Epic voyaging need not be reserved for classical heroes who speak in dactylic hexameter. Just as Odysseus slayed the hurricane from aboard his inflatable raft, you too can conquer vengeful waters with today's Groupon to Gold Rush Whitewater Rafting. For just $50, you'll go on a heart-pumping, rapid-raging tour of the South Fork of the American River (44% off a $90 value).
Since 1969, the folks at Larson Marine have outfitted customers with everything from brand-new boats to wakeboards and inflatable tubes to get out on the water. A self-professed one-stop shop that's large enough for all boating needs, the shop stocks an enormous inventory of gear and accessories and is run by a knowledgable staff that can help visitors find what they need for an aquatic outing.
The experienced staffers at H2O Craft Rentals tend a fleet of fully equipped patio boats, Yamaha jet-skis, ski boats, and XCR series fishing boats. Each craft comes equipped with amenities that suit its purpose, with patio boats featuring with barbecues for grilling the day's catch and fishing boats bearing a fish finder to garner an advantage in games of Marco Polo. Customers can launch right from the marina or take advantage of the tow-and-go service and load vessels onto a trailer to ferry to a different body of water. This service enables boaters to cruise a range of area waters, whether coasting across the California Delta, Don Pedro Lake, and Lake Camanche, or plumbing the waters of Lake Tahoe for mackinaw trout and salmon.
At Tradewinds Sailing School & Club, the American Sailing Association–certified instructors teach a diverse array of skills, from the basics of keelboating and coastal cruising to specialty work such as celestial navigation. Their intimate classes, typically capped at three students, all pair guided learning with real-world practice on the water, ensuring students truly master their chosen subject matter. Veteran sailors can challenge the class and join the sailing club, whose convenient boat-sharing program allows for trips to Sausalito, Angel Island, and other local spots.
A morning photo cruise powered by gentle sunlight and mellow breezes. A spirited afternoon jaunt toward the Golden Gate Bridge. A late-spring sunset trip over waters reflecting the city's skyline and the warm hues of the horizon. No matter the time of day, the waving sails of Afterguard Sailing Academy's vessels ferry passengers on adventures around the sun-kissed waters and iconic landmarks of San Francisco Bay.
Thanks to the academy's team of seasoned captains, tours are only one way to experience sailing's thrills. Their instructors also teach comprehensive American Sailing Association certification courses, which aim to transition ordinary passengers to crew members and skippers for more independent sailing adventures of all types. As students progress, instructors teach more advanced lessons, such as bay basics and ocean sailing. Aside from these lessons, the captains also run a nonprofit sailing academy for youth.