Top Things to Do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin | Midwest Living
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Top Things to Do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Just 60 miles southwest of Milwaukee, this pretty resort town's population of 8,000 swells every summer and fall when vacationers arrive. Hotels, resorts and restaurants hug the lakeshore, and boat tours leave from downtown.

What to do

Black Point Estate See the 1888 Queen Anne-style mansion and grounds once owned by a Chicago beer baron.

Black Point Estate

Black Point Estate. Photo Courtesy of Lake Geneva Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Geneva Lake Museum Walk along a re-created Main Street with stores, homes and a school room for a glimpse of life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Horticultural Hall On summer Thursdays, stop at the little farmers market for fresh picnic fixings.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line Lake excursions offer close-up views of the grand Victorian estates ringing Wisconsin's second-largest spring-fed lake.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line

Lake Geneva Cruise Line.

Shopping You could browse downtown Lake Geneva shops like Strawberry Fields forever (OK, maybe not literally) without finding all the treasures. The women’s clothier features breezy finery like Chan Luu accessories and Free People clothing. At Brick and Mortar Home, you’ll find candles, throw pillows and kitchenware. Maple Park Antiques draws you in with an intriguing mix of items on the porch, including fat 1940s-era water skis.

Shore Path More than 25 miles of walking paths run through the manicured grounds of these estates, most still privately owned after being populated by Chicago's elite—the Wrigleys, Schwinns and Maytags—in the late 19th century.

Lake Geneva Shore Path mansions

Mansions along Lake Geneva Shore Path.

Studio Winery Stop by for a wine tasting or arts class, and hear live music from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday year-round—the winemaker is also a blues keyboardist.

Where to eat

Egg Harbor Cafe The breakfast and lunch crowd comes for hearty portions of dishes such as eggs Benedict and Texas French toast. Diners who eat gluten-free will find skillet creations, egg scrambles, sandwiches and pancakes.

Gino’s East of Chicago Chicago-area visitors hankering for hometown flavor will find it inside the Harbor Shore of Geneva Lake hotel. The deep-dish pizza always pleases; the salads and desserts are great, too.

Popeye’s of Lake Geneva Try the all-you-can-eat fish fry.

Simple Cafe Pull up a bright green chair and enjoy dishes like roasted squash grain salad, a Korean barbecue breakfast bowl or a mushroom Gruyère burger.

Sopra Bistro Savor fine Italian-American fare in a lively space. Try the baby octopus appetizer and an entree like New Zealand lamb chops.

Tuscan Tavern and Grill Choose from artisan pizzas cooked in a brick oven, steaks, seafood and pasta. Stone walls, wooden beams and arches create a romantic atmosphere for dining.

Where to stay


The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa At the other end of Geneva Lake in Fontana, guests of all ages are entertained with classic lake resort activities, three pools and the Avani Spa, as well as a virtual reality gaming center.

Geneva National Resort The Ridge Hotel, The Cove of Lake Geneva and The Inns of Geneva National offer luxury rooms, suites and villas for golfers, family groups and others on the grounds of Geneva National Resort and Club, at Lake Como just north of Geneva Lake.

Grand Geneva Resort and Spa Northeast of downtown, choose a room, suite or villa; enjoy two golf courses and excellent restaurants, as well as an updated WELL Spa + Salon and a fitness center.

Grand Geneva

Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. Photo Courtesy of Lake Geneva Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Maxwell Mansion The main building offers lodging in elegant, traditional rooms, while the carriage house features modern suites. Relax with drinks in the Apothecary Bar.

For more information visit
 Lake Geneva Area Convention and Visitors Bureau's website.

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