Lake Geneva, USA, Sailboat on Lake

Lake Geneva City Guide

Just a short drive across the Illinois border to Wisconsin is Geneva Lake.  Known for its crystal clear waters, the infamous (former) Playboy Club, and a cameo in F Scott Fitzgerald’s “This Side of Paradise” Geneva Lake is not a place to be missed.  Three towns are located along the lakeshore: Lake Geneva, Fontana, and Williams Bay. No trip to Geneva Lake is complete without a visit to each of these spots around the lake!


The Geneva Inn

N2009 S Lake Shore Dr, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

If you’re looking for a hotel right on the lake, check out the Geneva Inn! Its stellar location is a short walk or ride to downtown Lake Geneva and is situated in a charming, quieter corner of the lake near Big Foot Beach State Park. The Geneva Inn has a great restaurant on the first floor and offers a shuttle service around the area.

The Abbey Resort & Spa

269 Fontana Blvd, Fontana-On-Geneva Lake, WI 53125

The Abbey is located in Fontana and is in the perfect location to walk to the Fontana Public Beach or to walk yourself home from Chucks. It has a great pool and is safely away from the main tourist traps on the Geneva Lake.

Lake Shore Path, Geneva Lake
Lake Shore Path, Geneva Lake

Eat & Drink


525 Broad St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Locally-sourced ingredients are central to Simple’s mission of “changing the world one bite at a time.” Simple has creative, delicious, and picture-perfect food. It is open for breakfast and lunch daily. They make all their bread fresh at the adjoining bakery next door where I’m sure you can also find some snacks for your journey home.

Must try: Eggs sardou

The Coffee Mill

441 Mill St, Fontana-On-Geneva Lake, WI 53125

The Coffee Mill is a great place to grab a pick me up or hole up and get work done. They have a great selection of customizable drinks and local treats. It’s located walking distance from the beach or the Abbey Resort in Fontana.

Must try: Baked oatmeal


724 W Main St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Did you make it in town in time for Thursday wine night? Half-priced bottles of wine accompanied by mouthwatering food and the perfect playlist to get your weekend off to a great start.

Must try: Grilled Ceasar salad 

Fitzgerald’s Fish Boil

727 Main St, Genoa City, WI 53128

Friday night fish frys are quite famous in Wisconsin, but there is truly nothing like a good fish boil. Fitzgerald’s is strictly cash-only and is a clear local favorite with a steady line out the door on a Friday night. It is a short drive from Lake Geneva, but it is well worth the trip.

Must try: Friday Fish Boil

Gordy’s Boathouse 

336 Lake St, Fontana-On-Geneva Lake, WI 53125

Gordy’s is a classic lake hangout located on the shore of Geneva Lake in Fontana. They have amazing french fries which I would happily eat for any meal. At night Gordy’s transitions into “Club G” filled with great music and even greater people. 

Must try: BBQ Hawaiian tacos

Pier 290

1 Liechty Dr, Williams Bay, WI 53191

A lovely place to grab a cocktail during sundown is Pier 290. It’s located on the water in William’s Bay and has a fantastic outdoor area complete with a huge porch and fire pits.

Must try: Fried cheese curds

Chuck’s Lakeshore Inn

352 Lake St, Fontana-On-Geneva Lake, WI 53125

All great nights begin (and end) at Chuck's with my favorite bartender Jack. This local favorite usually dons a stellar cover band on summer Saturdays and is also known for having some of the best burgers in the area. 

Must try: Spotted Cow 


Paddle boarding on Geneva Lake
Paddle boarding on Geneva Lake


The local shops

Delaney Street has a piece of my heart, every time I visit I manage to find a new treasure. A popular place to stop for a snack is the homemade fudge shop, Kilwins. If you’re lucky enough to be in town on a Thursday, stop by the farmer’s market located in downtown Lake Geneva outside Horticultural Hall.

The Lake Geneva Public Library

918 W Main St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

The Lake Geneva Public Library was part of an estate that was gifted to the city in 1894 by Mrs. Mary Sturges to be used as a public library and park area. The building was designed by James Dresser, a student of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The library has a reading area overlooking the lake which is the perfect place to curl up with a book.


Lake Geneva is known for being surrounded by some great golf courses. A few of the best known public courses are Hawk’s View and Grand Geneva. There are also a few driving ranges in the area if you don’t have the time for 18 holes. 

The Lake

Last, but not least, if you take a trip to Lake Geneva you must see the lake, and if you can get out on the water! Hop on a paddleboard, hop on and off the cruise boats, or rent a boat and dock it at Gordy’s or Pier 290 to grab lunch.


Alpine Valley Resort
Alpine Valley Resort



During the summer there is literally music in the air. One of the most popular concert venues near Lake Geneva is Alpine Valley. Alpine Valley is the favorite venue of many major artists and regularly hosts concerts for Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, and many others. 


Winter is ski (and snowboard) season at the lake. There are two ski hills in the area: Alpine Valley or Grand Geneva. More advanced skiers will likely prefer Alpine Valley because the hills are a bit larger than Grand Geneva’s, but for kids or beginners, Grand Geneva is a great choice. 



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