I've taken many trips to Lake Geneva over the years. For me, the best time for this close-to-home destination is in the fall. The scenery is beautiful and the fishing is fantastic. Getting up the the Lake Geneva area many times has also shown me that there's much more to see and do for the whole family to enjoy beyond joys of angling.
For less than half of a tank of gas, urban dwellers can take advantage of a multi-sensory retreat and a welcome world away during the beautiful fall season in Lake Geneva. Visitors can satisfy their senses with numerous options that embody the local environment, character and flavors.
“The Lake Geneva Area is magnificent during autumn,” said Tammie Carstensen, board chair, Lake Geneva Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “From those who want to simply unwind, to those eager to participate in activities, and everyone who wants some of both, we offer an ideal, enjoyable getaway.”
Kicking off the fall on September 7 are two area traditions. The Lake Geneva Wine Fest at Lake Lawn Resort delights the taste buds of both new wine drinkers and connoisseurs with samples from around the world, accompanied by local food selections. Combining the sensations of taste and touch, the Fat Tire Memorial Tour punctuates a 21.5-mile recreational, picturesque bike ride on paved roads around Geneva Lake with nine designated stops at sponsoring taverns.
The 2nd Annual TriRock Lake Geneva takes place on September 14 providing athletes with scenic views and rolling hills – the perfect ingredients for a very memorable autumn race in the small lakeside village of Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Highlights include a beach start, running past Yerkes Observatory and fun filled finish festival.
More gustatory pleasure can be found at the 4th annual Taste of Lake Geneva held at Flat Iron Park in downtown on September 14, where local establishments tempt visitors with a variety of special items, along with wines and brews from local wineries and breweries. Tickle the ears and tap along to the beat of live music.
The Gladiator Assault Challenge at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa takes place on September 28 and 29. Featuring a 6.5 mile course over rugged terrain including The Mountain Top ski area, hiking paths, trails, wooded areas, and ponds, gladiators will be confronted with over 30 obstacles to climb over, crawl under, swim through, or traverse. Those who make it to the end of this gauntlet are rewarded with food, beverages, and a rocking after-party.
And the 22nd annual Octoberfest on October 12-13, including the Family Fall Festival and the Great Pumpkin Giveaway, is a multi-sensory extravaganza, featuring food, shopping, crafts and activities for kids – plus a free shuttle bus to and from the event in downtown Lake Geneva.
Among the timeless treasures in the fall are apple picking at local orchards and pumpkin hunting at area farms, some of which offer mazes, hayrides and a treehouse – all bathed in a stunning canopy of brilliant fall colors. The 21-mile Geneva Lake Shore Path reveals close-up views of striking, century-old mansions and lush landscaping upon the scenic autumn backdrop. While the entire path can take eight to 10 hours of walking, it can easily be broken into seven manageable and scenic segments, ranging from 1.75 to 3.5 miles.
Scenic boat tours and signature cruises, which continue through October, offer an in-depth historical narration about the many estates and mansions that line the shores of beautiful Geneva Lake. The unique Black Point Estate and Boat tour gives sightseers time on and off the water with a tour of the 1888 lake estate built by Chicago beer baron Conrad Seipp.
History and science buffs can browse the photographic archives and rare book collection at the Geneva Lake Museum or visit the Yerkes Observatory in nearby Williams Bay, which has the largest refracting telescope in the world.
Fall in Lake Geneva is truly an immersive season to experience – through sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. For more details, see www.lakegenevawi.com.