Swimming in the Great Lakes region is an obvious and must-do activity. The clean, fresh waters of the lakes offer amazing swimming opportunities, whether you are cooling off on a hot summer day, or jumping in and out during a polar bear dip (icy, annual traditions when brave individuals jump into frigid oceans and lakes, often for charity). While the ocean waters are incredible, nothing compares to a swim in these fresh, wave-filled inland seas. Yes, the Great Lakes have waves! Not as intense as ocean waves with the added bonus of no sharks or jellyfish. The region also boasts some incredible sandy and rocky beaches to relax on after a dip. So what are you waiting for? Grab your suit and towel and jump in!
There are so many mental and physical benefits to going outside. Swimming is...
Calming - It can help you feel weightless, relaxed, and immersed in nature
Accessible - There are thousands of lakes and beaches in the Great Lakes region
Social - It is a great way to meet new friends, build communities, and make memories
Healthy - It boosts your immune system, releases endorphins, and improves blood circulation
Exhilarating - Swimming outside makes you feel free! The possibilities are endless
Affordable - Most beaches and lakes are free to swim in
Exercise - It is a great full-body workout that is easy on your joints
Fun - A great way to play for both kids and adults
Nothing compares to swimming in a fresh, secluded lake, with the sun shining on your back, loons crying in the distance, and birds casting shadows on the water....
"When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you've gotta do? Just keep swimming!" — Dory, Finding Nemo. Water can be very therapeutic and the perfect tool...
• Swim suit
• Sun protection (waterproof sunscreen, sunglasses, hats)
• Water shoes
• Flip flops
• Wetsuit (if you’re worried about the cold)
• Head protection (swim caps, nose clips, ear plugs, goggles)
• Scuba/Snorkeling gear
• Floatation device (life jacket, kickboard, pool noodle, inner tube, giant inflatable swan)
Everyone loves a warm day at the beach. Imagine this: It’s beautiful day, the sun is shining, it’s nice and warm, and you call up your friends to see if they want...
Before you swim:
• Pack a snack for after your swim. Swimming makes you hungry!
• Check the water quality of your beach in the Swim Guide
• Check the weather
• Find beaches with lifeguards on duty
• Take swimming lessons
While you swim:
• Don’t swim out too far. Gage how far you can swim without getting tired.
• Swim in designated areas
• Drink lots of water
• Be aware of wave height, strength, and currents
• Stay protected from the sun
• Swim with a buddy
• Splash around and have fun!
It’s summertime, the sun is shining, and your beach bag is packed. You probably already checked the Weather Network to make sure today is going to be the perfect...