When you think of the U.S., you probably envision the flashy streets of New York or the famous Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, but trade the city life for a more rural (and cheaper) location and you’ll soon be fantasizing about the small-town vibes and relaxing lake life in Wisconsin. Don’t underestimate the activities and quality of life found in this Cheese and Beer State during the summer.
1.) Friendly Wildlife
During the spring when the ground is thawing, or in the midst of the mild summers, Wisconsin is known for its abundance of friendly wildlife. Containing many fresh lakes, Wisconsin is home to thousands of creatures such as bald eagles, badgers, raccoons, turtles, frogs, snakes, etc. Don’t be surprised if one of these little tree frogs tries to sneak into your cottage to collect some warmth for the night. If you find a painter turtle far away from its home, do your good deed for the day and lead him back to the lake.
2.) Lake Life
Trade your snow skies for water skies and glide through the blue lakes of Wisconsin. On a less-choppy day, people may refer to the water as glass; flat and still. This is the perfect condition to cut in and out of the wake behind a speed boat. It’s okay if you fall the first few times, you can always kick back and swim with the fish while the boat loops back around to pick you up for another try. A newer trend often seen while exploring the lake life in Wisconsin is “paddle boarding”. Although the activity is quite self-explanatory (paddling your way through the lake or river on a bottom-heavy board) keeping your balance can be a lot trickier than you think. Whether it’s Lake Michigan, Devils Lake, or The Wisconsin River, you may see the experts doing their morning yoga poses on these boards.
3.) Grill Out
Boating, tubing, and water skiing will undoubtedly cause you to work up an appetite. Stop at a local meat shop and select a tender, juicy steak. Then, marinate some ribs, pat a few burgers, throw some fresh Wisconsin cheese on top and have yourself a barbecue right in your backyard! The cool summer nights will sooth your warm skin from a long day in the sun. Don’t forget your bug spray! They like to feast too. 😉
We all know the surreal feeling of watching the sun disappear out of existence, painting the sky an array of beautiful colours on its way. And if you don’t, Wisconsin is sure to show you an unforgettable one. Away from the city lights, mirrored on the lakes, and even visible through overcast skies, a Wisconsin sunset will leave you feeling magnificently content and humble.
When the night time rolls around, be prepared to indulge in a good ole camp fire. Whether you’re burning a few logs or turning an old couch into ashes, make sure you bring some good beer and even better company. Also, cheers to the person who risks their car battery dying in order to bump some quality tunes for the party. A good bonfire usually ends with a few people camping outside for the night.
6.) Cheese Curds
It’s not just a saying, the cheese really does squeak. Fresh “curds” (mild, spongy textured cheese chunks) can be bought at local stores or right at the cheese factory itself. Wisconsinites can smell good cheese from a mile away, and they don’t settle for mediocre. In fact, you can even go on a tour of a cheese factory and get the inside scoop on exactly how it’s perfected. Eat them fried, salted, aged, or plain- they’re delicious no matter which type you choose.
7.) July 4th Celebration
Whether you’re from the area or not, join the party! With a plethora of fruit pizzas, bratwurst (or brats), potato salad and bloody marys, Wisconsinites take partying on the 4th very seriously. Celebrations range from traditional parades to wild boat parties on the lake, and the afternoon festivities are only the beginning. Enjoy a variety mesmerizing fireworks over the water or take the challenge upon yourself and shoot off your own!