I’m On A Boat: What Happens When Five Chicagoans Embrace Lake Culture

Travel & Leisure

I didn’t really know there was such a thing as “boat people” until I moved to Minnesota. My closest reference was probably Andy Bernard from The Office, so when I met the guy who casually had his sailboat taking up a whole parking spot in the basement of my first “nice” apartment, I kind of rolled my eyes.

Without stereotyping, I think it is safe to say that most Minnesotans absolutely love being on the water. Especially, when it’s on a boat, or as they pronounce it, “boh-et”. As soon as the ice melts come springtime, everyone and their mother are racing to get their dock put in so they can get on the water, even if it is only 45 degrees out. That’s the beauty of living in a state with such a short-lived summer, no one takes a single sunny day for granted.

Though we are new to the lake life, we enjoy getting our summer boating fix when we get the chance.

My family and I recently took to the waters of Lake Minnetonka with not a single Minnesotan onboard and guess what?! We had a blast and with just a little planning I was able to give my family that true Minnesota lake experience, complete with a gorgeous sunset, happy hour beers, and some quiet moments fishing. Doesn’t get more Minnesotan than that.

If you’re new to the lake life scene, we’ve got a whole bunch of resources for you to get the most out of your time on one of our gorgeous 10,000 lakes before they turn into 10,000 ice rinks.

Tip One: Play hooky and get out on the water on a Friday! The lake is quiet and you have the opportunity to cruise without having to dodge too much traffic.

Tip Two: Rent from a reputable vendor. Take to the lake with confidence knowing you’ve got a boat that is in working order and equipped with everything you need (i.e. sufficient number of life jackets, PFD, ropes, fire extinguisher, etc.) The right vendor should make you feel confident and prepared as you head into the day!

Tip Three: Plan your time! There is a lot you can do out on the lake and it is nice to take inventory of what your guests would like to do to make the most of your time on the boat. My brother wanted to make a pit-stop at Maynard’s for a drink (his first time at a bar his friends spoke of often) and my dad wanted some time to fish with August. As for me, I wanted to take in all the beautiful properties along the shorelines of Wayzata Bay and more. 

Tip Four: Pack a lunch! Preferably one that travels well and can be eaten without using utensils. There’s nothing like a pontoon picnic and the one I made for my family was a total hit. Even August got in on the baguette action.

Tip Five: Don’t be afraid to dock up and explore what is happening in the neighborhoods around the lake. One of my personal favorite destinations to visit outside of the cities: Excelsior. Dock your boat in Excelsior Bay and grab an ice cream at Licks or a sushi roll at Yumi’s.

Tip Six: Check out discoverboating.com for everything you need to put boating on your to-do list before the summer comes to a close.

Only a few more weeks to make the most of these beautiful days.

Ed. Note: This post was sponsored by Discover Boating. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.

While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow for the development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!

BY Kate Arends - August 2, 2018

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
August 2, 2018 11:40 am

Kate, can you possibly share where Birdie’s life jacket is from? I’ve had a terrible time choosing a life jacket in a baby-friendly size – they all look horribly uncomfortable or way too large to possibly be safe. However, she looks perfectly snug! Thank you!

August 3, 2018 10:03 am

As a Native Minnesotan, sometimes I feel like an anomaly because I really don’t like being out on the lake. Any body of water, actually. The sun’s reflection is too bright and blinding, it’s often too hot and humid, there are too many bugs, and what if you have to pee?!

Just not for me, I guess. 🙂

Most-read posts:

Did you know W&D now has a resource library of  Printable Art, Templates, Freebies, and more?

take me there 

Arrow Alone

Get Our Best W&D Resources

for designing a life well-lived


Arrow Alone

the latest

Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.

Hi, I'm Kate. Welcome to my happy place.











follow us on instagram @witanddelight_