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Historical Tours and Events in Lake Geneva, WI

The storied history of Lake Geneva can be best seen in the exorbitant architecture of lakeside summer homes built for turn of the 19th-century Chicago Titans. What you don’t see though are the legendary performances by Ella Fitzgerald and Dean Martin at the famed Riviera in downtown. Nor do you see the shadows of prohibition gangsters who walked the streets of Lake Geneva and Lake Como in the 1930s. Luckily there are some great events and tours aimed at bringing the past to life in historical Lake Geneva, WI.

Events & Historical Tours


Beer Barons of Lake Geneva Presented by: Black Point Estate and Gardens

When: June 15, July 20 & August 17, 2019

Where: Riviera Dock 812 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Price: $68 per person, includes beer tastings, snacks and souvenir beer mug

What’s better than history and beer? Spend an afternoon cruising Lake Geneva while learning about the beer barons that once vacationed and lived along its shores.  The tour lands at Black Point Estate & Gardens, home of Chicago beer baron Conrad Seipp. Enjoy a tour of this dreamy respite that was constructed in 1887, In addition to the history, you’ll be treated to a beer program, tasting and snacks. 

Spaces are limited so sign up early!



Geneva Lake Museum

When:  May through Oct – Mon 10 AM to 4 PM Thursday – Sat 10 AM to 4 PM Sun 11 AM to 4 PM

Where:  255 Mills St, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Price: $7 adults, $6 seniors, children through HS are FREE

Gain first hand knowledge of Lake Geneva’s storied past from Potawatami Indian artifacts to rare book collections. A history of the lake including remnants from the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Geneva hotel that burned in 1894 can be found within its walls. Step back in time and walk through main street as it developed between 1870 to 1930.

The 576-acre museum offers a number of exibits on transportation from stagecoaches to ice boats. View a 1890 horsewagon and 1947 Pirch Pumper. The marineland gallery features the anchor of the Lucious Newberry that was discovered in 1991, 90 years after it had sunk in the lake.


Lake Geneva Cruise Line: Historical Boat Rides on the Lake

When: Varies depending on Tour

Where: Riviera Building 812 Wrigley Drive Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Price: Varies depending on tour, $27-$40

When adventure warrants relaxation, a leisurely cruise on Lake Geneva conjures up the past, giving you expert knowledge of  the history of lake estates built between 1870 and 1920.  Sit back and enjoy the scenic wonders of mansions built by Chicago titans like the Wrigleys, Maytags and Schwins, Tours vary from Geneva Bay tours, Full-Lake tours, Sunday Champagne Brunch and there’s even a Sunset Dinner Cruise.


Legends and Landmarks: Walking Tour of Lake Geneva Presented by: Black Point Estate and Gardens

When: Jun 8, Jun 22, Jul 13, Jul 27, Aug 10, Aug 24, 2019 11 AM – 12:30 PM

Rain or shine!

Where:  Riviera Building  812 Wrigley Drive             Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Price: $10 per person (Limited capacity (20 individuals per guide)

Call to Purchase Tickets: 262-248-1888

Learn about Lake Geneva’s famously designed buildings on this one and a-half mile walking tour, The tour highlights architectural creations of Daniel Burnham, Frank Lloyd Wright and William Le Baron Jenny, as well as the colorful past of downtown Lake Geneva. Hear tales of prohibition gangsters who sought refuge from Chicago law enforcement on Lake Geneva’s shores.

East Troy Railroad Museum & Train Ride

When: Holidays, Fri, Sat & Sun, 3-6 departure times a day beginning at 10 AM with the last departure at 2 or 3 PM, museum open during these hours

Where: Board at:East Troy Depot – 2002 Church Street, East Troy, WI                   Elegant Farmer Depot –545 Main Street, Mukwonago, WI                                         Indian Head Park –850 Main St, Mukwonago, WI

Price:  $12.50 for a basic train ride, Prices vary for dinner trains

The East Troy Railroad Museum maintains and operates a historic electric trolley and interurban railroad cars on a track completed in 1907. You and your loved ones can take the opportunity to travel along this rail line, between Mukwonago and East Troy, the last remnant of The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light interurban rail system.  Bring a date, on their Dinner Train Charters, which offer fine dining combined with a scenic trip over the entire railroad; or take the kids on the Family Picnic Train!


Old World Wisconsin

When: Sat & Sun 10 AM – 5 PM

Where:  W372 S9727 WI-67,  Eagle, WI 53119

Price: Child (ages 5 – 12) $11.50
Adult (ages 12 – 61) $25.95
Senior (ages 62 and up) $24.95

Travel back in time to the 1840s through 1910s. Experience what daily life was like as you help with chores and cooking. Try your hand at crafts and trades, have fun and play! Each area at Old World Wisconsin showcases different stories from Wisconsin’s immigrant past. As you tour at your own pace, you will find buildings that let you self-explore, gardens to wander through, and costumed staff ready to help you get hands-on with history.


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