Parking’s not a problem with free downtown lots and sights to see
Summer is in full swing and there’s a lot to see and do in the Lake Geneva area, including hoping on one of our boats for a lake tour, lunch cruise, private event or to watch the mailboat jumpers. We know how great our little town is on the eastern edge of beautiful Lake Geneva, and every summer thousands of visitors come to enjoy all of the great things our town and the surrounding area has to offer.
With everyone coming to Lake Geneva over the summer, it can get pretty busy in the downtown area. Finding parking to get to us at the Riviera on the lake might not be the easiest, but here are some local tips and tricks we want to share.
Get lucky on Wrigley Drive
Parking is enforced in all downtown parking spots and lots from 9am to 7pm daily, but if you hit the parking jackpot (or arrive early) and get a spot on Wrigley Drive or along another downtown street, you can pay at the kiosk or use the parking app.
The app, ParkMobile, is free to download, and all you need is your license plate and the zone number listed on the parking kiosk. The app lets you pay for your spot, monitor the amount of time left and even add time to your spot from the mobile app.
Parking is only $2 per hour closer to the lake and $1 per hour at all other metered stalls in the downtown area. Here’s a map of parking rates.
Remember: Parking is free after 7pm!
See sights, get your steps in with free downtown parking lots
There are two free lots in downtown. Sage Parking Lot near the City of Lake Geneva Museum and the Dunn Field Parking Lot are available on a first come basis.
Sage Parking Lot (Lot D on the map) is 0.3 mile – 745 steps or a 6-minute walk – to the beach. Just head down Geneva Street to Center Street and you’ll see some of downtown Lake Geneva’s shops and sights, and you’ll come out at the lake on beautiful Wrigley Drive.
Dunn Field Parking Lot (Lot E on the map) is 0.4 mile – 915 steps or a 12-minute walk – to the beach. If you take Sage Street to Dodge Street, you’ll hit Broad Street, which takes you right into the heart of downtown Lake Geneva. If you keep following Broad Street, you’ll find us right on the lake at The Riviera, but not before passing some great local restaurants to stop at for a bite to eat.
There’s also a 10-hour parking lot just up the hill from Seminary Park. Lot I is 0.4 mile – 837 steps or a 9-minute walk – to the beach. Spots in Lot I are $1 per hour, but with the 10-hour time limit you’ll have plenty of time to do a little shopping, grab some food and take one of our full lake cruises!
Holiday and special event shuttles
During holidays and special events, the City of Lake Geneva offers a free shuttle bus into downtown that picks up and drops visitors and community members at designated locations.
This year, there are three weekends the city will be offering the free shuttle service – Art in the Park, Venetian Festival and Oktoberfest. They will also be offering the shuttle during Winterfest 2020. More information on dates and times, and the designated pickup locations can be found online.
Enjoy an afternoon cruising Lake Geneva while learning about the history of the beer barons that vacationed and lived along it’s shores. You’ll relax on your narrated boat tour and once you’ve arrived at Black Point you will be treated to a program and beer tasting of beers unique to the region. This program highlights the evolution of the brewing industry in Milwaukee and Chicago with a local flavor. Beer tastings, snacks and souvenir beer mug included.
Saturday, June 15; Saturday, July 20 and Saturday, August 17 – 12:30pm-4:00pm
Adults: $68 Seniors: $66 plus tax. Reservations required. Adults only.
* Please note: The Black Point Estate is located on a bluff overlooking Geneva Lake. There are a series of approximately 100 stairs and landings from the pier to the house which all visitors must be able to negotiate. We recommend this tour only for those comfortable walking and climbing stairs.
For most people, Lake Geneva Cruise Line staff included, Memorial Day weekend feels like the official kickoff to summer. Other than the traditions of outdoor weekend activities and family events, Memorial Day weekend is for remembering and honoring those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. And while we take time this month to thank many of our riders and even some of our wonderful staff members who have served, we also have a ship in our fleet with military ties.
Geneva’s military history
Geneva, a fifty-foot motor launch was once a tender for the USS Saratoga. Commissioned in 1970 and decommissioned in 1994, Geneva has been completely restored to be used as a tour boat on Lake Geneva. While in service, the fifty-foot utility boat was known as a Liberty boat and was stored onboard, under the main flight deck. Her main purpose was to transport cargo and troops (up to 150 of them, including the four-man crew!) ashore when they couldn’t get into a port.
The USS Saratoga spent much of its time in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as serving during the Vietnam War.
Geneva’s military stats
- Length: 50 feet, 2 ½ inches
- Beam: 14 feet, 7 inches maximum
- Draft: 3 feet, 7 3/8 inches loaded
- Full load displacement: 48,390 pounds
- Hoisting weight: 24,300 pounds
- Hoisted by: Slings
- Construction: Fiberglass reinforced plastic, round bottom
- Speed: 11 knots at full load displacement
- Fuel capacity: 170 gallons
- Range: 150 nautical miles at full power and full load
Geneva on Lake Geneva
Geneva has been completely restored and is a wonderful way to experience boating on Lake Geneva. She now has a bar and restroom in addition to a streamlined canopy and clear side curtains in case of inclement weather. She can carry 50 passengers or accommodate table seating for 20. She’s a great boat to take out with some friends for a cruise across Lake Geneva or as a shuttle to your favorite watering hole on the lake!
Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with us!
We will have full days of tours over Memorial Day weekend to welcome in the summer season starting with tours at 10:30am and running through our last Sundowner Tour that leaves at 7:30pm on the Geneva.
And a reminder: We offer a military discount on all public tours every day during our tour season.
Temperatures are consistently above freezing, all of the ice has melted, and there is once again open water on Lake Geneva! All of these signs point to one thing for anxious locals and visitors: summer lake life is coming soon.
No one is more excited than our amazing staff at Lake Geneva Cruise Line as we are already making preparations for the first boat tours of 2019. Spring has always been a season of transition for us, of course, but this year – we’ve been extra busy over the winter months.
As we all enjoy the first few weeks of cracking windows and enjoying the fresh air, we’d like to share with you a few improvements we’ve been working on to make this year better than ever before.
Major Updates and Improvements in 2019
During this past offseason, we began a comprehensive review of our entire fleet of boats as well as our facilities to discover areas to update and improve the experiences of our riders.
The Lady of the Lake, Grand Belle, Walworth, Polaris, and Duchess all had basic maintenance performed and repairs made. A few of our other boats, however, underwent extensive restorative treatments to get them into tip-top shape for this upcoming summer season.
The Steam Yacht Louise had all of her handrails and stanchions stripped, stained, and refinished. She also needed a partial deck replacement and refinish, partial fascia replacement and repainting, and entire hull repainting as well.
The Lorelei – entering her 65th year on the water – had a little work done too. All of her deck and exterior wood surfaces were stripped, stained, and refinished, and her hull was also repainted. Essentially, she got a nice, little facelift.
The Geneva’s hull was in need of some repair work, this year, so once that was performed – like the others – it received a fresh coat of paint. She looks better than ever and is ready to hit the lake in a few weeks’ time.
We are still identifying and planning for additional ways to enhance our excursions, so stay tuned for future updates!
Anchors Away! First Tours are Starting Soon.
Having made all of these exciting improvements with more in view on the horizon, our team at Lake Geneva Cruise Line can’t wait to get the first tours of 2019 underway.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long! We’re launching our first few boat tours of the year beginning on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
Geneva Bay Tours
While on the cruise, you’ll enjoy a variety of sights and narrated highlights of historic estates on the eastern end of the lake.
These popular excursions make their launch on April 27th and will be offered daily at 11:30am starting on May 1st, so reserve your place ahead of time.
Full Lake Tours
Touring half of the lake is great, but why not explore the whole thing? Opening weekend also marks the launch of our Full Lake Tours, featuring twice the majestic beauty for 2-hours out on the Walworth.
Featuring an engaging, narrated tour experience, you’ll have the chance to view every inch of Lake Geneva’s serene shoreline dotted with natural wonder and impressive homes that are rich in history.
Our Full Lake Tours begin opening weekend and will be offered at 1:00pm daily starting on May 1st. A snack and cash bar are available to satisfy any cravings that arise while enjoying your lake cruise.
Ice Cream Social Tours
Speaking of cravings…our Ice Cream Social Tours are beginning soon! So close we can almost taste it, this sightseeing cruise aboard the Grand Belle enhances your traditional narrated Lake Geneva Tour by adding a delicious, Breyer’s ice cream sundae.
Prepared just the way you like it, simply sit back, relax, and enjoy spoonful after spoonful while taking in the astounding sights and sounds of Lake Geneva’s historic shoreline.
Great for families, couples, and ice cream lovers of all ages, these welcoming tours will be offered only on weekends starting on May 4, 2019, so be sure and book ahead of time to reserve your spot!
Black Point Estate Tours
Interested in getting a bit closer to Lake Geneva’s storied past? Our Black Point Estate Tours are starting up again soon on May 4, 2019, offered on weekends only at 10:30am.
Aboard the Geneva, you’ll take a 45-minute narrated cruise from the Riviera to the impressive Black Point Estate – one of the most intriguing, historic homes in all of Wisconsin. The estate – built in 1888 by Chicago beer baron, Conrad Seipp, it stands as one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture in the Midwest.
Upon your arrival at Black Point, you’ll begin a guided walking tour of the mansion’s first two floors as well as its exterior grounds. Perfect for history buffs, this tour does involve a fair amount of time on your feet (about 1½ hours, including stairs), so please take that into consideration when booking.
Lake Life Begins with Gage at Lake Geneva Cruise Line!
It’s going to be another wonderful season out on the waters of lovely Lake Geneva. Offering a wide range of sightseeing, dining, and specialty cruises, our staff at Lake Geneva Cruise Line is excited to show you around.
If you’re ready to kick things off with us, this year, you can book your tour of choice online today or give us a call at 262-248-6206!
*If weather turns out to be great on Easter weekend, we may offer selected tour experiences. Follow us on Facebook for updates as we get closer to that time!
Join us for some Halloween fun on Saturday, October 28th.
The 1:00 Full Lake tour will be a trick-or-treat cruise with characters jumping on board during the tour to deliver candy to the kids of all ages. Wear your Halloween costume or just come along in your everyday clothes to celebrate the holiday. There will be a narrated tour in between the trick-or-treating.
There will be fun for the adults on Halloween as well. Come on board our 6:00 Costume Cocktail Cruise. The two hour cruise will have entertainment by Charlie Smith, drink specials, complimentary snacks…as well as a 2018 PASSPORT for the best dressed winners. Celebrate Halloween with us on board the climate controlled Grand Belle and possibly win free tours throughout next season.
Click here to get your tickets for the two hour Full Lake tour and/or Cocktail Cruise on the 28th.
Lake Geneva remains one of the most popular weekend getaways for families living in nearby cities like Milwaukee and Chicago. It’s most notable for it’s large picturesque lake and collection of extravagant homes, but what many do not know is the multitude of fun family oriented activities that are available.
Well, hello there! This post with the second half of Allison & Brad’s Lake Geneva wedding is super overdue! But we would be remiss if we didn’t share the lovely photos by Lisa Mathewson of their beautiful reception at Lake Geneva Country Club. As a refresher, here are the photos from the first half of their wedding day, including their ceremony. And now… onto the pictures!