As many of you know, a day on the lake is something only truly understood after experiencing it. There’s nothing sweeter than a summer day playing and sunning on the lake. Maybe it’s the warmth of the Wisconsin summer air, the cleansing feeling of a plunge into cool fresh water, or the melodic lapping of waves hitting the shore. Life at the lake includes endless activities for both big spenders and budget travelers, for individuals and families alike, whether local or visiting. So pack up your coolers, grab your beach towels and swimsuits, because it’s that time of year again!
The best things in life are free. So why not enjoy the many public beaches and parks available to you in the Southeastern Wisconsin lake area communities? That includes Fontana, Williams Bay, Lake Geneva, Delavan, Whitewater, Powers Lake, Twin Lakes and more. Life is easy at the lake when all you need is a beach towel, sunscreen, and a good book or magazine to enjoy your sunshine-filled day with ease.
If you’re looking for more excitement, take a look around your lakefront destination’s town for the many activities local businesses have to offer. One example is Clearwater Outdoor in Lake Geneva, which offers social paddles on Sunday morning and Wednesday night. If you’ve never paddle boarded before, no problem! Check in with your local shop, which most likely offers guided lessons for all levels and ages, and even some yoga on paddle board classes. For those who enjoy a more calming experience on the water, try a meditative paddle board excursion during the calm morning waters, or a sunset kayaking outing for two.
Sean Payne, store manager of Clearwater Outdoor, has a few tips and suggestions on the topic of living life at the lake. “My favorite thing to do on the lake is to take people out on the boat, who have never been on Geneva Lake. I think I sometimes take it for granted how lucky I am to live in this beautiful area.” To Sean, nothing beats the looks on their faces, as they pass one gorgeous home after another.
For a first-timer to the lake area Sean suggests trying the Lake Geneva Cruise Lines mailboat tour. “In my opinion, it’s the best one they have. You get a full lake tour of 2.5 hours, and they deliver the mail. This is where a boat ‘jumper’ rides in the front of the boat, and at the right moment while holding the mail in one hand, they jump off the boat, run to the mailbox put the mail in it and then run and jump back on the boat. Mind you the boat never stops moving!”
Sean’s other suggestions include renting a kayak or paddle board from Clearwater Outdoor or exploring the walking the shore path. The shore path goes around the entire 22 miles of the lake. It can serve as a full-day excursion or a short and peaceful lunchtime stroll. Those looking to kick back and relax can hire a driver who will be more than happy to give you a lake tour. Launch your sailboat, or watch one of the many exciting regattas as boats set sail and race around the water at top speeds.
For an extra adrenaline kick, nothing beats a fun-filled day on the water on a speedboat, which can be launched or rented from one of the many marinas. Got kids? No problem! Take them for an exciting ride tubing or waterskiing. Other options include wakeboarding or wake surfing.
Jayson Rishling is the owner and founder of Lake Geneva’s The Board Shop, conveniently located in the heart of Lake Geneva. The Board Shop is a favorite spot for summer gear and accessories. Being a local to the lake area, Jayson’s favorite activity on the lake is wakeboarding. “I personally love just about every aspect of water sports, but I believe wakeboarding gives you the most freedom. There’s endless amounts of tricks you can do, no matter if you’re riding on a big or small wakeboard boat.” He has been wakeboarding for more than 25 years, feels like he’ll never stop learning new tricks and techniques every time he rides. “The Board Shop, more than anything, is all about helping in the growth of board sports and, more so specifically, water sports. This is what we love to do –it is our passion to be on the water during the summer more than anywhere else. Learn, Love Live to Ride.”
The summertime opportunities and activities are endless, whether you prefer thrilling times on the water or strolling along the miles of trails and pathways along the lakeshore, having a picnic in the sun, casting a line off the nearest pier, or jumping on a bike and whizzing through the woods. There are also plenty of sights for birdwatchers and nature lovers, since many wondrous animals occupy the marshy planes and hanging willows. In fact, if you’re willing to wait till dusk in June and July, you’ll see lightning bugs filling the summer sky.
However you choose to pursue your adventure at the lake, enjoy it to the fullest because these are what summer memories are made of. We’ll see you at the lake.
By: Jen Yih
Photography By: Various