Green Lake is a Great Summer Getaway
Find sunshine, gorgeous water views and that perfect balance of fun and relaxation in a summertime visit to Green Lake
With twenty-seven miles of shoreline and a lake that dips to 237 feet deep, Green Lake is a must-visit for those who dream of relaxed vacations along the water. The small town, nestled halfway between Madison and Green Bay, mixes laid-back charm with a serious love of lake life.
Stay and Play
A Green Lake landmark since 1945, the Heidel House Resort & Spa sits on the northern edge of the lake and many of its spaces—guestrooms, restaurants and lobby—showcase beautiful water views. Visitors can relax by indoor and outdoor pools or the resort’s small beach. But don’t leave without having dinner or at brunch at the Grey Rock Restaurant, a contemporary space with floor-to-ceiling windows and flavorful cuisine. Another must is the Evensong Spa, a serene haven offering massages, facials, salon treatments, an in-floor labyrinth, whirlpools and steamrooms in the locker rooms and a relaxation area overlooking a golf course.
• Boat: Can you really know a lake unless you get out on the water? The Heidel House’s sixty-foot Escapade yacht offers an array of sightseeing and special-event cruises all summer long.
• Bike: Get a feel for the vastness of the lake by biking its perimeter. The Green Lake Chamber of Commerce offers a “loop the lake” bike map charting a twenty-seven-mile path past trees, beaches and golf courses.
• Balloon: For one-of-a-kind views, let Majestic Balloons whisk you up in the air. As you stand in a six-passenger wicker basket, you’ll glide above and across the lake and picturesque countryside.
Head to Dodge Memorial Park (also known as County Park) for a day at the beach. Set on the south side of the lake, the park features a stretch of sand, docks extending out into the water, beach volleyball, playground equipment, several grills and a shelter with tables. Bring a picnic, beach towels and a good book and settle in for a day of fun and sun.
Two for Tee
Two golf courses promise challenging play in scenic surroundings. Open since 1896, Tuscumbia Country Club is considered Wisconsin’s oldest golf course, with a main eighteen holes and a nine-hole, par-three. The Golf Courses of Lawsonia has two eighteen-hole courses, Links and Woodlands. Lawsonia opened in 1930 and in 2008 ranked as the Wisconsin Golf Course of the Year.
Mark Your Calendar
Summertime is chock-full of events around town:
• Green Lake Festival of Music This concert series attracts high-caliber artists from around the country. June 8–July 24.
• Green Lake Yacht Club Races Races are held Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. June 12–September 5.
• Summer Solstice Celebration Spend the longest day of the year in your pajamas, along with entertainment, contests and food. June 18.
• Concerts in the Park These free concerts are held Wednesday evenings at the Starlight band shell at Deacon Mills Park. June 15–August 10.
Overlook gleaming white boats bobbing in the marina as you sit on the Waterfront Grill’s wide stone patio enjoying calamari, mermaid salad or the Friday-night haddock fry. Nearby, a lively mood characterizes Norton’s of Green Lake, a lakeside restaurant complete with outdoor patios and a tiki bar. Or venture into the historic downtown for steaks, seafood and a supper-club atmosphere at Harbor Lights. If you crave a little treat, Sugar Lips serves wine, Alterra coffee and fresh pastries.
Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine.
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