Situated on a flat-water river whose mouth opens into Great South Bay, Carman's River Canoe & Kayak has something for all levels of paddlers. In addition to providing equipment, the staff rents out single and double kayaks, as well as multiperson canoes, and suggests routes that can include the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge or––for those with a bit more experience––trips out to Fire Island.
The Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center throws its visitors into the shark tank. And the tropical lagoon. And the salt marsh. As executive director Bryan DeLuca noted in the New York Times, the center (formerly Atlantis Marine World) is one of the most interactive aquariums in the area, which snagged it a place on Parents magazine's list of the 10 Best Aquariums for Kids. The Atlantis-themed aquarium’s educational exhibits combine myth with science as they bring guests face to gills with creatures such as eels, jellyfish, seals, and clownfish. In addition to its indoor and outdoor exhibits right on the banks of the Peconic River, the aquarium delights guests with aquatic adventures such as snorkeling or receiving a photo op and kiss from loveable sea lion Java, who still dreams of one day being turned into a beautiful princess.
Downunder Fitness and Surf’s SurfSET and SUPnSURF classes offer a fun alternative to jogging on a treadmill or other traditional exercise methods. While standing or lying facedown on simulators, pupils learn surfing and standup paddleboarding basics without going down to the ocean or having to help a mermaid retie her shell brassiere. In addition to fitness classes, Downunder Fitness and Surf offers yoga sessions on a beach or, for added difficulty, atop a floating paddleboard.
The future of Oyster Bay is in good hands with The WaterFront Center, a nonprofit U.S. Sailing–accredited facility that teaches both youths and adults to conserve their local environment. In addition to demonstrating the importance of environmental responsibility, the center also instills sailing skills in people of all ages, from their Lil’ Luffers class for third and fourth graders to US Sailing certification for those ready to take the boat out on their own. For corporate groups, they teach a different kind of lesson out on the water with outings designed to teach team development or effective communication. The WaterFront Center also rents sailboats and kayaks to veteran boaters or trustworthy gusts of wind.
Sandy beaches, eye-catching architecture, and the Montauk Point Lighthouse await groups on Amagansett Beach & Bicycle Company's tours. On these excursions, skilled guides fuse the chance to view breathtaking sights with instruction on bikes and various watercrafts, including kayaks, standup paddleboards, and saddled leviathans. Back on land, staff members tune up gear and help customers scour through a sea of water- and land-based sports equipment. Everything from BMX bikes to tandem bikes take patrons on rolling adventures through the verdant Hither Hills. Although only a small portion of Amagansett Beach & Bicycle Company's business, watersport equipment such as wakeboards and tubes beckon customers to speed and bounce over harbor waters, while skateboards let adrenaline junkies stand motionless on moving treadmills.
"We live, love, and breathe the Hamptons," asserts the staff of Main Beach Surf + Sport on its website. It's easy to tell, too. The personnel behind the outdoor sports shop takes full advantage of the picturesque surroundings, sending patrons out in rental boats and SUPs to explore area waters or, heading up nature tours and lobster-bake paddles. Staffers also support local charities and run a kids' surf camp, which teaches youngsters how to respect the ocean with a focus on safety and fun.