If you’ve followed me here for any length of time, you know that I work hard but also love to take a break to recharge and refuel pretty often. If Jay is super busy at work and can’t get away, I love grabbing a girlfriend or two and heading out for some fun and heading out for some quality girl time! I had a blast last week exploring all that Lake Geneva, Wisconsin has to offer a few ladies looking to relax.
Now, I should preface this post by pointing out that Lake Geneva has a TON to do if you are looking for a weekend full of adventure and activity. Aerial Adventures Outdoor Adventure Park offers ziplining, climbing towers, Bubble Soccer and more. The Adventure Center at Grand Geneva offers hiking and bike rentals. Check out all Lake Geneva has to offer at VisitLakeGeneva.com, our sponsor for the trip.
But Mel from Outnumbered3-1.com and I were looking for something a bit more on the relaxing side. Lake Geneva certainly had a lot to offer on that front as well. We arrived at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa and checked into our villa (more on that here!!).
We headed over to the Well Spa where we started off our quest for relaxation with massages. We both had 80 minutes massages with aromatherapy and paraffin treatments. The spa was gorgeous and I could feel the tension start to leave my shoulders as soon as I slipped on the comfy spa robe and slippers and sipped the fruit infused water. You know how even just ten minutes in traffic can feel like an eternity? Well, 80 minutes of having a skilled masseuse knead out every knot and tight muscle goes by in a flash! Luckily the folks at the Well Spa let you linger in the peace and calm as long as you’d like and soak in the whirlpool or sweat in the sauna.
After we had successfully started the unwinding process, we headed to downtown Lake Geneva to check out the shops and have some dinner. Downtown Lake Geneva has a LOT to offer – everything from your typical souvenir shops to exquisite and one of a kind decorative items from your home. You can find stores with every kitchen gadget you could imagine or that perfect top to go with those jeans you love. You can grab a drink or a cup of coffee – your choice!
We headed over to Tuscan Tavern and Grill for dinner and loved the chill vibe of the restaurant. They brought out some amazingly delicious bread with oils and pesto for dipping and we quickly decided we could probably make a whole meal out of the freshly baked bread!
Once we took a look at the menu, we knew we would definitely be indulging in more than just bread. The Tuscan Tavern and Grill offers a variety of traditional Italian dishes as well as a great selection of seafood. I settled on the grilled swordfish and Mel got the lasagna. Both came with a salad which was a great way to start the meal. Our server tempted us with an amazing looking dessert tray and we caved and split a piece of chocolate cheesecake. Pure heaven!!
The next day, we again headed to downtown Lake Geneva where we hooked up with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line down at the Riviera. While we waited for our boat to be ready to board, we wandered in and out of the cute little shops there. There are places to grab a treat like ice cream or funnel cakes as well as artsy shops that sell things like blown glass.
We were taking the lunch cruise on the Grand Belle which gives a tour around the entire lake and includes a lot of history of the homes that surround the lake and history of the area. Wow, are the homes on Lake Geneva beautiful!! Most were built back in the day by the movers and shakers in the Wisconsin and Chicago areas. You hear a LOT of names you recognize as founders of some of the big companies in the area (can you say “Wrigley”?) and the history is really fascinating.
The sail included lunch and I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the food was! We started with a fresh fruit salad and I indulged in one of their Bloody Mary specials. We then had chicken parm with pasta and fresh veggies. Dessert was an amazing apple pie from the Lake Geneva Pie Company.
The weather actually cooperated with us and the rain held off until we were off the boat. We headed back to the shopping area to check out a shop we had heard we shouldn’t miss. The Cornerstone Shop is almost like a bunch of smaller shops in one. They have several different rooms, each with a different and often changing theme. One room is all beach and lake home decor, another is trendier clothes and items the Gen Z and Millenial crowd might like. (Although I did snag a necklace from this room, so I guess that makes me hip, right? Or is not hip to say “hip” anymore??)
There are soaps and other fun bath items in one room and items that would make the PERFECT wedding or anniversary gift in another. But my absolute favorite is the front room which is home to a beautiful collection of clothes from several high-end designers like Clara Sunwoo, Joseph Ribkoff, Lisette L, Atelier 5, Tango Mango and others. It started pouring rain while we were in The Cornerstone Shop and we didn’t mind hanging out a little longer to check out all they have to offer!
Next, we headed to Studio Winery. This hip joint combines the owners’ love of both music and painting. We tried a variety of wines including one made from the grapes grown right outside the front door. We also chose some canvases and attempted to create some art. (Mel was much better at this part than I was, but I excelled in the wine tasting portion so it was all good.) Kathy, the wife and gifted painter, actually creates paintings that then become the labels on the wine bottles. Doug, the husband and musician, oversees the winemaking and also plays with his band the first Saturday of the month. It’s a hip and fun place and I loved the wine enough to snag a bottle to bring home with me!
We returned to the resort and indulged in a delicious dinner at The Chop House. The menu offered a variety of steak and seafood dishes that all looked amazing. Mel chose the filet and went with the pan seared scallops on black rice. We both loved our meals and indulged in dessert as well. Creme brulee for me and carrot cake for her. The meal was amazing and the service was absolutely top notch. I will definitely visit the Chophouse again!
The following day, we headed out to Fort Atkinson and the Fireside Theater. If you have never visited the Fireside, you are missing a really unique dinner theater. Walking down the hallway inside was like taking a stroll down a very colorful and quaint street.
There are a number of gift shops carrying everything from clothing to Christmas ornaments. We attended a matinee and had a delicious lunch before the show. Unlike many other dinner theaters, the meal is served completely separately from the show. We had a delicious summer fruit salad, braised short ribs with garlic mashed potato, vegetables and a stuffed Roma tomato. Dessert was a moist and delicious carrot cake and coffee.
The show playing that day was called A Second Helping and is kind of a Midwestern version of Steel Magnolias but set in a church basement. The theater doesn’t have a bad seat and the stage is actually in the middle – like a theater in the round. The guy sitting next to me almost choked a few times he was laughing so hard so I guess that answered my question whether this would be woman-only humor. The Fireside is a bit of a hike from the Lake Geneva area (about 40 minutes) so it was a great last activity to close out our relaxing few days.
Another HUGE thank you to all of the places that hosted us and to VisitLakeGeneva.com for inviting us and putting together the perfect girls’ getaway! Head over and check out Mel’s take on our trip too!