Lake Geneva is one of those spots that drew the ultra-wealthy of Chicago at the late nineteenth and  turn of the twentieth century. Like Mackinac Island and the western shores of Michigan, wealthy tycoons flocked to build massive vacation homes cheek to gilded jowl with all the other magnates. Sadly, in the ensuing years, many of the original glorious, stately Victorian era homes have burned or been torn down. In their place have been built homes even more monstrous in size. Some are attractive, others nothing more than vulgar barn-like boxes built on the “more is more” philosophy.

Still, on a hot summer afternoon, puttering around the lake ogling (and panning) the homes, basking in the breeze, and drinking a lemonade can be extremely enjoyable. Hop one of the tour boats for half and full bay tours along with tours that stop to visit Black Point Estate. An extra-special tour features the truly unique Mail Boat Tours, staffed by US Mail Carriers who leap off the moving boat, tear up the dock to deliver the mail, then leap back on to the back of the boat as it passes.

Lake Geneva Boat Cruises