Spring getaways offer many options for fun inside and out
Every day, complete strangers are allowed an intimate view of the lavish lifestyle of many of Chicago’s elite. This hidden gem, called the Geneva Lake Shore Path, is a 20+ mile public access footpath bounded by Wisconsin’s second deepest natural inland lake and the front lawns of elaborate mansions. Famous estates include Wrigley (of chewing gum fame), Swift (meatpacking mogul) and Selfridge (founder of Selfridges and Co. department store). While the entire path takes eight to 10 hours to walk, it can easily be broken into manageable and scenic segments, ranging from 1.75 to 3 miles. Walking guides are available for sale at area resorts and retailers to help you map the trail that suits your interests and abilities.
If you are planning a golf getaway, the Lake Geneva area offers an ideal destination. Visitors can tee it up at 22 glacial landscaped courses. From graceful, rolling hills that were glacier made, to the area’s great dining, shopping and attractions, the fun continues both on and off the course – all less than half a tank of gas from the Chicago area. Imagine playing on a course designed by some of the biggest names in the game. Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Trevino, Dye and Cupp have all created championship courses in the Lake Geneva area. Or, picture stepping onto a highly rated course as determined by leading national golf and travel publications. With a rich variety of courses in the area, there is something for every experience level.
In many places, history is a thing of the past. But in Lake Geneva, the region’s rich, enchanting legacy is celebrated every day. Visitors are invited to tour one of the oldest mansions on Geneva Lake, Black Point Estate. Built in 1888 as a summer home for a Chicago beer baron and his family, this stately manor has 13 bedrooms and a four-story tower that can be seen from many points on the lake. The property covers nearly eight acres and fronts 620 feet of undisturbed Geneva Lake shoreline. Considered one of the great summer mansions of the Midwest, Black Point is a prime example of Queen Anne architecture and contains an extensive collection of Victorian furniture. While the home itself is certainly impressive, equally impressive is the fact that visitors today still arrive the same way the original residents did — by boat. The Lake Geneva Cruise Line transports visitors to Black Point from spring through fall. Each ticket includes boat transportation as well as admission to the home.
Those interested in getting a flavor for prairie life in the late 19th century won’t want to miss Old World Wisconsin. This living, 600-acre, open-air museum includes more than 60 historic structures, including ethnic farmsteads, furnished houses, rural outbuildings, and a crossroads village with traditional small-town institutions. The efforts of countless historians have preserved this amazing collection of true Americana, and hundreds of educators and volunteers help bring it to life each day. Visitors can witness handicraft demonstrations by skilled artisans, observe farm folk preparing hearty meals over wood-burning stoves, watch a 1860s-style baseball game, and experience other fascinating reenactments of everyday life in a bygone era. Old World Wisconsin is open from spring through fall with a special holiday season running the month of December.
A well-deserved break awaits women in Lake Geneva. The area’s shops, events and activities offer a chance to reconnect with friends and indulge in what Lake Geneva has to offer. Activities include spas, cruises on the lake, culinary classes, yoga and meditation studios, and plenty of great places for a relaxing brunch, cocktails and everything in between. Lake Geneva’s annual Women’s Weekend will take place Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28 at locations throughout the Lake Geneva area. Attendees will experience the variety of shopping, attractions and activities that only a “girl’s getaway” in Lake Geneva can offer.
There are a variety of ways for couples to unwind in the Lake Geneva area. Couples can enjoy luxury spas, wonderful dining and bistros and indoor pools. Bonding experiences include zip lining, dance instruction, tennis, golf, theatre, and culinary classes. A romantic stroll on the famed Geneva Lake Shore Path, a carriage ride, or shopping in Lake Geneva’s historic downtown are all great ways for couples to enjoy the outdoors together in the Lake Geneva area.
Spring is a great time to embrace the outdoors in the Lake Geneva area – whether you enjoy fun on the land or on the water. The Lake Geneva Cruise Line offers daily sightseeing tours with in-depth historical narration about the many estates that line the beautiful shore. Signature cruises include a Sunday morning champagne brunch or a sultry jazz dinner cruise on Friday nights. If you enjoy hiking, the Lake Geneva area boasts several parks, nature preserves and conservatories. The area has been honored as both a Tree City USA and Bird City Wisconsin location. Finally, those wanting to explore the area on two wheels can connect to the Lake Geneva Bike Path downtown and select from five routes of varying length and difficulty.
Mark your calendar for the following signature spring events in the Lake Geneva area:
Women’s Weekend: April 26-28
Enjoy an exciting weekend in Lake Geneva of shopping, fun activities and your best gal pals. The 7th annual Lake Geneva Women's Weekend offers a variety of events. Space is limited for some activities. Pre-registration is required. For complete information including a listing of special hotel packages, in-store specials, restaurant offers and to register online visit the website. For complete information, visit www.lakegenevawomensweekend.com.
Burlington Chocolatefest: May 24-27
Got chocolate? Every year 35,000+ people attend this premier event dedicated to the celebration of all things chocolate – from the Chocolate Experience Tent to Project Yum-Way. Featuring chocolate, live entertainment, food and fun in Burlington, Wis., this family-friendly event takes place over Memorial Day Weekend and is the perfect launch into summer. (262) 763-3300 www.chocolatefest.com.
About Lake Geneva
Nestled on the northeastern shores of Geneva Lake in southeast Wisconsin, Lake Geneva has been a resort community since just after the Civil War when wealthy Chicago families discovered the site and began building summer homes there. Today, the elegant, often historic estates still ring the lake and can be viewed from the water or by foot via the 20+ mile walking path that circles the lake.
Lake Geneva boasts a wealth of dining options and lodging choices with the latter ranging from luxury spa resorts to rustic inns to lovely B&B’s. The area also offers pristine nature areas and a wealth of attractions. For more information on a spring getaway in Lake Geneva, honored as
A National Trust for Historic Preservation Distinctive Destination, visit www.lakegenevawi.com or call 1-800-345-1020.