Lake Geneva is a charming rural lakeside town in southeast Wisconsin nestled between three metropolitan centers in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison. It is quintessential Main Street Americana with shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars along the sidewalks. This tour provides an active morning adventure hitting highlights of Lake Geneva’s downtown.
Park at one of the free lots. Walk to get some coffee and/or breakfast. These are great options along the route.
- Geneva Java – A cool eclectic spot with all the selections and services
- Starbucks – Standard full-service Starbucks on the corner
- Egg Harbor Café – Classic American style menu boasting fresh local ingredients
- Lake-Aire Restaurant – Classic American style menu opening weekdays at 8:00am and weekends at 7:00am
After morning nourishment walk south down Broad Street towards the lake. At the bottom of the hill Broad Street intersects Wrigley Drive marked by the famous Riviera.
Enjoy lakeshore sights and the Riviera Fountain as you walk southeast on Wrigley Drive. Take note of the Clear Water Outdoor stand at Baker Pier with kayak rentals. We’ll be back there.
Local's tip: If it’s busy, then it’ll be helpful to make a reservation for around 9:00am.
Continue to the corner to the Lake Geneva Shore Path Trailhead sign. Take an hour to walk part of the path and back.
Lake Geneva is known for beautiful lakeshore mansions, and this section delivers a few highlights in a short distance. Make sure to walk at least far enough to see stunning Stone Manor mansion. Walk the shore path for about a half-hour then turn back in order to make it to the Clear Water Outdoor stand at Baker Pier by approximately 9:00am.
Two-hour kayak rental at Clear Water Outdoor stand at Baker Pier. The cost is $40. Paddle along Riviera beach and Elm Park for a view of the whole Lake Geneva shoreline scene from the water. Watch the time because an hour away is often an hour back.
Pro tip: Notice wind direction. Paddling is always harder and slower into the wind.
Dock back at Clearwater Outdoor stand at Baker Pier. Walk north up Wrigley Drive towards the intersection with Broad Street. The lunch options start here.
- Oakfire – Italian fare boasting Napoletana style pizza and gourmet salads. Modern contemporary atmosphere with outdoor seating.
- Popeye’s on Lake Geneva – A Lake Geneva classic in every sense known for outdoor rotisserie, feature seafood, and famous Broccoli Cheese soup.
- Heart & Sol Cafe – Known for lighter fare in smoothies and sandwiches.
Oakfire and Popeye’s are neighbors on the lakeshore at the intersection of Broad Street and Wrigley Drive. For the lighter fare choice in Heart & Sol Cafe continue to walk the return route to the parking lot up Broad Street. Go east on Main Street and north on Center Street. If you chose Oakfire or Popeye’s, then continue onward to head east on Geneva Street back to the free parking lots.
Local's tip: Driving out, the Mill Street intersection onto Main Street is right-hand turn only.
By: J.T. Robinson
Interested in getting more information about Lake Geneva? Check back soon for J.T.'s guide!