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Don’t settle for just beaches, pools and lakes

By Greg Barbera

The path of least resistance is a boring one. If you drive a Sonic, you’re always on the lookout for something new. So when it comes to getting wet this summer, try one of these unique ways to cool off:

Tube down the Dan River starting in Danbury, NC: The Dan River flows from southern Virginia over the border to Central North Carolina. Set up your tubing base camp in Hanging Rock State Park located in Danbury, NC, where rustic cabins are available for a modest fee. Dan River Adventures offers several packages with float times from two to four hours. They also have a shuttle that takes you to the proper load-in point. From there, you’ll float down Class 1 rapids and idle in shoals with your group.
There are so many styles and colors of tubes to choose from, you’ll feel like you’re riding your Sonic down the river! The trees on the river’s banks are populated by songbirds, you’ll see beavers on fallen logs, and of course, there are plenty of fish all around you!

Rock water slide outside Sedona, AZ: What better way to cool off than to slide down a slick natural sandstone water chute? It can be an exhilarating yet bumpy ride. Slide Rock State Park, 7 miles north of Sedona, offers visitors the chance to do just that. Those seeking a mellower experience can wade in the chilly creek among the gorgeous rock formations. Back in Sedona, you can use your Sonic’s open hatchback as a makeshift clothesline to dry your wet towels. Then fold down the rear seats and have an impromptu picnic in the sun.

Rope swing into the James River from Browns Island, Richmond, VA: The James River (which is 348 miles long) splits Richmond in half. Consequently, the city is populated by a plethora of bridges. Feeling the heat in the River City? The rope swing under the James River Bridge downtown on the edge of Browns Island is just the place to cool off. A ladder leads you to a platform from which you can take the plunge. But take a cue from your Sonic, with its 10 standard air bags*, and wear a life jacket.

Wading through streams on a horse in Yosemite: Saddle up for probably the wildest way ever to get wet. Along the way, you’ll also ride over alpine meadows and by 2,000-year-old redwood trees. This epic equine adventure will surely have you thinking about the leatherette seating and extraordinary agility you just left behind in your Sonic. And it’ll give you a new understanding of the term horsepower. Lol.

In some cases, fees and reservations apply.

The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.

Greg Barbera of DadCentric is a dad blogger, beer magazine editor and the singer/bass player for the punk band Chest Pains. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. You can follow him on twitter @gregeboy, Tumblr, Facebook and Blogger.

*Air bag inflation can cause severe injury or death to anyone too close to the bag when it deploys. Be sure every occupant is properly restrained.

Photo courtesy of Rockingham County Tourism Development Authority