Until this summer, we’d forgotten how much we love spending time at the lake. Years ago, we lived on a lake so we definitely know the BEST way to enjoy a day at the lake! As one of our summer day trips, we headed over to Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana to spend some time in the water and sunshine.
Start with a boat!
When visiting a lake, the first order of business is to get yourself a boat. If you are lucky enough to be visiting lake friends, you may be covered. But, if not, there is typically at least one lakeside marina where you can rent a boat for the afternoon.
Insider tip: call ahead of time to reserve your boat. Most marinas have a limited amount of rentals and you might not be able to get what you want if you just show up.
We were able to rent a deck boat for the afternoon through Lake Shafer Boat Rentals which was perfect for a day of tubing and cruising. When we arrived, we were given instructions and a short lesson on how to drive the boat. We watched them disinfect it before we climbed aboard which was comforting. Lake Shafer Boat Rentals has life jackets, or if you have your own, you can just bring them along. You will need one jacket per person, so plan accordingly.
Insider tip: think about what you want to do and how many people are with you when you decide which boat to rent. A pontoon boat is ideal for cocktail cruising and larger parties. A ski boat is great for tubing or skiing, but typically has a lot less room for coolers, life jackets, etc. A deck boat is a nice compromise as there is more floor space than a ski boat, they typically drive smoother and you can still ski/tube behind them.
Lake Shafer is a fun lake to cruise around, checking out the cottages, and enjoying a few beverages. There is also an amusement park (Indiana Beach) ON the waterfront – it’s pretty entertaining to hear the screams from the roller coaster as you float by.
Don’t forget the snacks
To make the most of your day at the lake, be sure to pack a cooler full of drinks (lots of water) and food. If you aren’t sure what to pack, check out my tips for packing the perfect picnic.
After spending time exploring the nooks and crannies of the lake, it was time to start tubing. We used a tube from the rental company but could have also brought our own. It was a blast and the tube we rented worked out perfectly for one afternoon. Our son had never been tubing (how had I neglected that!), and it’s truly the ideal activity for a teenage boy!
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Make sure to save some time in your day to just float in the water. Look for a quiet spot in a non-wake zone, anchor your boat, and just hang out. If you don’t have floats, use the “diaper method.” Simply put your life jacket on upside down (fasten in the front and your legs through the armholes) and you’ll float with very little effort. Grab a drink from your cooler to sip while you chat with your friends. I guarantee you’ll soon find yourself talking about everything and nothing. So relaxing!
Of course, no day at the lake would be complete without stopping at a local ice cream stand on the way home. Every lake town has at least one!
👉 Be sure to bring along water shoes (these are my favorites), towels, and extra clothes to change into. It’s much more comfortable driving home in dry clothes!
It’s been years since I’ve spent time on Lake Shafer and this lovely afternoon reminded me of what an exciting getaway it can be. A day at the lake feels like a true vacation. I envision us visiting again soon. I’d like to spend an entire weekend there later this year – those roller coasters and the lake life are calling me back.
Looking for more great weekend adventures in Indiana? Check out these 5 fun and unique spots for a weekend getaway!
Check out more fun water-filled ideas
Do you love water-filled adventures as much as we do? Check out these other fun day trips around Indiana:
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