If you’re looking to get out of the city for some summer fun, pack your car up and head to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This southwestern Wisconsin resort community has been a popular summer vacation spot since just after the Civil War, when wealthy Chicago families discovered the beautiful, spring-fed lake and began building second homes along the shoreline. Just an 85-mile drive from Chicago, Lake Geneva makes for an easy weekend trip filled with family fun – and even some one-on-one time for mom and dad!
Rent a boat of your own
Gordy’s “Speedboat Rentals” offers a fine fleet of rental boats on Lake Geneva. Whether you want to take the kids skiing, boarding, tubing, or just want to cruise the shoreline and check out the beautiful lake, there’s a boat for your family.
Walk the lakefront path
A 26.2-mile path circles the entire lake. You’ll cross small bridges, pass by stately, historic estates, and enjoy picturesque view of the dazzling lake.
Tour a historic mansion
Black Point is a stunning, lakefront Queen Anne style Victorian home built in 1887 as a summer “cottage” for Conrad Seipp, a German immigrant to Chicago. Having remained in the Seipp family for over 120 years, it has one of the most intact collections of Victorian furnishings in the Midwest. To tour Black Point Estate, visitors travel by boat from Riviera Docks in downtown Lake Geneva. Tickets can be booked through Lake Geneva Cruise Line, a private tour company. The entire tour takes approximately three hours.
Enjoy a paddle and a pedicure
The Avani Spa, a luxe day spa located onsite at The Abbey Resort, is offering a Paddle and Pedi package this summer, featuring a two-hour stand-up paddle board session on the lake, followed by 50-minutes of pure relaxation with the signature pedicure. Additional seasonal services such as the Lake Breeze manicure or pedicure and the Summer Flame Massage are also available. Make sure to save some extra time to enjoy this 35,000 square foot spa with its sunlit atrium swimming pool, whirlpools, sauna, steam room, eucalyptus inhalation room and more.
Visit the World’s Largest Retracting Telescope
If you’re boating on the lake you’re sure to spot the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, a 90-foot dome and 73-foot refractor, owned by the University of Chicago’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Take a free public tour and you’ll have the opportunity to see the world’s largest lens-type telescope.
Enjoy a quiet dinner and a sunset
The Summer Nights Wine Dinner Series at The Abbey Resort on Geneva features stunning sunset and harbor views paired with spectacular cuisine and wine, all set outdoors on the picturesque Abbey Harbor Lawn. Each event features a different menu and winery. The series will be offered July 23 and August 27 at 6:30 p.m. on the Harbor Lawn. Reservations are required for the event, which is open to the public.
The Abbey will also arrange childcare hours with an advance reservation, in addition to its daily Rainbow Point Round-Up. The no-hassle, low-cost childcare service is available to resort guests every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. throughout the summer months, so mom and dad can enjoy some one-on-one time while the kids enjoy crafts, games and other fun summer activities.