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Experience Wisconsin’s outdoors


Courtesy Lake Geneva Area VB

Lake Geneva

Just across the border from northern Illinois, Lake Geneva is a small town where the wealthy of Chicago went in the late 1800s to escape the summertime city heat at the pristine Geneva Lake. Today, the lake and the “summer cottages” built around it are still the chief attraction in the area, and groups enjoy both on boat tours.

“You get a narrated tour of the history of the people that came up here: the Wards, the Wrigleys, the Swifts,” said Grace Eckland, director of marketing and public relations for the Lake Geneva Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You can actually tour two of the mansions. You arrive by boat, just like they did in those days because there were no roads.”

During the summer season, groups can opt to go sightseeing on the mail boats that make daily runs around the lake to deliver mail to waterfront homes.

Active travelers will find several other ways to enjoy the lake. Outfitters offer canoeing, kayaking and boating excursions, in addition to adventurous activities such as parasailing and stand-up paddleboarding.

Nearby, Lake Geneva Canopy Tours operates a zip-line experience through the wooded treetops.

“This is considered one of the most pristine zip lines this side of Ohio,” Eckland said. “It’s all through the treetops in the woods; there are no man-made towers. I did it with a group recently, and it was quite a thrill.”