The Delavan area was inhabited by Native Americans as early as 1000 BC, including the original mound builders and later by the Potawatomi. When Wisconsin became a state in 1848, development began and the City was home to roughly 26 circus companies between 1847 and 1894. This rich circus history is reflected across the city in statues and murals.
After the circus companies closed or moved on, the city's tourism industry picked up with Lake Lawn Resort as a major attraction. Though Lake Lawn had some difficult years, it is open and is again popular with vacationers.
More recently, Delavan's Hispanic population has grown and constitutes roughly 30% of the population according to the 2010 Census. The exceptional diversity of the community is reflected in the downtown, where English and Spanish businesses stand beside each other.
Delavan is accessible via Interstate 43 and is within 5 miles of US Route 14. Routes 50 and 11 are the primary east-west thoroughfares.
Delavan can be traveled by car or on foot. WI 11 and 50 provide access to the vast majority of the city.
- Downtown Delavan, Intersection of Walworth Avenue and 3rd Street. Home of numerous quaint restaurants, bakeries, antique stores, clothing retailers and the famous circus statues at Water Tower Park.
- Paul Lange Arboretum, N.Terrace Street. One of Delavan's two arboretums, the Paul Lange Arboretum is also a canoe launch for Lake Comus and has a 1½-mile nature trail.
- Rudy Lange Sledding Hill, Washington and Terrace. During the winter, the Rudy Lange Sledding Hill is a major attraction for the city's kids.
- Elizabeth's Cafe, 322 East Walworth Avenue, ☎ . A country cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Combo specials are inexpensive and delicious.
- 1 The Inn Between, 1522 Beckman Dr, Delavan, WI 53115-3904 (Hwy 50 to North Shore Dr. t Beckman Dr.), ☎ . The historic "Inn Between" bar & grill on Delavan Lake is on 70 feet of prime waterfront with 2 piers to cater to the lake clientele and a large parking lot for those traveling by car or cycle. The last true tavern left on Delavan Lake features inside and outside dining along with a spacious picnic area for fun and games. Known as "the place to be" the Inn Between has many upgraded amenities including 10 beers on tap, outside deck with lakeviews and a Tiki Bar.
|Routes through Delavan|
|Milwaukee ← Elkhorn ←||N S||→ Jct W E → Beloit|
|Dubuque ← Janesville ←||W E||→ Elkhorn → Racine|
|END ←||W E||→ Williams Bay → Kenosha|