12 Incredible Overwater Experiences for Everything But a Standard Day at the Beach
Listen, pool floats are great and all, but it's a big wide world out there, one with dozens of infinitely more memory-making floating accommodations and activities—barge pools, over-water bungalows, and so much more.
In destinations as varied as Maine and the Maldives, visitors get the opportunity to do some idyllic, relaxing, and wacky-as-heck things on the water.
Take, for example, in New York's Finger Lakes region, where folks can walk on water with what's basically a giant hamster ball. And that's just the beginning. Onward for our list of favorite over-water travel experiences, from swing sets to massages.
1. Sleep on a Floating Private Island
Sure, you could rent one of many amazing overwater villas. But wouldn't you rather have your own private, tiny floating island? The Manta Resort in Tanzania offers stays inside just that. The best part? The floating suite's bedroom is 13 feet under the the water's surface. Oh, and the deck sits just above the water.
2. Experience a Healing Treatment
Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico, offers outdoor Watsu night treatments, basically therapeutic body work (think massage or pilates) for which the client is suspended in 96-degree water. The technique reportedly initiates changes in the body's autonomic nervous system. Plus, floating outdoors in the high desert while watching the stars has a way of promoting a pretty intense mind-body-spirit experience.
3. Eat a meal
There’s nothing more romantic than dining with a view of the ocean. That is unless you’re dining in the ocean. That's right: the Constance Halaveli Resort in the Maldives will set up a private meal for you as the light waves splash at your feet.
White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, offers floating meditation in its Infinity Edge Soaking Tub. The enhanced savasana is an add-on to any spa treatment and focuses on guided imagery.
5. Get married
What’s more magical than saying “I do” while floating in the sea? The Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru recently opened an overwater pavilion specifically made for couples looking to get married with a unique backdrop. The Wedding Pavilion is only accessible by boat and will only accommodate a small group of guests.
6. Take in a concert
Every Saturday from July 1 through August 5, folks in Fort Worth, Texas, can catch bands at the Rockin’ the River festival. Stages sit directly on the Trinity River in Fort Worth’s Panther Island Pavilion, so visitors can enjoy artists perform in while floating along the river on a tube with an ice cold beer in hand. Sign us up.
7. Relax in a hammock
Spending an afternoon gently rocking in a hammock is heaven. Plop one in the middle of one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives—at the Gili Lankanfushi resort—and you've got pure paradise.
8. Spend the night
And then of course there's the good old-fashioned overwater villa. Oberoi in Mauritius, Kia Ora Resort & Spa, Hotel Bora Bora in French Polynesia,and Soneva Gili in the Maldives all have stunning ones.
9. Walk on water
Visitors to the Finger Lakes region of central New York can walk on water with Fuzzy Guppies in Waterloo on Seneca Lake, where parents and kids can take a spin in a "Human Waterball"—like a hamster ball for people!
10. Take a spin on a swing
For the child-at-heart, Mexico's Los Aluxes Bacalar resort installed a swing set in the middle of the lagoon. It's like a hammock, but instead of napping, you can jump off into turquoise waters.
11. Horse around on a playground
The inflatable floating playground at The Water Park at Spring Lake Regional Park is the first of its kind in Sonoma County, comprised of multiple stations where children and adults can test their strength and agility on slides, bounce islands, hurdles, pond jumps, climbing cliffs, a bouncy bridge, and slippery balance beam.
12. Get a massage
A massage in a spa is relaxing. A massage in the ocean is downright awesome. Receive a rub down while floating in the water at Hayman Island in Queensland. Of course, appointment times are subject to the tides.