Looking for the best things to do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin? I have put together a list of the top things to do in this beautiful lakeside city.
Best Things to Do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
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Lake Geneva is a popular resort city located in southeastern Wisconsin and one of the best places to visit in the Midwest. Here are the best things to do in Lake Geneva.
Walk the Geneva Lake Shore Path
Walk along all or part of the Lake Geneva Shore Path, a 21-mile trail around Geneva Lake, that offers stunning views of the forest, water and impressive waterfront homes. Each property maintains its portion of this public-access path, so the terrain varies.
Take a Lake Cruise
If you would rather not walk the Lake Shore Path, enjoy similar views by taking a cruise around Geneva Lake, the second deepest lake in Wisconsin.
The narrated boat tours by Lake Geneva Cruise Line give you the history of all those magnificent mansions that rim the shoreline. There’s also an evening dinner cruise and the famous U.S. mailboat tour with mail “jumpers” delivering the mail to piers with the boat never slowing down.
Lake Geneva is one of the best places to play golf in the Midwest. You can find two 18-hole courses at Grand Geneva Resort designed by Jack Nicklaus. Geneva National Resort is home to a 54 hole award-winning golf course designed by Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino.
Tristan Crist Magic Theatre
Enjoy an hour of live magic, comedy, and illusion at the family-friendly Tristan Crist Magic Theatre-Revel just outside downtown Lake Geneva. The Tristan Crist Magic Theatre is home to illusionist Tristan Crist, known for his large-scale illusions performed up close and personal.
Best Things to Do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in the Summer
Spend Time at the Beach
Visiting Lake Geneva in the summer? Enjoy a variety of outdoor activities on the water, including boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, wake boarding and more.
If you would rather relax spend some time on the beach. Popular beaches include, Williams Bay Beach, Fontana Beach and Riviera Beach.
Best Things to Do in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in the Winter
See the Ice Castles
Ice Castles is a unique Lake Geneva winter attraction (they can be found in only five destinations in North America). This award-winning frozen attraction is built using thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists.
I recommend visiting right before sunset so you can see the ice castles both in the daytime and at night when they are lit up in different colors.
Visitors can go also down ice slides designed for people of all ages, explore caverns and walk beneath archways adorned with hand-placed icicles and crawl through ice tunnels.
The Ice Castles is 100% weather dependent but they are usually open between early to mid January and late February to early March. This is a very popular event and ticket sell quickly.
Read more about visiting the ice castles here.
See Snow Sculptures Built During Winterfest
Although summer is the busiest time to visit Lake Geneva, Winterfest in February is the most popular annual event.
The highlight of Winterfest is the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship, during which you can watch talented and award-winning sculpting teams from across the country create large snow sculptures at Riviera Plaza and Flat Iron Park in downtown Lake Geneva.
Other activities during Winterfest include the Downtown Ice Sculpture Walk, bonfires on the beach, live entertainment and more.
Go Skiing and Snowboarding
You can go skiing and snowboarding in and around Lake Geneva at The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva Resort, Vail Resorts’ Wilmot Mountain and Alpine Valley.
Other winter activities include sledding, ice skating as well as snow tubing (at Wilmot Mountain only).
Where to Stay in Lake Geneva
• Grand Geneva Resort & Spa – is a AAA Four-Diamond resort. Amenities include a spa, several restaurants, golf courses, ski center as well as indoor and outdoor pools. Guests of Grand Geneva may purchase half-day passes to the waterpark at Timber Ridge on a first-come, first-served basis, based on availability. Click here to see latest prices.
• Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark – Family friendly all-suite hotel has kitchens with full-sized refrigerators. Other amenities include a spa, game arcade and pools. Staying at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark includes passes to their year-round indoor/outdoor waterpark. It is located on the grounds of Grand Geneva and there is a trolley between both resorts throughout the day. Click here to see latest prices.
• Ridge Hotel – This large resort is located about four miles from downtown Lake Geneva, along the shores of Lake Como. Amenities at this pet friendly resort include indoor pool and sauna and championship golf. The hotel has ice castle packages for those visiting in the winter. Click here to see latest prices.
Where to Eat in Lake Geneva
• Egg Harbor Cafe – One of the best breakfast spots in Lake Geneva.
• Joni’s Diner – This 50s style is a great spot for breakfast and lunch.
• The Next Door Pub & Pizzeria – Known for its pizza made from scratch such as Pub’s Famous Garbage Pizza.
• Oakfire – Located downtown with a view of the lake. They also two large outdoor seating sections for those than want to dine outdoors duing the warmer months.
• Popeye’s on Lake Geneva – Fun atmosphere and known for their year round outdoor rotisserie. Outside dining is available seasonally. They have an All You Can Eat Fish Fry every Friday.
• Pier 290 – Upscale lakeside restaurant located right on the beach with amazing lake views. Also has an outdoor bar and fire pits.
Getting to Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva is located about 49 miles from Milwaukee, 74 miles from Madison and 83 miles from Chicago.