Lake Geneva is approximately 5500 square acres and 152 feet at its deepest and 21 miles around. The area was born as a play ground for wealthy barons escaping the summer heat, mostly from the Chicago area; it still draws the rich and occasionally famous, but it is also a destination that can me enjoyed by you and your girlfriends, with great shopping, a few dining gems, some unexpected surprises and several really good spas. You will find Lake Geneva a super choice for a quick girlfriend’s getaway that wouldn’t break the bank. At only 90 minutes from Chicago you wouldn’t even have time to get your favorite CD really cranking before you arrive, but at about 5 and half hours from Des Moines, St. Louis, or Minneapolis this is just about the perfect road trip option. In my mind anything between 5 and 8 hours scores high for road trip destinations.
You will discover Lake Geneva is a tranquil retreat with many parks and trails to explore although it can be over crowded in the summer. It has something to offer no matter what season; hiking in the summer and cross country skiing or snow shoeing in the winter.
During the summer you can access the swim beach at 211 Wrigley Drive in downtown Lake Geneva. Here you will find 600 feet of sandy beach along the shoreline ($). Another worthwhile destination for some outdoors time is the Four Seasons Nature Preserve, (County H south of Highway 120), an ideal spot for for hiking and talking in the wildlife. You will also find a dog park close to the entrance, small pond, lovely boardwalk and overlook tower. You will also find The 21-mile Geneva Lake shore path that wanders the shores allowing you to literally walk through the back yards of striking century-old mansions especially lovely in late spring. But my favorite time to visit is the winter. A day of Snowmobiling and cross county skiing make an absolute great Winter getaway, then you can escape the cold simply by heading inside to enjoy the warmest fireplace, your feet up nursing soothing brandy or lie back in a bone warming sauna, a dip in the inside pool you can almost feel like you are at a tropical retreat.
For divers several ship wrecks can be found in Lake Geneva, however due to restrictions placed by the water patrol only boat diving is allowed and the marginal to poor viz this is not a top Midwestern site for diving, still if you are planning on going to the area it can be an enjoyable day of diving with some preplanning due to the rules, and lake of local dive shop.
Three Reasons to Go
1. The Lake Geneva School of Cooking is a fabulous find. Located in a historic building (727 Geneva Street) you will find yourself entertained, enthused, and yes a bit wiser when you leave. The school is owned by chef John Bogan, students will learn professional cooking techniques in the school’s Wood-Mode, custom kitchen, which features Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances. Emphasizing culinary essentials, Chef John provides an opportunity for cooking enthusiasts to experience hands-on preparation and dinner demonstrations, which allows them to develop their own creative cooking talents. You will embarking on this new experience in the school’s Wood-Mode, custom kitchen, featuring Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances.
2. Several choices for exceptional resorts, Grand Geneva Luxury Resort and The Abbey Resort & Spa. The Grand Geneva’s spa boasts an expansive fitness center with an array of classes such as cycling or yoga, a 35-foot-tall climbing wall indoor and outdoor tennis courts, of course an indoor lap pool. The locker women’s room has both a sauna and steam rooms.
3. The town of Lake Geneva offers shopping, great wonderful shopping without a Borders, Macys or other all-American store that has taken over suburbia. Rather her you will find a town that feels more like a village with friendly folks that remember how to treat customers.
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