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Dock & Drink: 4 Boat-Up Bars in Wisconsin

By Sam Kislia
Staff Writer

There’s nothing quite like a day out on the water with family and friends! Whether you’ve run out of food and beverages or maybe just want to give your sea legs a break, there’s no shortage of boat-up bars and restaurants on Wisconsin’s inland lakes and rivers.

Check out a few of our favorites, and find more boating spots and bars in our directories!

The Anchor InnEdgerton

The Anchor Inn on Lake Koshkonong has been a local favorite for decades, and even a fire in 2014 couldn't keep it closed down. The owners rebuilt from the ground up, expanding the inn to twice the size of the original.

With ample docking space, you’ll be able to pull right up to the patio and head straight to the outdoor Mermaid Bar. The floating stage features live music almost every weekend during the summer, so don’t forget your dancing shoes on the boat.

The indoor dining area even has a wall of windows, so you’ll still be able to enjoy the gorgeous view of the water.

Gilligans – Chetek

If you’re spending the day boating around Pokegama Lake, you’ve got to plan a pit-stop at Gilligans. The place just screams summer fun! Tropical drinks will be waiting for you at the tiki bar, where live music, parties, and sports themed events are held throughout the summer. The sand between your toes will make you feel right at home in paradise!

Pier 290 – Williams Bay

When you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, Pier 290 in Williams Bay is an excellent spot to dock the boat.

Feast on fresh and unique farm-to-table dishes on a spacious patio overlooking Geneva Lake, perfect for a date night or spending time with a group of friends. If it cools off once the sun goes down, there are plenty of fire pits to cozy up to!

The Blue Bayou – Manitowish Waters

In the words of founder and chef Walter Mazur, the Blue Bayou is “as far north as the south will ever get.” We’d have to agree – it’s not every day that you find a New Orleans-style restaurant in the Northwoods!

The smell of Creole and Cajun foods drift through the air and will lure you in from across the lake. Don’t bother trying to resist because this place is worth the stop.

If you’re not looking for a full meal, the attached Steamboat Lounge has a great appetizer menu and specialty cocktail list. Believe it or not, the alligator bites pair quite nicely with a Sazerac! What could be better than Northwoods hospitality with a southern flair?


These are only a few places to refuel during a day out on the boat. Check out Wisconsin's top dock-and-dine restaurants, and tell us where you like to stop in the comments below!

This entry was posted in Pubs & Taverns Boating & Sailing