The Abbey Resort on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin is one of those
places I have often driven past and wondered about. But my family
was always more of the rent-a-rustic-cabin type, so we never
While the resort rooms go for more than $300 a night during the
summer, rates fall below $200 in the fall, when the lush colors of
a Lake Geneva autumn alone are worth the 80-mile drive northwest
The Abbey is a conference center, but also bills itself as a
family-friendly resort. It offers a year-round schedule of
kid-friendly activities, ranging from lawn games (horseshoes, ping
pong, badminton and Frisbee, among others) to s'mores around the
campfire, craft-making and (much to my chagrin) an arcade.
Hubby and I landed there for our anniversary weekend, sans kids,
so we did the adult thing and spent an amazing day getting massages
and lazing around the Avani Spa pool. The pool was filled with
other couples and girlfriends who even ordered lunch to be
delivered poolside so they only had to leave when they were
summoned for another spa treatment.
Unlike those folks, we did venture outside the resort to explore
the small neighboring towns.
In Williams Bay, we discovered the family-owned Daddy Maxwell's
Antarctic Circle Diner, where the strawberry pancakes are well
worth the calories. We walked off the breakfast on the 77-acre
grounds of the Yerkes Observatory. We could have toured the
observatory if we had arrived a few minutes earlier (or eaten a
little less) since the free tours are offered only on Saturday
There are lots of tourist-y shops in Lake Geneva, but we prefer
shopping as a treasure hunt. So we headed to Delavan where we
browsed through second-hand "antique" (junk) shops and spent more
than an hour roaming the aisles of Bibliomaniac, a quirky used book
store complete with a friendly feline.
Don't head home without a stop at the Elegant Farmer in nearby
Mukwonago, Wis., to pick up one of the best apple pies you'll ever
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