Water Activities

Wisconsin Water Sports

There’s water nearly everywhere in Wisconsin. Our Great Lakes, scenic islands and freshwater beaches are not just beautiful but fun, offering endless aquatic activities for everyone in the family. Sunbathe on the beach while your kids splash in the water, for example. There’s nothing quite like family time on or near the water in Wisconsin.

Swim, Play, Repeat

Along the Great Lakes coastlines and further inland, you’ll find swimmable waters and sandy beaches perfect for a summer vacation.

Take, for instance, Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach, located on the shores of shimmering Lake Michigan. Sunbathe, swim or play a friendly game of beach volleyball or soccer until the sun goes down. 

Up north near Sturgeon Bay, you’ll find the Crescent Beach and Boardwalk, a perfect spot for watching a sunrise, kayaking and taking a stroll along the boardwalk. Further inland, enjoy swimmable lakes with sandy beaches, like Nichols Beach near Boulder Junction. After an afternoon swim, fuel up with a picnic lunch.

Come Sail Away

Rent a pontoon or sailboat and make your family vacation one that no one will forget.

Plenty of local businesses make it easy for you to rent equipment and find local sweet spots. Becker Marine, for instance, offers rentals from paddle boats to pontoons for bigger groups. 

If you’d like to sit back and let us do all the hard work, hop on a cruise. Enjoy brunch or a cocktail — depending on the time of day — on one of eight boats with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. Choose from public tours to private cruises. A day out on the lake boating or sailing is just what the doctor ordered.

Life In The Front Row

Some of the best ways to explore our waterways up-close are by canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Kayaking is the most popular way to see the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, a chain of 21 islands in Lake Superior. It’s one lighthouse after another as you paddle your way around the islands and sea caves and along the mainland.

You can also go rafting or tubing along our rivers and streams. Bring or rent a tube and float down rivers and streams like the Sugar River in Albany or Appleton’s Fox River. For a whitewater rafting adventure in northern Wisconsin, check out Kosir’s Rapid Rafts & Campground. There, you can rent equipment and hop on a shuttle to either the Peshtigo or Menominee rivers for an unforgettable experience.

In no time, you'll find yourself spending less time on your phone and more time in the water with your family.