Warm summer days have arrived in New York State causing a mad dash to the scenic shores of Hudson Valley’s rivers, lakes, and streams. Cool down in the silky waters of our lakes and pools, or stay topside by kayaking the Hudson River. After such an active day, a real treat is dining at one of our many shoreline restaurants in the glow of the setting sun.

WAY COOL! Try the hot new paddleboards at Paddlehead Boards in Athens. It’s like surfing, but with a paddle. Roll out from their riverfront docks and into the Hudson River where you’ll dip your paddle gondolier-style, gliding as you go. Experience some Hawaii on the Hudson! Summer is the perfect time to be on the river, plying the cool waters with Hudson Valley Kayak Tours in Cold Spring. The gazebo overlooking the river is a charming backdrop for tours to Constitution March, Garrison Landing, and other fun trips. Beginners and advanced kayakers all paddle together with the added bonus of lunch during the tour. Closer yet to the waves, settle into an inflatable for a whitewater tubing adventure with Town Tinker Tube Rental in Phoenicia. Cruise the tree-lined Esopus Creek for a 2 hour thrill ride that will have you laughing and bobbing in the waves all the way.

Those who prefer not to paddle their own canoe will appreciate a Dutch Apple Cruise on the Hudson River. Bask in the sunshine and cool breezes of this triple-decker boat as it sails you through the canyons of Albany. You’ll hear tales of the capitol city, but bring your binoculars for the farther reaches of the tour to catch sight of our national symbol, the bald eagle.

From personal craft to the Tall Ships, Hudson Rising is bringing waterfront festivities to four of the Valley’s river towns. June 30th in Yonkers will kick off this spirited celebration of ships, foods, attractions, and outdoor activities. The music and feasts continue on to Kingston on July 20th, Beacon on August 11th, and Ossining on September 21st. Boat tours, kayaking, plenty for the kids to do, and a smorgasbord of locally sourced foods, beer, and wine offer an exciting day on the shores of the Hudson. Activities tailored to each city make this a different experience each time, so plan to go to all four! Listen to the lapping waters at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson for the day or a weekend. Set up camp, then take a swim at the beach or in the swimming pool. Launch your boat for a leisurely paddle and a few hours of fishing. Situated on a peninsula of the Hudson, the 508-acre area entertains with year-round events and the Croton Point Nature Center. Lake lovers will have a similar experience at Lake Taghkanic State Park in Gallatin. Skim over the waves in a rented kayak or rowboat as you watch the sun play with patterns on the rolling hills and lush forests. Cozy cabins and cottages are available along with campsites so you can spend more time swimming, hiking, and fishing. It’s a little piece of lakeside heaven.

Any experience is better when it’s waterside, including shopping for farm fresh ingredients. Take a Saturday stroll down Troy’s River Street where 65 food growers, bakers, chefs and artisans gather to offer their finest at the Waterfront Farmers Market. Pop into the boutiques and restaurants along the way for a unique shopping and dining experience. Relax further at Beacon Institute’sphotography show, “Watershed: How Industry Has Changed the Water of the World.” Robin Dana’s exhibit is a vivid collection of images from the Hudson, Potomac and other watersheds around the world, each reflecting a unique serenity found in nature’s persistence in extreme conditions.

If all this water fun has made you sleepy, spend a restful night listening to the rhythm of the waves on the shores of Greenwood Lake. The New Continental Hotel will first make sure you’re well fed as you dine on their patio overlooking the sparkling waters. It’s a country inn filled with charming atmosphere and warm hospitality.

Make a splash in the Hudson Valley this summer. In, on, or next to our waves, it’s the coolest thing to do for fun. National Geographic Traveler thinks so, too, naming the Hudson Valley as one of the 20 places in the world to visit this year. Jump into the Hudson Valley. The water’s just fine!

Additional information can be obtained from the Hudson Valley Tourism web site at www.followthehudsonriver.com. On the go, tap into http://travelhv.mobi from your cell phone. Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc. is the 10-county region designated by I LOVE NEW YORK to promote tourism for the area. Counties include Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester. Regional information can be obtained from any of the county tourism offices, or by calling 845-615-3860.