May is National Bike Month – Biking in Walworth County…

national-bike-month-artwork-by-illustrator-carolyn-vibbertSo let’s see if this thought process works – the last blog was done with the idea that winter would be ending soon and what’s there to do when it does. Mother Nature must not have liked my reference to her not paying enough attention to it being April and so she gave us all this snow. Well, maybe this blog and putting the onus on it being National Bike Month in May will be enough to get things turned around with the weather. Here’s hoping, ‘coz I’m sure over the white stuff, like I’m betting all of you are, too.

As I said, May is National Bike Month. And yes, it’s still only April, but if you need to get your bike tuned up like I do, or maybe even purchase a new bike, there’s time to get it done by talking about this now. Besides, I’m hoping talking about it will help melt all the  snow we just got that much faster…

Walworth County is home to a variety of ways to get rolling on two wheels, be it mountain biking on a state trail or on some private trails accessible for a fee or road biking on scenic back roads. Let’s check out some of the options and get planning on how to celebrate National Bike Month!

First up are the State trails. Being State trails, there are requirements to meet, so let’s go over those: Each bicyclist, age 16 or older, needs a WI State Trail pass while using the trails. State Trail passes are available at self-pay stations at the trailheads, or at the Walworth County Visitors Bureau, 2375 E. Geneva St., Delavan (across from Lake Lawn Resort). WI State Park Vehicle Admission Stickers are required as applicable and are purchased at the state parks.

Okay, that’s out of the way. Now on to the fun part of the trails themselves!

  • The White River State Trail is a 19-mile trail that follows a former rail corridor as it travels by numerous bridges, scenic vistas, quaint towns, farmlands and wetlands. The trail offers a fairly level grade and smooth limestone surface. It can be accessed in Elkhorn at County Highway H, south of the Interstate 43 and US Highway 12 interchange – from Highway 12, take the County Highway NN exit west and then turn left (south) on Highway H; go about 0.6 mile south to the trailhead parking lot.
  • The Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit – Emma Carlin and John Muir Trails, with a Connector Trail between them:
    • The Emma Carlin Trail System goes through a hardwood forest with mostly hilly terrain. There are three color-coded trails ranging from 3.5 miles to 8 miles, each being a single-track mountain bike trail, and ranging from moderate to hard in difficulty. The trailhead can be reached on County Highway Z, just south of State Highway 59, between Eagle and Palmyra. Here’s a breakdown of the three loops:
      • Brown Loop, moderate, 3.5 miles: skirts in and out of pines and hardwoods, passes a kettle lowland, then after joining with the orange loops, proceeds uphill along a moraine and back downhill to the trailhead.
      • Orange Loop, moderate/hard, 6 miles: traverse the contours of the glacial geography, generally uphill to the scenic overlook where the Connector Trail (to the John Muir Trail) meets the Carlin Trails, then get ready for lots of ups and downs until meeting back with the Brown Loop to proceed uphill along a moraine and back downhill to the trailhead.
      • Green Loop, hard, 8 miles: this Loop is continuous with the Orange Loop until it splits off on the southern half of the Orange Loop, where you are now in for several difficult ups and downs as you return to the trailhead.
    • The John Muir Trail System is the most popular trail system within 100 miles. It is again a single-track mountain bike trail of rough, natural surfaces, with five different color-coded loops ranging from 1.25 miles to 12. Difficulty ranges from easy to hard/most difficult. There is also a short skills course to practice trail skills on. The trailhead can be accessed on County Highway H, north of the Town of LaGrange and US Highway 12, and south of Palmyra. Here’s a breakdown of the five loops:
      • Brown Loop, easy, 1.25 miles: mostly flat trail with some small rolling hills; two moderate uphill climbs, one fast downhill and a little rocky ending.
      • White Loop, moderate, 4.25 miles: moderate hills, some rocky trail sections; one long downhill, one fast steep downhill and one moderate uphill before reconnecting with the Brown Loop.
      • Rainy Dew Pass (purple), hard, 4.7 miles: moderate trail with a hard rocky up and down hill before reconnecting with the Blue/Green Loops.
      • Orange Loop, moderate/hard, 5.0 miles: the first half of this trail is the White Loop. Includes moderate trail with a hard, long uphill before reconnecting with the Brown Loop.
      • Green Loop, hard/more difficult, 7.0 miles: moderate trail with very rocky and sandy trail sections; many hard ups and downs, with many fast sections.
      • Blue Loop, hard/most difficult, 12.0 miles: hard trail with very rocky section, many hard uphills and several fast downhills.
      • Skills course: a very short course to practice trail skills.

There are a few private trails available for mountain biking in the area. In no particular order (other than alphabetical – hahaha ):   

  • Alpine Valley Resort, Elkhorn – This is a single-track mountain bike trail, 8.1 miles in length, ranging from intermediate to difficult. Built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, with miles of twists, turns, punchy climbs and fast descents, after an ascending, leg-burning climb to start.

Fee based: Daily pass $2 | Annual pass $20
On-your-honor box for payment, insurance waiver (do once) to be completed

Fee based: ½ day $10 | Full Day $15 | 2 days $25

Bike rentals:
Adult Bike                                        2 hours $25 | 4 hours $40 | 8 hours $65
Youth Bike (6-12 years old)          2 hours $15 | 4 hours $25 | 8 hours $45

Helmets required for all bikers. Helmets are available for rent $10

  • Lake Geneva Canopy Tours, Lake Geneva – The Arbor Trails single-track mountain bike has almost 9 miles of trails offering beginner, intermediate and expert levels. The trails wind through the woods and features plenty of obstacles on the intermediate and expert level routes, which include ladder bridges, jumps, and switchbacks. The trails are unpaved and built around the trees using the natural topography creating the varying levels of difficulty.

Fee based: Day pass $10 | Annual pass $40 | Annual Family Pass $75

For the more subdued and leisurely road bike rider, like myself, there is the Sharon Cycling Series. This series of routes was created to invite bicyclists to the area for the scenic riding available. The center hub of the five routes is in the picture-perfect downtown of Sharon, with a cloverleaf of routes going out to area towns. Riding through the countryside, you’ll pass farms & fields, rural churches, and just be able to lose yourself in the quiet peace of the ride. Loops range from 11 miles (the Classic Sharon Road Race Route) to 23 miles (Fontana loop), and include 18 miles (Darien loop), 22 miles (Clinton loop) and 16 miles (Capron IL loop). All together they make 90 miles of well-marked roads, with each route designated with Bike Route signs or color-coded arrows at each corner. Most of the roads have a traffic count of less than 10 cars per hour. Each community has an ice cream shop, so what better way to refresh after a ride!

Another road bike option would be to bike the Rustic Roads of the area. Walworth County is home to six Rustic Roads.

Rustic Road 11 mapRustic Road 11 (R 11) is a 10.3 miles, gently winding route, that provides excellent views of glacial Kettle Moraine topography. It passes through large wooded areas of oak, maple and hickory, with glimpses of a game farm and scenic agricultural land. East of Lake Geneva, R 11 includes South Road, Steel Road, Spring Valley Road and Knob Hill Road between WI Highways 50 and 36. R 11 adjoins Rustic Roads 12 and 36, so you get a 3-for-1!

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Road 12 map Rustic Road 12 (R 12) is a 5.7 miles route that at various points offers panoramic views of lush green hills and valleys. The sharply curving route passes outstanding Kettle Moraine formations, pine and spruce plantations, a tamarack swamp, and several ponds. R 12 crosses the White River and runs through the community of Lyons with its several quaint churches. The route includes Back Road, Sheridan Springs Road, Spring Valley Road, and Church Street, between WI Highways 50 and 36. R 12 adjoins Rustic Roads 11 and 36 for added driving and viewing pleasure.

Rustic Road 29 may only be 2.7 miles in length, but it’s located in a countryside of natural beauty, passing through an area of natural vegetation and wildlife, bounded in some places by split rail fencing. Another perspective is to think of it as the back yards of the gorgeous lake homes, whose front yards you’ve seen from Geneva Lake, hopefully while taking one of the boat cruises offered by Lake Geneva Cruise Line!Rustic Road 29 map

Rustic Road 36 (R 36) includes Cranberry Road and Berndt Road, east from Wisconsin Highway 50, and adjoins Rustic Roads 11 and 12. At 3.6 miles, this narrow, hilly route got its name from from early settlers who harvested cranberries from nearby marshes. The route winds through Wisconsin farmland, glacial marshes and knobs, featuring a wide variety of trees and shrubs.Rustic Road 36 map

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Road 85 map

Rustic Road 85 (R 85) is 2.5 miles and includes portions of Potter Road and Kearney Road, forming a loop off of County DD. The route runs adjacent to winding Sugar Creek while on Potter Road, as both pass through Nature Conservancy forests and wetlands. The steeply glaciated uplands of Kearney Road includes a mix of farmlands and pine woodlots.

 

 

 

The newest addition to the Rustic Road family in Walworth County is Rustic Road 120 (R 120). Locals know it as Peck Station Road, with this 2 mile stretch being between County Highways A and ES, just west of Alpine Valley Music Theatre, and east of WI Highway 12. Peck Station Road, named after a Western Union Railroad stop, is agricultural in character and quite colorful in the fall. The former inn still exists as a private home. At the east side of its intersection with County A is the Troy Wildlife Area,  offering many recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, cross country skiing and hiking.Map of Rustic Road 120

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Should you need to rent a bike, there a couple of options in the area.

  • Backyard Bikes & Ski Shop, LaGrange – Bicycle make / model varies based on preference, with rental rates ranging from $25/day to $65/day, and reduced rates are offered if reserve online. Don’t forget to ask about the various road routes available to bike in the area, ranging from 12 miles to 60 miles.
  • Pedal & Cup, Springfield

    Adult Bike           Hourly $7 | ½ day (4 hours) $21 | Full day (7 hours) $35
    Child Bike            Hourly $5 | ½ day (4 hours) $15 | Full day (7 hours) $25
    Tandem Bike      Hourly $10 | ½ day (4 hours) $30 | Full day (7 hours) $50

 

National-Bike-Month
However and wherever you choose to get on two wheels
in Walworth County, you’re sure to find an adventure!
For other fun things to do, go to VisitWalworthCounty.com

Advertisements

Celebrate Earth Day!

earthday_pic-1492103885I’m not sure that planting seeds or trees, or even outside clean-up (other than of the snow…) is going to be happening much this Earth Day weekend, but there are still ways to celebrate it in Walworth County.

First, here’s a brief overview of Earth Day: The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, and is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was displeased that an issue as important as our environment wasn’t addressed in politics or in the media. It was after the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara CA that Nelson organized a nationwide demonstration against pollution and the deterioration of the environment. Approximately 20 million Americans joined in support of a healthier and more sustainable actions towards the environment. One outcome of this demonstration was that in December 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues, what is today the US Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. Earth Day is now a global celebration that extends in some cases to Earth Week, a full seven days of events focusing on green living.

Now, here is what’s happening in the area to celebrate Earth Day:

Gateway Technical College, Elkhorn – Celebrate Earth Day
Sat., April 21 | 10 am – 12 pmGTC - Celebrate Earth Day 2018

Join Gateway Technical College for a community celebration of our planet at their Elkhorn Campus (Corner of Hwy H & East Centralia)! This free, family-friendly event features: Earth Day scavenger hunt, children’s activities, petting zoo, door prizes & giveaways, plant sale, workshops & demonstrations, refreshments, recycling center, Earth-friendly crafts, Kohl’s Wild Theater and more. You can find full event details at www.gtc.edu/earthday.

Volunteer clean-up of the White River Trail will take place from 8:30 – 10:30 am. Guests can park in the southeast parking lot at the Gateway Technical College campus and walk to the trail. Gloves and bags will be provided.

Lake Geneva Country Meats, Lake Geneva – Earth Day Wine Tasting
Sat., April 21 | 11 am – 2 pm LG Country Meats - Earth Day Wine Tasting

If you’re curious about organic, and sustainable wines, this is a great opportunity to try some for free. Jenna will be sampling of organic / sustainable wines from around the world! We’ll have 4 selections that you can try for free, and then take home a bottle of your favorite to enjoy on Sunday – Earth Day!

Delavan Lake Store, Delavan – Celebrate Earth Day 
Sun., April 22 | 11 am – 2 pm Delavan Lake Store - Celebrate Earth Day cropped

Join us as we host a “Celebrate Earth Day” event! We are excited to welcome several different local businesses who have great eco-friendly ideas to share, and you’ll have the opportunity to walk away with some fun freebies, like free seeds for the kids to plant and free eco-friendly coffee, and lots of helpful information. Don’t forget to register for the free Get Clean product drawing and get a free scoop of ice cream.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy – Buds & Bees
Sat., April 21 | 4 – 6 pm Michael Fields - Earth Day Buds & Bees

Michael Fields & The Hive Taproom present ‘Buds & Bees’ in honor of Earth Day. Join Andrea Clemens of Lovelight Flowers on a guided tour of Michael Fields, with mead and honey kombucha samples for the first 50 people signed up online. Note: 4 pm pour, 4:15 pm tour. Suggested donation:  $10
RSVP online with this link: Buds & Bees registration


Northleaf Winery, Milton – “Earth Day Ride” Paint & Sip

Sun., April 22 | 2 – 4 pm Northleaf Winery - Earth Day Ride

In celebration of Earth Day, come sip a little and paint a little, with “Earth Day Ride”. Have fun, relax, make a memory and art! Please arrive 15 minutes early to get settled in.

Friends of Big Foot Beach State Park, Lake Geneva – Work-Play Earth Day 
Sat., May 5 | 9 – 11 am Big Foot Beach State Park - work-play-Earth Day
Originally scheduled for April 21, but due to the weather has been rescheduled for May 5. Come out and celebrate, belatedly but always relevant, Earth Day by volunteering in the park. Call 262.248.2528 for details.
Kettle Moraine Land Trust – Books, Birds & Butterflies
Sat., May 5 | 10 am – 1 pm Kettle Moraine Land Trust - Earth Day

Visit Kettle Moraine Land Trust at your local library to learn about Earth Day and the native plants you can use to help pollinators and beautify your home. Librarians will have a collection of Earth Day and conservation-related books, and a limited number of free native plants and seed packets will be available, plus advise about native plantings that attract birds and pollinators.

Aram Public Library, Delavan
East Troy Lions Public Library, East Troy
Matheson Memorial Library, Elkhorn
Irvin L. Young Public Library, Whitewater

‘We have only one earth, so we need to take care of her’ 
Belief held by Gaylord Nelson and wisely held by many more around the world today. Please help do your part, no matter how big or how small that might be,
in taking care of our Earth.

 

 

 

Yes, winter will end… Here’s what to do when it does!

desk calendar - maxineSo here’s my take on things. Mother Nature has one of those ‘page-a-day’ type calendars and it’s gotten knocked off the desk by her pet iguana (doesn’t she seem like an exotic pet type of person?), leaving the last date since she tore off a page being April 1… April Fool’s Day… You see where I’m going with this? Mother Nature doesn’t know it’s NOT still April 1, ‘coz without that calendar she’s stuck on the last day she remembers it being. She doesn’t know that there’s no need for any more April Fool’s Day shenanigans, like giving us snow… or temps that are 20 degrees below normal… Can I get a #enoughalready? So here’s my solution to getting in a more positive spirit of spring is coming mood – planning for things to do in Walworth County once it’s truly arrived (even if that looks like it might not be ‘til May at this rate).

Geneva Lake Shore PathOn my to-do list is walking the Geneva Lake Shore Path. Now I’m not saying I’m planning on doing the whole thing in one walk, though that would certainly be an admirable goal and feat. I’m liking the idea of a section at a time, maybe working up to a whole half at once to finish it off. Being as I might not have a partner in crime with me so that we can stash a vehicle at each end of our planned section, I love the idea that I can make previous arrangements with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line to stop and pick me up in Williams Bay or Fontana if I choose to begin my walk in Lake Geneva, or vice versa with riding the boat to Williams Bay or Fontana and walking back to Lake Geneva. What a way to get the best of both worlds!

While on the subject of the Lake Geneva Cruise Line, this is one of my many go-to suggestions for something to do when in Walworth County. I have been on several of the different types, whether it’s the U.S. Mailboat tour, the Ice Cream Social tour, the Sundowner tour , or the Black Point Estate tour, to only name a few of the options available. To be on the waters of Geneva Lake, in one of those gorgeous passenger boats, viewing the magnificent historical estates around its shores, many built between 1870 and 1920, and to learn of the history behind the creation of the lake itself as well as the people of the area, is a must.

One of the historical estates on Geneva Lake is Black Point Estate & Gardens. Black Point Estate was the summer home for Chicago business mogul, Conrad Seipp, and four generations of his descendants. It was in September 2005 that Seipp’s great-grandson, William O. Petersen, donated the 20-room house, its grounds and furnishings, to the State of Wisconsin for use as a historical site. Black Point Estate & Gardens is now part of the Wisconsin Historical Society and remains one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture, with one of the most intact collections of Victorian furnishings in the Midwest. Take a step back in time with your visit, learning of the Seipp family history, with a moment on the veranda to dream of days gone by.

One aspect of Black Point Estate & Gardens that you’ll notice and learn about, is the turret. Visitors aren’t allowed up in it, which for me would be okay, as I’m admittedly afraid of heights. On my to-do list, however, is a way to hopefully get me past that fear: Lake Geneva Canopy Tours and their zip line canopy tour. LG Canopy Tours - zip lineI have friends that have done it numerous times and rave about it! Their website reads “no need to fear, your first zip ride is a short one to get you warmed up”, along with the Tour Guide wowing us with fascinating facts on the local history of the area, including the ecology, biology and geology of it all. I’m guessing the Tour Guide will have to talk very loud to be heard over my screaming unless a gag is part of the equipment! Regardless of my fear, I am doing this! For a laugh, you could come with me…

Safari Lake GenevaI’ve a nephew that is 8 and a niece that is 3-1/2, affectionately referred to as the ‘two munchkins’, and I’m trying to do at least one thing a month with them, being as I only live an hour away from them. On the list of things to do with them is Safari Lake Geneva. Only five miles from downtown Lake Geneva, on over 800 acres of pristine wildlife habitat, is an animal adventure unlike any other in Wisconsin. The guided safari experience will bring us up close to see and interact with animals such as bison, camels, rhea, antelope, miniature zebu, and others, with there being more than 50 animals from five countries inhabiting the main reserve. The kids love going to the zoo, so I can only imagine their excitement at this! Well, okay, there’s my excitement, too, in going!

Another plan I have for the two munchkins is to take them to the Dancing Horses Theatre. From the dazzling show featuring an array of horse breeds that perform beautiful equestrian artistry, to the Animals Gardens which is home to some 16 species of exotic creatures as well as 60 hay-eating animals, to a performance by Echo, the singing bird, there is so much do here! I’d say I was going to spoil my nephew and niece with the Ultimate Experience package that includes the horse show, Animal Gardens, exotic bird show, back stage tour, train ride, bird feed stick and souvenir cup, but I’ll admit I want to spoil myself with all of it and they’re acting as my cover! Boy, it’s good to have them around to share all these cool activities with!

Loving to travel like I do, and enjoying different modes of transportation, a trip to the East Troy Railroad Museum and a ride on the electric railroad is for sure on the radar to do! Now this can be kept as an adult adventure with something like the ‘Beer Tasting Train’, or I can bring the kids along again for the ‘Pizza Train’, or not have to make the decision at all and do both! Ooh – the ‘Wisconsin Cheesemakers’ & Wine Tasting Train’! That’s definitely an adult adventure (sorry,  munchkins!). I’ll make it up to the two munchkins by taking them on the ‘Christmas Train’.  Whether it’s one of the themed train rides like I’ve mentioned (and there are many others to choose from), or the usual ride to the Elegant Farmer and all the fun it has to offer (can you say ‘apple pie baked in a paper bag’? And then say ‘YUM’!), this is an adventure not to be missed.

 

Elkhorn Flea MarketComing up soon, and held four times each year, is the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market held at the Walworth County Fairgrounds in Elkhorn. The opening event of the season is Sunday, May 20, so get your calendar marked now to go! The current average number of dealers that come is over 500! They could be seasoned show dealers or grandpa’s attic full of stuff showing up in the back of a pick-up truck. You’ll find a wide range of items from furniture in the rough to refinished and ready to add to your décor, from glassware to pottery, from advertising to linens, from decoys to dolls, and things you never even knew you needed or wanted. I love going to this and putting on my refurbish / repurpose glasses with looking at something through a different set of lenses as to what it can become versus what it might be. I’m also getting good at ignoring the voices of my children in my head asking what I’m going to do with that, do I really need it, and to think about them having to decide what to do with all this stuff when I’m gone! Hahaha  If you want, I can teach you how to ignore your family’s voices, too!

four seasons
There is so much to do in Walworth County, any and all seasons of the year! Yet I, like everyone else, still looks forward to the start of spring, no matter how much we were enjoying the winter activities in Walworth County, so here’s to another season of fun!

To help with the planning of the fun and adventures,
go to VisitWalworthCounty.com!

Let’s Get Hippity Hoppin’ for Easter!

The first day of spring was yesterday, March 20, and though I’ve seen the first robin (the traditional first sign of spring) and heard the first Harley (my personal favorite first sign of spring), I’ve not seen a rabbit yet. Good thing Easter is right around the corner! Now this year Easter is April 1, which is also April Fools’ Day. In our house I’m thinking of the April Fools’ Day prank as being that the Easter Bunny didn’t come this year… I can just picture the look on my kids’ faces at the thought of not searching for their basket and then the plastic eggs filled with jelly beans, the peanut butter-filled eggs, the chocolate bunny, etc. Now before you call me a mean mom in doing this – my kids are all over 20 years of age and live on their own, so you’d think they were beyond doing the Easter basket and candy hunt thing! NOT! Of course I then need to be careful of what prank they’ll pull on me, ‘coz we love April Fools’ Day and pulling pranks on each other!

stuffed bunny with eggs

 

Okay – back to Easter in Walworth County! This time of year comes with Easter egg hunts, fun Easter activities, and Easter brunches (as well as breakfasts and dinners). Let’s get planning the strategy for making the most of all that’s happening!

 

Easter egg hunts are at the top of the list of activities – come on, think candy! There are at least a half-dozen (hahaha – an egg reference!) happening this weekend on Saturday, March 24, then another half-dozen or more happening Easter weekend, both Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1. Check out the listing below.

Easter Egg Hunts Graphics1

If you think you’re too old for Easter egg hunts, first, reference back to the ages of my kids at the beginning of this blog, and second, let me tell you what Staller Estate Winery has going on for adults! Yes, I said WINERY! On March 31, from 11 am – 6 pm, Staller Estate Winery has their adult Easter egg hunt, called ‘Easter Dusting‘. Search for an egg (limit one per person, and you must be 21 years or older) and then trade it in for a prize. Prizes vary from discounts, wine and chocolate flights, to bottles of wine. This beats out candy in my book! The ‘dusting’ aspect has to do with some eggs being easy to find, others maybe not so easy and you’ll be ‘dusting’ the floor or a back corner of a shelf in search of your egg. Either way, with the prize options being wine-related, I’m in!

Bunny trainClimb aboard the East Troy Electric Railroad’s Bunny Train either March 24, March 25, or March 31, for some family fun! Enjoy face painting (8 am – 3 pm) and coloring at the depot while checking in and getting your scavenger hunt cards. Board the Bunny Train and take a ride to the Elegant Farmer. During the ride there will be many things to look out the windows for to mark off on your scavenger hunt cards. Once you arrive at the Elegant Farmer, you’ll be able to hold baby chicks, pet bunnies shown by local 4-H students, and even get your picture taken with the Easter Bunny! All children (ticket holders) will receive a stuffed bunny on the return trip and there are jelly beans for all! Reservations are recommended – you can order tickets online for the Bunny Train or call 262.642.3263.

Now for the food, and not just candy (and wine), to fill up on! Easter brings dining out options of breakfasts, brunches, and dinners, as well as ‘Easter Dinner to Go‘ from Lake Lawn Resort – just pre-order by no later than Monday, March 26 (call 262.725.9155) and pick it up Sunday, April 1. Get things rolling this Saturday, March 24, with a Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, and then check out more options Easter weekend, with things happening both on Saturday, March 31, and of course on Easter Sunday. You’d think there was a problem with being so much food, but I don’t see it that way – you just gotta pace yourself and wear elastic waistband pants or a long shirt to cover zippered pants being open a bit…!

Easter Brunches Graphic1

And there it is – Easter in Walworth County! Get hoppin’!

eggs with bunny ears and header

 

 

 

Everything’s Coming Up Green!

And I’m not talking about spring, though the first day of spring is March 20 – take note, Mother Nature! It’s St. Patrick’s Day this coming Saturday! And with that is so much to do in Walworth County in honor of those with Irish heritage and for those that wish they had Irish heritage.St Patrick's Day costumes

Get started early on Friday, March 16, with these fun options ~

St. Patrick’s Day | 10 am – midnight
Crafted Americana at The Ridge Hotel, Lake Geneva

St. Patrick’s Dine & Dance | 5:30 – 10 pm
Rosewood, Delavan

St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Workshop | 6 – 9 pm
Delavan Lake Store, Delavan

St Patrick's Day stampOn St. Patrick’s Day itself, Saturday, March 17, get your fill of all things green and Irish with these ochoices ~

St. Paddy’s Day | 10:30 am – 9 pm
Popeye’s on Lake Geneva, Lake Geneva

St. Patrick’s Day | 10 am – midnight
Crafted Americana at The Ridge Hotel, Lake Geneva

St. Patrick’s Day Party | 11 am – 9 pm
PIER 290, Williams Bay

St. Patrick’s Day at The Ranch | 3 – 7 pm
Whiskey Ranch, Delavan

St. Patrick’s Day Buffet | 4 – 7 pm
The Trout House, Palmyra

St. Patrick’s Day Buffet | 5 – 10 pm
240° West at The Abbey Resort, Fontana

Irish Whiskey Dinner | 7 – 10 pm
Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration | 7 – 9 pm
10 Pin Pub, Walworth

Make it an entire weekend of Irish food favorites at Lake Lawn Resort ~ featuring:

* Lunch & Dinner at Lookout Bar & Eatery | Friday – Sunday
* AYCE Luncheon Buffet at Frontier Restaurant| Saturday | 11 am – 2 pm
* Corned Beef Sandwich choices at Frontier Restaurant & Fireside Lounge | Saturday | 11 am – 10 pm
* St. Patrick’s Day themed Cupcakes at Isle of Capri Cafe | Saturday & Sunday
* Breakfast at Lookout Bar & Eatery | Sunday

 

No matter if you’ve got Irish blood running through your veins or not,
everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

St Patrick's Day Irish blessing


As always, for more fun things to do in Walworth County, go to

VisitWalworthCounty.com

Something’s Fishy in Walworth County – It’s Friday Fish Fry!

Friday Fish FryMaybe it’s seeing all the ice fishing shanties on the area lakes, or now seeing them off the lakes as the weather is getting warmer, and thinking about fishing from a boat instead, or maybe it’s that Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent was two weeks ago, but whatever it is, I’ve got Friday Fish Fry on the brain. Good thing Walworth County has Friday Fish Fry covered with so many options!

 

Let’s go community by community, knowing I’ll probably have missed someone, for which I apologize ahead of time.

Delavan ~ 

Frontier Restaurant, Lake Lawn Resort – Friday Night Lake & Sea Fest
All You Can Eat: No, plated entrée
Type of fish served: Entrée choices of Whole Maine Lobster; Walleye; Rainbow Trout
What’s included: Varies with entrée choice
Price: Varies with entrée choice

Greenie’s Clubhouse at Delbrook Golf Course
All You Can Eat: No, but have two size choices (cod only)
Type of fish served: Cod (baked or hand-breaded & fried) and fresh Lake Perch
What’s included: cup of soup, coleslaw, dinner roll, choice of potato pancakes, baked potato, sweet potato or french fries with cod; tossed salad or soup and choice of potato with fresh Lake Perch
Price: Cod – $10.99 3 piece / $11.99 5 piece; fresh Lake Perch – $13.99

Lookout Bar & Eatery, Lake Lawn Resort
All You Can Eat: No, but choice of 2 piece or 3 piece
Type of fish served: Wisconsin Beer Battered Boston Cod
What’s included: choice of potato pancake or potato wedges, creamy coleslaw, corn bread hush puppies, apple sauce, tartar sauce, lemon wedge, rye bread
Price: $12.50 / 2 pieces; $14 / 3 pieces

Snug Harbor Lakefront Pub & Restaurant
All You Can Eat: No, but can add pieces for additional cost per piece
Type of fish served: Walleye or Cod
What’s included: rye bread, coleslaw, choice of French fries, baked potato or homemade potato pancakes with applesauce
Price: $16 / 2 pieces of Walleye; $11 / 2 pieces Cod (deep fried or baked)

The Duck Inn
All You Can Eat: Yes (Cod or Smelt only)
Type of fish served: Cod (broiled or fried), Smelt or Perch
What’s included: choice of fries or potato pancakes, rye bread & butter, applesauce or coleslaw
Price: $11.95 Cod AYCE / $14.35 Smelt AYCE / $16.20 Perch

The Village Supper Club
All You Can Eat: Yes, for fried only; broiled has additional cost
Type of fish served: Cod (fried or broiled)
What’s included: homemade potato pancakes or French fries, coleslaw and applesauce
Price: $12.25

Elkhorn ~

Evergreen Country Club
All You Can Eat: Yes
Type of fish served: Cod (fried or broiled)
What’s included: potato pancakes, corn fritters, homemade French fries, applesauce and coleslaw
Price: $13.95

Sperino’s
All You Can Eat: Yes
Type of fish served: Cod (broasted or baked)
What’s included: mostaccioli, potato choice, coleslaw, garlic bread
Price: $11.99

Fontana ~

Gordy’s Boat House Bar & Restaurant
All You Can Eat: No
Type of fish served: beer battered perch filets
What’s included: French fries, coleslaw, tartar sauce, lemon wedge
Price: $18.95

The Waterfront, The Abbey Resort
All You Can Eat: Yes
Type of fish served: Cod or Walleye (signature beer batter or pan seared)
What’s included: coleslaw, applesauce, hush puppies, and choice of potato pancakes, sweet potato fries or plank cut fries
Price: $13 Adults / $7.95 Children

Genoa City ~

Fitzgerald’s Genoa Junction Restaurant
All You Can Eat: Yes
Type of fish served: North Atlantic Cod, boiled
What’s included: coleslaw, rye bread, sweet red potatoes and onions, frosted apple square dessert
Price: not listed

Lake Geneva ~

Champs Sports Bar & Grill
All You Can Eat: No
Type of fish served: Lightly breaded Walleye, Icelandic Cod, Fantail Shrimp
What’s included: not listed
Price: Starting at $9.95

Crafted Americana, The Ridge Hotel
All You Can Eat: No
Type of fish served: Cod (baked or fried)
What’s included: one potato pancake or crafted seasoned fries, coleslaw, house-crafted applesauce, tartar sauce
Price: $14

Grand Café, The Grand Geneva Resort
All You Can Eat: Seafood Buffet
Type of fish served: Varies
What’s included: Varies as seafood buffet, with fresh catch of the day options, snow crab, peel & eat shrimp, and pasta & salad bar
Price: $32 Adults / $18 Children (6-12 years old) / $11 Children (2-5 years old)

Hawk’s View Bar & Grille
All You Can Eat: No
Type of fish served: Icelandic Cod (deep fried, beer battered, or baked)
What’s included: choice of potato pancakes, corn fritters with maple syrup or fries, coleslaw, applesauce, tartar sauce, lemon wedge
Price: $14.95

Popeye’s on Lake Geneva
All You Can Eat: Yes
Type of fish served: Cod (hand-dipped & golden fried or delicately broiled)
What’s included: seasoned fries or house-made potato pancakes, creamy coleslaw, applesauce, hush puppies
Price: $14.99

Red Geranium Restaurant
All You Can Eat: Yes (beer battered only); baked is a plated dinner
Type of fish served: Cod
What’s included: French fries or potato pancakes, homemade coleslaw, tartar sauce or drawn butter, rolls
Price: $13 AYCE beer battered / $16 plated baked

Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub
All You Can Eat: No
Type of fish served: Beer battered Cod
What’s included: pub fries or beer cheese potatoes, coleslaw, choice of a Sprecher draft beer, gourmet soda or Old Fashioned cocktail
Price: $13

The Geneva Inn Restaurant
All You Can Eat: No, plated entrée
Type of fish served: Entrée choices of Rainbow Trout, Salmon
What’s included: Varies with entrée chosen
Price: Varies with entrée chosen

Lyons ~

Ye Olde Hotel Bar & Restaurant
All You Can Eat: Yes (white fish only); others are plated dinner
Type of fish served: White fish (AYCE), Cod (fried or baked), Smelt, Lake Perch, Blue Gill, Lake Walleye Pike (fried)
What’s included: not listed
Price: $10 AYCE White fish; $12 Cod or Smelt; $14 Lake Perch, Blue Gill, Lake Walleye Pike (fried)

Palmyra ~

The Trout House at Rushing Waters
All You Can Eat: No
Type of fish served: Select Rainbow Trout or Cod (baked, or battered and fried)
What’s included: choice of homemade potato pancakes with applesauce or French fries, creamy cabbage slaw, freshly baked rye bread, tartar sauce and lemon wedges
Price: not listed

Whitewater ~

841 Brewhouse
All You Can Eat: No, plated entrée
Type of fish served: Entrée choices of Cod (fried or baked), Salmon, Sea Scallops, Jumbo Shrimp (sauteed or battered) or Fisherman’s Catch (cod, salmon, jumbo shrimp)
What’s included: Varies with entrée chosen
Price: Varies with entrée chosen

The Black Sheep
All You Can Eat: No, plated entrée
Type of fish served: Oven Roasted Salmon
What’s included: white wine & lemon caper cream sauce, mashed potatoes and vegetable of the day
Price: $19.95

Williams Bay ~

PIER 290
All You Can Eat: No, plated entrée
Type of fish served: Entrée choices of Salmon, Swordfish, Mahi Mahi
What’s included: Varies with entrée chosen
Price: Varies with entrée chosen
Alrighty then… Now that I’ve got all of us hankering for some fish, where are we going and who is buying the first Old Fashioned?!

Enjoy Friday Fish Fry in Walworth County!

 

 

Valentine’s Day Fun in Walworth County!

Valentine Candy HeartsWhat?! Valentine’s Day is coming?! When?! Oh yah, February 14, like it does every year. I have a built-in reminder each year of February 14 and Valentine’s Day approaching and it looks suspiciously like my youngest daughter, ‘coz she was born on February 14. Hopefully I haven’t caught you off-guard on it being almost Valentine’s Day, and if I have, I can easily save you with what I’m going to tell you about! There are options galore to choose from for Valentine’s Day in Walworth County, both the weekend before, the actual day of, and the weekend after. Let’s explore the choices!

The weekend prior, which so you stay on top of things, is this coming weekend, has a mix of activities to choose from. I’m hungry at the moment, so let’s start with the food-related ones… You’ve got two choices with Rosewood, Delavan, with their Valentine’s Wine Dinner on Friday, February 9, 6 – 9 pm, and then on Sunday, February 11, 11:30 am – 3 pm, with their ‘Heart & Soul’ Show with Brunch. Score some big points and do both with your sweetheart! Looking to put a little zip in the relationship? Lake Geneva Canopy Tours, Lake Geneva, offers their ‘Zip Line and Dine’ on Saturday, February 10, 5 – 8 pm, to do just that. For me personally, being slightly afraid of heights, I’ll take the dine portion of that duo, though if I wanted to overcome my fear, it would be with Lake Geneva Canopy Tours’ help, for sure. Another feat of bravery is proving how much you know, or maybe don’t know, about your significant other, all while participating in the ‘Not So Newlywed Game’ at Delavan Lake Store, Delavan, on Friday, February 9, 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Sure to bring laughs and maybe a discovery or two! Make your own Valentine’s Day gift with Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating and Card Making at Big Foot High School, Walworth, on Saturday, February 10, 9 – 10 am. Open for all ages, so make it a family outing, even if you have to borrow the nieces and nephews to do so. If being artsy isn’t your thing, then head over to Lubick Gallery & Gifts, Delavan, for their ‘Have a Heart’ Sale, which is 20% off any item with a heart on it or that is heart-shaped. Maybe you’re thinking of making a romantic dinner, but aren’t sure what wine to pair with it. Sonoma Cellars, Delavan can assist with that at their February Frolic Tasting Event, Saturday, February 10, 2 – 4 pm. If wine doesn’t suit you, they’ll be offering craft beers and other spirits to try as well. Since I like wine, but don’t know a thing about which should go with what, let alone the whole cook dinner thing, Staller Estate Winery, Delavan and their Valentine’s Inspired Wine & Dine, Sunday, February 11, 12 – 3 pm, is perfect for me! If someone’s an expert at wine pairing, then I say let ‘em do it!

If the actual day of Valentine’s Day, February 14, is the only day you can choose to celebrate it, then no worries! There are so many dining options to choose from, that you’re sure to find the one that will make your better half smile. Choose from: Valentine’s Dinner, The Trout House at Rushing Waters, Palmyra, 4 – 9 pm; Valentine’s Dinner, Hunt Club Steakhouse, Lake Geneva, 4 – 9 pm; All You Need is Love & a 3-course Meal, The Geneva Inn, Lake Geneva, 5 – 9 pm; Valentine’s Dinner, The Ridge Hotel – Crafted Americana, Lake Geneva, 5 – 9 pm; Valentine’s Day Dinner, The Abbey Resort – 240° West, Fontana, 5 – 9:30 pm; Valentine’s Sweetheart Dinner, Lake Lawn Resort – The Frontier Restaurant, Delavan, 5 – 10 pm; Valentine’s Day Dinner, The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa – Geneva ChopHouse & Ristorante Brissago, Lake Geneva, 5:30 – 10 pm; and Valentine Wine Dinner, Hawk’s View Golf Club, Lake Geneva, 6 – 8:30 pm.

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Wednesday, which opens up the weekend prior and the weekend after to extend the celebration beyond the one day, so dare I say, it buys you more time to plan and not end up in the dog house! The Abbey Resort – 240° West hosts again their Valentine’s Day Dinner, Friday, February 16, 5 – 10 pm, as well as Lake Lawn Resort – The Frontier Restaurant holding their Valentine’s Sweetheart Dinner again on Saturday, February 17, 5 – 10 pm. Rosewood’s monthly Dine & Dance falls nicely to allow them a Valentine’s spin, on Friday, February 16, 5:30 – 10:30 pm. Studio Winery, Lake Geneva, does a twist on the Cork & Canvas format, by hosting a Valentine’s Day Couple event on Sunday, February 18, 12 – 3 pm. Make it real easy on yourself with a weekend of activities already planned out at Sky Circus on Ice, hosted by Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan. With professional kite team performances on Delavan Lake, expert snow sculpting and ice carving exhibition at both Lake Lawn Resort and in Downtown Delavan, the N.E.W. Dueling Piano Guys performing on both Friday and Saturday nights (and I’m told they are not to be missed!), along with a myriad of other activities, plus the specific Valentine’s dining options I already told you about, this could be the golden ticket!

Why should Valentine’s Day be celebrated only one day? My daughter would surely agree, given as February 14 is her birthday, and who wouldn’t want their birthday celebrated for more than one day, so why not Valentine’s Day, too?!  Take advantage of the timing to make Valentine’s an overnight, long weekend or extended getaway with your sweetheart. Options to make that happen and not hurt the wallet too much, though when it’s for celebrating your love and relationship, no amount hurts the wallet too much, are listed here:

Comfort Suites, Delavan
Stay 2 Nights, Get 15% off Each Night
Stay 3 Nights, Get 20% off Each Night

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva
Grand Romance Package
Couples Night Out Package
Geneva Club Package
Stay & Ski Free

Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva, Lake Geneva
A Night in Package
Great Escapes Package
Romance Package
Long Stay Package

Inns of Geneva National, Lake Geneva
Inns Escape Package

Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan
Sky Circus on Ice – 2 Night Package
Sky Circus on Ice – 3 Night Package
Winter Escape Package
Rest & Relaxation Retreat *
Couples Getaway *
* With Calladora Spa options

The Abbey Resort & Spa, Fontana
Bed & Breakfast – BOGO Exclusive
Abbey Escape
Stay Longer Save More Package
Ski & Stay Overnight Package
Avani Overnight Package
Bed & Breakfast Package

The Cove of Lake Geneva, Lake Geneva
Ski & Stay Package
Romance Package
Winery Package
The Clue Room Package
Dancing Horses Package

The Geneva Inn, Lake Geneva
INNtimate Package

The Mill Creek Hotel, Lake Geneva
Romance Package
Wine & Dine Night Out Package

The Ridge Hotel, Lake Geneva
Taste of Americana Package
Winter Wonderland Package
Bed & Breakfast Package
Essential Escape Spa Package
Ridge Romance Packages

Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark, Lake Geneva
Stay Longer & Save Package
Learn to Ski Package
Splash & Ski Package
Okay then. Phew! That’s a lot happening for Valentine’s Day in Walworth County! If you can’t find something to make this day memorable, then you’re not reading this blog with your eyes wide open! Hahaha – seriously though – there’s so much to choose from that it’s a sure thing you’ll get it right with your loved one this Valentine’s Day!

Now go plan some Valentine’s Day Fun…in Walworth County!

For details or more ideas of things to do in Walworth County, go to VisitWalworthCounty.com