Known for its natural beauty and gorgeous lakefront estates, Geneva Lake is dotted with small towns loaded with personality.
Time your visit and you’ll not only enjoy the area’s permanent attractions—Lake Geneva beach and the 21-mile Geneva Lake Shore Path among them—but also these standout summer events:
June 12 – 13: 10th Annual Paint-In
Not your average art fair, this event draws 30 fine artists onto the streets of downtown Lake Geneva, where you can watch them create their work. From watercolor to oil, pastels and mixed media, it’s an open-air art class.
262-249-7988 | genevalakeart.org
Take a break:
Get your sugar fix at Kilwin’s, a classic ice cream and chocolate shop, featuring sea foam, taffy, chocolate-covered-anything and fabulous ice cream. The line just means it’s worth the wait!
On the corner at 772 Main St., 262-248-4400 | kilwins.com
June 19: Walworth County Farm Bureau Dairy Breakfast
Wisconsinites know that the dairy breakfast (June is Dairy Month!) is an event not to be missed. Breakfast on the farm? Scrambled eggs for 2,700? How can this not be delicious? Check out the main course as it’s prepared in a huge frying pan that can accommodate 360 eggs. Add pancakes, sausage and coffee cake, and you’ve got a major all-you-can-eat meal on your hands.
Walworth County Fairgrounds, Elkhorn, 6 a.m. – 11 a.m., 262-723-3228
Take a break:
Walk off some calories by checking out the display of antique tractors, visiting the petting zoo, watching a cow milking demo or getting into a hay bale throwing contest. (Hay bale throwing? You’d better go back for seconds).
June 19 – 20: Native American Festival, “Honor the Firekeepers”
Here’s a unique way to celebrate Father’s Day: Attend the Lake Geneva Powwow, which features Native American dancing, singing and visiting. Native American art, jewelry, crafts and music will be for sale.
Gates open at 10 a.m. at Eastview School, Dunn Field | lakegeneva-powwow.org
June 27: Big Foot Triathlon
One of the more beautiful spots for a triathlon in the Midwest, this race attracts 1,000 athletes who swim in the beautiful, spring-fed waters of Geneva Lake, ride through the gently rolling hills of the countryside and finish in the state park on primarily off-road wooded and field terrain. Even if you don’t swim, bike or run, it’s fun to cheer on the competitors.
Fourth of July Celebration
Relax on the beach, stroll through town, hike along the banks of Geneva Lake, enjoy a lake cruise or just stroll through town—the Lake Geneva area is the perfect spot to celebrate Independence Day. And don’t miss the fireworks at Fontana Beach and at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa.
800-345-1020 | lakegenevawi.com
Take a break:
Popeye’s on Lake Geneva is a big, bustling restaurant with stellar views of the lake, and it’s been a Lake Geneva favorite since 1972. The classic Friday night fish fry with broiled or fried cod, coleslaw, applesauce, and potato pancakes or fries is all-you-can-eat for $11.99.
811 Wrigley Drive, 262-248-4381 | popeyesonlakegeneva.com
July 10: Music by the Lake featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Since the 1950s, this concert series has been a tradition on the campus of George Williams College in Williams Bay. The festival was revived in 2000 and features a diverse slate of performers plus an original opera production. One of the groups performing this summer is Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, with swing music from the 1940s and 1950s infused with jazz, swamp funk and Cajun. The series culminates with a performance by Peter Frampton on August 14.
866-843-5200 | aurora.edu/mbtl
July 16 – 18: EcoFair 360
This fair is a three-day celebration of all things green at the Walworth County Fairgrounds in Elkhorn. Whether you’re an experienced green builder looking to catch up on the latest technology or just the new parent looking to raise a more environmentally aware child, EcoFair will entertain, teach and inspire.
Aug. 14 – 15: 30th Annual Art in the Park
With an idyllic lakeside setting in Library Park, this juried art show features 90 artists from across the country. Musical entertainment and a children’s art activity area round out the activities.
Take a break:
Make sure to pack your beach bag and relax at the stunning Lake Geneva public beach, located on Wrigley Drive next to Riviera Pier. $6 adults, $3 children 6-12, children under 6 are free.
262-248-3673 | lakegenevawi.com
Aug. 18 – 22: Venetian Festival
A fixture in the Lake Geneva area for 48 years, this five-day festival features a carnival, craft fair, water ski show, musical entertainment, local cuisine, and the festival’s traditional lighted boat parade followed by a fireworks display high above Geneva Lake. All activities take place in downtown Lake Geneva.
Take a break:
Bring home summer’s bounty. A farmers market takes place on Thursdays throughout the spring and summer at Lake Geneva’s Horticultural Hall.
330 Broad Street. 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. | 262-248-4382
Sept. 1 – 6: 161st Annual Walworth County Fair
Round up the kids and head to one of the area’s top county fairs. A kiddie carnival, pony rides and a petting zoo will keep little ones busy, while the livestock exhibition, tractor and truck pulls, and a demolition derby will entertain the rest. Live entertainment includes Josh Turner, Gretchen Wilson and the Beach Boys.
262-723-3228 | walworthcountyfair.com