12 Ways to Beat the Heat This August

Community pools aren’t the only answer to cooling off this summer. Check out these unique ways to get in the water.

WITH HOT AND HUMID WEATHER feeling like an ever constant this time of year, nothing sounds better than being near water. Whether it’s cannonballing into a lake, drafting down a river or kayaking all afternoon, check out these exciting ways you can get in the water that will beat your community pool any day.

1. Kayak on the Milwaukee River


The Milwaukee Kayak Company rents kayaks, canoes and paddleboards. Renting one allows you to explore the city from a new perspective while also getting some exercise and a few splashes of water. While MKC does allow daily rentals, it also is known for its guided paddles. The history tours, sunset tours and guided morning paddle are our favorites.

Photo by Visit Milwaukee

2. Swan Boat Rentals at Veterans Park


Take a blast to the past and enjoy the water by hopping on a swan boat at Veteran’s Park. The boats seat up to five people and have a Bimini top attached to provide shade. Also, guests are encouraged to bring food and drink aboard the ride.

Photo by Visit Milwaukee

3. Explore Grant Park


After playing a round of golf at the historic Grant Park Golf Course on the shores of Lake Michigan, take a stroll through the winding paths of the Seven Bridges Train in Grant Park. This trail will walk you through trees, along creeks, over bridges and finally will leave you at the shore of Lake Michigan where you can choose to skip rocks or run right in the water.

View of Lake Michigan from Grant Park’s Seven Bridges Trail. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee County Parks



4. Rent a Boat


Explore the Milwaukee River by boat. BOAT MKE rents a variety of options: retro boats, donut boats, classic cruisers and speedy boats. All boats have a wireless speaker and are easy to drive yourself. Guests are encouraged to bring coolers with drinks and snacks.

Photo by Visit Milwaukee

5. Paddle the Milwaukee River


Gather up to 14 friends, some drinks, handheld food and a good playlist to enjoy a unique excursion on the Milwaukee River. The Milwaukee Paddle Tavern offers both public and private tours that last 1 hour and 45 minutes. Since the Milwaukee River is home to a handful of bars, pit stops along the way are most certainly fair game. And if you are worried about the pedaling being too difficult, don’t sweat it – it’s pretty easy. The Milwaukee Paddle Tavern said that even Grandma could come along for the ride.

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Paddle Tavern

6. Tube on the Wisconsin River


Go tubing on the Wisconsin River, just 13 miles north of Wisconsin Dells, at Point Bluff Resort. The leisurely trip to Point Bluff takes about 3-3.5 hours without any stops. Along the way, there will be various sandbars you can stop at, and about three quarters through your trip, you will start to see picturesque rock. Coolers are allowed and cooler tubes are available.

7. Dive in at the Redgranite Quarry


What once was a popular red granite quarry site in the 1880s has since been designated as a village park. Now, the quarry is used by diving clubs and scuba instructors for clear-water diving; however, the park is also a popular place for fishing and swimming.

8. Visit Parfrey’s Glen


Enjoy a view of Devil’s Lake from the top of the Baraboo Bluffs by hiking the East Bluff Trail at Devil’s Lake State Park. But, if incline isn’t for you, the Tumbled Rocks trail and the Grottos Trail are flat paved paths that travel through the park’s beaches. After your stroll, take a swim and enjoy the sandy beaches that the park has to offer. And before you return home to Milwaukee, be sure to swing by Pafrey’s Glen, a natural gorge cut into Skillet Creek, just southeast of Devil’s Lake. The gorge is about 30-40 feet deep, and there is a walking trail that will take you to the gorges mouth and to a lookout area on top of the cliffs.

9. Cool Off at the Coolest Beach in Milwaukee


Whether you’re in the mood to lie in the sun, swim in Lake Michigan, play a set of beach volleyball, guzzle down a cold drink or devour a cup of custard, Bradford Beach is the place for you.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee

10. Relax at Atwater Park


If you love morning sunrises or are just looking for a calm place to enjoy beautiful Lake Michigan, swing by Atwater Park. Approximately 50 stairs from the bluffs to the shorelines, you will find a quaint beach without all of the hustle and bustle of Bradford.

Atwater Beach. Photo by Jenna Kashou.

11. Explore Madison Via Jet Ski


Explore our state’s capital city by zooming across Lake Monona and Lake Mendota on a jet ski from Jet Ski Madison. The skis can travel up to 55 mph and rentals can be made for two hours or a full day. You must be 16 or older to operate.

12. Go Fish!


If you like fishing, check out Estabrook Park for a large variety: trout, salmon, walleye, bass, steelhead. The park is also home to the first public beer garden in the United States since Prohibition.

A fisherman dips a line in the Milwaukee River at Estabrook Park. Photo by Chris Kessler