Dubuque Lakes

Lakes Close to Dubuque

It’s summertime so it’s time to pack up and head out for your upcoming family vacation. If you’re looking for a fun destination, consider visiting a lake near Dubuque. A lake getaway can be amazing for those who love getting outside too, as they are a great way to see birds, fish, turtles and other animals in their natural habitat.

It doesn’t matter if you’re itching to go kayaking, partake in some watersports, swim, or work on your tan, the lakes near Dubuque offer you numerous options for outdoor activities. So what are you waiting for? Pack up your vehicle with sunscreen and snacks then make the trip your next day off to find your own favorite location on the water!

Lakes Close to Dubuque

Things to Do at the Lake

On a day trip to a lake near Dubuque there are many things to do for families and couples. Whether you’re just looking for a day trip or decide to stay overnight at a hotel or AirBnB to enjoy yourself more fully.

Any stay on or in the water offers you everything from fun to relaxation.

Canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boarding. For those in search of some exercise, load up your preferred vessel and find yourself a lake near Dubuque that has a public boat launch you can use and get out and soak up the scenery in all it’s glory.

Have a picnic. The lakes near Dubuque offer many top-notch picnic areas for you to pack up some portable delicacies, or something as simple as crackers and cheese and a cold beverage while enjoying the scenery. Should you be with someone you want to impress, a picnic on the beach should be suitably romantic.

Get a little crazy with the water sports. If you’re able to get access to a ski boat, why not spend the day zipping around the lake showing off your water sports expertise? Enjoy a day of wakeboarding or knee boarding as the local lakes give you a number of options.

Checklist for a Day at the Lake

Every day at the lake will have its own requirements based on which lake you go to, when you go, and what you want to do for entertainment. For your benefit, we took the time to make a list for some ideas for your watery excursion so there’s nothing to stress over!

Common lake items

When you’re out on a lake near Dubuque you will likely need to bring some of the items below to make sure you’re safe, healthy, and getting the most out of your getaway.

  • Trash bags (one for trash, one for wet items)
  • Cords and a charger for portable devices
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Something to dry off with
  • Backup clothing
  • Bottle opener
  • A picnic basket
  • Eye protection, a hat, or both
  • Insect repellant
  • Plates, bowls, utensils, cups

Specialty lake gear

Consider what you’ll be doing at the lake and your guests, the list of gear could make your day more enjoyable and worth packing prior to leaving.

  • Safety gear like life jackets
  • Fishing and boating licenses
  • Your tackle box
  • Beach toys (buckets, shovels, football, frisbee, etc.)
  • Diapers and baby gear
  • Rafts for the kids
  • Masks and snorkels
  • Wine key
  • Worms or other bait
  • Fishing gear

Staying Safe on a Lake

While the water can provide fun during a day on the lake, everyone’s safety is the most important part of your getaway. Here are some general tips that can ensure that your whole group stays safe while around the lake.

  • Stay close to shore and avoid areas with shallow water or where the current is strong
  • Use sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy outside
  • Always wear a life jacket when boating, kayaking or paddle boarding
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while boating
  • Avoid plants that can sting or cause allergic reactions
  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Be aware of your surroundings and know where you are in relation to land

Some More Tips

If you’re going to visit the one of a kind lakes near Dubuque, you’ll want to remember a couple critical items that can make your trip plan substantially more successful. As an example, every individual lake is going to have unique qualities and surroundings which makes it important to take into account what will make for an unforgettable adventure as you plan yours.

  1. Find a marina. It’s common that lakes will have nearby marinas that offer boat rentals of all sizes. Just because you don’t own a boat to enjoy a relaxing day of fishing or taking the kids out for some wakeboarding or tubing. Doing a quick Google search will typically help you find options for renting the perfect boat.
  2. Do homework on the beaches. Depending on the time of year, sometimes beaches can get very crowded. To find a little more privacy, research multiple nearby beaches and lakes to learn about how busy they are if you want a more relaxing vibe. To get in on the party, then look for the biggest, most popular beach!
  3. Make the most of the best local resources. If you have time for a longer getaway, find local state parks and recreation areas which give you the ability to camp in a spot that is right on top of the water at an affordable price.