The official start of summer is June 21st, just a couple of weeks away. That means it’s time to start planning your ultimate summer getaway to Whitewater. From concerts in the park to cherry picking in orchards, there are plenty of fun local ways to make this summer one you’ll never forget.  

 1. Celebrate the 4th of July Festival

Whitewater’s Fourth of July Celebration is an epic, four day extravaganza featuring parades, petting zoos, water ski shows, a vintage car & bike rally, a beauty pageant, and so much more. There’s also live music, food vendors, and a beer tent. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Fourth of July Festival without some fireworks. The festival boasts two nights of massive firework demonstrations over the lake that will leave your jaw on the floor. The parade goes right by the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast. Guests can sit on the lawn then walk to the festival to see the ski show right after the parade.  

2. Hit the Water at Kettle Moraine

If you are looking to beat the summer heat, you’ll find more than a dozen lakes and ponds within the Kettle Moraine State Forest. In the southern unit, you can enjoy Rice and Whitewater Lakes. These lakes are popular spots to fish, swim, and go boating. Many people also choose to bring a good book and lounge on the beach for a relaxing afternoon under the sun. Boat rentals are available at the Parkside Marina.  

3. Tour the Janesville Rotary Gardens

Rotary Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous 20-acre botanical garden featuring 26 different styles of gardens and over 4,000 varieties of plants. This award-winning garden is a true feast for the senses. Enjoy a stroll through the Japanese Garden, Scottish Garden, French Formal Garden, and English Cottage Garden, to name but a few. The Rotary Botanic Gardens also host a variety of events throughout the year and offer adult education programs, including seminars, workshops, demonstrations, and guided hikes. In addition, their programs for children and families are some of the best around.  

4. Listen to Music in the Park

One of the best parts of the summer events season here in Whitewater is our incredible concerts in the park series. There’s the Savoy Sounds Concert series at Birge Mountain and the Concerts in the Park series at Cravath Lakefront Park. Bring a blanket, a picnic, and your friends and family for a fun evening with beautiful scenery and inspiring music.  

5. Pick Your Own Fruit

Enjoy the bounty of summer at Steffen’s Cherry Orchard, a family-run orchard where you can pick your own fruit. Established in 1981, Steffen’s Cherry Orchard boasts over 800 tart cherry trees, specifically the Montmorency and Balaton varieties. After picking your cherries, you can head to the barn to have them pitted and washed. Steffen’s also has an incredible selection of baked goods, pies, jams, jellies, salsas, juices, and even locally made honey. Pick up their original cherry cookbook for recipes you can make at home. During the season, Steffen’s is open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Planning a trip to Whitewater this summer? Book a stay at the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast, located just minutes from Kettle Moraine State Park.