A City-dweller’s Guide to Exploring Lake Country

With more than 20 bodies of water, the northwest corner of Waukesha County is truly a land of lakes. Here are some great ways to enjoy them.

Enjoy the view

Summer dining or imbibing on the shore of a lake is like getting a special side dish. Here’s where to go.

Don your shorts or seersucker suit:

Weissgerber’s Golden Mast Inn

W349 N5293 Lacy’s Ln., Okauchee

While you can indulge in house specialties like Wiener schnitzel and roast duck with spaetzle, the separate “casual” menu can hook you up with a small plate (ribs, shrimp cocktail, lamb chop minis), tenderloin sandwich or “seaside” tuna salad. Casual menu: $6.50-$16.95.

Pre-dinner drink or nightcap:

The Lakeside Supper Club & Lounge

37238 Valley Rd., Summit

This is a hit-or-miss spot for food, but great for grabbing a craft beer or cocktail and watching a summer day melt into night.

Big burger:

Foolery’s Liquid Therapy

N52 W35091 Lake Dr., Okauchee

No fooling: This place excels at wings and burgers – and bar food such as nachos (made with house fried corn chips, mmm). The half-pound burger comes 10 ways, including the (critic-approved) Foolery burger topped with haystack onions, three cheeses and a fried egg. The patio comes complete with a bar and plenty of swivel chairs that face the boating Shangri-La of Okauchee Lake. $8-$15.

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Read the full story

The Official Milwaukee Guide to Getting on the Water: Sail, Swim, Fish & More

Weissgerber’s Golden Mast Inn. Photo by Kenny Yoo.
Thin-crust pizza:

Doc’s Dry Dock

N38 W27091 Parkside Rd., Pewaukee

Some of the best ’za west of the city is whisked out of the oven at this wood and stone bar. But despite its prime location on Pewaukee Lake, there is no outdoor seating. The thin, crisp-crust pies are plentifully sauced and topped with cheese and (our pick) pepperoni, sausage, green peppers and other colorful veggies. Pizzas: 12-inch, from $11; 16-inch, from $16.

Seasonal, changing menu:

Artisan 179

179 W. Wisconsin Ave., Pewaukee

If you perk up at the mention of mussels in Galliano cream sauce and grilled harissa prime flat iron steak, you will appreciate this “modern, global” – and spendy – dining room. Arm yourself with a craft cocktail and lasso a table on the small deck facing Pewaukee Public Beach. Entrées $26-$36.

All-you-can-eat specials:

Copper Dock

1474 E. Friess Lake Dr., Hubertus

In addition to a glorious sunset view, evenings offer your pick of all-you-can-eat menu specials – for instance baby back ribs (Tuesday) and prime rib (Saturday). Specials $13.95-$34.95.

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Calling all party people

Almost any summer weekend, revelers gather on “Party Island” on the east end of Okauchee Lake. They tether their boats and spend the day on the water, or in the water playing Frisbee on the sandbar. A grand tie-up party, usually on the last Saturday in July, attracts 100 boats or more.[/alert]

Join a Yacht Club

You don’t need to own a yacht or wear an ascot like Thurston Howell III to join these organizations, which are primarily geared towards sailing. Membership is open to everyone, and affords you the opportunity to become part of the community while enjoying the water.

La Belle Yacht Club

Billed as a competitive scow sailing club, the La Belle Yacht Club welcomes nonboaters, too. There’s nautical education and sailing instruction, of course, but there are also year-round social activities, from on-water treasure hunts and lakeside family picnics to networking connections with Oconomowoc-area businesses.

Nagawicka Lake Yacht Club

Established in 1895 exclusively for sailboats, the club features a quaint lakeside clubhouse with a kitchen and bar, an active membership involved in pleasure and competitive sailing, and a range of instructional programs, plus plenty of social events. 

North Lake Yacht Club

Promoting sailing as a lifelong activity is the aim of the North Lake Yacht Club and North Lake Sailing School. You don’t even need your own boat – the sailing school has a fleet available to beginning sailors.

Okauchee Lake Yacht Club

The club has a long history of developing quality racing fleets and sailors who are among the country’s best. It’s not all about racing, though. The clubhouse on the lake’s north shore bustles with social events for members throughout the year.

Pewaukee Yacht Club

The club, launched in 1896, has a vast and scenic waterfront property and a long history in the sport of scow sailing. The club is geared for family activities, offering youth sailing programs, as well as a play area and sandbox for children.

“Make Waves” appeared in the July 2018 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

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