Whenever life becomes busy with work and responsibility, thoughts of sunshine, warm water, and unrushed time with family provide an enticing antidote.

The lakes of Southeastern Wisconsin provide the perfect family destination to revel in the relaxation of life on the water. To enjoy everything that the area has to offer, many couples and families decide to rent a home or condo for a week or more. Our vacation homes can accommodate anywhere between 2 to 20 people, while the Geneva National and Abbey Springs communities can accommodate four to twelve people and offer guests the ability to enjoy the numerous amenities offered in both gated communities.

When you think of summer, most commonly beaches come to mind.

Riviera Beach in Lake Geneva holds the title of the classic summer resort beach. Steps from town and shops, the view from the silky white sand encompasses the historic Riviera ballroom, the double-deck paddle wheelers moving in and out of the docks, the sailboats and motorboats gliding at their own speeds, stately homes along the lakeshore, and children running into the water, then running out to construct the perfect sandcastle.

Numerous beaches on Lake Geneva offer quiet alternatives. Williams Bay Beach’s shaded shore invites visitors for a long afternoon of reading and napping. Nestled in the heart of the village, the Fontana Beach provides easy access to cafes and shops.

While many visitors bring their own boats, several companies in Delavan, Lake Geneva, and Twin Lakes can provide rental boats for every taste.

Ski boats enable family members to take turns water skiing and tubing. Jet skis let riders dart through the water, throwing up a joyful spray.

For those who like a slower pace, pontoon boats allow for taking in the view and long, leisurely conversations. And for those who choose to get around under their own steam, boat rental companies offer paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes.

Anglers prefer early morning trips out in fishing boats to find the best spots for pulling in that evening’s dinner.

Delavan Lake’s 1900 acres teem with panfish, as well as musky, smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike and walleye.

With an extraordinary 135-foot depth and 5400 acres, Geneva Lake offers abundant smallmouth bass, along with panfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, trout, and walleye.

Visitors new to the lakes or those who like to revisit their old lake friends treasure the knowledgeable guides who narrate the boat cruises on Geneva Lake and Lake Delavan. Boat tours accommodate every budget and interest.

Gage Marine takes passengers for half- or whole-lake tours of Geneva Lake. One of the most popular tours is the unique two-and-a-half-hour mail boat cruise. Now with more than 100 years of history, the cruise hearkens back to when mail to the houses along the lake was delivered by water. Passengers watch in fascination as the boat approaches a home’s dock. A spry young person leaps from the boat to the dock, carrying the day’s mail delivery, sprints to the dock’s mailbox, drops in the mail, and then sprints back to the boat, jumping onto the moving vessel that is headed to the next dock.

Other boat cruises offered by Gage Marine highlight food – an ice cream social, a luncheon, a champagne brunch, a sunset dinner cruise, a jazz dinner cruise, and a cocktail cruise.

Gage Marine can also arrange for private cruises and even provide a boat for a rehearsal dinner or the wedding itself.

New to the lake cruise line is the Lake Lawn Queen, a 76-foot boat with two levels that plies the waters of Lake Delavan, taking a watery tour of historic landmarks and providing an unobstructed view of five Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes. Both the open-air top deck and the enclosed main level with its walls of windows offer a unique vantage point for seeing all of Delavan. The Lake Lawn Queen is also available for private charters with full-service catering, bar service, and a DJ.

For hikers, the 26-mile path around Geneva Lake bestows unparalleled views of the spectacular lake homes, along with the lake and boats. By long agreement, 20 feet leading to the shoreline from each house is preserved in the public domain, with each owner maintaining the part of the path that crisscrosses his property. While walking the entire path takes 8 to 10 hours, many choose to walk shorter segments of roughly 7 miles, beginning either at the Lake Geneva Public Library, Fontana, Williams Bay, or the Big Foot Beach State Park. It’s possible to combine walking with a boat ride, walking to a certain point and booking passage back, or vice-versa.

With so many activities to please the entire family, a getaway to Southeastern Wisconsin seems the only option for escaping to relax and enjoy life by the water.

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