Foote Brothers Canoe & Kayak Rental, Ipswich
Standout Qualities: This family-owned and -operated business in Ipswich was started by Harold and Rose Foote. They’ve been renting canoes from their livery at Willowdale Dam on the Ipswich River since 1955. Shuttle service will take you to several drop-off points upstream. And there’s instruction for tippy
beginners. Overnight and longer trips are available with advance reservations.
Insider Tip: River etiquette: Dogs are prohibited in the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.
Fun Fact: Foote Brothers’ stretch of the river runs through a National Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, scenic wetlands, Bradley Palmer State Park, and Willowdale State Forest.
230 Topsfield Rd., Ipswich, footebrotherscanoes.com
Cape Ann S.U.P., Essex
Standout Qualities: Rentals, lessons, tours, yoga—this is everything you can think of on a stand-up paddleboard.
Insider Tip: In March 2019, join a group of outdoorsy, water-loving North Shore folks in Costa Rica. Paddlers, surfers, and yogis are going together with Cape Ann S.U.P. in search of sun, sand, and surf, as well as dinner with the world-famous surfer Robert August.
Fun Fact: In August, paddlers race on an open-water course inside Gloucester Harbor.
2 Southern Ave., and 35 Dodge St., Essex, 978-233-1SUP, capeannsup.com