So Much Fun & So Much Savings!

Bogo17 CoverYou’ve been patient in waiting for it and here it is! Fun and savings, all in one neat little package! It’s the 2017-2018 Walworth County Visitors Bureau BOGO card, with all deals good through May 31, 2018. Plenty of time to take advantage of the 48 fabulous offers on area dining, shopping, lodging, attractions and more…

The cards are $10 each and are available online at www.VisitWalworthCounty.com/BOGO, and at the Walworth County Travel Information Center at 2375 E. Geneva Street in Delavan (directly across from Lake Lawn Resort, at the airport).
So you’re planning a getaway and you need a place to stay… Look no further than the offers available at Harbor Shores on Geneva Lake, Delavan Lake Resort and T.C. Smith Historic Inn. Situated on the lakefront of Geneva Lake, Harbor Shores offers the best views, fabulous amenities, and easy access to the downtown with all it has to offer.
Delavan Lake Resort is a luxury suite property right on the lakeshore of Delavan Lake, allowing you to unwind and relax while taking in the gorgeous lake view. Experience the luxurious warmth and ambiance of the Grand Victorian era at T.C. Smith Historic Inn Bed & Breakfast, taking in all the historical and artistic significance of the outstanding architecture, all just two blocks from downtown Lake Geneva dining and shopping.
With Mother Nature giving us some beautiful Indian Summer weather and early Fall colors, how about getting out on the links for some Fall golf? Hawk’s View Golf Club, Majestic Oaks at Lake Lawn Resort and Whitewater Country Club each have buy one, get one deals to take advantage of. Nice weather, great golf courses and then each has other offers to use related to fueling up with food after a successful round of golf! Perfect combo!
Even if Mother Nature were to throw some rain in the forecast, don’t despair. There are deals that allow for fun indoors, too! Geneva Lake Museum, Lake Geneva Clue Room, and Spirit of the Lakes Chorus are all good examples of indoor options. If kicking back with a glass of wine is an indoor activity that appeals to you, then the Bottle Shop and Northleaf Winery will fit the bill nicely.
Traditional Fall fun activities of corn mazes, hayrides, apples and pumpkins are covered as well, with Pearce’s Farm Stand and Royal Oak Farm Orchard offering deals. What’s Fall without at least one corn maze and hayride? Boring is what it is! Finding that perfect pumpkin is the ultimate, topped off with a delicious caramel apple!
For a different perspective of things (and a great gift for someone or even for yourself), check out the offer from Gypsy Air Tours and a ride in their open cockpit biplane. If two feet on the ground is more your style, then Lake Geneva Canopy Tours, Lake Geneva Cruise Line, Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Marina Bay Boat Rentals, and the Mountain Top at The Grand Geneva offer biking, boat cruises, fishing, tubing and skiing, respectively, deals.
Need some time to relax and be pampered? That’s offered as well! The Avani Spa at The Abbey Resort and Calladora Spa at Lake Lawn Resort are sure to please with the services they offer. Only requirement is I get to go along to relax and get pampered, too!
Are there family or friends that couldn’t be a part of the getaway? Bring back a gift to let them know you were thinking of them. A+ Power Sports, Geneva Gifts, Lake Geneva Cannery, and Wilson Farm Meats all have deals to fit any type of gift. And I won’t tell anyone if you buy something for yourself, too. It is buy one, get one, so that in itself implies being able to keep one and give one! I would gladly be a recipient of a gift…
So all this activity has me famished, so let’s look at the options for food! My girls and I would do “Dessert First” dinner when they were little, knowing full well we probably wouldn’t get to the actual dinner (‘Woohoo, no broccoli!’ was the usual comment from them…). You can do the same with the deals from 240° West at The Abbey Resort, Delavan Lake Store, and Lake Geneva Pie Company.
If you absolutely insist on eating dinner (or lunch) first, there are certainly offers available for that. Crafted Americana at The Ridge Hotel, Grand Café at The Grand Geneva, Frontier Restaurant and Lookout Bar & Grill at Lake Lawn Resort, Rushing Waters (both Palmyra and Delavan locations), Sperino’s Pepperoni Pub, and Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub will keep you eating all day, every day, of your getaway.
There are so many wonderful deals to keep you busy no matter what you enjoy doing! A full list of participating businesses and their deals is available at www.VisitWalworthCounty.com/BOGO. Plan that getaway now – heck, plan multiple of them as the deals are good through May 31, 2018!
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The Ultimate Fall Drive is in Walworth County!

TW Fall Drive Showdown logo

 

And you can vote here to make it official! Rustic Road 29 – Snake Road in Lake Geneva – has been nominated for the ultimate fall drive in Wisconsin by Travel Wisconsin in The Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown! Help make it the winner by voting now! Yes, right now. Do it! I’ll wait for you..

 

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Let’s start with a little history lesson, courtesy of the WI Dept. of Transportation: The Wisconsin Rustic Roads program was created over 40 years ago to provide an opportunity to leisurely travel through the state’s scenic countryside. Today, there are 120 designated Rustic Roads in Wisconsin, spanning more than 722 miles through 59 counties.

Every Rustic Road is unique, but all:

  • have outstanding natural features along its borders, such as rugged terrain, native vegetation, native wildlife or include open areas with agricultural vistas.
  • are lightly traveled local access roads, serving the adjacent property owners and those wishing to travel by auto, bicycle, or hiking for purposes of recreational enjoyment.
  • are not scheduled nor anticipated for major improvements which would change their rustic characteristics.
  • are at least two miles long and often provide a completed closure or loop, or connect to major highways at both ends of the route.

A Rustic Road may be dirt, gravel or paved road and it may be one-way or two-way. It also may have bicycle or hiking paths adjacent to or incorporated in the roadway area.

Rustic Road sign
Rustic Road sign example

 

A unique brown and yellow sign marks the routes of all officially-designated Rustic Roads. A small placard beneath the Rustic Roads sign identifies each Rustic Road by its numerical designation within the total statewide system, for example, Rustic Road 29 would read as R 29.

 

 

 

 

So on to the Rustic Roads specifically in Walworth County, of which Rustic Road 29 isn’t the only Rustic Road that Walworth County is blessed to have. As of 2017, there are 6 Rustic Roads in all in Walworth County, with only one other county in the state having more (Racine County has 7). Let’s take a drive together and learn a little bit about each of them!

It seemed only proper to start with Rustic Road 29 (R 29) since it’s being placed front and center with The Ultimate Fall Drive Showdown as an entrant! R 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 29

The route is particularly beautiful in the fall, hence the inclusion in the Ultimate Fall Drive Showcase! R 29, better known as Snake Road to locals, intersects with WI Highway 50 just west of Lake Geneva and loops back out to WI Highway 50 a bit further west.

Rustic Road 11 map
Rustic Road 11

Rustic 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

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 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 36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Road 85 map
Rustic Road 85

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 less-than-2 mile stretch being between WI County Highways A and ES, just west of Alpine Valley Music Theatre, and east of WI Highway 12. It’s so new to the Rustic Road family that the WI DOT hasn’t done an official map of it as of yet. Google however provides, with only a slightly shaky hand adding the brown line in a vain attempt to look somewhat like the other maps! The Google Street View, done in October 2012, of the narrow roadway, shows farm and marsh land, gently rolling hills, and as if to really showcase the rural character of the route, the Google car taking photos of the roadway followed a combine for part of the trip! Can’t get more realistic than that!

Rustic Road 120 map
Rustic Road 120

Whatever Rustic Road you take through Walworth County, the view is guaranteed to be spectacular in any season! My personal favorite is the fall and being able to see the leaves changing colors, hear kids playing in the fallen leaves, catch a glimpse of scurrying little critters in the underbrush, smell the aroma from a burn pile, and enjoy the other wonderful aspects of taking a leisurely fall drive. See you around the bend!

End of Summer, But Not End of Fun…

“I’m bored!”… “There’s nothing to do!”… Plus any other rendition of these phrases that you’ve heard through the summer months from your kids (or significant other, or whomever) shouldn’t be spoken any more when you think about all there is to do this holiday weekend! From the Walworth County Fair, to golf, to a lakeside party & pig roast, to live music, to a movie on the beach, and so much more! Oh my goodness, there’s no way anyone could be bored and find nothing to do in Walworth County this Labor Day weekend!

The biggest thing happening in Walworth County has to be the Walworth County Fair! Rides, food, games, animals, food, 4-H exhibits, music, food (are you seeing a pattern here?!) and lots more will have you back each day with how much there is to see and do and eat! The weather looks beautiful, so plan on some fun at the Fair!

If you’re like me, then water speaks to your soul, and what better way to get out on it than with a cruise on Geneva Lake. The Geneva Lake Cruise Line has a variety of cruise types and times to choose from to fit your holiday weekend schedule. They are each spectacular in their own way, so you can’t go wrong with any of them. I’ve got a couple personal favorites with the mailboat cruise and the Black Point Tour cruise, but you can decide for yourself what your favorite is.

Get out on Delavan Lake with Lake Lawn Resort’s Delavan Lake History Tour or the Sunset Wine Tour. The History Tour offers the details of this crystal clear, glacier-cut lake being settled by Native Americans around 1000 BC, as well as highlighting the five Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes nestled along the 11 miles of picturesque shoreline. The Sunset Wine Tour speaks for itself in being beautiful – sunset and wine, come on!

With history in mind, head over to Old World Wisconsin for their Hop Harvest Weekend and Historic Beer Brewing. As part of the historic brewing program, a field of hops has been cultivated and now it’s time to take part in a traditional community harvest. The added benefit is having a cold brew afterwards and talk with Old World Wisconsin’s historic brewing team. If beer isn’t your drink of choice, root beer is also available.

Golf is happening all over Walworth County and the season is far from over! Enjoy specials at Grand Geneva, Geneva National, Hawk’s View, Evergreen, and other courses in the area for the holiday weekend. Hawk’s View is offering a private Callaway fitting if you’re in the market for a new set of clubs or even if you didn’t know you were! With the cooler temps this holiday weekend, take advantage and play as much golf as possible – it’s a 3-day weekend so that could translate to 108 holes of golf ‘coz why waste the daylight and not play 36 each day! Now for a shameless plug alert: The Lake Geneva Area Golf Trail and its Golf Trail Passport can offer you discounts, too, for this weekend and for any upcoming golf trips.

Now I’m a lover of live music and if I can’t find any this holiday weekend then I need my eyes and ears checked! Martina McBride and Foghat with Blue Oyster Cult are at the Fair. Triple D is one of only several bands at Lake Lawn Resort. The Ridge has Doghouse Roses as one of many options to choose from. The Belfry Music Theatre has a Fleetwood Mac Tribute band. There’s always karaoke to test your own musical skills – I know better than to do this as ya’ll wouldn’t want to hear it!

I certainly can’t talk about everything there is to do this holiday weekend, so it’s a good thing there’s a place to go to find a list of it all! VisitWalworthCounty.com and the Events Calendar! Okay, I forgot to announce there was another shameless plug coming with that!

Whatever you choose to do, have fun!

 

 

Beer Matters…

So if I were a betting person, I’d take a stab at the title of this blog having caught your attention! I mean think about it: hot summer day, cold brew (beer, not coffee) and isn’t that a pairing to beat all pairings? Well, maybe not beating out chocolate and peanut butter as a pairing. Oh, and wine and cheese. Oops, forgot about milk and cookies. Never mind – back to beer!

Beer Matters course at UWW_logo

“Beer Matters” is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offered by UW-Whitewater (with a shout out to my alma mater for doing something so awesome!). You’ll learn about the history of beer from ancient times and across the globe, to Prohibition (what were they thinking?!), Super Bowl ads (Clydesdales and Dalmatian puppies, anyone?) and more. Now don’t go thinking that you didn’t really care for school and learning, even though this is about beer, and decide it’s not for you until I tell you about the meet-ups at local breweries that are part of the course! Yep, class at a brewery. Wonder if the outcome of my 5 credit Calculus and Analytic Geometry course might have been different if it had been at a brewery, or even a coffee shop, for some of the class times? Probably not… hahaha

So a MOOC is what? Massive Open Online Course – translates to an online learning experience that shoots for unlimited participation (beats signing up for something you really want to do and finding out it’s filled, so love this!), doesn’t require any previous college-level or online learning experience, is open to adults 21 years old and older, and isn’t offered for credit. For “Beet Matters” specifically, this MOOC is made up of six areas of content, including video lectures, reading materials, primary documents, and images. You can move through it at your own pace, interacting with other classmates in online discussion boards. The sections are then complemented with bi-weekly meet-ups at local area breweries, led by the instructor. The meet-ups are optional, but are meant to further develop interaction and create a sense of community among the course participants. Think of it as hanging out with your friends at the pub!

Wondering about the instructor, ‘coz who doesn’t wanna know something about their teacher ahead of the first day of class? Ken Brown, Assistant Professor of History at UW-Whitewater, has been teaching a very popular undergrad course on the history of beer and brewing for a few years and is excited to how the course works with the MOOC format of online content and discussion boards, paired with the bi-weekly meet-ups at local area breweries. Before going to graduate school for his PhD, Brown worked in brewpubs in Japan and Greece, so “Beer Matters” gives him the opportunity to combine his formal training as a historian with his past experience as a professional brewer. His goal for this course is to have everyone come away with a broad understanding of beer in history – from prehistoric times to Prohibition, and from colonial times to modern-day corporate mergers – and the basic knowledge necessary to brew beer, wine, mead or any other fermented beverage. Now that’s something I’d use in real life, unlike Calculus and Analytic Geometry!

“Beer Matters” begins on September 6, with participation in the online course being free and the meet-ups having a minimal fee. Again, meet-ups are optional, but come on – like I said earlier, class in a brewery?! I would so be there! No beer or alcoholic beverages are included in the meet-up fee, but you are able to purchase beer on your own (drink responsibly!). Here’s the meet-up schedule:

Beer Matters course at UWW_MobCraft logo aSaturday, September 16 – Old World Wisconsin, Eagle WI: Watch brewers from the Museum of Beer and Brewing use equipment and techniques from the 1800’s to brew beer using heirloom hops grown at Old World Wisconsin. Purchase craft beer from MobCraft on-site.

 

Beer Matters course at UWW_Bent Kettle logo

 

Saturday, October 7 – Bent Kettle, Fort Atkinson WI: Visit Bent Kettle Brewing, one of the area’s newest breweries, serving craft brews like Insolence Double IPA and Thwack!, an American smoked IPA.

 

 

Beer Matters course at UWW_Second Salem logo a

Saturday, October 21 – Second Salem, Whitewater WI: The last meet-up comes home to Whitewater, to learn about the strange events, figures and architecture that provide rich stories that translate into extraordinary beer.

 

 

Black Point Estate and its Director, David Desimone, assisted Ken Brown with the historical research component of the course, helping with the content and background information, so a shout out to Desimone and Black Point Estate, along with Old World Wisconsin, MobCraft, Bent Kettle, and Second Salem, for partnering with UW-Whitewater on this fun and fascinating MOOC course.

I’d say hurry up and register now so as not to lose out, but again, the beauty of being a MOOC is there is no class size limit to worry about! To register for “Beer Matters”, go to Beer Matters registration

Bottoms up!

Beer Matters course at UWW_beer can a

Eat Your Way Through Walworth County!

Restaurant_what's new

Are you hungry?! You will be before you’re even done reading this…! Let’s work our way through Walworth County and find out what’s new at some of the area’s restaurants.

 

 

Waterfront at Abbey Resort_outdoor seating

Outdoor Patio at The Waterfront, located at The Abbey Resort

The Waterfront at The Abbey Resort not only has a new look, but a new menu. They’ve kept many of the crowd favorites, but added a few healthy and unique items, such as the Black Pepper Parmesan Chicken Sandwich and the Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burger. The Wild Mushroom & BBQ Burger is a popular addition, as well as the French Doughnuts dessert. Add a craft beer like the Geneva Lake No Wake IPA or a “fire on the water” drink like the Waterfront Sangria, throw in some live music, a view of the lake and you’ve got a combination that can’t be beat! Besides working your way through the menu, Sundays throughout the summer should be spent “Burnin’ Down the Docks” enjoying live music, cold beer and mouthwatering house-smoked BBQ from The Abbey’s award winning BBQ Pit Masters. Think slow-smoked in a traditional southern outdoor smoker, with hand applied spice rubs, and a signature BBQ sauce to finish things off. Are you right there with the aroma and flavors already feeding your senses? How about some seasonal specials on top of everything else to bring you to the Waterfront? Half price apps and $5 beer flights on Mondays; Taco Tuesday with $5 margaritas; $3 draft beers on Wednesday and Thursday; or go with the Wisconsin Beer Experience on Thursday, which is three courses paired beautifully with three beers. Hmmmm… Now go get there to feed your stomach and not just your senses!

Learn more about The Waterfront here

 

Red Geranium_wine cellar look down
The Red Geranium – with a view DOWN in to the wine cellar

The Red Geranium’s lunch menu offers a couple of new salads, a few new sandwiches and entrees. The Peach and Berry Salad, described as Boston bib lettuce, peaches, assorted berries, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, fresh basil with honey lime & Riesling vinaigrette, definitely caught my eye for something light at lunch. If you want a twist on a BLT then oh my goodness, the Red Geranium Lobster BLT – yes, you read that correctly, Lobster BLT – is the way to do it! Chef’s lobster sensation, apple wood bacon, lettuce, tomato, bacon aioli on a butter croissant, and I’ll probably never eat another “regular” BLT again. Feeling a little more hungry for lunch? Then try the Chicken Angelina, which is a boneless breast of chicken marinated with garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon, oregano and cracked pepper, grilled on the open hearth and finished under the broiler with ‘bruschetta’ style tomatoes and Asiago cheese. The Red Geranium’s dinner menu added a couple of new chicken dishes that are a must to try, such as Chicken Felix, which is served with grilled shrimp, broccoli spears and a béarnaise sauce. I, being the seafood loving girl that I am, can’t help but notice the Lobster & Shrimp Mac ‘n Cheese – what a combination of seafood and comfort food that I certainly can’t resist.

Learn more about The Red Geranium here

 

Evergreen Fish Fry
Evergreen Country Club and AYCE Friday Fish Fry

Evergreen Country Club’s Friday Night Menu has an added delicious item with their beer battered shrimp. This only makes the decision that much harder as to choosing between their famous AYCE Friday Fish Fry, one of their other fabulous dinner entrees or a good ol’ burger! Maybe if I borrowed a golf cart so I could roll on out of there it would be okay to do both the Fish Fry and the beer battered shrimp! Or the Fish Fry and the 8 oz. filet? Or the 8 oz. filet and the beer battered shrimp? Or a double 1/3# each certified Angus beef cheeseburger with a baked potato? See the problem here?! Oh my and then they have corn fritters with the AYCE Fish Fry! Good thing they have live music on the patio every Friday night ‘coz after eating as much as it sounds like I’m gonna be doing, I’ll need to hang out for a while!

 

Learn more about Evergreen Country Club here

 

Lake Lawn Resort_Chef Ross
Executive Chef Ross at Lake Lawn Resort

The Frontier Restaurant at Lake Lawn Resort has a new summer dinner menu that features a sophisticated culinary twist on some familiar comfort foods. Start off with the Rustic Artichoke, Olive & Goat Cheese Bruschetta or the Jalapeno Maple Glazed Shrimp for an appetizer. Follow that up with the Wild Mushroom Wisconsin Cheese Soup and then pick any one of about a dozen entrees to choose from, trying desperately to save room for dessert. And good luck with that, as when you have entrée choices like Sweet Chile Glazed Salmon, Bourbon BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Pasta Primavera with Grilled Chicken, and Filet Mignon, to name only a few, dessert isn’t even a rationale thought (but I’d still do it!) If you want to make eating your way through this menu a little bit easier, then the Frontier Restaurant has a way for you to dine like a VIP! Their VIP Dining Card entitles you to ten (10) “2 for 1” menu entrees or buffets, as well as first choice invitations for select special events. The VIP Dining Card cannot be used on holidays or for special events, but there are so many more other days in a year, that it’s not an issue! This will make deciding what to have so much easier when you know you’re coming back again and again.

Learn more about The Frontier Restaurant here

 

So how about working your way through the restaurant choices at the Grand Geneva Resort? Better get a room booked for the weekend to make it on this foodie tour! Where to begin… Ristoranté Brissago, Geneva ChopHouse, Grand Café, Smokey’s Bar-B-Que House, or Links Bar & Grill? Everyone has a little bit of Italian in them, so I’m headed to Ristoranté Brissago and bringing along whoever wants to call themselves family so we can take advantage of La Famiglia. This is an Italian feast serviced family-style, offering a great way to connect and share a meal with both family and friends. There’s a choice of salad or soup – I’d go for the Tomato and Basil Caprese; starter – each choice is good, so I’m not sure which to choose; pasta – here again, it’s difficult to choose, but I’ll try the Wild Mushroom Ravioli; two main dishes – Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Saltimbocca; and two desserts – which for me has to be the tiramisu ‘coz it’s my favorite! If you prefer to choose from the full menu and maybe not have to share with being that hungry, it’s certainly acceptable, as goodness knows, it’s all delicioso! If you’re a meat and potatoes kind of person, then Geneva Chophouse is your kind of place. Let’s start with a hand-selected, custom-seasoned steak, prepared to perfection on an open-hearth grill. Can you smell it already? Pair it with a great glass of wine and sit back to enjoy! Don’t forget the delectable choice of sides, from loaded baked potatoes, to grilled jumbo asparagus, to lobster mac n’ cheese. You can even upgrade your steak with some seafood options, like Dungeness Crab Oscar. Pick a seasonal drink to finish off the meal, and what else can I say. The Grand Café not only starts your day with a morning kickstart, but can carry your through the day as well with their all day dining menu. Start off breakfast with something light, like house-made granola with berries and local honey, or jump all in with the Farmers Frittata or the Pulled Pork Benedict. Either way is good and maybe the decision is all about what you’re then going to choose for lunch later on. For example, Widmer’s Cheddar Burger with Applewood bacon, garlic aioli, Cipollini and tomato marmalade, and butter lettuce, might require a lighter breakfast, but a Wisconsin Seasonal Grilled Cheese might not. Then again, who knows the size of that Grilled Cheese! This is Wisconsin, Cheese Capital of the Universe! Spending time at Timber Ridge Waterpark? Then Smokey’s Bar-B-Que House will take care of you from breakfast through dinner. Just like the Grand Café, you can start the day off light with Cookie Dough Pancakes or go a little bit more with the Biscuits & Gravy Omelet (I’m a Southern girl, so that got my attention!). Lunch can be some Applewood smoked chicken wings and fried pickles, or a BBQ Pork sandwich with kettle chips, then maybe dinner is Smokey’s Choice, ½ lb. slow smoked Angus brisket with cornbread, choice of side and choice of sauce. Did you save room for dessert? Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie or Cheesecake with Berry Preserves sounds right up my alley. I’m not sure I’ll float in the lazy river very well after all this, but I’ll be sitting poolside with a big ol’ grin on my face with being all satisfied! Not to be outdone as you go hit that little white ball around one of the two championship golf courses, the Links Bar & Grill offers a full breakfast menu and all day treats to keep you going strong. Who knows with the right combination of a Breakfast Burrito finished off with a Mulligan, Grand Geneva’s signature Bloody Mary, in the morning, and Lake Geneva Country Meats Bratwurst with Spotted Cow Sauerkraut, of course paired with a cold Spotted Cow, you might be ready to take on the Hole-in-One Challenge! Enter this new challenge by upgrading your round on The Brute or The Highlands for just $5 to participate, then sink an ace on select holes to win up to $10,000! You know, in thinking about all of this at the Grand Geneva, just a weekend’s stay isn’t going to do it – better make it a long weekend!

Eat your heart outLearn more about the Grand Geneva Resort here

Certainly these are not the end all and be all of the many fabulous restaurants in Walworth County, but these are the ones I know have had something new happening with their menus recently. Get out and try each of the ones I’ve talked about here, but certainly don’t hesitate to try one that I haven’t talked about as there’s many to choose from in Walworth County! Let me know what you find to be a new favorite menu item at a new favorite place or an old favorite at a tried and true place. Let’s eat our way through Walworth County and then share the love of food with everyone! Bon appétit! (Channeling Julia Child for a minute there… lol)

Celebrating July 4th in Walworth County

Independence Day graphicThere is no excuse in not being able to find something to do in celebrating our nation’s birthday this 4th of July weekend in Walworth County. I will allow you to gripe about having to narrow down the choices, however, ‘coz there are many! Walworth County communities know how to celebrate the 4th of July and our nation’s birthday and it’s with more than the spectacular fireworks they are known for. Whether a fun festival or parade is your thing, or you enjoy live music and a cookout, or seek out the thrill of a waterski show or a ride on the midway, or whatever is your go-to for the 4th of July, Walworth County’s choices won’t disappoint.

East Troy kicks off the holiday weekend on Thursday, June 29 with the East Troy Lion’s Club 4th of July Festival, affectionately referred to as ETBT by the locals. The East Troy Beer Tent is the largest beer tent in the area, featuring, of course, beer and other Miller products, and live music daily as well by some well-known area bands. Enjoy the carnival, car show, truck & tractor pulls, and a slew of other activities offered through Sunday, July 2. Don’t forget the parade on Sunday at 1pm.

Whitewater is another community that knows how to celebrate the 4th. Starting on Friday, June 30 and going through Tuesday, July 4th, Whitewater is all about celebrating our freedom and independence for families, friends and community. There is so much to do with carnival rides, live music, a petting zoo for the kids, car & bike show, waterski shows, fireworks on two nights, and a parade. Food and drink are available as well, of course.

Delavan shows their patriotic side with Delavan Township’s celebration on Friday, July 1, 4-11pm, with live music, food & beverages and fireworks at dusk. On July 4th, the “Let Freedom Ring” celebration gets underway with a pancake breakfast at the Delavan Fire Station. The day continues with the Carp-O-Rama Fishing Derby for kids, live music at Phoenix Park, including the UW Marching Band, a parade downtown, and the flag ceremony followed by fireworks at Veteran’s Park.

If patriotic music makes your heart strings sing for our nation’s birth, then Elkhorn is the place to be with their Star Spangled Celebration on Friday, June 30 at Sunset Park. Enjoy music performed by the Holton Band in the historic bandshell. Bring a blanket or a chair, family and friends, and partake of the fun with activities for the kids, food and all followed by a grand fireworks show at dusk.

Burlington’s Browns Lake Venetian Fest on Saturday, July 1, brings the water into the celebrating with a boat parade, waterski show and a kayak/canoe/paddleboard excursion. Live music, food & beverage will be available all day as well. Don’t forget the fireworks, which are being doubled this year! On July 4, the City of Burlington’s Fire Department will once again be having their annual fundraiser and dance, so put on your best dancing shoes and come support them. There’s a bag toss tournament, live music, food & beverage, and fireworks at dusk.

Sharon starts July 4 with a parade at 11am beginning in the downtown area and ending in Goodland Memorial Park, followed by food, music and kids activities, with fireworks at dusk.

Celebrate the spirit of Independence Day in 19th century America through a living history presentation and fun hands-on activities at Old World Wisconsin on July 4. Help make ice cream, participate in a pie eating contest, play games and enter the greased pole contest. All this is highlighted with an interactive parade through the village.

Area resorts, including the Abbey, Geneva National, Grand Geneva, Lake Lawn Resort and the Ridge, are making preparations for the holiday weekend for everyone, not just guests. The Abbey will have live entertainment, family activities, food, and of course, fireworks on July 4. On July 3, Geneva National provides a spectacular Independence Day celebration with their barbecue, drinks, assorted jumbo inflatables and carnival games for the kids, and live music for everyone, followed by fireworks. Grand Geneva, also on July 3, has their grand picnic, plenty of kids activities, a performance by the UW Marching Band and appearance of Bucky Badger, all wrapped up with an array of pyrotechnics to wow your socks off. Lake Lawn Resort holds their All-American buffet on July 3, with live music playing, all lakeside. Celebrate with Ridgeapalooza at the Ridge on July 3, as they fire up the grills, adding in festive music all day, capping it off with Geneva National’s fireworks, perfectly viewed from the Ridge’s “backyard”.

Get on the water for the fireworks with Lake Geneva Cruise Line’s Fireworks Jazz Music Dinner Cruise on July 4 to view Fontana’s fireworks. The Grand Belle leaves the dock at 7:30pm, providing gorgeous views of the setting sun, then spectacular views of the fireworks. Make your reservations now so you don’t miss the boat!

So how will you celebrate the 4th of July? How many different commuities will I find you at as you get your fireworks fixation taken care of? You can never see too many fireworks displays, in my opinion!

4th Of July Celebrations4th Of July Fireworks4th Of July Parades

Treating Dad on Father’s Day in Walworth County

Father's Day

Memories of helping me learn how to ride my bike and how to swim; recommending how to get around the crocodile in the backyard to get a grapefruit off our tree (we lived in Florida at the time); instructing me in how to drive stick shift (ask me why I call Mount Horeb “Mount Horrible”….); teaching me not only how to change a tire, but how to do a tune-up on my car; letting me fail at something so I could learn from it, though it broke his heart to do so… What memories do you have with your father? Sunday, June 18, is Father’s Day, and there are choices galore to choose from in celebrating it with your dad in Walworth County.

Kick off Father’s Day Weekend at the Abbey Resort & Spa as they offer a Spa Special for Dad at Avani Spa. Yes, it’s for Dad, ‘coz he deserves just as much relaxation and rejuvenation as the next person. The Father’s Day Spa Package includes a 50 minute Gentleman’s Facial to cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate skin, in addition to a 50 minute Deep Tissue Massage to release tension, tightness and muscle pain. The offer is valid through the Father’s Day weekend only (6/16-6/18/2017), so get it scheduled for Dad now! Maybe schedule something for yourself (or me… hint, hint!), too!

East Troy Electric Railroad is hosting a Father’s Day Dinner on Saturday, June 17. There’s nothing like the luxury, and even romance, of dining aboard first-class railroad cars the way people did generations ago. Enjoy a great meal while traveling round-trip from East Troy to Phantom Lake, with fine linen tablecloths and an elegant four-course gourmet meal to make Dad feel as special as he truly is.

Golf, golf, and more golf! Get Dad out and enjoying a round or two of golf, while taking advantage of the various offers at several area golf clubs. Geneva National has an exclusive rate of just $75 with cart on Father’s Day itself (Sunday, June 18) and twilight will start early at 2pm for just $49. Give Dad a legendary day on their award-winning Player or Trevino courses. The Grand Geneva Resort is offering fathers to play the Brute or the Highlands for only $89 and replays (must be played the same day) for $39. Dad will get a special gift as well. Evergreen Country Club has specials for playing either 18 or 9 holes: each option provides a coupon for a half-priced Blood Mary or Screwdriver and either a $5 off (for 18 holes) or $2.50 off (for 9 holes) coupon for the Father’s Day Lunch Special, both of which are valid from opening until 1pm on Sunday, June 18. The Father’s Day Lunch Special is choice of either Beef Brisket or Prime Rib Sandwich with cole slaw and french fries. There’s also a Sunday Afternoon Golf Special valid from 1pm and later offering 9 holes for $21 or 18 holes for $31 with a cart. Any way you, golf is a great choice as an option of spending time with Dad!

How about being a little more adventurous and giving Dad a memorable moment? Lake Geneva Canopy Tours is offering 50% off zip line canopy tours for all dads on Sunday, June 18. Experience with the Dad the thrill of soaring through the trees on 8 different zip lines, 5 sky bridges, 3 spiral stairways and a one-of-a-kind “floating” double-helix stairway which wraps around a breathtaking ash tree. The 1,200 foot racing zip line is the grand finale. While doing all of this, your tour guide will wow you with fascinating facts on ecology, biology, geology and the local history of the Geneva Lakes area. Fun and educational! Make your reservations now!

Working up an appetite from all of this activity yet? Then head to Lake Lawn Resort for their Father’s Day Ribfest Beer Brunch. Yep, brunch with ribs and beer – you read that right! A Father’s Day tradition, Ribfest offers a variety of perfectly grilled ribs seasoned with rubs and sauces. Add the abundant side dishes, salads and accompaniments, and it’s a meal fit for a king – that would be Dad, by the way! Lake Lawn Amber Beer will compliment this tasty meal and Dad’s brew will be served in a Lake Lawn glass for him to keep. And as an added gift, a complimentary round of golf will be given to each dad for future use. You’ve got one-stop shopping going on here with a great meal and a gift built-in for Dad!

Now it’s time for some true confessions – did your dad ever say he’d lock you in your room and throw away the key when you misbehaved one time too many? Well here’s a chance to get locked up with Dad at the Lake Geneva Clue Room and face the fun and challenging experience of decoding the clues, solving the puzzle and making your escape from a locked room! With a booking on Sunday, June 18, of four or more people, Dad’s admission is free (use code “DadsDay17”). What a unique way to work together, with the smarts you got from Dad in the first place, to figure things out before time runs out.

My dad loved all things historical, so Old World Wisconsin would be right up his alley this Father’s Day. All fathers receive free admission on Sunday, June 18, as Old World Wisconsin celebrates Scandinavian Midsommar. Dance around the midsommarstang, decorate the sauna with greens, and try food samples fresh from the Norwegian kitchens! Come explore how a centuries’ old celebration of summer flourished in Wisconsin with traditions kept alive by Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian immigrants. Timely with the Summer Solstice around the corner on June 21!

A musical look at history is to be found at the Fireside Theatre with their “Back to the 50s” live band show. Come pay tribute to the most exciting musical decade of them all. Don’t forget this decade also brought us TV dinners, hula hoops, quiz show scandals, talk show legends, and the birth of rock & roll. The Father’s Day Special on Sunday, June 18, is buy three tickets, get the fourth ticket free – and that would be the ticket for Dad! Enjoy a great meal, while listening to the music and fun from such artists as Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Patsy Cline, Nat King Cole, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Mathis, the Everly Brothers, and so many more! My toes are tapping just thinking of all that fabulous music!

If blues is more Dad’s style, then Studio Winery has it going on for Father’s Day! On Sunday, June 18, 4-6pm, Frank Falduto and the Patio Daddios will perform blues beyond compare! There is no cover charge, so what could be better? Dad taught you to be wise with your money, so there you go!

No matter how you choose to spend Father’s Day with your dad, there are great choices in Walworth County!

Father's Day Graphic 2017