Lake Geneva Area Gardens: Southern Wisconsin In Bloom

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by

Lake Geneva holds a special place in the hearts of many. Those who have visited the Lake Geneva area and spent time here undoubtedly hold a treasure trove of memories, just waiting to be rekindled. After all, this beautiful resort community has been a favored Midwest destination for 150 years …

In this “Visiting Midwest Gardens” feature, takes you on an in depth look at the Lake Geneva area from a different perspective. We’ll showcase several Lake Geneva area gardens open to the public and get up close and personal on the Geneva Lake shore path. Plus, we’ll share a few personal favorites you won’t find in the guidebooks …

Orange Dahlia at Northwind Perennial Farm Burlington WI

Vibrant Dahlia Spotted At The Northwind Perennial Farm In Burlington, WI

From the Geneva Lake shore path to a stunning Walworth County perennial garden and nursery, you’ll experience the grandeur and beauty of southern Wisconsin. We’ll showcase supper clubs, a lakeside arboretum, and a combination auto body shop and Hosta glen (really!). Check out a few of the area’s legendary restaurants and bars with us, and explore seven gorgeous gardens in Delavan, Burlington, and Walworth County. To top it off, Flower Chick will do a little shopping too!

Explore The Colorful History Of Lake Geneva With Intimate Details From Local Residents …  

It’s always a joy to be in Lake Geneva, and we promise you, these Lake Geneva area gardens won’t disappoint! Read on …

The Ongoing Allure of Lake Geneva

The town of Lake Geneva dates back to 1837, but it wasn’t until almost 40 years later that the area rose to prominence. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 brought well-to-do families from Chicago to build summer homes on this picturesque southern Wisconsin lake. Even today, the lake shore is dotted with spectacular homes and mansions whose roots date back to that time …

The Riviera Lake Geneva WI

Located On The Shores Of Geneva Lake, The Historic Riviera Venue Downtown Lake Geneva

Generations of Chicagoans and Midwesterners still call Lake Geneva home, at least for part of the year. In fact, Flower Chick’s tour guide / husband’s family built a summer home in nearby Lake Como in the late 1920’s. And so, when the topic of our next feature came up for discussion, it was an easy choice … Lake Geneva!

We’ve been coming here as a couple since the 1980’s, my husband and his family long before then. As you might imagine, favorite places and destinations spring to mind on every visit. Discover them with us as we visit for a long summer weekend. We’re delighted to share with you what makes all these places so special …

Starting Out In Downtown Lake Geneva …

What did mom say? Start your day with a good breakfast. And in downtown Lake Geneva, it’s easy! There are several excellent (and inexpensive) choices. Two long standing favorites are Harry’s Cafe and the Lake Aire, both in the heart of town at the main intersection of Highway 50 (Main Street) and Broad Street …

Lake Aire Lake Geneva WI

Flower Chick rotates one to the other each time in town, and this time it was Harry’s Cafe. This legendary Lake Geneva spot has been here since 1923, and with a recent ownership change, hopefully for years to come. The Lake Aire, just steps away right on the corner, has also been serving locals and visitors for decades.

Lake Aire offers an all day breakfast, a convenient option if being on vacation in Lake Geneva jumbles your normal eating schedule. We like popping in the Lake Aire late in the morning … Flower Chick opts for a traditional breakfast while hubby enjoys an early lunch. Insider Tip: If you’re in the mood for lunch, try Lake Aire’s TBLT Sandwich. It’s roasted turkey breast intermingled with a traditional bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. It’s outstanding!

Breakfast in Lake Geneva

Both offer all your breakfast staples like farm fresh eggs, crispy bacon, great coffee, omelets, and … well, you get the idea. The intersection of Main and Broad is just a short walk away from the Lake Geneva Public Library, situated directly across from the shores of Geneva Lake.

Speaking of the shores of Geneva Lake, let’s explore one of the area’s most famous features, the one of a kind lake shore path …

Geneva Lake Shore Path by

Lake Geneva’s Shore Path: Mansions, Gardens, & More …

Geneva Lake’s Famed Shore Path: Geneva Lake is about seven miles in length and at its widest point, approximately two miles. It’s 21 miles around the shoreline, but since the path weaves in and out of wooded areas in some locales, the path itself is about 22 miles in length …

Given the sheer distance, it makes sense to walk the path in segments, depending where you’re staying, etc. Flower Chick hiked portions of two segments on this visit … Lake Geneva to Williams Bay and downtown Fontana around to the lake’s south shore …

Geneva Lake Shore Path by

Insider Tip: If you’d like a handy pocket sized guide book to the shore path, check out the guide published by the Lake Geneva based At The Lake magazine. It’s a great resource and available at their website …

The main rule for walking the path is … stay on it. Which stands to reason, as one side is private property and on your other side, should you venture off the path, you’ll get wet!  Very comfortable shoes are a must when traversing the path and make sure they have good tread for navigating steep and slippery surfaces.

The shore path is a foot path.  Bikes, skates and strollers are not practical or welcome.  Many sections of the path are not navigable by wheels of any sort.  Athletic dogs on leashes are allowed as long as you pick up after them.  We encountered several happy pooches on our walks along the shore path.

The Riviera Beach Lake Geneva

Picture Perfect Day On The Riviera Beach Downtown Lake Geneva

Did You Know? If you’re fortunate enough to own lakefront property on Geneva Lake, you’re required to maintain the property’s section of the shore path by keeping it clear and accessible for walking.

A primary access point to the shore path is adjacent to the Lake Geneva Public Library. From here, head to your right toward Williams Bay for the first part of the journey. Several stately mansions and beautiful gardens await!

While Relaxing In Lake Geneva – Read A Book Set In This Area!  Click Here To View …

Lake Geneva Library by

Designed By Frank Lloyd Wright Protegee James Dresser, The Library Overlooks Geneva Lake

Gardening enthusiasts should check out the pretty pollinator garden at the Lake Geneva Library before or after walking a leg of the Shore Path.  A colorful mix of liatris, scabiosa, bee balm, coreopsis, lavender and more nectar rich flowers beckoning to the bees and butterflies.

Lake Geneva Library Garden

The Pollinator Garden At The Lake Geneva Library Is All Abuzz In July

Naturally, Flower Chick was impressed by the variety of gardens lining the shore path plus the floral displays up close to the stately homes.  The lake air definitely has an effect on the plants around Geneva Lake! You’ll see thriving daylilies, hydrangeas, coneflowers, daisies, hostas, Russian sage, viburnum and many more.  Some of the property owners carry their garden themes and color palettes to their docks and boathouses which are delightful to view …

Discover The Stately Homes Surrounding Geneva Lake – This Book Gives You An Insider’s View

Geneva Lake Shore Path Towards Williams Bay

Lovely Hillside Garden Along The Shore Path Towards Williams Bay … Check Out The Views!

Of course, the homes along the path are eye candy. You wonder if they’ve been passed down from generation to generation, or more recently purchased by a company executive. It’s fun to ponder!  Besides the amazing mansions lining the shore path, the magnificent gardens, and the spectacular views of Geneva Lake from various vantage points … Flower Chick became fascinated by the path’s various forms along our journey.

In a few spots the path is paved, then you’ll find a gravel section, stepping stones, grass under foot, mulched walkways, wood beams, flagstone, concrete steps … the various incarnations of the path materials are charming in their own right.

Lake Geneva Shore Path By

A Sunny Butterfly Garden Lining This Portion Of The Path Was Colorful & Welcoming

Of course, Flower Chick was busy taking photos while traversing the path from Lake Geneva by the library and beach all the way to Williams Bay.  There was so much to look at my head was in swivel mode … here are some highlights along the way:

Lake Geneva Shore Path by FlowerChick.comLake Geneva Shore Path by FlowerChick.comLake Geneva Shore Path Hostas by FlowerChick.comLake Geneva Shore Path by Flower Chick.comLake Geneva Shore Path by FlowerChick.comLake Geneva Shore Path by FlowerChick.comLake Geneva Shore path by FlowerChick.comLake Geneva Shore Path by

Did You Know? Geneva Lake is one of Wisconsin’s deepest lakes. At its deepest point, the lake’s depth is 140′.

Lake Geneva Shore Path by

Flower Chick Liked This Rustic Sign Towards The Beginning Of The Shore Path

Geneva Lake Shore Path: Fontana To The South Shore

On this visit, Flower Chick tackled the segment of the path from Fontana around to the south shore. Walking the entire Geneva Lake Shore Path has become kind of a bucket list challenge for many … add Flower Chick and her husband to the list! It’s so much fun to plan our visits around which segments of the path we still need to conquer. After this visit, only one left now … the mid point of Lake Geneva’s south shore to downtown. Update:  We walked this last segment!  Keep reading and we’ll show you some of the highlights below …

Lake Geneva Area Gardens & Shore Path by

The Shore Path In Fontana By The Harbor & Beach – Beautiful Weather For Our Walk!

Did You Know? The Geneva Lake Shore Path actually predates any modern day development around the lake. The Potawatomi Tribe in particular used the shore path around the lake to move from village to village …

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by FlowerChick.comGeneva Lake Shore PathGeneva Lake Shore Path by FlowerChick.comGeneva Lake by FlowerChick.comLake Geneva Area Gardens By FlowerChick.comGeneva Lake Path By FlowerChick.comGeneva Area Gardens by

Insider Tip: One school of thought for walking the path is to take two cars, park one where you start and another where you plan to stop. This allows you to drive back to your starting point. However, if you only take one car on an excursion, as most people do, try this: Set a timed distance, i.e. 45 minutes out and 45 minutes back. Yes, you’ll cover the same ground, but you’ll also benefit from seeing the homes and the lake from different vantage angles …

Stay Hydrated On The Shore Path With This Great Find … Includes A Hands Free Pouch

Posh Threads:  If you’re looking for an upscale consignment boutique with quality merchandise and a pleasant, customer focused atmosphere … you’ll find it at Posh Threads in Fontana, just steps from the lakefront.  They carry brands such as Lilly Pulitzer, Theory, Chico’s, Eileen Fisher, Tory Burch, Ann Taylor, J. Crew and many more valued labels.

Flower Chick always finds some goodies here. This visit I purchased a brand new leather purse in gorgeous shades of purple, turquoise, emerald green and royal blue. Also a pair of earrings and a summery J. Jill blouse. Success!  Stop in for some fabulous deals on your favorite brands at a fraction of the original retail cost …

Pictured Are Some Of The Bargains I’ve Found At Posh Threads in Fontana

Did You Know? Lake Geneva has quite a storied musical history. The Riviera Ballroom on the lakefront downtown hosted legendary entertainers like Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington. At the former Majestic Ski Hill complex on the lake’s south shore, prominent classic rock bands performed in the mid to late 1960’s. Headliners included The Who, Buffalo Springfield, The Beach Boys, Frank Zappa, REO Speedwagon, and many more.

Riviera Lake Geneva History by

Closer to downtown Lake Geneva on the south shore, you’ll find beautiful Big Foot Beach State Park. This popular park features camping, hiking, a lagoon, and a beach right on the lake. If you’re hiking this leg of the shore path from Fontana, you’ve turned around the bend from the south side of the lake to the east side. From here, you’re about a mile from downtown Lake Geneva …

Lake Geneva Area Old Postcard Flower Chick

This Cool Old Postcard Shows The Lake Geneva Area Towns & Lakes

Did You Know? Big Foot Beach State Park’s land was formerly owned by the famous Maytag family. The park is located adjacent to Buttons Bay on the east side of the lake. The park draws its name from early Potawatomi leader Chief Big Foot. The Maytag family designed the park’s lagoon to replicate the shape of Geneva Lake …

When In Downtown Lake Geneva …

Brick & Mortar:   Located in a historic house from the 1900’s on Geneva Street, Brick & Mortar meets your everyday needs for your home, inside and out. All can be found from bedding to sofas and tables to trinkets to a wide range of unique gift items.  They carry an eclectic arrangement of frames, candles, and work of local artisans. All attractively displayed …

Brick & Mortar Lake Geneva WI

Brick & Mortar Is Such An Inviting Store With Attractive Displays And Quality Merchandise

This special store has become so popular they now have two locations in Lake Geneva.  Flower Chick has not made it to the sister store yet on Center Street.  The focus of the second location is furniture “Home & Outdoor”. Next time in town, I’ll be sure to check it out!

9 Lives Boutique: Flower Chick loves helping out animals, and in downtown Lake Geneva, this is the place to do it …  conveniently located across the street from Brick & Mortar.

Operated by the Lakeland Animal Shelter, 9 Lives Boutique showcases merchandise that has been donated by generous individuals and businesses and is then made available for sale to the general retail audience. All profits from this endeavor support the Lakeland Animal Shelter including their extensive programs and services to the area.

Nine Lives Boutique Lake Geneva WI

Help Dogs & Cats Find Forever Homes By Shopping At 9 Lives Boutique Resale Shop

They sell clothing for women and men, furniture, antiques, housewares, jewelry, books, and other goodies.  We always find a few treasures here … plus you’ll feel good knowing you are supporting a great cause.

Lake Geneva Upscale Consignment – located at 253 Center St Suite 400 has a lot of great bargains on women’s clothing, purses, shoes, outerwear and jewelry. The last time I shopped there I picked up a really cute Lake Geneva sweatshirt (new with tags) plus a necklace and earrings.

They have a nice selection of outerwear there too including furs.  I’m not a fur person so I can’t vouch for those. Definitely stop there if you like consignment shops and want to save money on name brands.

Lake Geneva Upscale Consignment

Wonderful Selection Of Merchandise At Lake Geneva Upscale Consignment

Horticultural Hall: In the 300 block of Broad Street downtown, you’ll find a Lake Geneva landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is Horticultural Hall, built in the early 1900’s. Horticultural Hall is home to the Thursday night area farmers market and also used for community gatherings …

Horticultural Hall Lake Geneva WI by

A popular locale for weddings, Horticultural Hall is home of the Lake Geneva Garden Club, who have historically hosted many floral shows here. The Hall was originally built for professional gardeners working on area estates as a place to meet, discuss, and plan their work. Added to the National Register Of Historic Places in 1999, Horticultural Hall stands out in downtown Lake Geneva largely due to its ivy accented exterior as you see here …

If you’re ready for a cold one, you won’t go wrong stopping in Fat Cat’s, downtown Lake Geneva’s longest running bar. Located toward the foot of Broad Street just steps away from The Riviera, Fat Cat’s has been Lake Geneva’s local favorite since the 1940’s …

Fat Cat's Lake Geneva WI

The Cool Retro Sign At Fat Cat’s Downtown Lake Geneva

Fat Cat’s is technically a cocktail lounge, as the retro cool neon sign suggests. We always stop here for happy hour … it’s a great place to step inside from the summer heat and to mingle with the locals and visitors. It’s not a large place, but Fat Cat’s really gets cooking later in the evening! It has always been a fun spot for a few drinks and conversation … (Update July 2023 – they are currently closed for remodelling – we’ll keep you posted 😉

Hill Valley Dairy Cheese Store: You’re in Wisconsin, so what’s one of the first things you think of? Cheese, of course!

A welcome recent addition to downtown Lake Geneva is the cheese shop of the Hill Valley Dairy. Located on Broad Street about a block north of Horticultural Hall, this welcoming shop offers the products of Walworth County’s own Hill Valley Dairy …

Hill Valley Cheese Lake Geneva

The Welcoming Hill Valley Dairy Cheese Store – Nice Selection & Oh So Good!

Hill Valley Dairy’s farm is based outside of East Troy, about ten miles from Lake Geneva. Dating back generations, the dairy hand crafts artisan cheese and offers it for sale at their shop, along with a growing list of southeastern Wisconsin retailers.

We first discovered their cheese curds at Duesterbeck’s Brewery and made a point to stop at their new store to pick up a package. Flower Chick especially likes their Hill Valley Dairy Mild Cheddar too – be sure to pick some up while in town …

Hill Valley Dairy Cheese

Check Out The Floral Alpine Cheese With A Flower Petal Rind

No matter your preference, Hill Valley Dairy has a cheese to suit your palate. Their welcoming cheese store on Broad Street is a perfect stop while exploring the shops downtown. A new favorite!

Topsy Turvy Brewery: Another relatively new addition to downtown Lake Geneva is this fun microbrewery and tap room located at the corner of Geneva and Broad Street. Housed in a former church, Topsy Turvy has quickly become one of the most popular stops in town …

We stopped in for a Friday happy hour and enjoyed the diverse selection of house made beer and the great people watching on the Topsy Turvy outdoor patio. The patio fronts busy Broad Street, so it’s a great place to relax and survey all the comings and goings downtown …

Topsy Turvy Brewery

Enjoy Good Beer With A View At Topsy Turvy Downtown Lake Geneva

We loved Topsy Turvy’s Lake Path Blonde Ale and Lake Effect Lager, two easy drinkers just perfect for a warm summer evening on the patio. You can purchase beer to go from their cooler inside, or pick some up at nearby Bruno’s Liquors …

Create Your Own Ivy-Covered Oasis … Click Here For Details

Get Out On The Water – Take A Scenic Lake Cruise!

Geneva Lake Boat Cruises: Beyond walking the famous shore path, if there’s one “must do” attraction in Lake Geneva, it’s partaking in a boat cruise around beautiful Geneva Lake …

Situated at The Riviera along the lakefront, the Lake Geneva Cruise Line traces its roots back over 140 years. Boasting a fleet of eight cruise vessels, this is the best and most enjoyable way to acquaint yourself to all the lake has to offer …

Lake Geneva Cruise Line

Welcome Aboard – Beautiful Afternoon For A Geneva Lake Cruise!

We especially recommend taking the Full Lake Cruise where you can take in the sights of beautiful Geneva Lake on a two hour, fully narrated historical boat tour. Relax and enjoy views of the famous grand mansions owned by some of Chicago’s biggest movers and shakers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries … plus other interesting sites you’ll see along the shores of the entire lake.

The Geneva Lake Cruise Line also offers a shorter Bay Tour, the unique (and exciting) US Mailboat Tour, and other specialty boat rides including an Ice Cream Social Tour, Supper Club Dinner Cruise, and Black Point Estate Tour (it’s only accessible by boat).

Lake Geneva Mansions

The Stately Glanworth Gardens – Most Expensive Home Sale in Wisconsin History

The Driehaus Estate in Lake Geneva sold for $36 million in early 2022, making it the most expensive home sale in Wisconsin state history. The 14,145-square-foot mansion that sits on 40 acres along Geneva Lake is also known as Glanworth Gardens and before that as Wadsworth Hall. Richard H. Driehaus (a venture capitalist) passed away in 2021. He was known for throwing lavish theme parties on his estate to benefit area non-profits.

On the Full Lake Tour you’ll have beautiful views of the estates owned by famous owners such as the Wrigleys, Schwinns, Maytags, Sears, Healys, Drakes and more.  Many of them named their properties with resplendent names such as Green Gables, Casa Del Suego, Alta Vista, The Echoes, Glen Arden, Stone Manor, and Fair Lawn to name a few …

Flower Chick really enjoyed the Lake Geneva based books by this local author:

Stone Manor Lake Geneva

Stone Manor Holds The Title Of The Largest Home On Geneva Lake

Stone Manor is the largest estate ever built on Geneva Lake and probably one of the most talked about. In total, there are seven levels in this historic property.  Complete with 2 sub-basements, 4 main levels, and a sprawling roof terrace.  A 250-foot wide veranda completes this architectural wonder that stretches an amazing 174 feet in the front.

The exterior walls feature Bedford limestone, while the interior walls are covered in Tennessee marble. When completed in 1901, all of the doorknobs, plumbing and electrical fixtures on the main level were 14kt gold plated, with matching solid sterling silver on the second. Wow!

Lake Geneva Gardens

Flower Chick Loved The Attractive, Terraced Gardens Leading To The Lake At This Estate

The elegant Spanish style home pictured below is known as Casa del Sueno or Dream House. The original estate was built in 1893, and known as Galewood. Galewood burned down in 1928 and this home was built in 1930.

Over the years the estate has changed hands a number of times and the home has had many expensive renovations. Some of the more notable owners were Mr. and Mrs. William Bell, formerly of Chicago. Mrs. Bell is probably better known to Chicagoans as TV personality Miss Lee Phillip. The late Mr. William Bell wrote and produced daytime TV soap operas. Two of his best known include the Emmy award winning series “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.”  Rumor has it that Governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, now owns this historic property.

Geneva Lake Mansions

Casa del Sueno With Boathouse Made To Look Like An Old Lake Steamer Called “S.S. No-Go”

That’s just a taste of the interesting estates you’ll view from the Geneva Lake Boat Cruise!  We recommend buying your tickets in advance online so you aren’t disappointed if the cruise you want is sold out.  We last took a full lake tour on a Monday afternoon and it was packed.  We can just imagine the demand on weekends …

Five Area Favorites …

Lorelei Bittner’s Bakery: Every town deserves to have a great local bakery … in Lake Geneva, your go to spot is Lorelei Bittner’s Bakery, located on the north side of Lake Geneva less than five minutes from downtown …

Lorelei Bittner's Bakery

A Delicious Array Of Baked Good At Lorelei Bittner’s Bakery – Love The Donuts!

Bittner’s dates back to 1946 and used to be located downtown on Main Street. An unfortunate fire caused them to close and move to a new locale, which happily offers convenient access, plentiful parking, and all the wonderful baked goods Bittner’s is known for …

Insider Tip: If you’re staying at a place with a refrigerator, pick up a few items at Bittner’s for your next morning’s breakfast. Not only will you experience delicious, but you’ll save a few dollars by not going out to eat …

Experience A Sweet Taste Of Wisconsin At Home – Delicious With A Cup Of Coffee

Holly’s Como Inn: A personal favorite, Flower Chick’s husband has a long history at the Como Inn. He’ll tell anyone that’ll listen about the first time he stepped foot in here … underaged in 1977.

Como Inn WI

The Como Inn – Sit At The Bar & Order A Delicious Cheeseburger & Refreshing Beverage

Well, he has been coming here ever since, every time in town … and of course me too! Located on County H on the north side of Lake Como, this road house style bar and grill isn’t fancy … but it’s great!

A local’s place off the tourist track, Holly’s Como Inn features Wisconsin beer on tap, delicious burgers from the griddle, and a long bar to sidle up to and have a few. There’s live entertainment on some nights in the colder months and in the summer, Como Inn sponsors local volleyball tournaments …

Como Inn Wisconsin by

The Friendly & Comfortable Como Inn – Sit Inside Or Out & Enjoy Good Food & Local Brews

The business became Holly’s Como Inn in 2008 with an ownership change, but the bar itself has carried the Como Inn name since it started in 1946. Opt for one of Como Inn’s legendary cheeseburgers or if you’re lucky enough to be in town on a Friday, a fish fry. Either pair well with one of Como Inn’s 12 beers on draught …

If you’re in Lake Geneva and feel the need to step off the tourist track, check out Holly’s Como Inn!

Bruno’s Liquors: Lake Geneva’s largest liquor store has an interesting history …

This location was originally a hotel before morphing into a tavern in the late 1940’s. Since 1975, it’s been the favored spot in the area for Wisconsin beer and a wide selection of wines and spirits …

Bruno's Liquors Lake Geneva by

Only In Wisconsin – New Glarus Beer Display at Bruno’s Liquors

Bruno’s carries all the Wisconsin brewed favorites you can’t always find elsewhere (read: beyond the Wisconsin state line). Flower Chick picked up a few personal favorites, like Leinenkugel Original from Chippewa Falls, WI and the wonderful Point Special Lager from Stevens Point. And of course, the ultimate Wisconsin beer prize, Spotted Cow from New Glarus …

The Perfect Vessel To Quaff A Refreshing Spotted Cow … Click Here To View

Bruno's Liquors Sign by

You’ll find Bruno’s Liquors (and their cool retro neon sign above) a few blocks north of downtown Lake Geneva on Broad Street …

Lake Geneva Country Meats: We recently became acquainted with this long running meat market, specialty grocer, and deli located a few miles east of downtown on Highway 50. This is where Lake Genevans shop for fresh meat, famous house made brats, and local specialties …

In addition to their expansive deli (try the chicken salad), Lake Geneva Meats has a really nice beer, wine, and liquor selection. You’ll find all your Wisconsin favorites and an impressive selection of beer from area microbreweries.  Try the Wollersheim Brandy & Bourbon Old Fashioneds in cans. If you can’t get to a Supper Club, it’s the next best thing!

A popular place, Lake Geneva Meats is a preferred stop if you’re planning a few days in the area and plan to cook out. Locals know it as the best meat market in the area, with a great selection and reasonable prices. The pork tenderloin is excellent!  Lean and flavorful … we stir fried it with veggies from the farmstand for a delicious and healthy dinner. We left with a cooler full of items and the promise to make it a regular stop when in town.

Visiting A Perennial Farm

Northwind Perennial Farm: Less than ten minutes north of Lake Como going toward Burlington is the divine Northwind Perennial Farm.  Founded in 1991, the farm specializes in growing regionally hardy perennials. Their display gardens are worth the visit alone!  You’ll feel like you’ve entered a small botanical garden …

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by

Don’t Miss The Breathtaking Display Gardens At Northwind Perennial Farm – Garner Ideas For Your Own Yard

Take your time strolling through the Northwind grounds, you may encounter a variety of butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds and even chickens enjoying the many perennials and water features. Note what you like and take pictures so you can show the staff and they can help you locate the plant.

Northwind Perennial Farm by

Pretty Purple Garden At Northwind Perennial Farm – The Dairy Barn In The Background Houses The Gift Shop

As you enter the early 1900s dairy barn that houses the garden shop, you will know that you have discovered a rare treasure. An array of unique garden accents, gifts, home decor,  bird houses and glass ornaments are charmingly displayed.  Fountains, planters, bird baths, statuary and wrought iron pieces adorn the site and will give you plenty of ideas about how to use garden accents to enhance your landscape.

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by

The Mood-Lifting Color Of This Coneflower Beckons You For A Closer Look

From Northwind Perennial Farm, it’s an easy short drive to our next Lake Geneva area garden destination, Burlington, WI …

Can’t Get To Burlington? Order Zone 5 Perennials Online Here …

Two Gardens In Burlington, WI

Located at the confluence of the White and Fox Rivers, Burlington is a small city of just over 10,000 residents. We’ll be showcasing two gardens near the historic downtown, but on the way there’s a couple places you might want to stop and explore …

Container Arrangement Northwind Burlington WI

Pretty Container Arrangement At Northwind With Calibrachoa, Begonias, Salvia & Vinca

What’s Wisconsin Especially Known For?? Well, Cheese Of Course … Explore The Choices Here

Chic and Unique: Ever in search of a stylish bargain, Flower Chick loves popping in at Chic and Unique in the heart of downtown Burlington …

Chic and Unique Burlington WI

Chic And Unique In Downtown Burlington Carries Name Brand Clothes & Accessories For Bargain Basement Prices

Chic & Unique Consignment & Boutique has been operating since 2010 and is proudly located in the downtown historic district of “The Loop” in Burlington, Wisconsin. The building was built in 1835 and has the original hardwood floor and ceiling.

The store offers unique, on-trend and seasonal brand new women’s boutique clothing, jewelry, gifts, and accessories plus pre-loved designer clothing, shoes, and authentic luxury handbags as well as a large selection of brand new fashionable jewelry and accessories, scarves, and decorative pillows. Flower Chick scored with a Vera Bradley purse, Talbot’s blouse, and a Chico’s casual jacket at very attractive prices.

Burlington Garden Club Gardens: Let’s stop at two downtown Burlington public gardens, both planned and maintained by the Burlington Garden Club …

Did You Know? Burlington is actually in Racine County, immediately east of Walworth County in southern Wisconsin …

Lehn Legacy Garden:  This appealing garden (next to the Burlington Historical Society at the corner of Perkins Blvd and Jefferson) was established in 1992. The Garden Club recreates here a garden typical of those found in Burlington in the late 1800’s …

Lehn Legacy Garden Burlington WI by

The Pleasing Lehn Legacy Garden in Burlington – A Charming, Old-Fashioned Gate Welcomes You To Come Inside

When Flower Chick toured this good-looking garden, a robin family was bathing in the fountain by the back wall. The gardens are pleasing to people and wildlife alike!  Lovely use of perennials in the plot including purple coneflowers, hostas, asiatic lilies, sedum, bee balm, ferns and roses interspersed with a birdbath, fountain and appealing statuary.

Lake Geneva Area Gardens

Look Closely To See A Photogenic Robin Family Bathing In The Fountain In The Lehn Legacy Garden

Burlington Vintage Garden:  The Vintage Garden (outside the Pioneer Cabin) represents the plants the early settlers in this area would have known: allium, aster, bittersweet, bleeding heart, cone flower, red currant, daffodil, daylily, elderberry, gooseberry, hollyhock, iris, jack-in-the pulpit, lambs ear, lavender, liatris, lilac, lily of the valley, may apple, monarda, prairie rose, rudbeckia, serviceberry, sweet william and woodruff are represented.

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by

The fenced Kitchen Garden consists of the plants that would have sustained the farmstead by providing fresh produce for the family in season. Vintage seeds were obtained for amaranth, pole and lima beans, beets, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, hops, lettuce, melons, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, rhubarb, squash, tomatoes and turnips.

Vintage Garden Burlington by

Heading back toward Lake Geneva, we like to take Route 11 into Elkhorn, the Walworth County seat. There are a couple of local gems here and we’d be remiss to not share them with you …

Wilson Farm Meats: Located just a few blocks south of downtown, this is one of Walworth County’s best meat markets and specialty stores …

The Wilson Farm has been part of Elkhorn’s landscape for well over 100 years. All the meat available here is locally raised and processed, providing a natural freshness you just won’t find at big box grocery stores …

Wilson Farm Meats Elkhorn WI

Wilson Farm Meats offers prime steaks, chicken, Wisconsin made products, and an amazing variety of pork. If you’re in luck, Wilson’s will have some of their spectacular pork tenderloins available. Packaged frozen for your convenience, this lean, tender cut is the perfect addition to any family meal or outside barbecue. Flower Chick trimmed up one tenderloin and added it to some fresh produce for a stir fry … delicious!

You’ll also find Wisconsin wine, specialty Wisconsin made sauces, local honey, and much more. Bring your cooler, you’re bound to leave with an arm full!

Wilson Farm Meats by

Insider Tip: Two examples of local products available at Wilson’s are the chips and mild salsa produced by the wonderful Hernandez Mexican Restaurant in nearby Delavan. These chips really are as good as they look, and so is the slightly spicy mild salsa … try them for yourself and see!

Hernandez Delavan by

Tasty Hernandez El Sarape Chips & Salsa Purchased At Wilson Farm Meats

If your thirst kicks up while you’re in downtown Elkhorn, check out the south side of the town square (Walworth Street 1/2 block east of the court house). Here you’ll find the Elkhorn Saloon, a friendly local bar to grab a cold one or two. We’re told the Elkhorn Saloon is the oldest bar in Walworth County, dating back to 1863 … the cool vintage back bar is from the 1893 World’s Fair Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Elkhorn Saloon by

Stop For A Cold Beer & Friendly Conversation At The Elkhorn Saloon

Enjoy A Traditional Wisconsin Fish Fry

It’s Friday night and you’re in Wisconsin. Time for a fish fry!

Right down the hill from Route 50 and Pesche’s Greenhouse (see below) is one of our favorite places in the Lake Geneva area. It’s the wonderful Mars Resort, a supper club style restaurant / bar with a fun deck and beach on the shores of beautiful Lake Como …

Mars Resort Lake Como by

The Entrance To The Fabulous Mars Resort – Classic Wisconsin Supper Club On Lake Como

A local and visitor favorite for almost 100 years, Mars offers a legendary Friday fish fry featuring cod and bluegill or lake perch (on rotating Fridays). Best known for their fall off the bone ribs, Mars Resort also boasts a friendly, lively bar where the Old Fashioned’s and Wisconsin beer flow as freely as the conversation …

Mars Resort Old Fashioneds

Mars Lively Bar and Signature Brandy Old Fashioneds With A View

You’ll have a view of Lake Como from just about any seat, particularly if you opt for the outside patio. The beach has been expanded in recent years and there’s access to a boat dock if you’re arriving by water …

Did You Know? Despite its expansive size, Como Lake is very shallow. It’s about 9′ feet deep …

This is the kind of place where memories are made, passed from generation to generation, and shared with friends. My husband’s mother, whose family home was across the lake, used to swim across and catch a few rays on the Mars Resort beach. Visitors who come here are drawn back again and again … Mars Resort is the very definition of “classic”.

Mars Resort Deck and Beach

Plenty Of Outside Seating Options At Mars Resort On The Deck Or Beachfront … With Glorious Lake Como Views

Even if you don’t eat here, be sure to stop in for a drink. We’re guessing you’ll be telling your friends and family about Mars Resort. Go ahead and share … they’ll love this place!

Did You Know? The south shore of Lake Como has quite a history. Members of Chicago’s notorious underworld community holed up here in the 1920’s to escape The Windy City …

Wisconsin Supper Clubs … An Old-Fashioned (and Beloved) Tradition – Discover More Here

Lake Geneva Area Gardens: Delavan & Walworth County

Al’s Auto Body & Arboretum: Yes, you read that right!  This unique stop located at W6866 N. Walworth Road in Walworth is both an operational auto body shop and a well-respected hosta arboretum.  Free parking and admission, the arboretum grounds are open for viewing 7 days a week from dawn to dusk.

Al's Auto Body & Arboretum Walworth WI

You Know You’ve Arrived At Al’s Auto Body & Arboretum When You See This Friendly Character

Al Ritchey started his hosta business about 30 years ago when he began planting hostas in the oak, hickory and walnut filled arboretum on the back of his property as a way to relax.  Part of the property is a privately held conservation district and is therefore open to the public.

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by

Hosta Paradise at Al’s Auto Body & Arboretum – Wander The Peaceful Setting and Buy Hostas For Your Yard

Hostas, known as the friendship plant, had just a few varieties years ago but the numbers increased substantially due to propagation.  Every spring Al hosts a “Hosta Fest”, where everyone is invited to visit the evolving arboretum displaying over 450 hosta varieties! There are at least 175 hosta varieties for sale, including large and mature specimen plants …

Lake Geneva Area Gardens By

There Are Waves Of Beautiful Plants As Far As The Eye Can See At Al’s Arboretum in Walworth

Did You Know?  Hostas come in all different shapes and sizes. The largest varieties, labeled “giant,” can be as tall as 3 feet and as wide as 6 feet when fully grown.  Hostas are long-lived and low-maintenance, just like any good friendship.

Several types of hostas have been developed by Al over the years including the plant “Compadre”, a Spanish word that translates to “buddy.”  Also, “Burlesque” an offspring of mother plant “Striptease”.  Stop by and wander the tranquil arboretum paths and pick up some hardy hostas for your yard!

Congdon Gardens: Located on the outskirts of Delavan, WI, Congdon Gardens features ever changing flowers, shrubs and trees surrounding a serene pond setting. It is a perfectly relaxing spot to stretch your legs on the walking path or relax on a bench and soak in nature.

Congdon Gardens by

Seven individual gardens make up Congdon Gardens … The Gazebo Garden, Rotary Peace Gardens, Pergola Garden, Peony & Daylily Exhibition Garden, Independence Garden, Linden Garden and Signature Garden.  They’re open daily, year around and admission is free.

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by Flower Chick

Pretty Planter With A Canna Lily As Focal Point … Good Use Of A Thriller, Spiller and Filler at Congdon

Designed by a co-owner of Northwind Perennial Farm, this garden below frames the gazebo and overlooks the pond.  It also provides a wonderful spot for a picnic or just a quiet place to unwind. Some of the plants spotted include hydrangea, coreopsis, potentilla, yarrow and daylily.

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by

The fountain feature (pictured below) is comprised of seven granite boulders representing the seven continents of the world united by the water of the oceans. This garden features both sun and shade perennials, shrubs and trees.

Create An Oasis In Your Backyard With This Soothing Stone Water Feature …

Congdon Gardens by

Sandy’s Upscale Consignment:  Not to sound like a broken record but, Flower Chick loves upscale consignment shops and Sandy’s is not to be missed!  Her slogan is perfect … “Shop Green & Dress Like A Queen”. At Sandy’s, it’s great fun to check out the quality clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry and more. Located at 212 N. Main in Walworth in a cool, old building that was an original blacksmith shop …

Sandy's Upscale Consignment By

Love Quality Consignment Shops? Check Out Fabulous Sandy’s In Walworth

You’ll find treasures such as Jimmy Choo shoes, a Kate Spade dress, Louis Vuitton purse, and many more designer brands at fabulous prices. Stop in and treat yourself!

The 46 Tavern: Just down the block from Sandy’s in Walworth is this inviting local Lake Geneva area tavern …

This is The 46 Tavern, newly remodeled with due care and great respect for the history of this establishment. Originally built in 1895, this building has been home to a tavern since 1946. The new local ownership of Alisha and Jason Mannon beautifully renovated the tavern in 2020 and named it The 46 Tavern as a nod to the history of the space …

The 46 Tavern Walworth WI Miller High Life Mural by

The Eye-Catching Miller High Life ‘Girl In The Moon’ Mural At The 46 Tavern

We love old taverns and respect their storied history, so it was heartwarming to see the efforts of ownership. A beautiful Miller Brewing “Girl in the Moon” mural adorns one side of the building, while the internal space showcases a classic old school tin ceiling and conversation friendly bar …

46 Tavern in Walworth by

Welcoming Retro Cool Entrance To The 46 Tavern – Love The Blue ‘Drink’ Neon Over The Door

Decor aside, The 46 Tavern is a great place for a little Wisconsin day drinking, especially on the weekends when they’re open early. You’ll find Miller High Life and Spotted Cow (among others) on draught here, but check out the classic cocktail menu. We enjoyed a fabulous Wisconsin Apple Brandy Old Fashioned and soaked in the friendly tavern atmosphere. A must stop when you’re in Walworth, and one of our new favorites!

A Boat Ride On Delavan Lake …

Flower Chick decided on this visit to experience a few new southern Wisconsin attractions. With beautiful summer weather at hand, what’s better than being out on the water? In Delavan, you won’t want to miss a scenic boat tour of Lake Delavan. In the summer, tours depart from the historic Lake Lawn Resort on Route 50 just 10 minutes west of Lake Geneva …

Lake Lawn Queen Tour Boat by

The Lake Lawn Queen Tour Boat – Enjoy A Narrated Journey Around Lake Delavan

Did You Know? Lake Delavan, at its deepest point, is about 55′ deep. It’s an excellent lake for fishing … area fisherman are known to bring in catches of sunfish, bluegill, lake perch, and more.

Stop in at the resort and walk down to the lake shore. There you’ll see the pretty “Lake Lawn Queen”. Tours are 90 minutes and take you all around the lake, with narration to point out all the interesting features.

Picturesque View of Lake Delavan From Lake Lawn Resort by

Picturesque View Of Lake Delavan From Lake Lawn Lodge Resort

You’ll see several Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes dating back over 100 years, along with many other beautiful homes along the shore. We were interested to learn at one time Lake Delavan was home to almost two dozen lakefront ballrooms, which hosted numerous popular orchestras and dance bands of the era …

Take A Step Back In Time With This Classic Frank Lloyd Wright Mantel Clock

Paul Lange Arboretum: You’ll find the Paul Lange Arboretum just a few blocks north of downtown Delavan tucked along the northwest shore of picturesque Lake Comus …

Paul Lange Arboretum Delavan by

This 25 acre nature area boasts a 1.5 mile walking trail, boat launch, and gazebo area frequently used for wedding photos. Lake Comus is one of two lakes in the immediate Delavan area, the other of course being Lake Delavan.

Did You Know? Delavan’s Lake Comus is over 130 acres in surface area, but it’s only 6′ deep …

We enjoyed walking the trail and noticed how clean and well-maintained this park is.  There are many trees and benches dedicated to people throughout the arboretum.

Paul Lange Memorial Arboretum Delavan WI y

In 1981, the City of Delavan authorized the placing of the cremains of Rudolph F. Lange in the Arboretum beneath an Adams crabapple tree on Arbor Day. He was one of the arboretum’s original directors.  After that, many requests came in for cremains burials.  We read many of the dedication plaques on our walk. A peaceful, tree-filled space, on the water … we can see why someone would want to make it their final resting place.

Lake Geneva Area Gardens

Tranquil Lake Comus View From The Arboretum

Discover Winter Hardy Zone 5 Roses Here … Low Maintenance and Bred For Disease Resistance

Wisconsin Wine? You Betcha!

Apple Barn Winery: Whenever we travel on a “Visiting Midwest Gardens” feature, Flower Chick always seeks out a bottle of local wine. Our long time favorite in Walworth County is the Apple Barn Orchard & Winery just outside of Elkhorn …

Apple Barn Winery By

Great Fruit Wines To Choose From At Apple Barn – Our Favorite Is The Pear – Nice Label Too!

Flower Chick has stopped at Apple Barn Winery every time in town for the past 15 years of so. A friendly, welcoming place, the gift shop offers local Wisconsin made edibles and other products in addition to their house wines …

Insider Tip: Try and buy a bottle of the Hardy Pear wine. Pears are somewhat sweet … but not too sweet. It’s an excellent wine paired with grilled chicken, a Wisconsin fish fry, or just for a casual happy hour …

Staller Estate Winery: A new favorite of ours, Staller Estate Winery is just down the way from The Duck Inn, a few miles north of Delavan …

Staller Winery by

If you’re looking to buy Made in Wisconsin wine from cold hardy grapes, Staller is the place to go in Walworth County. All their wines are produced and bottled here on site, including one we really like, Estate Blanc. This fun fruity white wine is perfect for summer (and just as perfect in winter!). If you can’t make it to the winery’s beautiful rural setting, their website lists various locations to purchase a bottle or two. The grounds are very popular locally for weddings and other special events and tours / tastings are available …

Did You Know? There are over 100 wineries in Wisconsin. The state’s climate and soil are ideal for growing grapes and many types of fruit …

Duesterbeck’s Brewing Company: Not to be outdone, there’s a great farm brewery just west of Elkhorn, not far from the Apple Barn Orchard & Winery. It’s Duesterbeck Brewing, set in a pastoral farm setting in the midst of rural Walworth County ..

Duesterbeck's Brewery by

Flower Chick was drawn here to enjoy Duesterbeck’s cream ale, which leads us to a beer factoid …

Did You Know? Cream Ale is an American style ale that’s actually brewed at lower temperatures like a lager. The result is a refreshing drinkable beer, golden light in color (but with no cream at all). Two of America’s most popular cream ales are Genesee Cream Ale and Little Kings Cream Ale …

Although this family farm dates back over 150 years, the brewery is a relatively new addition. In an effort to restore the farm’s main barn to its former glory, family members decided to erect a new barn and transition the operation to an agribusiness …

Duesterbeck Brewing Company by

This Beautiful Restored Barn Houses The Brewing Operation and Tasting Room At Duesterbeck’s … Cheers!

The brewery operation is run by Laura Duesterbeck Johnson and her husband, Ben Johnson. Ben is the brew master and he turns out a lineup of over a dozen house brews …

Did You Know? The Duesterbeck farm brewery is also a Certified Monarch Waystation. The plants grown on site here are carefully planned out with pollinator friends in mind. Kudos!

Duesterbecks Brewing Pollinator Garden

Pollinator Loving Plants In Long Narrow Beds Line The Beer Garden

Stop in at the brewery to grab a pint of two in person … they’re located on County O just west of Elkhorn. You can even order beer online at their website.  On our last visit we enjoyed a small pizza and soft pretzel with mustard while we were quaffing with friends.

Insider Tip: In addition to the cream ale, try Duesterbeck’s Hefeweizen. You’ll love the smooth finish featuring notes of banana and clove …

“Duck Inn” To A Wisconsin Supper Club

So … whenever Flower Chick travels on gardening expeditions, there’s a loose rule of thumb … before dinner is happy hour! On our way to the Duck Inn for a Saturday night supper club feast, we checked out a local spot we hadn’t visited before …

Turtle Lake Tap & Grill: Turtle Lake is one of many small inviting lakes tucked away in Walworth County. You’ll find it a few miles north of Delavan and a few miles southeast of Whitewater and the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.

This property on Turtle Lake boasts a long history. The Anderson family transformed part of their farm into this lakeside resort well over 100 years ago. Formerly known as The Crystal Palace, Turtle Lake Tap & Grill is a go to spot for locals and those venturing out from Lake Geneva …

Turtle Lake Tap

Pretty Beach & Lake View From The Turtle Lake Tap & Grill

Newly remodeled in 2020, Turtle Lake Tap & Grill is quickly becoming a Walworth County favorite. The conversation friendly bar has an expansive deck overlooking the lake, and weekend afternoons often feature live entertainment outside …

Our friendly and super efficient bartender Veronica shared a bit about the bar’s history and all the recent remodeling efforts … you’ll see several historical Turtle Lake photos adorning the walls. There’s an expansive beer selection and Old Fashioneds are one of the house specialties. We ordered one of Turtle Lake Tap & Grill’s hefty cheeseburgers to go and warmed it up the next day. Fantastic!

It was our first time here but within minutes, we felt like regulars. A fun, comfortable place, Turtle Lake Tap & Grill is a great spot for a little weekend imbibing right along the shore of Turtle Lake …

Turtle Lkae Tap by

Live Music On The Deck At The Fun Turtle Lake Tap … Good Food & Drinks Right On The Water

Did You Know? Turtle Lake is one of a few dozen lakes in Walworth County. Some are tiny, but Turtle Lake isn’t. The lake is over 140 acres in surface area and is 30′ deep …

We loved stopping at Turtle Lake Tap & Grill and plan to return the next time we’re in the Lake Geneva area. This is part of the fun of visiting this part of Wisconsin … there’s always more to see and more great places to go!

Duck Inn: The Duck Inn is one of southern Wisconsin’s best known supper clubs since the early 1930’s. While their specialty is duck, that’s not how the place became to be known as The Duck Inn …

Back in the early 1930’s, Prohibition gripped the country. There were no “legal” places for citizens to enjoy an adult beverage, but if you were in the know, you were aware of a work-around ….

Duck Inn Supper Club Delavan by

Outside The Duck Inn Supper Club In Delavan WI … Experience History & A Great Meal Here

The Duck Inn, located at the corner of Route 89 and County A in northern Walworth County, was such a place. Discreet word of mouth informed area residents this was a place to “duck in” to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two. Prohibition thankfully ended in December, 1933 but the name stuck, as did the establishment’s well earned reputation for great food and drink …

That positive reputation lingers to this day, as The Duck Inn is one of the area’s primary supper club destinations. Steaks, fresh seafood, classic cocktails, and of course duck entrees dot the menu. A relaxed, refined yet comfortable setting greets patrons, who flock here for supper club standards …

Duck Inn Supper Club by Flower Chick

The Duck Inn Menu & Classic Supper Club Cocktails – Brandy Manhattan & Old Fashioned

Flower Chick enjoyed a cashew encrusted duck breast served over fluffy rice, and for dessert, an out of this world Brandy Alexander, an ice cream drink laced with brandy …

Supper clubs like The Duck Inn are one of the highlights of vacationing in Wisconsin. You’ll experience fantastic food, classic cocktails, and a warm welcome!

Nature Near Geneva Lake: Kishwauketoe Conservatory & Geneva Lake Conservancy

Kishwauketoe Nature Conservatory:  Enjoy nature up close at the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy located in Williams Bay, directly north of the Williams Bay beach. The primary entrance to Kishwauketoe is at 251 Elkhorn Road (Hwy. 67), south of Hwy. 50. Parking is available near the entrance to both locations with well-marked trails leading directly into the conservancy. Trail maps are available at the entrances.

Kishwauketoe sign by

Since 1990, this 231-acre nature preserve delights the senses.  It includes 4+ miles of trails with a boardwalk, bird-viewing tower and a pavilion. We walked one of the trails early one weekend morning … a serene experience watching nature wake up around us.

Kishwauketoe Boardwalk by

Immerse Yourself Into The Sights and Sounds Of Nature At Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy

The land is steeped in Native American history, as the Potawatomi people, also called “Keepers of the Sacred Fire” or “The True People”, once inhabited the area. The name Kishwauketoe was selected because of its Potawatomi origin. It loosely translates as “Clear Water” or “Lake of the Sparkling Water” – a perfect fit for a place that encompasses the beauty of Geneva Lake, with its lush and expansive pockets of nature, while also honoring the Potawatomi.

Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy by

Dedicated In 1990 To The Children of Tomorrow, Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy Is A Local Treasure

Being the largest watershed on Geneva Lake, you’re able to see so many natural environments in a single place. Today, Kishwauketoe represents a rare and evolving lakeside ecological area.  Definitely plan to visit if you’re in the area …

The Geneva Lake Conservancy in Fontana – This not-for-profit organization is dedicated to the preservation of environmentally sensitive lands, open space and the unique character and quality of life of Walworth County. Working with landowners, and government officials, the Conservancy advocates private and public land use and management decisions that assure responsible growth and protection of natural and historic resources.

Geneva Lake Conservancy Fontana WI

We visited their Mill House Native Plant Preserve on our most recent visit to the area. Flower Chick was delighted to see a Little Lending Library at the entrance chock full of books on nature, plants, butterflies and more.

Geneva Lake Conservancy Native Plants

As you walk through the preserve you’ll see a pollinator garden, rain garden, fern garden, sloped garden, oak grove with a variety of oak species, as well as a bird sanctuary. Each garden has an educational sign marking it and the majority of plants used in each garden will be identified.

Mill House Native Plant Preserve Fontana WI

Display Of Native Plants Labelled At The Mill House Preserve In Fontana

Among the plant species were Black-Eyed Susan, Purple Coneflowers, Milkweed, False Indigo, Windflower, Butterfly Weed, Yellow Marsh Marigold, Prairie Grass and Sand Coreopsis.

The Conservancy encourages people to plant more native plants in their yards since they provide nectar for pollinators including hummingbirds, native bees, butterflies, moths, and bats.  They are also easy care, drought tolerant, and rarely invasive.

Farm Fresh Produce & Wisconsin Cheese

Pearce’s Farm Stand: This bustling expansive family farm and adjacent farm stand has been an area favorite for decades. It’s located off Route 67 in between Williams Bay and Fontana on the western end of Geneva Lake …

Pearce's Farmstand by

Loved The Variety Of Fresh Produce, Baked Goods, and Live Music At Pearce’s Farm Stand

Open during the summer season, this is THE place to pick up fresh produce (and more!) in the Lake Geneva area. The Pearce Farm has been here for many years and the farm stand showcases the fruits of their labor. Fresh sweet corn, peppers, melons, home made salsa, zucchini, tomatoes, and fresh baked goods are just a few of the products you’ll find here …

Insider Tip: If they’re available, be sure to pick up a package of Pearce’s cranberry walnut cookies. They’re spectacular!

Pesche’s Greenhouse: One of Flower Chick’s long time favorites, Pesche’s Greenhouse is located on Route 50 a couple miles west of downtown Lake Geneva. This is the perfect stop if you’re heading to Mars Resort … Pesche’s is right up at the top of the hill from Lake Como and Mars Resort …

Pesches Lake Geneva WI by

Need A Gift? Pesche’s Is The Place To Go … Great Selection Of Interesting & Unique Items!

This unique garden complex truly offers something for everyone.  They’ve been growing since 1970, starting with three greenhouses and increasing over the years to twenty. From the beginner to the skilled gardener, you’ll find a great variety of quality annuals, perennials, shrubs, fruit trees, garden statuary, birding supplies, planters and much more in this floral paradise.

Take the time to stroll through their many greenhouses and large gift barn featuring many unique items made in the USA.  This visit Flower Chick purchased a cute lavender air plant , a book, and some greeting cards.  A fun place to browse!  Bet you won’t leave empty-handed …

Pesche's Lake Geneva by

Love The Displays At Pesche’s! So Creative & Appealing …

The Cheese Box: Ask any long time Lake Geneva resident or visitor about “must visit” places in the area, and The Cheese Box is sure to come up. Located just east of downtown on Wells Street (County H), The Cheese Box has been a Lake Geneva staple since 1940 …

The Cheese Box in Lake Geneva by

A Visit To Lake Geneva Isn’t Complete Until You Stop & Shop At The Famous Cheese Box

As the name implies, The Cheese Box is cheese heaven. You’ll be drawn in by the cool retro signage and once inside, you’ll discover dozens of cheese varieties from around Wisconsin and beyond. There’s a deli counter here too with fresh cold cuts, salads, and more. The Cheese Box will prepare sandwiches to go for you … they’re well known as being the preferred choice for those spending a day on the lake …

Wisconsin beer and wine to go complete the picture, along with gift boxes for your family and friends who aren’t lucky enough to be here in Lake Geneva …

Flower Chick picked up some local honey from nearby Whitewater (northern Walworth County), Wisconsin cheese, and a bottle of Wisconsin wine. Buy local and enjoy!

Wisconsin Honey Shines … Good With Just About Everything From Biscuits to Chicken to Stirfry to Pancakes …

Geneva Lake Shore Path: Black Point Back To Downtown Lake Geneva

This portion is not for the faint of heart … you’ll be walking on muddy slopes, hiking up boulders, going uphill and downhill on varied terrain.  There are fairly level areas with nice brick, wood, stone or pebbled paths as well.

Some homeowners have maintained their section of the path with dignity and care – offering solid pavers, delightful gardens, and artistic flourishes to admire. However, other homeowners aren’t with the program – doing the bare minimum to provide public access through thickets on footpaths pushed so close to the lake as to be one gulp away from swimming in it.

Geneva Lake Shore Path

Stepping Stone Path Along The South Shore Lined With Showy Daylilies & Other Hardy Perennials

Please remember to wear comfortable shoes with good traction on the Shore Path.  Even if you walk a portion of the path on a sunny dry day, you’ll likely encounter sprinkler systems, other hikers you need to move out of the way for on a narrow slope, and even menacing robotic lawn mowers …

We began this leg of the Shore Path by parking on Linn Road by the pier and walking to the Black Point Estate.  You can’t see the estate from the path as it’s high up on a wooded hill.  Even from the Geneva Lake Boat Cruise you could only see a tiny portion of the mansion (see below).

Black Point On Geneva Lake

A Tiny Glimpse Of The Black Point Estate From Geneva Lake

Built in 1888 as a summer home for Conrad Seipp, a Chicago beer tycoon, Black Point features a Queen Anne style mansion, a four-story observation tower and period gardens.  The only way to get access to the property is to take a special cruise out to the estate by the Geneva Lake Cruise Line and traversing up 120 steps to the top.

Lake Geneva Area Gardens

Flower Chick Was Drawn To This Colorful Seating Around A Fire Pit Along The South Shore

The many styles and sizes of houses along the Shore Path is totally fascinating.  You look up and wonder about the history of each, who has lived there, is it an original or a teardown, did the occupants inherit the estate from a relative … so much to ponder besides staying on the path and enjoying the views!

Geneva Lake Shore Path

Beautiful Multi-Level Gardens Surround This “Rustic Looking” Home With Magnificent Views

Each property you’ll encounter has its own unique personality.  You will see many different styles on your walk from Victorians, Colonials, Mid-Century Modern, French Country, to Contemporary estates.  Despite their differences they all have one thing in common … beautiful views of Geneva Lake.

Geneva Lake Shore Path

Stunning Views Of Downtown Lake Geneva From This Estate Plus A Pop Of Color From The Mandevilla

There a few points on the south shore portion of the journey where you will be directed inland onto a paved road (Trinke Estates), and thru unspoiled & undeveloped areas such as below …

Geneva Lake Shore Path

The Shore Path Detours Into A Wooded Area For Awhile On The South Shore

On the final leg you go past the Geneva Inn Hotel by Big Foot Beach State Park in Buttons Bay around the bend and back to downtown Lake Geneva.  What a way to see the area up close and personal!  Break up the Shore Path into doable segments and enjoy the gorgeous views!

Lake Geneva Shore Path

Pocket Of Colorful Black-Eyed Susans, Begonias, and Dusty Millers Near Big Foot Beach State Park

There’s so much to see on the Geneva Lake Shore Path from interesting architecture to eye-catching gardens, to charming boathouses, to a fascinating variety of path materials, and of course … stunning vistas of Geneva Lake!

Here are a few more of the highlights on this leg of our Shore Path journey:

Geneva Lake Shore PathLake Geneva Area GardensLake Geneva Shore PathLake Geneva BoathouseGeneva Lake Shore PathShore Path Lake GenevaLake Geneva GardenLake Geneva Wisconsin

Crandall’s For Broasted Chicken …

Just over the border going back to Illinois, you’ll enter the town of Hebron, home to one of the best broasted chicken places in the Midwest …

Crandall's Restaurant by

Delicious Broasted Chicken Steals The Show At Crandall’s Restaurant

This is Crandall’s, an area favorite since 1969. Crandall’s is known for their broasted chicken, fabulous brunches, and casual approachable setting. You can order to go as we did, warm it up the next day, and enjoy a broasted chicken feast. You’ll find Crandall’s on Route 47 in Hebron, just a minute south of the Wisconsin border …

Crandall's Chicken by

Crandall’s Restaurant Known Also For Their Friday Fish Fry & Popular Sunday Brunch

Did You Know? Broasted chicken is similar to fried chicken, with a few important distinctions. Broasted chicken is fried for only about 60 seconds to ensure the breading stays intact. Then, instead of further deep frying, the lid of the high pressure cooker is kept closed to keep the moisture within the chicken vs. burning off. And because less oil penetrates the chicken, that means less calories!

Lake Geneva Area Gardens: Summing It All Up

There’s probably a hundred good reasons to visit the Lake Geneva area. Hopefully, this feature gives you reason #101 … take time to visit the beautiful Lake Geneva area gardens!

You’ll love being a part of this enduring southern Wisconsin resort area – no matter when you visit. Even in the winter when the lake carries a sheet of ice and gardens are dormant, several area ski hills beckon you outdoors …

And if the term “resort area” causes you to think “really expensive” … think again. All the places we spotlight above are moderately priced and a little research will reveal clean, comfortable lodging at a reasonable price. And of course, visiting these featured gardens is absolutely free!

Mars resort Lake Como WI by

Relax With A Drink And Get Into Vacation Mode At The Fabulous Mars Resort On Lake Como

For Zone 5 gardeners, many of these enticing Lake Geneva area gardens will serve as inspiration for yours at home. The almost limitless mixture of flowers that thrive in Zone 5 never ceases to amaze …

Flower Chick is so pleased to share some of our Lake Geneva area favorites with you. Visit yourself and tell us what you thought … we’d be delighted to hear from you!

Lake Geneva Area Gardens by

Scenic View From The Geneva Lake Shore Path – Loved This Whimsical Fishy Fence!

Be sure to check out all the other “Visiting Midwest Gardens” features, some of which you’ll see below …

As always, thanks so much for coming along!

Leave a Reply