Weekend Itinerary: 12 Hours in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Imagine my surprise upon opening up Instagram and finding a new DM from VISIT Lake Geneva to inform me that I had won their latest giveaway! Entering the giveaway required only a quick like, follow, and tag; what I got in return was an incredible night’s stay at the Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva and a delicious pizza dinner at Gino’s East to help celebrate the city’s annual restaurant week. Keep reading for more on how I was able to maximize twelve hours in Lake Geneva in just three quick stops!

~ First Stop: Gino’s East (300 Wrigley Drive) ~

I invited my brother along to share this fun experience and assist with finishing the pizza I planned to order at Gino’s East. We actually stopped there first thing for dinner once we pulled in around 6:00 and it was the perfect way to start our evening! Although I’m hard-pressed to remember any other recent instances where I’ve shared my food with anyone, we actually shared everything we ordered (except beverages, of course)! We split an order of mozzarella sticks (finally a place that doesn’t skimp on the marinara sauce serving size); a large, thin crust Margherita pizza (somehow the cheese tasted like garlic bread and was phenomenal); and a deep dish brownie with ice cream. Our server was very upfront with us about how long our pizza would take to make – thin crust takes about 25 minutes, while deep dish takes about 45 minutes (at least on this particular day – it may be longer on weekends). Everything tasted amazing and the service was excellent! The fact that it was attached to the hotel we stayed at was even better.

~ Second Stop: Big Foot Beach State Park (1550 S Lake Shore Drive) ~

Since creating The Wisconsinista last June, I have found inspiration from other Wisconsin-based outdoor travel and recreation bloggers to start visiting more of Wisconsin’s most notable natural sights. Getting to all 48 state parks is one of the more recent additions to my bucket list and making a stop at Big Foot Beach State Park put me at a whopping 7/48, which is honestly not too shabby for one year’s time. The park lies right along the Lake Geneva shoreline and was absolutely beautiful, especially since we stopped by right as the sun started to set over the lake. There is also a large pond at the park and plenty of trails to hike. We opted to maximize our time simply by wandering along the trails and choosing which direction to take at each fork without any rhyme or reason, which I only recommend if you have cell service and can use GPS to get back to your car. While we just stopped by to hike, picnic tables and campsites are also available here!

~ Third Stop: Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva (300 Wrigley Drive) ~

Does that address look familiar? It’s conveniently the same as the address for Gino’s East! This made finding our hotel (and running our leftover ice cream up to our room’s fridge before hiking) a breeze. We stayed in a beautiful double queen Parkview room at the Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva that was so clean and had all the amenities, from a TV to a microwave to a refrigerator. Parking is free for hotel guests, which seems obvious to many but is honestly one of the best perks for someone who usually spends time in the city. We were given a number to text if we needed anything during our stay and the front desk attendant was quick to get back to us with the WiFi password when we asked for it. Spy Kids 2 may or may not have been playing on Nickelodeon and we may or may not have spent the evening watching it…

Where would you go if you had one day to spend in Lake Geneva? What stops would be non-negotiable and what would be on the menu? Leave a comment below with your top picks! Thanks again to VISIT Lake Geneva, Gino’s East, and Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva for this fun mini-getaway!

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