Brittingham, Wingra & Marshall Boats
Brittingham Boats (on Monona Bay), Wingra Boats (on Lake Wingra) and Marshall Boats (on Lake Mendota) rent out canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, stand-up paddleboards and more. All three locations are open every day until Labor Day, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. wingraboats.com.
From the doorstep of Rutabaga Paddlesports you can take a rental vessel onto the Yahara River north to Lake Monona or south to Lake Waubesa. Rutabaga also offers paddling instruction, even for children. rutabaga.com.
After enjoying a juicy brat on the Memorial Union Terrace overlooking Lake Mendota, stroll next door and rent paddleboards, kayaks and canoes from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Paddle west along the shoreline to Picnic Point or east toward Tenney Park. Check the website for summer hours. union.wisc.edu.