Milwaukee may not be the first city that comes to mind when you’re planning a surf-worthy vacation, but if you never experience our vibrant emerging surf scene for yourself, then you’ll be truly missing out! Lake Michigan is the place to be all winter long – yes, you read that right.

It may come as a surprise to most, but the reason you’ll see so many surfers on the lake in winter is because that is when surfing is at its best. The winds (and thus, the waves) are strongest during those colder months, which means that seasoned surfers will get quite a thrill on our beloved lake. It’s so true, in fact, that experts suggest that┬ábeginner to intermediate surfers stick to milder months (September and October, namely) for safety reasons.

If freshwater surfing – or any sort of surfing – is part of your recreation repertoire, then Milwaukee is a MUST for your winter travel itinerary.

What You Should Know About Surfrider Milwaukee


Surfrider was founded in 1984 in an effort to preserve waters across the globe. Here in Milwaukee, that mission is being carried out on our very own Lake Michigan. It’s a critical mission, whether you surf or not, considering that the Great Lakes hold 20% of Earth’s surface freshwater.

For those who do surf, however, Surfrider is so much more. It’s all about sunset parties on the beach, community education, cafe gallery nights, open water excursions, and finding support in others who share the same passion for surfing.

The organization welcomes participation by visitors and locals alike, especially in its annual event, Surf@Water.