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Summer in SoCal: rent a pontoon boat at Lake Hemet Campground

This post is sponsored by Discover Boating but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Lake Hemet Campground is a favorite local place for us to camp, kayak, build sand castles, ride bikes and now rent a pontoon boat for the day. If you’re in SoCal this summer, you absolutely have to come by for the day (or a few days) and explore everything this gorgeous place has to offer. We’ve camped here a few times, this last time over Easter, but yesterday we decided to do a quick trip, just spend the day out on the lake as a family. It is about an hour drive into the mountains from Palm Springs so it is definitely a good day trip option if you’re in town!

Pontoon boats are a perfect way for inexperienced boaters to feel confident renting a boat. They are super easy to drive – kinda foolproof. I always get nervous when operating something new, but after a quick how-to from the friendly staff at Lake Hemet, I was on my way. I’m not a drive-fast-things type and definitely prefer a more chill situation. A pontoon boat is perfect for that!

Discover Boating, a national campaign on behalf of the US recreational boating industry, has aimed to help people get on the water and experience the fun of boating. They recently polled American parents and found that 88% of them feel that their kids need to get more involved in outdoor activities this summer, like boating. And, 72% of them feel healthier after spending time on the water. This I find interesting because I definitely feel good after a day of boating. All of those sunbeams and clean blowing breezes just make you feel better.

What I really like about boating is it is a great chance to unplug. While I do love to bring card games, play music, swim and pretend fish with my 5 year old, it is perfectly acceptable to absolutely nothing on a boat. I can easily tell my kids there is no cell service (spoiler, there is on Lake Hemet) and they are happy to stay unplugged… even maybe take a nap even after an afternoon of swimming and sunning. According to the Discover Boating poll, 82% of Americans say being around water is relaxing. Don’t you agree?

Feel like you need more one-on-one time with your growing kids? Rent a boat for the day, just the family, and just relax.

Another perk of boating with kids is you’re out in nature, so it’s a great time to look for wildlife. At Lake Hemet there were constant fish jumping out of the water, which was a great source of entertainment. There were also all types of birds and even deer on the shore. We drove slow laps around the lake, near the shore to get a better look.

The big excitement came from seeing a soaring bald eagle overhead, which my daughter spotted. It was flying SO high, so much higher than the other birds. Then we cruised down to the end of the lake near the marina which is where there is a known bald eagle nest. Sure enough, there was an eagle, which was far away but easy to spot with that white head! Can you spot it?

I’ll zoom in…

Some of my favorite memories as a child are out on the water, fishing with my dad, tubing with my mom and canoeing as a family. Those are magical memories filled with glittering water, gorgeous landscapes and lots of laughs. My parenting style has always been very focused on creating memories, which I learned from my parents. I’ve taken some unconventional routes like homeschooling to support this constant need to explore, create, adventure and build big memories.

I’m hoping my kids look back on our time at Lake Hemet and it makes them smile! And, I hope that you enjoy time boating with you family this summer. Boating is for everyone, people of all incomes and residence. You don’t have to live by the lake and own a boat to be a boating family! Most lakes offer rental opportunities. Learn more about Lake Hemet and the rental possibilities at their website here.

Find a boat rental today with the Go Boating Today Tool

Or maybe you are ready to buy a family boat! There are lots of options from buying new to buying preowned, as an estimated 988,200 pre-owned boats (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) were sold in 2017. Learn more about renting, buying and more at Discover Boating like youth boating programs close to your home. You can also calculate what it might cost for you to finance a boat (some entry-level boats can be financed for less than $250 a month!) Head over to Discover Boating for everything about boats and the boating lifestyle!

Find the boat that is right for you with the Boat Selector Tool

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