With a parachute at your back and sunglasses snuggly perched upon your nose, you’re soaring like a kite. Ah, parasailing. One of the only opportunities you’ll ever have to yell, “Look, Ma, no hands!” and not put yourself in peril. Strapped into your harness, you are hands-free, as you should be. Still, yelling that phrase is too fun to resist—we get it.
What? You’ve never soared into clear blue skies over crystal, blue waters, a cool breeze in your face, the warm sun on your skin, enjoying the gorgeous views previously reserved for resident seabirds? It’s a magical experience, and a bucket list opportunity to feel what it’s like to fly (well, maybe float, or even waft) in the sea breeze!
If parasailing is new to you, it’s time to check out the Expedia guide to experiencing parasailing. It tells you everything you need to know before you go. If you’re a veteran parasailer, our guide reminds you the amazing times you’ve had sailing above warm water along the coast. Go ahead, discover new opportunities for where to go to do this vacation-maker activity.
You might expect to go on an exciting, sky-high adventure in Waikiki or along the California coast. And we wouldn’t try to talk you out of it. But did you know about these unexpected places to go parasailing? You do now.
Mackin-what? Mackinaw. If you haven’t noticed this village on the map of Michigan, you’re not alone. It sits at the very tip of what geography experts call “The Mitten,” just across the water from the Upper Peninsula. Michigan is so known for its Big Ten athletics and Motor City attractions, it’s easy for charming destinations like Mackinaw to get lost in the shuffle.
But you’d do yourself a favor to remember that the state is surrounded by two Great Lakes, and coastal places like Mackinaw let you explore the types of water activities you’d expect from an oceanfront city. If you’re visiting the northern Midwest between Memorial Day and Labor Day, go ahead and soar above the Straits of Mackinac on a parasailing adventure.
Dubai has a reputation for opulence. And it’s a reputation the city doesn’t exactly shy away from. Need proof positive? Dubai has proudly built the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa; a one-of-a-kind 7-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab; and the world’s biggest mall, which is teeming with designer duds. Yeah.
Some of the most iconic images of the extravagant city (towering skyscrapers aside) include desert camel rides and all-terrain vehicles racing over sand dunes. But don’t be fooled, Dubai isn’t all sand and expensive jewelry. After all, the world’s second-largest yacht moors here. You can play in the Arabian Gulf in more ways than one, including a thrilling parasailing excursion. See if you can spot the man-made palm islands from the sky. They shouldn’t be difficult to find.
Grand Bend, Ontario
When you think of water adventures in Ontario, a barrel ride over Niagara Falls might come to mind. In fact, when you’re thinking about where to go parasailing, the Great White North might not even come close to topping your list—it’s not exactly a tropical destination. But lo, while Ontario doesn’t abut the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans, it does sit upon the banks of Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. A visit to the beachside community of Grand Bend gives you the chance to experience an epic sunset parasail flight that is hard to top.
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
You’re heading to Nevada with a penchant for arid temperatures, plenty of sunscreen… and your swimsuit? Most folks might associate Nevada with Sin City and expanses of unfettered desert landscape. But you’ve figured out a little secret. Just outside Reno, dinging casino bells give way to gentle waves. No, it’s not an mirage in the distance. That’s Lake Tahoe. Just a few miles from a desert landscape full of dry vegetation, an unexpected opportunity to cool off sprawls out over 190 miles and across two states.
Hitch yourself to a parasail, and even if you were enduring 100+ degree temps by morning, you’ll be savoring the fresh breeze over the largest freshwater lake in the region by afternoon. If you make it across the border to California, you can go on a parasailing ride in the Golden State, too.
Heading to inland India usually signals a vacation full of food, culture, and spiritual endeavors. You expect to be navigating crowded streets, not feeling the wind whip your face on an exhilarating parasailing flight. After all, you’re in landlocked Bangalore. The highest you’ll reach in the atmosphere is the top floor of the Vidhana Soudha, right?
On the contrary, thanks to the innovative folks at the Jakkur Aerodrome, you can fly high with a bright parachute at your back without leaving dry land. Instead of being pulled by a boat, a high-speed vehicle gives you flight and guides your aerial trip. Score parasailing deals in Bangalore and you’ll be scoping out the city from above, then landing on the runway like a pro.
Canyon Lake, Texas
If you’ve got a compass pointed at Texas and water sports on the agenda, you might think South Padre Island is your only option. Think again, partner. Deep in the heart of Texas, around 60 miles outside Austin, in a destination about as land-locked as you can get…a parasailing adventure awaits. Parasailing over water, even. As its name suggests, this Texas town has a lake smack dab within its borders.
So, while you may not have central Texas at the top of your list for water adventures, maybe you should. Your journey begins on a pontoon and then you’re transferred to a powerboat that gets you flying. Check out Texas Hill Country from above; who knows, you may just spot the perfect winery to visit once you’re back on solid ground.
Kuala Lumpur sounds familiar, but maybe the more remote parts of Malaysia don’t ring a bell. Langkawi? You don’t remember seeing that in your travel guide. When it comes to the ultimate parasailing experience, you may think any body of water will do. Is it worth the extra trip away from mainland Malaysia? Trust us, traveling to this tiny archipelago in the Andaman Sea pays off.
You’ll sail over crystal clear turquoise water that ends in bone-white sandy shores. Over-water bungalows dot the landscape in the distance. Breathtaking, lush hillsides linger in on the horizon. Langkawi, friends, puts the paradise in parasailing.
Where do you most want to go parasailing?