We live in a water town, folks. Let’s take some time to appreciate that. We’ve got lakes, we’ve got rivers, we’ve got a flooded parking lot called Lake Chipotle.
Do you want to get tipsy on a pontoon this summer? You don’t have to be rich to live the boat life. Just an afternoon and some friends willing to pool some cash together.
Boats are also the bikes of the water, we can use them to travel, to exercise, and to explore, whether you’re in a sporty kayak or a five-seater, slow-moving paddleboat.
What we’re saying is: You’ve got options, and we’ve got your options listed below.
Baker Park Reserve
Canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, rowboats, and paddleboard rentals on 917 acres of water. 2309 Baker Park Rd., Maple Plain; 763-694-7860; threeriversparks.org/page/watercraft-rentals.
Bde Maka Ska
Canoes, solo and double kayak boats, and stand-up paddleboards via Wheel Fun Rentals. 3000 E. Bde Maka Ska Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-823-5765; wheelfunrentals.com/mn/minneapolis/bde-maka-ska.
Bryant Lake Regional Park
Canoe, kayak, paddleboat, rowboat, and stand-up paddleboard rentals on 178 acres of water. 6800 Rowland Rd., Eden Prairie; 763-694-7764; threeriversparks.org.
Cleary Lake Regional Park
Canoe, kayak, paddleboat, and stand-up paddle board rentals on 137 acres of water. 18106 Texas Ave., Prior Lake; 763-694-7777; threeriversparks.org.
Fish Lake Regional Park
Row boat, canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals on 244 acres of water. 14900 Bass Lake Rd., Maple Grove; 763-694-7818; threeriversparks.org.
French Regional Park
Canoe, kayak, and rowboat rentals on 866 acres of water. 12605 Cty. Rd. 9, Plymouth; 763-694-7750; threeriversparks.org.
Gale Woods Farm
Canoes on 558 acres of water. 7210 County Rd. 110 W., Minnetrista; 763-694-2001; threeriversparks.org.
Harty’s Boat Rental, Bait Shop, and Moorings
20’ and 22’ pontoons and a fishing boat. 1920 E. Medicine Lake Blvd., Plymouth; 763-671-6711; hartysboatworks.com.
Howard’s Point Marina
Fishing boats, pontoon, and tritoon rentals. 5400 Howards Point Rd., Shorewood; 952-474-4464; howardspoint.com.
Hungry Jack Canoe Outfitters
Providing advice, equipment, and rations for wilderness canoeing in the boundary waters. 318 S. Hungry Jack Rd., Grand Marais; 218-388-2275; hjo.com.
Hyland Lake Park Reserve
Canoe, kayak, paddleboat, and rowboat rentals. No gas motors on 84 acres of water. 10145 Bush Lake Rd., Bloomington; 763-694-7687; threeriversparks.org.
Lake Auburn Campground
Rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and tandem kayaks. Carver Park Reserve, 7290 Victoria Dr., Victoria; 763-694-1112; threeriversparks.org/page/watercraft-rentals.
Choose from two-person swan-shaped paddleboats (romantic!), kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards via Wheel Fun Rentals. 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul; 651-487-8046; wheelfunrentals.com/mn/st-paul/lake-como.
Canoes, solo and double kayak boats, paddleboats (not the swan ones though), and stand-up paddleboards via Wheel Fun Rentals. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-922-9226; wheelfunrentals.com/mn/minneapolis/lake-harriet.
Rent one of those paddleboats that seats 5 and looks like a swan, or be boring and go for a kayak, canoe, or a standup paddleboard via Wheel Fun Rentals. 5022 W. Nokomis Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-729-1127; wheelfunrentals.com/mn/minneapolis/lake-nokomis.
Mississippi River Paddle Share
Summer recreation program featuring self-serve kayak rentals along the Mississippi River featuring a variety of routes, from nature-bound to city views. Entry points include Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, River Park, North Mississippi Regional Park, Bohemian Flats Park, Lilydale Regional Park; exit stops include North Mississippi Regional Park, Boom Island Regional Park, and Minneapolis Rowing Club/Lake Street Bridge. Find more info at Paddleshare.org.
North Country Canoe Outfitters
Guided canoe adventures in the Boundary Waters and Quetico. 474 Kawishiwi Tr., Ely; 218-365-5581; boundarywaters.com.
Seagull Canoe Outfitters
Boundary Waters tours, rentals, and outfitting. 12208 Gunflint Tr., Grand Marais; 218-388-2216; seagulloutfitters.com.
Canoes and kayaks. 2500 County Rd. E, St. Anthony; 763-694-7707; threeriversparks.org/page/watercraft-rentals.
Pontoon, fishing boat, paddleboard, canoe, and kayak rentals. They also offer a variety of food, wine, and beer boat tours. 4441 Lake Ave. S., White Bear Lake; 651-429-2633; tallysdockside.com.
Taylors Falls Canoe & Kayak Rentals
Wild mountain provides canoe and kayak equipment for exploring scenic Taylors Falls. MN Interstate State Park, 307 Miltown Rd., Taylors Falls; 651-465-1080; taylorsfallscanoe.com/canoe-and-kayak.
Voyageur Canoe Outfitters
Tours and equipment for your next Boundary Waters adventure. 189 Sag Lake Tr., Grand Marais; 888-226-6348; canoeit.com.
Wild River Outfitters Canoe and Kayak Rental
Canoe and kayak rentals and advice for exploring the Upper St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. 15177 State Rd. 70, Grantsburg, WI; 715-463-2254; wildriverpaddling.com.