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Top 12 Things to do in Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Top 12 Things to do in Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Lake Geneva is one of the best places in Wisconsin and is often considered one of Wisconsin’s most desirable destinations, with crystal clear waters and miles of tree-lined shoreline. There are a ton of things to do in Lake Geneva, making it the perfect Wisconsin vacation spot.

Located in southern Wisconsin, just 1.5 hours outside of Chicago, Lake Geneva has remained one of the best resorts and vacation spots in the Midwest. For us, it is an easy getaway being just an hour away from Milwaukee.

Most visitors travel to Lake Geneva for an afternoon of boating, fishing, or strolling along the banks. However, there is plenty of other fun and fascinating Lake Geneva activities in and around the area that are worth doing.

From ziplining and hot air ballooning to sunbathing and hiking, there’s always something to keep you entertained during your visit to Lake Geneva. Here are our top 12 things to do in Lake Geneva.

Planning your trip to Lake Geneva

Aerial View of Lake Lawn resort near Lake Geneva Wisconsin - Places to stay

Where to stay in Lake Geneva?

On our last visit, we stayed at the Lake Lawn Resort, just 15 minutes outside of Lake Geneva. We liked staying at Lake Lawn Resort as it is a beautiful lakeside setting – just a little quieter on Delavan Lake than on Lake Geneva.

All the Lake Geneva attractions are within a 15-minute drive of the resort. There are several outdoor pools and an indoor pool too, which was great for the kids. The price point is really good too.

What are the best restaurants in Lake Geneva?

We have a whole post on the best restaurants in Lake Geneva here and the best breakfast in Lake Geneva here. But to sum it up, here are some of our go-to restaurants in Lake Geneva.

  • Best Breakfast in Lake Geneva – Egg Harbor Cafe
  • Best Coffee in Lake Geneva – Inspired Coffee
  • Best Lunch Spots in Lake Geneva- Oakfire or Next Door Pub
  • Best Casual Dinner in Lake Geneva – Oakfire or Popeye’s both have great outdoor dining and views
  • Best Dinner in Lake Geneva- 290 Pier we love their waterfront dining
  • Best Supper Club in Lake Geneva – Mars Resort

Top Things to Do in Lake Geneva

Being a lakeside resort town, most activities involve the beautiful body of water in one way or another. We have rounded all the best things to do in Lake Geneva to help you plan your next summer trip or weekend getaway.

Lake Geneva Boat Cruise Dock

1. Take a Lake Geneva Cruise

Hop aboard a boat tour with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line to see the stunning natural sights around Lake Geneva. These narrated tours give you an insider’s glimpse into the history and cultural significance of Wisconsin’s most beloved lake. Taking a cruise on the lake is one of the must-do things in Lake Geneva that everyone must do at least once.

With almost 20 different tours to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding something that sparks your interest. View the luxury mansions and estates on the Geneva Bay Tour, indulge in a lavish champagne brunch tour, or dance to live music on the jazz dinner cruise. You can also join the unique US Mailboat Tour, where you’ll help your tour guide and captain deliver mail to some of the houses that line the shores.

Aerial of Lake Geneva Ice Castles

2. Visit the Lake Geneva Ice Castles in the Winter

If you’re in Wisconsin for the winter, then you can’t miss a visit to the Lake Geneva Ice Castles. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fantasy world from the second you arrive.

With thousands of glistening icicles, massive ice structures, and frozen tunnels, the Ice Castles give you a chance to embark on a journey through one of the coolest (literally) things to do in Lake Geneva.

Slide down the slippery ice slides, walk between towering snow structures, or simply admire the LED light show that illuminates the larger-than-life icicles.

  • Seasons in operation: January and February
  • Address: 1221 Geneva National Ave S, Lake Geneva
  • 15% off with code stamped2023

pontoon boat Rental in Lake Geneva - sunset cruise with orange and pink skies

3. Rent a Boat on Lake Geneva for the Day

Spend the day swimming and soaking in the sun with a private boat rental from Marina Bay Boat Rentals. There’s no better way to see Lake Geneva than by gliding through the waters on your very own powerboat or pontoon. Admire the harbor, visit the lakeside villas, or simply bring a few friends on an afternoon of outdoor adventure.

The 18’ and 20’ sport boats are ideal for thrill-seekers and tubers, while the Bennington pontoon boats offer a smoother, more comfortable ride through the glistening waves (although you can still go tubing with those). No matter what type of boat you choose, you’ll never forget your memorable day cruising through Lake Geneva.

feeding animals at Safari Lake Geneva

4. Safari Lake Geneva

One of our favorite thing to do in Lake Geneva with kids (or no kids, really) was visiting Safari Lake Geneva. This drive-thru zoo is a really fun activity and a little messy if you decide to purchase food to feed the animals.

Both our children loved watching the animals come up to our car windows for a treat. We purchased four bowls of food to feed them while we drove through. You can take your time and drive through more than once if you want.

After your drive, make sure to park and get out of the car to visit a few of the animals. While we were there, they had a giraffe encounter feeding option; proceeds from this go to help save wild giraffes in Africa.

Hot air balloon picture from high above inle lake - things to do on a Myanmar itinerary

5. Hot Balloon Ride Over Lake Geneva

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Lake Geneva with a scenic hot air balloon ride! As you soar high into the sky, you’ll be treated to panoramic views over Wisconsin’s picturesque green pastures and towns. Ideal for a romantic proposal, birthday celebration, or even a photographic session of Lake Geneva.

The early morning flight leaves before sunrise and boasts once-in-a-lifetime views where you’ll see the sun peeking over the horizon. You can also catch the evening flight, where you’ll have front-row seats to watch the colorful sunset off in the distance. Most trips end with a post-flight champagne toast, where you can share these incredible memories with friends and crew members.

If you want a unique and memorable thing to do in Lake Geneva, a hot air balloon ride is hard to top!

The Lake Geneva Balloon Company

Riviera Beach in Lake Geneva in the summer

6. Spend the Day at Lake Geneva Riviera Beach

Lake Geneva Riviera Beach, situated along the shores of Lake Geneva near the Riviera Pier, offers a relaxing escape for anyone looking for sun and swimming. Although it’s small compared to other beaches in the US, there’s still more than enough room for visitors to find a small patch where they can lay out their towels and umbrellas.

The calm, shallow waters are safe enough for all types of swimmers, and the clean showers and bathroom facilities will keep you refreshed throughout your stay. Best of all, you’ll have one of the best views of Lake Geneva and the harbor right in front of you.

  • Hours: Daily: 9am – 6pm
  • Address: 300 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva
  • Price: $8 per person

7. Visit the Royal Oak Farm

Celebrate the Autumn season with a visit to the Royal Oak Farm Orchard. Located just 15-minutes south of Lake Geneva, this family-run farm covers a sprawling 120 acres and contains over 17,000 apple trees. With dozens of different activities for people of all ages, you can easily spend the entire day at Royal Oak without seeing everything they have to offer.

The highlight of the farm is the Amaze ’N Apples Apple Tree Maze. As America’s first apple tree maze, you’ll have the opportunity to walk through 1.5 miles of twisting, turning trails as you try to find your way out of the labyrinth. If you’re feeling hungry along the way, you can always pick a fresh apple off the tree to satisfy your hunger!

Besides the apple maze, there are plenty of other activities to do during your visit. Say hello to the farm animals in the petting zoo, take a ride on the Royal Oak Express train, or learn about the farm’s working operations on the orchard tour.

You can also go apple picking and choose from over 30 different species of apples. There’s even a pumpkin and squash patch if you’re looking to pick out your own jack-o-lantern for Halloween. If you prefer not to get your hands dirty, you can stop at the pre-picked shop to stock up on your favorite fruits and veggies from the farm.

A visit to the Royal Oak Farm should not be missed during your trip to Lake Geneva. It’s an excellent opportunity to support local farmers while learning a bit more about rural Wisconsin culture.

  • Seasons in operation: Mid-August to Mid-November
  • Hours vary by season.
  • Address: 15908 Hebron Rd, Harvard, IL

woman in a red shirt on a zip line tour in door county - things to do

8. Go on a Zipline Adventure

If you are looking for things to do in Lake Geneva that will get your adrenaline rushing, this is for you! Soar high above the tree canopies on a thrilling zipline adventure through the forests around Lake Geneva. Lake Geneva Adventures boasts over 100 acres of an outdoor playground with zipline tours, high ropes courses, and hiking and cycling trails.

Feel the rush of excitement as you fly through nine different on-site tracks. Walk across the treetops on the sky bridges, trek down the heart-pounding spiral staircases, and even race your friends along the 1,200-foot racing course.

If you’re looking for a real mental and physical challenge, try your luck in the high ropes obstacle course. As you’re suspended 32 feet above the ground, you’ll need to complete 16 different activities, ranging from super easy to extremely difficult.

9. Big Foot Beach State Park

Head to Big Foot Beach State Park for an afternoon exploring one of Lake Geneva’s most scenic natural attractions. Located right on the lake’s banks, this 271-acre park is an ideal destination for hiking, boating, and fishing. Bring your lunch and enjoy a picnic on the open meadow, or hang out in the sun on the small but charming beach.

If you’re craving a bit more adventure, there are 6.5 miles of hiking trails that meander through the park. There are also campsite and RV hookups if you’d like to spend a few extra days enjoying the great outdoors of Big Foot Beach State Park.

  • Hours: Daily: 6am – 11pm
  • Address: 1550 S Lake Shore Dr, Lake Geneva
  • Price: $8 daily vehicle admission

10. Rush Creek Distilling Tour

If you are looking for one of the tastiest things to do in Lake Geneva, that is, if you are 21+ this one is for you! Rush Creek Distilling has made a name for itself by producing some of the best whiskeys, gins, and vodkas to ever come from Wisconsin. Everything is handcrafted in small batches using only the finest ingredients and techniques.

You can learn more about how the spirits are made by booking a tour through their distillery. Take a walk through their warehouse and see the 300 or so barrels that are concocting your favorite spirits right before your eyes. Each tour ends with a tasting, although you can continue your visit with a couple of cocktails at the Craftsman Bar.

Best Wineries in Wisconsin 

11. Stay at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark

A weekend at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark is guaranteed to be a fun, exciting adventure for the whole family. This action-packed resort features a 50,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor waterpark complete with heated pools, exhilarating water slides, and even a 500-foot lazy river. There are even a few activities and pools catering specifically to kids and young swimmers who are just dipping their toes in the water for the first time.

Besides the waterpark, you’ll also get to unwind from the comfort of your guest suite (all of which have full kitchens, whirlpool baths, and fireplaces) and indulge in one of the gourmet on-site dining experiences. The resort also has plenty of other fun activities, like horseback riding, mini-golf, and even an arcade.

If you are traveling with kids during the winter and looking for where to stay in Lake Geneva, hands down, head to Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark.

12. Music by the Lake

Every summer, Lake Geneva transforms into a spectacular outdoor concert stage. Music by the Lake is a summer concert series that takes place in the Ferro Pavilion on the George Williams College of Aurora University campus. With jaw-dropping views of Lake Geneva in the background, you’ll be able to dance the night away listening to some of the best entertainment in Wisconsin.

Enjoy an evening with the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra, listen to big band swing music, and sing along to your favorite contemporary artist. Just make sure to book your tickets early because this is one festival you won’t want to miss!

  • Seasons in operation: Summer
  • Hours vary by performance
  • Address: 350 Constance Blvd, Williams Bay

The Abbey Resort Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Photo Credit: The Abbey via

13. Have a Spa Day at Avani Spa in the Abbey Resort

After a long day of sightseeing and outdoor activity around Lake Geneva, you owe it to yourself to unwind with a relaxing spa day. The Avani Spa in the Abbey Resort is the perfect setting for a tranquil escape. Best of all, you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to take part in the spa. Daily passes can be purchased if you want to visit for a few hours.

Choose from one of their therapeutic spa treatments like an aromatherapy relaxation massage, a revitalizing cleansing facial, or a lavender body wrap. After your treatment, you can take full advantage of the private Avani Atrium pool and hot tub. There are also saunas, steam rooms, and quiet lounges where you can enjoy some peace and quiet before returning to the real world.

The Abbey Resort is one of the best lake resorts in Wisconsin. It is the perfect place for a weekend getaway.

  • Address: 269 Fontana Blvd, Fontana
  • Average Price: $25 for spa day pass, $85 – $400 for spa treatments
  • Click here to check rates

Have you visited Lake Geneva? What are some of your favorite activities in Lake Geneva?