Vacation. What does that mean to you? For me, it is something to look forward too. An escape from the real world of stress, work, traffic and just life. It doesn’t have to be long. Doesn’t have to be far away. Just has to be new scenery. In other words, days off but not staying at home as that is not a vacation in my eyes. You go SOMEWHERE.
Maybe you are able to get on a plane and land in a place that is your piece of heaven. Or maybe, you are lucky enough to have a small piece of sunshine just a short drive away. In my case, it is the latter. The glorious land of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Getting to Lake Geneva is a pretty easy drive. You start in the land of crazy traffic and soon see green fields and farm stands. As you get closer, the quaintness of the town becomes known in the architectural designs of the homes. Stained glass windows. Framed homes with perfectly manicured landscapes. And then water. And its accompanying beaches. Volleyball nets ready for a game. Laughing children playing in the shallow, sparkling water with adults nearby.
Having grown up in Wisconsin, I have been to Lake Geneva many times. And each time is new and more comfortable. This trip was an experience in luxury at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. As you approach the entrance to the resort, you are welcomed by hills and valleys of rich shades of green, bubbling waterfalls, shimmering lakes and a view of the perfectly manicured golf course.
The warm welcome of the staff as you are escorted to your room is inviting. Entering the room feels like being home. Only so much more peaceful as the open balcony door overlooks the lush landscape.
Technology is evident in the bathroom’s design with the opportunity to stay informed of the latest news and entertainment via the television in the mirror.
On a cold winter day, the fireplaces would be most enticing.
But in the heat of the summer, it was the swimming pool that was capturing our attention.
Full service spa on the grounds ready to help remove any stress you came with leaving you peaceful and reinvigorated. Soft sounds, fragrant scents and expertly trained technicians whose effortless skills make you feel content and happy.
Now that we are settled in our weekend home, we are off to wander the downtown area of Lake Geneva. Shops that offer everything from clothing to household goods to art to wine to vacation must-haves abound.
The small town feel of the street lamps add to the ambience as do the greetings of folks casually strolling through the area.
The fun of being in Lake Geneva is all the opportunities to be near, on or in the Lake.
For us, it was dining at restaurants overlooking the lake and boats, jumping on wave runners enjoying the natural high of the water, sunshine and even competition or just relaxing on the beach. Life’s simple pleasures. Take a look at the view from Pier 290 restaurant. How calming is that?!
For a little more adventure, we went exploring the area, landing at the Studio Winery where wine tasting and friendly banter with the locals was a given.
And even found the New World Wine Shop in the heart of downtown that offers wine tasting classes and introduces new wines and spirits. Our find was this Plantation Pineapple Rum that is a must for tropical cocktails.
If you have an interest in history and design, then visiting the Maxwell Mansion is a must. This renovated home turned hotel is a beautiful example of when owners love the property as much as they love the story behind the space.
Weddings, business meetings, couples getaways and girls weekends align beautifully in this warm and friendly property. Notice the detail work in the design of each room. The black leather walls above the red velvet sofa complete the look in this intimate space. Crystal chandeliers echo the hotel’s history. Excellence in guest service is proudly noted in the Trip Advisor flag waving as you enter the property.
The dining options whether casual or more formal are abundant. There is no shortage of talented Chefs in this town. So many places have been around for years welcoming diners back season after season. New artisan cafes have joined in the mix with pizza-oven baked pies, ceviches, gourmet salads and fresh seafood.
Well-known (and loved) Next Door Pub is packed with locals and tourists who have discovered the secret to casual, always delicious, dishes. And since we are in Wisconsin, fried cheese curds are a must.
If you are looking to host a party of any size, there are wonderful bakeries to stop by for croissants, cakes and pastries. And of course, the ice cream. Wisconsin dairy ice cream. Rich, creamy and so good. And yes, that is my favorite type of ice cream: coffee! A flavor that may not surprise you if you follow my posts and on social media.
The gloriousness of Lake Geneva is the peacefulness of the surroundings whether water or greenery, the kindness of the locals, the quaint shops, beautiful history and architecture and overall ability to relax and just be. Drive around the nearby towns of Fontana and Williams Bay to see the homes, hotels and landscape of this lovely area. This all sets the ambience for your vacation in Lake Geneva. Summer or winter, there are many reasons to visit. We will be back to see this sunset very soon. How about you?