of Montana’s famed Blackfoot River, popularized by the film, “A River Runs Through It.” As a Paws Up guest, you’ll spend your days horseback riding, fishing, biking, at the spa or tackling the ropes course.
Have coffee and hot cocoa delivered to your swank canvas quarters by your camp butler, or join other guests in the dining pavilion for a cooked-to-order breakfast.
Families staying in the tent-filled River Camp have access to a recreation center where kids enjoy games with newfound friends. The Kids Corp of Discovery also provides a range of creative activities for youngsters.
Deschutes River, Bend, Ore.
Visit Bend, in central Oregon, for an active getaway where you can stroll, hike or bike along riverside pathways, or get in the flow on a stand-up paddleboard. Beginners and experts can be spotted paddling on the Deschutes, accompanied by others piloting rafts, kayaks, canoes or inner tubes.
A variety of local outfitters provide lessons, gear and encouragement. Pair your water sports with one of many seasonal concerts, festivals and farm to table dining experiences.
Ohio River, Cincinnati
Settled in 1788, Cincinnati, in southern Ohio, rests on the curve of the historic Ohio River. While the waterway is no longer the means by which commerce and transportation provide sustenance for residents, it remains a focal point for modern life.
The Reds baseball team and the Bengals football team have constructed stadiums on the storied banks. Opened in 2004, the Underground Railroad Freedom Center shines a light on efforts to “abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people.” The riverside location provides a reminder that crossing the water marked the entry to freedom for those who once suffered in slavery. The Cincinnati Zoo is also a family favorite.
Rio Grande River, Big Bend National Park, Texas
The wild and scenic Rio Grande forms the southern boundary of the 800,000-acre playground that is Big Bend National Park. It’s the only park in the United States that hosts a complete mountain range — the Chisos.
Soak in the park’s scenery, as well as the warm water offered by a resident hot spring. On the northern riverbank, steamy water fills the foundation of an old bathhouse, creating a popular natural hot tub. Nearby, look for painted pictographs on the cliff walls as you enjoy a 1-mile loop hike past historic buildings and the area where various Indian groups lived and traveled.
Charles River, Boston
Full of history, and scenic and story-filled, the Massachusetts capital of Boston serves up plenty of entertainment along the Charles River. The 2.5-mile Freedom Trail offers a 16-stop history course including many significant landmarks from the American Revolution.