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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Paddle Boats on Irondequoit Bay

A few weeks ago, Groupon featured a deal on paddle boat rentals. My ROCpoppa and I thought it sounded like fun, but our printer isn't working so we didn't actually get the Groupon (different story). Regardless, we gave it try!
We packed up the kids and went to Bayside Boat & Tackle at 1350 Empire Boulevard in Rochester, NY. Helpful hints:

  • Make sure everyone uses the potty before heading out; I don't believe there are facilities on the premises
  • Load up on sunblock, bring hats and sunglasses, and bring water bottles - there are cup holders on the boats. 
  • They provide the life jackets. 
  • Go early since the bigger boats tend to go out in the afternoon, and they can create some waves that will cause a bumpy ride on the paddle boats. 
  • Call ahead to make an appointment for your rental. Unfortunately, we did not do this.

When we arrived, there were no other customers. The person who helped us even said he'd throw in an extra 15 minutes on top of our hour. We paid inside the shop and were instructed to wait under the tent in the back. There are tables and chairs so the kids were comfortable, however we waited about 45 minutes. As soon as we were seated, there was an influx of groups who had reserved pontoon boats for a specific time. Our friendly helper inside was stuck checking people in. His one assistant was prepping the pontoons and helping the groups get on their merry way.

Several snacks and rounds of "Old McDonald" later, we finally got our life jackets and our boats. Fair warning: there is a small, steep hill to walk down before getting to the dock. The path to the pontoon dock is paved, and the dock is in really good condition. However, the path to the paddle boat dock has some gravel, which actually made it a bit slippery. Then there is the dilapidated dock. If the Bayside employee hadn't walked onto it first, I would not have proceeded.

Once aboard the paddle boat, be prepared to work your leg muscles a bit. The boats are easy to handle, and it was so much fun to take the kids on their first boating experience. The kids enjoyed being out on the water, and we did too.
Bottom line: paddle boats are a fun way to spend a morning with the kids. However, I'm not sure I can give two thumbs up to Bayside Boat & Tackle. I think I'd like to try a different venue next time.

If you have had a good experience somewhere and would like to recommend a good rental shop for paddle boats in the Rochester area, please Post A Comment. As always, thanks for reading.

1 comment:

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