You’ve made it a fair way into our beautiful Minnesota summer, and you’ve already checked out the pools featured in the Rochester MN Guide to Summer Swimming. Looking for new ways to get out on the water? We have you covered! These activities are for the whole family, and would also make a lovely date night. Enjoy!
Rent a paddle boat, canoe or kayak at Silver Lake Fun. If you’ve used the amazing trail system here in Rochester, you’ve likely seen Silver Lake from shore. Check out a new vantage point from a paddle boat, canoe or kayak. Rentals are available by the hour or by the day. The Silver Lake Fun boathouse is located off of West Silver Lake Drive, near the intersection with 7th Street Northeast.
Try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) at Chester Woods Park. There’s something especially exhilarating about standing up on the water! Also available for rent at Chester Woods: canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats.
Check out a Minnesota State Water Trail. If your family is new to paddle sports, check out the “I Can Paddle!” series for an introduction to paddle skills with a guide. They recommend trips on the website, including some overnight options, as well as whitewater paddling options for experienced paddlers. If you would rather take a guided tour, check out Broken Paddle Guiding based in Wabasha. Their extensive tour offerings include both kayak and stand up paddleboard tours.
Attend a SkiDox waterski show, or one of their Learn2Ski classes (they also offer adaptive Learn2Ski classes for participants with physical disabilities). Based on Lake Zumbro, SkiDox performs regularly scheduled shows from Fisherman’s Inn on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. (June & July) and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m in August. They perform additional shows on special dates/holidays, so check out the calendar on their website.
Go for a sail on Lake Pepin, with Sail Pepin. Sail Pepin offers daily morning, afternoon, evening and sunset cruises from Pepin, WI and Lake City, MN. They also offer youth sailing outings as part of a team in their Full Sail Team Programs. Not interested in heading out on the water? Visit the Breakwater Wine Bar, featuring both indoor and outdoor seating with lake and marina views.
Fish for the Eagles at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha. Visit the National Eagle Center, then check out their fishing poles, lifejackets and bait (all free of charge) and head to their dock to fish. In Minnesota, resident kids under 15 can fish without a fishing license, so no fishing license is needed. Kids can donate their catch to help feed the eagle ambassadors! Fishing for Eagles runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays through August 31st.
Cruise on the Mississippi River via the Winona Tour Boat (departs from Winona), the Pearl of the Lake (departs from Lake City), or the La Crosse Queen (departs from La Crosse, WI). The Mississippi River played an important role in the history of our region, and also offers amazing views of wildlife. If you depart from La Crosse, stop in and visit the Riverside Museum to learn even more about the river’s influence on the area.
Rent a houseboat from Fun ‘N The Sun rentals in Alma, WI. Houseboats range in size, and can accommodate up to 12 passengers. Houseboats sail from Great River Harbor, which is 3 miles south of Alma. Navigate and fish the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, enjoying the river towns and beaches along the way.