MKE IT Downtown

3 Best Parts of Exploring Milwaukee by Water

September 11, 2018 /   Milwaukee Kayak Company

By Kelly Christiansen

Before the fall chill fully took hold, I booked two aquatic adventures: sailing with Milwaukee Community Sailing Center (MCSC) and kayaking with Milwaukee Kayak Company (MKC). Here are three things I noticed while exploring Milwaukee from the water:

1. Traffic flows

Stuck in traffic to your lunch date? Breeze along as you head from MKC’s main location at 318 S Water St north to the Lakefront Brewery for lunch. Wanna stay close to the water? Pack a picnic and find a relaxing spot before turning back. Rentals at #MKC are for up to 4 hours.  

Milwaukee Kayak Company

2. Exercise/Tan/Learn (an even cooler Gym/Tan/Laundry)

What better way to soak up the sun and get some exercise than taking in the historic buildings along the river via one of MKC’s kayaks! You can’t miss the 100 East Wisconsin, also known as The Faison Building. Created in 1989 on the site of the old Pabst Building, it is bordered on the west by the Milwaukee River along the Milwaukee Riverwalk and is the second tallest building in Wisconsin, behind the U.S. Bank Center.

Over at MCSC, all the boats are donated, and they are open all year with dry land classes, racing programs, classes on how to buy and maintain a boat, how to be a good crew, and tons of social events. Our sailing instructor Bonnee started sailing there in 2002. She had never sailed, it was not on her bucket list, it was NOT intuitive, and she really had to learn!

She taught us basic sailing skills, even letting each of us call out the direction to our crew, like “Prepare to tack.” (Tacking, or coming about, is a sailing maneuver by which a sailing vessel, whose desired course is into the wind, turns its bow toward the wind so that the direction from which the wind blows changes from one side to the other, allowing progress in the desired direction.) #TheMoreYouKnow. Also, you must know a member to take you on an excursion, so ask Holly at the front desk if there is anything possible for your special occasion.

Milwaukee Community Sailing Center

3. Milwaukee is really pretty.

There is nothing like the view of our city from Lake Michigan. From the Milwaukee Art Museum to the Hoan Bridge (#LightTheHoan), the views of our city from the water are breathtaking. On Friday, August 10, 2018, the day Bonnee from MCSC took us out aboard the Pizzazz (awesome name btw), it was a gorgeous afternoon, with steady, northeast winds at 9-11 knots, 72 degrees with sunny skies, and 1’ to 2’ waves on the Lake. Despite basically PERFECT conditions, I was admittedly frazzled – I came straight from work to sailing and then planned to rush home and prepare for an event. Once I was out on the water though, I realized that my rushing and worrying about getting everything accomplished that day was pointless. Being on the Pizzazz reminded me that the only thing I needed to do was be present in the moment. (I had thought that was just a yoga thing, but sailing will do that to you, too.) Curious for more info on my #MixItUpMKE #thrillseeker adventures? Drop me a note here.


Skyline Milwaukee Community Sailing Center


Kelly Christiansen, EDAC, is a Senior Marketing Strategist at Kahler Slater. Kelly and her team enthusiastically partner with clients to help them reach their strategic goals for advancing their organizations. Ms. Christiansen has authored several of the firm’s insights blogs on topics such as Trends in Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Technology’s Impact on Patient Experience and Designing for Dignity in Behavioral & Mental Health Environments.

Prior to joining Kahler Slater, Kelly developed and implemented strategic marketing plans for healthcare organizations, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers from her account services post within multiple Chicago-based agencies. An honors communications graduate of DePaul University, Ms. Christiansen is delighted to be back in her hometown of Mequon, WI, where she enjoys working out, book club and spending time with friends and family. @kellymc247

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