I have to make an awful confession: for me—the best part of a whitewater weekend isn’t the time spent on the river…
Instead—it’s the time after the trip reliving the day’s adventure with friends around a table with dinner and drinks.
Somehow—the rapids always get bigger, the swims more spectacular, and my paddling more heroic from the security of firm ground and in the comfort of dry clothes while enjoying hot food and a cold beverage. Funny how that works!
At ARO, we always end our trip with a barbecue complete with frosty libations. It’s the perfect opportunity to test your trial version of the day’s adventure!
Now, as conscientious guides, we make sure all the beverages provided for the barbecue are exhausted before leaving the party—we don’t want to create work for the cook putting away the extras! But it always seems the barbecue is never long enough to reflect upon all the glories of the day—or to polish up all the details of the stories!
Fortunately, ARO’s rafting bases are centered in areas famous for accommodating outdoor adventure guests. There are plenty of funky bistros and restaurants available for apre-raft celebrations!
Here’s a list of “guide-tested, guide-approved” destinations to provide the perfect conclusion to your day on the river:
(Company disclaimer: the phrase “guide-tested, guide-approved” does not merit the same gravitas as the Michelin Four-Star rating system. “Guide-approved” only confirms the availability of cold beer (usually at reasonable prices), better-than-average bar food, pool and/or dart games, relaxed dress code and an extremely tolerant attitude toward raucous high-jinx).
HUDSON RIVER GORGE: Just a few miles down the road from our Hudson base is the village of North Creek with a cluster of comfortable bistros including the Barking Spider, Bar Vino, Laura’s and Basil and Wicks. You can park the car and pub crawl to most of them. Extend the Après Rafting further by staying at Adirondack River Beds, a Hostel located near our base and run by one of our guides.
MOOSE RIVER: Our Moose River operation is based in Old Forge and the trip barbecue is hosted at the Back Door. Slickers Tavern, Tony Harper’s and the Tow Bar are all a few steps away. Stay at the Adirondack Lodge, our Moose River base, with great rates for our rafting guests.
BLACK RIVER: Maggie’s On The River is just a short stroll through the river-side park from our base in Watertown. Maggie’s features a deck overlooking Hole Brothers rapid and its raft and kayak surfing. For more formal dining, the historic village of Sacket’s Harbor is a 15-minute drive.
If you require additional information regarding prime apre-rafting locations—just ask any of the staff at the base. Or easier still—just follow them at the end of the day!