While the greater Lake Geneva area is a place of beauty across all four seasons, it’s no secret summer is when the region truly shines. Residents and visitors alike have long soaked up the sun in the warm-weathered months, taking in the breathtaking natural wonder.
Local shopkeepers and services provide spectators an opportunity to enjoy Lake Geneva and surrounding locales in a variety of ways—be it by land, air, or water.
Here are three businesses that give a glimpse of the landscape from all possible angles.
Pedal and Cup (land)
pedalandcup.com | 262.249.1111
One way to enjoy the fresh air around Lake Geneva is to hop into the saddle and see it on a bike. For several decades, Pedal and Cup has been renting out an array of bikes out of its facility at the old Springfield Train Depot.
Jon Monge, who has been running Pedal and Cup the past several years with wife Melissa Monge, said the business aspires to meet the needs of all riders and most skill levels. The White River State Trail has been fittingly transitioned from an old rail line and is a popular spot for bikers.
“It’s very easy to bike, so it’s great for someone who’s a beginning biker, including some of the young kids,” Jon says. “The trail is made up of crushed limestone.”
By virtue of the rail line it replaced, the White River trail is a great opportunity to see a variety of different landscapes—from cornfields to rivers.
“You see a lot of country scenes, including some nice little towns along the way,” Monge shares.
Naturally, Pedal and Cup is a seasonal business and comes out of hibernation in late May. This year, the Monges are planning a few tweaks.
“We’re taking a different approach this year,” Monge explains. “We’ll be open on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. We will also take large groups, as needed, for the bike rentals. We have several charities that have already indicated they want to do meet-ups at Pedal and Cup for activities.”
Monge encourages people to visit Pedal and Cup’s Facebook page for up-to-date information on what’s in store this season.
Lake Geneva Balloon Company (air)
lakegenevaballoon.com | 262.206.3975
Twenty years ago, John Trione decided to take flight and offer people a unique view of Lake Geneva from high up when he launched his own hot air balloon business. The aptly named Lake Geneva Balloon Company has been a seasonal staple ever since.
Trione attained his private pilot’s certificate 25 years ago after completing an 18-month training program. Today, he is eager to share his insight on flying hot air balloons with the people who go up in one of the amazing vessels.
Flying a hot air balloon can only be done in very specific weather conditions, Trione says, which means cancellations are frequent, even on days when a storm cloud is not in the sky.
Lake Geneva Balloon Company gives tours at sunrise and before sunset. According to Trione, the sunrise flights typically have more ideal weather conditions and have fewer cancellations as a result. Flights typically run in a 10-mile radius around Lake Geneva and venture out to such spots as the Burlington Airport and White River Valley.
A hot air balloon flight lasts an hour, but calls for a two-and-a-half-hour commitment to cover a range of logistics—from getting to the launch site, to listening to a safety briefing, to setting up and taking down the equipment. The whole experience is capped off with a champagne toast.
Customers are always confessing to Trione that they’ve always wanted to fly in a hot air balloon. “They also will say, ‘I didn’t expect it to be so gentle, smooth and quiet,’” he adds.
Clear Water Outdoor (water)
clearwateroutdoor.com | 262.303.4206
Lake Geneva and all of the surrounding communities boast a number of bodies of water that serve as oases from the sultry summer temperatures. Clear Water Outdoor, which has four locations, is among the businesses that provide equipment rentals, accessories and apparel to get the most out of life on the lake.
Clear Water Outdoor is a well-known staple in Lake Geneva with a pair of launch sites—one off a pier across the street from the Baker House Hotel, the other in the Ridge Hotel marina on Lake Como. The company also has waded into the Milwaukee market with a launch site in the Third Ward.
The company has an additional location in Delafield, in the heart of Waukesha County’s Lake Country region. The Delafield location offers standup paddleboard and kayak rentals throughout the summer, directly from the Clear Water Outdoor location at 1000 Genesee Street.
Clear Water Outdoor has been in the Lake Geneva area for 17 years, while its other locations are nearing the one-decade mark. Sean Payne, who is one of the store managers, said the company aspires to set itself apart from similar businesses through a number of means.
“We try and grab brands that other people don’t have,” Payne said. “Lifestyle really is our thing. Our customer service is a number one priority for us.”
After a two-year respite due to the pandemic, Payne has plans for Clear Water Outdoor to bring back some of its popular community-oriented programs,such as yoga classes on paddle boards, as well as social paddle boarding events,at some of the locations.
When you visit Lake Geneva, there are a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy for all ages. Choose your own adventure–by land, by air, or by water.