For anyone wanting to try kayaking with friends for the first time or as an expert, we have a lot of choices for rentals in Milwaukee. There are also other options for watercraft.
Milwaukee Kayak Company has two locations. The south river location has been open for four years now at 318 South Water Street, which is open seven days a week. The new location this summer is at Schlitz Park, 1555 N. River Center Drive, which is open Friday through Sunday. You can choose a single, tandem, paddle board, or canoe. Reservations are encouraged and can be made from the website link for the main location. Walk-ups only at Schlitz Park.
Clearwater Outdoors rents out kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards across from Milwaukee Public Market, but you can visit their store to make a reservation and pay. They also have a fun outdoor adventure club that offers social activities along with some exercise. You can combine yoga and paddling or dinner and paddling. They even have a moonlight paddle.
Urban Ecology Center has always provided kayaks for its members. You need to take a safety class, provided at their locations. You can get into a canoe on the lagoon at Washington Park with little fuss. You can also borrow a cart at Riverside and put in on the Milwaukee River at Rotary Centennial Arboretum.
Wheel Fun Rentals is the watercraft vendor at Veterans Park. They no longer offer watercraft at Bradford Beach. This is the easiest paddle and is great for beginners because you're on a still lagoon. You can't get lost. If you fall out, you can probably stand up on the muddy floor of the lagoon. They have kayaks, paddle boards, and pedal boats. It is open every day of the week.
For more information about where you can kayak, check out the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail map.