Download GPX file for this article
42.592500-88.434444Map mag.png

Lake Geneva

From Wikivoyage
Jump to: navigation, search


Lake Geneva is a city in Southeast Wisconsin. It is nestled on the shores of the lake it takes its name from and is a popular, mid-to-upscale daytrip location for residents of Wisconsin and neighboring Illinois. In the summer, lakeside and downtown area events are held such as Arts and Crafts fairs and live music.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

US-12 connects the Lake Geneva area with Chicago to the southeast, Madison to the northwest, and with Interstate 43, which connects to areas such as Beloit and Greater Milwaukee. The closest major airports are Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

By train[edit]

Take the Union Pacific Northwest Metra line from Ogilvie Station in downtown Chicago to the end of the line, Harvard. From there, many resorts on and around Lake Geneva have free shuttles. Otherwise, you can take a taxi. It's about 15 minutes to the closest point on Lake Geneva (the village of Fontana), and it's about 30 minutes to the city of Lake Geneva (the farthest point from Harvard).

Get around[edit]

Map of Lake Geneva (Wisconsin)

Most of the area around Lake Geneva is only accessible via car. It is possible to see most of the downtown area on foot but ensure you wear decent walking shoes. On nice days in the summer, traffic can be very heavy in the downtown area. Most of the downtown area is metered parking.

US 12 serves as the primary access point. WI 50 serves as a primary thoroughfare through downtown Lake Geneva.

See[edit]

There is a law that all lakefront property must offer a bit of their land next to the water to form a path around the entire lake. Bicycles are not allowed, but even on foot, the path is a great way to see some really interesting property and great for a morning walk or anyone who loves to take in nature's beauty.

Do[edit]

Parasailing, boating, sailing are all available at rental.

Buy[edit]

There are many little shops that line the streets of Lake Geneva that are great for shopping on a summer night. The majority of shops are located on the two major roads: Broad & Main. Most of these shops are boutique style and cater to middle aged and older, middle to upper-middle class clientele.

  • Christine's, 858 W Main St #2000. This is a jewelry store that has some hand-made items. It can, naturally, be quite pricy.
  • Bob's Beach Shack, 140 Broad St, +1 262-348-9332. 10AM - Sunset. Shop in downtown Lake Geneva. India Clothing, Wind Chimes, Boogie Boards, Jewelry, Candles, Oils, Lake Geneva T-Shirts, Tie Dye.
  • 1 Gold Coast Inc., 108 Broad St. This is an art gallery that also sells jewelry. The jewelry isn't anything high-end (most of it is sterling silver) but you can find some unique pieces.
  • 2 I Love Funky's, 222 Center St, +1 262-248-8474. Open Everyday 10 - 6. I Love Funky's is a women's fashion and accessory boutique that also has a collection of vintage jewelry. There is an eclectic, "funky" selection of home décor oddities, giftables, antiques, furniture, and stained glass.
  • 3 Paws for Treats, 851 W Main St. This is a pet supply shop. They sell fashionable collars, pet beds, "fancy" dog and cat treats, and pet apparel. Dogs are welcome inside.
  • 4 Scents and Sensibilities. This store sells beautiful soaps, home spa necessities (such as mud-masks, bath robes, foot scrubs, and bubble bath supplies) and other spa apparel.
  • 5 Treasure Cove Gifts, 146 Broad St. This store has been in business for over 20 years. It sells a seemingly random assortment of goods ranging from screen printed t-shirts, bearing inspiring messages such as "Cow Tipper in Training", to key chains and cigars. Primarily they sell t-shirts, most of which are printed in house.

Eat[edit]

  • Chicago East Pizza. For a nice pizza, stop in this little locally owned pizzeria and get their famous stuffed pizza. Located on a side-street off downtown, it's a comfortable atmosphere to relax in.
  • [dead link]The Clubhouse Inn, W3731 Club House Dr (3 miles north of downtown. Follow CTH H north (past the Sugar Shack), turn left on Club House Dr. Follow until intersection of Club House Dr. and Beach), +1 262 248-9862. The Clubhouse Inn is an "old fashioned" Wisconsin style supper club. It has been serving the Lake Geneva area with BBQ ribs along with steaks and seafood for over 40 years. Fine dining in a casual, family friendly atmosphere. Reservations encouraged for "no wait" seating. Available for dine-in, carry-out or private parties.
  • [dead link]In The Drink, W3860 Lake Shore Dr, +1 262 248-8855. 11AM-2AM daily. A casual bar & grille with spectacular views of the lake. Homemade pizzas, ½ lb. burgers, a variety of delicious sandwiches, a Friday Fish Fry and daily specials. Shuffle board, pool table, electronic darts, and 4 42" TV's available. Handicapped accessible, ATM. Visa accepted.
  • 1 Simple Cafe, 525 Broad St, +1 262 248-3556. A bright, clean, and modern café. They have a focus on healthy, local, and sustainable food, in addition to coffees and teas. The menus are seasonal and some dishes are based on availability.
  • 2 Speedo's (Harborside Café), 100 Broad St. A cute little diner right off the lake that has a wide variety of foods for both adults and children including hand-dipped milkshakes.
  • 3 Popeye's, 811 Wrigley Dr. Not to be confused with the fried chicken chain, Popeye's of Lake Geneva is a very lively restaurant with a nautical theme. The menu is an eclectic mix of seafood, burgers, and rotisserie. Locals swear that the fish fry is the best in the county. The seating arrangement is great for families or large groups. Expect a line on summer weekends.

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Carvetti's, 642 W Main St, +1 262 248-9752. This is a large, outdoor, multi-level beer garden that sits alongside the White River. Outdoor décor features palm trees, two fully stocked tiki bars, sand volleyball court and 4 plasma TVs equipped with gaming consoles. The interior features 15 TVs. They sell a wide selection of vodkas, tequilas, and frozen cocktails.

Sleep[edit]

Lake Geneva is geared towards tourists and has a wide variety of hotels, resorts, and experiential lodgings. There are several historic hotels, basic bed and breakfasts, and resorts with spas, golf courses and high-class restaurants.

  • 1 The Baker House, 327 Wrigley Dr, +1 262 248-4700. This is a 1885 Victorian mansion converted into a hotel and fine dining destination. Attached are The Ring Master's Roost, a bar, and the Verdana, a dining establishment. The four rooms have lake views and are ornately decorated in Victorian style, with a price to match. Butler service is available and breakfast is included. This is a sister location of the Maxwell Estate and therefore access to the Maxwell Estate's pool is included in the event you don't wish to swim at the public beach, a few minutes walk away. $275 - $395 per night (more in peak seasons).
  • 2 The Cove of Lake Geneva, 111 Center St, +1 262 249-9460. This hotel is walking distance from the shops and restaurants in the downtown area, and the lake. Rooms here are equipped with fireplaces, whirlpools, kitchens and balconies. There are outdoor and indoor pools. A weight room is available, but mostly just for show. A treadmill and a universal machine are about all you should expect to find. The video game arcade in the hotel is of decent size and also offers pinball.
  • 3 Grand Geneva, 7036 Grand Geneva Way (at Highways 50 East and 12), +1 262 248-8811. Features 355 rooms and suites, spa, and two 18-hole golf courses. There is a three-chair/18-run ski and snowboard facility, a 65,000 square foot meeting and convention space, three restaurants, and an executive airport.
  • 4 Lake Geneva Motel, 524 Wells St, +1 262 248-3464. Within walking distance from the lake and downtown, this motel has clean and comfortable rooms at affordable rates. The motel has a heated, out-door pool. The room decoration is dated and in a cottage style. Entire cottages are available. Some rooms are pet friendly, inform management when making a room reservation. $69 - $180, more in peak seasons and for pets or extra beds..
  • 5 Maxwell Estate (Maxwell Mansion), 421 Baker St, +1 262 248-9711. This is an 1856 mansion complex turned hotel. The main building has 6 rooms in a vintage luxury style (think just before the turn of the 20th century), while the carriage house and stables have been converted into 20 rooms that are decorated in a style that mixes city and country. Some rooms are pet friendly for an additional charge; ensure you notify the hotel when making your reservation. There is an outdoor, heated pool. Attached are the Apothecary Bar (an almost steam-punk fashioned bar) and the Member's Speakeasy (entrance and password are secret, you'll need to ask for both at check-in or, if you aren't staying here, they will sometimes post it on their Facebook page). This hotel's sister location is the Baker House. $175 - $280.
  • 6 Seven Oaks, 682 Wells St, +1 262 248-4006. Small country inn within a short walk of the beach and downtown. Features 9 suites in 7 one-story buildings. The one-bedroom suites feature a 32" TV, king-size bed, spa tub, shower, natural gas fireplace, and comfortable couch. Complimentary breakfast every morning often includes rolls, fruit, yogurt, cereal, and juice. Persons under 21 are not allowed.
  • 7 Timber Ridge Resort Lodge and Water Park, 7020 Grand Geneva Way, +1-866-636-4502. All-season, all-suite resort covering 1,300 acres of land. There are facilities to accommodate up to 200 guests for business and social gatherings. The nature areas near the resort include Big Foot Beach State Park. Activities available include skiing, a water park, and golf. There is also a spa that offers facials, massages, and acupuncture.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Lake Geneva
MadisonElkhorn  NW US 12.svg SE  Fox LakeChicago
DelavanWilliams Bay  W WIS 50.svg E  KenoshaEND


This city travel guide to Lake Geneva is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!