Iowa City Lakes

Lakes Close to Iowa City

Sometimes you should pack up and find a spot near the water. As it turns out, when you come to Iowa City you have lots of great spots for getting on, or in the water.

It doesn’t matter if you’re seeking to float in a tube with a book, buzz around doing wakeboarding, go swimming, or work on your tan, the lakes near Iowa City provide you with plentiful options for outdoor adventures. So what are you waiting for? Load up the car with sunscreen and snacks then set out this weekend and discover your own number one location on the water!

Nearby Lakes for Iowa City

A Day at the Lake: An Itinerary

A quick excursion to a lake, or a more lengthy trip gives you an almost limitless amount of stuff for people of all stripes.

Every getaway on or in the water offers you a full range of activities from thrilling to chilling.

Picnic time. The lakes near Iowa City provide all sorts of top-notch picnic areas for you to pack up some culinary delights, or something as simple as crackers and cheese and a cold beverage by the water. For a romantic evening, good food and a view should be suitably romantic.

Fishing. For those that love to fish, finding a good fishing hole shouldn’t be too hard to help you reel in a day of fun whether you’re drifting behind a trolling motor or standing on a dock with a beer in one hand and a rod in the other.

Canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boarding. If you want a little physical activity, strap your favorite kayak or paddleboard to the top of your vehicle and find yourself a lake near Iowa City that has a public launch and start paddling around to enjoy the scenery in all it’s glory.

Checklist for a Day at the Lake

Your plan for a lake getaway can honestly be all over the map depending on which lake you’re going to, the season, and your plan of attack. To make things easier we’ve built out a short list of some of the most common lake and beach-related items that you can use as a checklist before you hit the road.

General items

When you’re out on a lake near Iowa City you will likely need to take along several of the items below so that you’ll be feeling good, healthy, and getting the most out of your getaway.

  • Radio or speaker
  • A picnic basket
  • A cooler and drinks
  • Proper footwear
  • Bug spray
  • Dry shirt
  • Eye protection, a hat, or both
  • A receptacle for trash
  • Towels and dry clothes
  • Swimsuits

Specialty lake stuff

The gear in the list below could be helpful for trips to the lake depending on what your plans are. It’s also worth checking prior to hitting the road.

  • Toys for the beach
  • Fishing and boating licenses
  • Fishing poles, nets, etc.
  • Kindle
  • Your tackle box
  • Rafts and floaties
  • Life jackets
  • Worms or other bait
  • Baby gear (if necessary)
  • Something to clean up with like sanitizers or wet wipes

Staying Safe on a Lake

While the water can provide fun during a day on the lake, it’s important that you remember to keep safety top of mind. These safety tips should ensure that everyone are always safe while around the lake.

  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Always wear sunblock
  • Don’t mix alcohol with swimming
  • Avoid swimming near rocks or shallow water areas that may not be deep enough to dive underneath and escape from waves
  • Make sure you have a life jacket for every person on the boat
  • Have an emergency plan if you run into trouble on your watercraft
  • Keep your distance from wildlife

More Tips for a Lake Getaway in Iowa City

If you’re going to visit the beautiful lakes around Iowa City, you’ll want to remember a couple critical items that might make your itinerary substantially more successful. For example, each individual lake has their own features so it’s important to think about what you need to make an unforgettable adventure when planning yours.

  1. Make the most of the best local resources. When you have time for a lengthier getaway, find local recreational areas, state parks, and campgrounds which give you the ability to stay directly on the water for a reasonable price.
  2. Find a marina. If you’re near the water you’ll often find local marinas that offer boat rentals of all sizes. Boats are expensive to own, but a rental will still allow you to enjoy a relaxing day of fishing or taking the kids out for some wakeboarding or tubing. Using a search engine can typically help you locate options for renting the perfect boat.
  3. Pay attention to the beaches. If you pick the wrong time of year, occasionally the beaches near Iowa City can get extremely crowded. If you want some more peace and quiet, do some digging on multiple lakes and beaches to learn about how busy they are if you want a more relaxing vibe. To get in on the party, search out the biggest, most happening beach!