Summer is perhaps our favorite time of year here in Whitewater. With many of the students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater home for the summer, the town gets a little quieter but the fun doesn’t stop. During the summer months, you can enjoy warm temperatures, exciting festivals, and plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. Here are our five awesome things to add to your summer to-do list.

Picnic in the Park

Whitewater’s many parks are the perfect place to while away the afternoon with a picnic basket and good book. Starin Park is a welcoming community gathering place with plenty of picnic tables, sports fields, and a large playground for the kids. We also like Trippe Lake Park, where you can fish or take a short hike along the lake after your lunch. On Thursday nights at Cravath Lakefront Park, come to enjoy free live music. For something a little more unique, try Indian Mounds Park. Indian Mounds is a historic 21.5 acre park on the west side of the city. A former Native American burial site, it contains a collection of ancient Indian effigy mounds and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. This restored oak savanna is also great spot for short hike. It remains the site of Native American pow-wows to this day.

Attend the Fourth of July Festival

Whitewater’s Fourth of July Festival is one of the biggest and best events of the year. This year, it lasts from June 29th to July 4th, ending with a massive parade and a fireworks show over beautiful Cravath Lake. During the rest of the fest, there is live music, a car show, a Miss Whitewater pageant, carnival rides & games, water ski competitions, food vendors, and a beer garden. Almost everyone in the community comes out for the six days of food, fireworks, and fun.

Fish at Whitewater Lake

Whitewater Lake is a 652-acre body of water located in the Southern portion of Kettle Moraine State Park. With its clean public beach and boat landing, it is a popular local hang-out spot during the summer. The lake is well stocked with panfish, largemouth bass, Northern pike, and Walleye. Come to fish and you are almost guaranteed to make a catch! There are also picnic tables and grills for a BBQ as well as several easy trails wrapping around the lake.

Bird Watch at Adam Birding Conservancy

Whether you are an avid birder or a rookie, we highly recommend paying a visit to Adam Birding Conservancy, located just three miles of north of Whitewater in Cold Spring. It encompasses 331-acres of privately held wetlands, prairie, and woods along the lovely Bark River. A habitat for migratory waterfowl, over 179 different types of birds have been recorded on site. You may also encounter a variety of other wildlife, such as pheasants, turkey, deer, otters, weasels, coyotes, and zapus, or a rare breed of jumping mice. Adam Birding Conservatory is also home to many plants, sedges, and trees, including beautiful oaks.  

Pick Your Own Fruit

One of our favorite parts of summer is all the fresh fruit that is available: peaches, strawberries, raspberries, nectarines, blackberries, plums, and of course, cherries. At Steffen’s Cherry Orchard in Fort Atkinson, you can pick your own tart cherries from over 800 cherry trees. There is even a machine on-site that will pit your cherries for you! You can also browse their small shop for baked goods, jams, jellies, salsas, local honeys, and a cookbook devoted entirely to cherries. Planning a trip to Whitewater this summer? Book a stay at the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast, located minutes from the Southern Kettle Moraine State Park.