Sailing in Platteville

Select Local Merchants

Decorative smokestacks stretch toward the sky as Victorian red and gold decor surrounds passengers nibbling brunch in a dining salon. This scene unfolds aboard the Spirit of Dubuque, an authentic-looking paddleboat that pays homage to the century-old steamboats of the Mississippi River. Dubuque River Rides' signature vessel, it has played host to thousands of cruises filled with entertainment, meals, and improvised renditions of "Old Man River" since being christened by Iowa governor Robert Ray in 1977. Elsewhere on the river, a more modern boat cuts across the water, casting a sleek outline against the sky. The 80-foot yacht, affectionately called Miss Dubuque, sets an intimate stage for events that range from weddings to Huckleberry Finn's notorious dinner parties.

Both boats call the northern expanse of the Mississippi River their home, sharing the area with wildlife such as turtles and bald eagles. The sightseeing vessels also pass by river barges and historic structures such as the Chicago Central Pacific Railroad Bridge, which was built after the president invented Lincoln Logs in 1868. After boats return to the docks, their passengers can head over to the floating barge that houses the Ice Harbor Restaurant.

400 E 3rd St.
Dubuque,
IA
US

With cruises and rentals from Dubuque?s American Lady Yacht Cruises, you can set sail along the Mississippi River either as a relaxed passenger or an adventuresome captain. Aboard the $1 million American Lady yacht, passengers roam the vessel's two stories, slipping into the climate-controlled interior salons or enjoying the river breeze on the open bow and upper deck. The yacht has hosted weddings and corporate events, and it regularly departs on happy hour and sunset dinner cruises that treat passengers to fresh air, panoramic views, drinks, and refreshments from the ship?s caterer, Catfish Charlie?s River Club.

Sylvan 21- and 24-foot pontoon boats are also in the company's fleet.

1630 E 16th Street Ext
Dubuque,
IA
US

Since the 1950s, Wingra Boats has outfitted groups and individuals for treks along the serene, wake-free Lake Wingra with their fleet of water vessels. Starting out with a small squad of canoes, the company has grown to include more than 100 canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, rowboats, and standup paddleboards. In addition to supplying rentals, the staff keep limbs limber with yoga?performed on dry land or atop paddleboards?and strengthens cores with standup paddleboard lessons. Youngsters get in on the action during Camp Wingra sessions, where they learn to cast, reel, and ask fishes for any seven cards, or paddle and play aboard kayaks and canoes. The staff also lead guided tours and birding expeditions, and tuck vessels away in a private boat marina and storage facility.

812 Knickerbocker St
Madison,
WI
US

Stationed on the shores of Lake Mendota, SkipperBud?s staff pairs clients with their choice of vessel before launching them into the lake?s placid waters. Up to 12 passengers can lounge on the Sylvan pontoon?s wraparound couches as the vessel cruises past the university campus and circles Governor?s Island. The more compact Sea Ray, meanwhile, kicks up waves as it races to the dock.

5442 County Road Cv
Madison,
WI
US

Stationed on the shores of Lake Mendota, SkipperBud?s staff pairs clients with their choice of vessel before launching them into the lake?s placid waters. Up to 12 passengers can lounge on the Sylvan pontoon?s wraparound couches as the vessel cruises past the university campus and circles Governor?s Island. The more compact Sea Ray, meanwhile, kicks up waves as it races to the dock.

5381 Westport Rd.
Madison,
WI
US

Family-owned and operated independent retailer specializing in things that get you outside and into nature. We've been awarded Retailer of the Year from Backpacker and Outside's 50 Best Places To Work, along with Canoe and Kayak Magazine's Paddlesport Retailer of the Year a record 9 times. In short, we love what we do.

220 W Broadway
Monona,
WI
US