There’s only so much summer left, so you really have to savor it. You really have to soak it in.

And what better way to do that than with some water-based fun, before Maine’s lakes, rivers and bays freeze over?

Since COVID-19 cases are still on the rise, it’s a good idea to check websites and Facebook pages to make sure places are still open and to see what restrictions might be in place.

PEDAL POWER

For people who are just too high-energy to sit and relax on a drinking cruise on Casco Bay, there’s Maine BayCycle. Billed as “Maine’s first human-powered party boat” it has 10 pedal stations, with seats at a bar. So you can work off the calories from whatever you bring to drink while pedaling. Tickets are $40 a person or you can book the whole boat – for 15 people – for $520. The 90-minute cruises are running until at least Oct. 10, according to the BayCycle Cruise website. For more information, go to mainebaycycle.com.

PARK IT HERE

Maine water parks are open this summer, providing a fresh-air place to cool off and have some family fun. Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco is open daily through Aug. 29, and also Sept. 3-6. The Splashtown part of the complex has the water slides, with edgy names like Corkscrew, Liquid Lightning, Mammoth and Poseidon’s Plunge. There are also more passive watery play areas like Family Fun Lagoon and Pirates Paradise AquaPlay. For more information, go to funtownsplashtownusa.com.

There’s still time to ride the slides at Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco. Photo by Jelena Duvancic

Saco is Maine’s waterpark epicenter, since Aquaboggan Water Park is also there.  It’s open through Aug. 31 and also Sept. 4-7.  It’s got slides with ominous monikers like the Yankee Ripper, Turbo Drop and Stealth 5. There’s also more placid areas like the Giant Wave Pool, Todder Splash & Play and Bumpin’ Boats. For more information go to Aquaboggan.com.

Wine Wise offers wine sails on Casco Bay through October 24. Photo courtesy of Wine Wise

UP FOR SAIL

Sailing on Casco Bay is a classic way to escape the daily grind and forget one’s worries. Combining a sail with a glass of wine or a mug of beer would only make the escape that much better, right?

Wine Wise runs regular wine sails, which are on-the-water wine tastings hosted by sommelier Erica Archer. This year, Archer is extending the wine sailing season through Oct. 24. The sails aboard the Portland-based sailing ship The Frances are usually held on the weekends, but some will take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well. The price is $125 per person for a selection of wines plus cheeses, charcuterie, fruits, nuts and crackers. There are also Chef Series Wine & Food sails, for $145, which include courses of food paired with five wines. For more information, go to winewiseevents.com.

On Sept. 2, Feel Good Portland is running a two-hour sunset beer and oyster cruise on Casco Bay, with Bissell Brothers Brewing on board. The beer and oyster event also takes place on The Frances, which is 74 feet long. The oysters are local, from Lady Shuckers, but the exact beer menu was still to be determined at press time. Tickets are $100 to $125 per person. For information, including other oyster and beer cruises with other local breweries, go to eventbrite.com and search Feel Good Portland.

A WHEEL GOOD TIME

You don’t have to go to New Orleans to take a cruise on a paddlewheeler river boat, you can just head to Naples. The Songo River Queen II is a replica of a Mississippi River paddlewheeler that takes people on excursions of Long Lake, in southern Maine’s Lakes Region. Trips vary in length from 6 to 12 miles and give people views of the surrounding hills, including Mount Washington in New Hampshire. The boat runs through Labor Day, and prices range from $20 to $30 for adults, and $10 to $15 for children ages 4-12. Children under 4 are free. There’s also food and a bar on board. For more information, go to songoriverqueen.net.

Songo River Queen II is a replica of a Mississippi paddle-wheeler on Long Lake. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

SIGHT SEA-ING

The Maine Duck Tours are a way to see Portland by both land and see. There’s something oddly thrilling about being in a big bus-like vehicle as it drives directly into Casco Bay, and then floats. That’s what the Maine Duck Tours boats can do. The drivers/captains also lead a guided our of what you’re seeing, giving you history and tidbits along the way. The tours depart from 177 Commercial St. in the Old Port and will be running at least through September, according to the Maine Duck Tours website. Prices range from $10 for small children to $33 for adults. For more information, go to maineducktours.com.

Tour Casco Bay and surroundings – in and out of the water – with Maine Duck Tours. Photo courtesy of Maine Duck Tours


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