Chicago River and Lake Michigan Boating

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Discover Boating. I received collateral to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

mariah R18 bowrider

Since we live so close to Lake Michigan, it would be a shame not to fully enjoy it, right? Since my last post about boating, a lot has happened.

I mentioned that my husband had a fishing boat, but we now also have a fun boat! Yep, since my last post, Mike actually convinced me that we should own another boat.

We purchased a 2011 Mariah R18 Bowrider and it’s absolutely beautiful. Now we can thoroughly #DiscoverBoating

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Boating

Boating the Chicago River

We live just minutes from a boat launch on the Cal Sag river. There are two different paths that we can take to get to Lake Michigan.

We love to go the “scenic route” to fully enjoy the Chicago River. It’s definitely the best way to see the city, if you ask me.

discover boating

Since there’s a lot of no wake areas, it takes about two hours from the time we launch to reach Lake Michigan. Depending on how busy the locks are, that can take some time, too.

We end up right by Navy Pier and just a little ways down from a popular area where boats anchor and hang out – The Play Pen. Here you can drop anchor and swim.

This is Mike’s favorite part. He loves to jump in the lake and just swim for hours. This time they got me to jump in, too. Everyone said the water was “refreshing” which, of course, means fricken cold!!!

swimming in lake michigan

The Chicago skyline from the Play Pen is just gorgeous. This is the ultimate way to fully enjoy the beauty of our city.

lake michigan boating

We have only just begun to explore the waters on our new boat. We have been out with friends and family members now and making lots of memories.

Boating is a great way to bring people together and provide memorable adventures and stories for a lifetime.

Me & Mike — Dad & GayeLynn — Me & Dad is a fantastic resource for boaters of all levels. There’s a cost comparison tool that’s very educational. Find helpful information if you are looking to rent a boat. Also, if you need new ideas for boating activities, has it all.

Stay tuned for many more of our boating adventures. This weekend we plan to go to the Chain of Lakes and do some tubing!

>>> Are you boating at all this summer?

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  1. We love boating too! My husband would be jealous at your two boats, I just told him if he wants a new boat he has to sell the old one first.

  2. That looks like an awesome time! We go out on Lake of the Ozarks sometimes, but it gets a little wild.

    1. I have heard that! This Play Pen can get wild, too. I will stay away from the super busy days. That would have been fun 10 years ago, but now I like to relax. 🙂

  3. We live about 45 minutes from Chicago & I use to go boating with my brother until I hurt my back & now have Spinal Stenosis. I sure miss those days. Looks like so much fun. I remember the no wakes just slowed everything down, but once we got to Lake Michigan it was a blast. We went there on Venetian nights one time with the fireworks & all the boats were lit up with lights. It was so much fun. Thanks for sharing your fun & wonderful pictures. It brought back wonderful memories.

    1. I am so sorry to hear about your back!! 🙁 Venetian night sounds beautiful. I will have to mark the calendar and make a point to go!

  4. I’ve been to Lake Michigan too many times to count, but I’ve never had the experience of sailing the lake on a boat! I had no idea that the shipping dock is called The Play Pen, wow! I completely agree that refreshing for the lake means frigid temperatures! Your trip looked like lots of fun! I have to see the city via boat next time I visit.

  5. Oh wow, that looks like an amazing day! I have never been to Chicago, but it’s definitely some place I’d love to visit someday.

  6. Looks like you guys had a wonderful time.. LOVED your pictures and one day I will get to spend a weekend on the boat, too.. I sooo would love that… thanks for sharing…

  7. This brings back tons of memories! We always had a bowrider growing up. And I always sat in the bow. I miss it. My dad sold it with the lake house when he was starting to really
    Have issues with his dementia. 🙁
    Boating is so fun and wonderful and great for all ages!

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