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Wisconsin Parent

Finding Family Tranquility in Williams Bay, Wisconsin

Aug 29, 2014 03:04PM ● By Melissa Schwartz
Sometimes driving a little bit off of the beaten path really pays off. After talking to some locals in the Lake Geneva area, we decided to venture a bit past Lake Geneva to explore the beach at Williams Bay. Ever since our first visit to the beach, we have been hooked. The town is small and serene, so it really provides for a welcome bit of tranquility.

The Beach When my daughter was younger, I was a tad nervous about taking her to the beach. I was concerned about  water depth and undertow. Williams Bay Beach on Geneva Lake is quite calm and shallow. Life Guards are on duty from 9AM-5PM during the season which  puts me at ease. The beach is smaller, so the kids can't actually get that far away. So, guess what—I actually relax when visiting!

wbp9The beach has a convenient beach pavilion with restrooms, showers and a station for washing off sand before leaving the beach. There are trees towards the back providing a shaded area. Food is welcome, however glass and alcohol are prohibited. We love to pack a lunch and park ourselves at the beach for a pleasant afternoon. My husband is not a fan of sitting out in the sun, so the shade trees bestow the perfect spot for resting!

wbp7Of course, kids delight in playing in the lake. Since the beach is near the marina, boat watching provides much delight . From time to time, para-sails glide by in the distance. You can also see some of the tour boats from Lake Geneva itself. Ducks come in for a visit and fish swim near the shore. There are a couple of piers perfect for jumping, and floating devices are permissible. Williams Bay Beach is located off of Geneva Street in Williams Bay. Admission costs $7 for those 12 and over, $4 for those 6-11 and is free for those 5 and under.

Venturing Into Town

The town of Williams Bay is located within walking distance of the beach, if you are inclined to stretch those legs. On the way into town, there is a lovely park located right on the lake which makes for a nice stop.

wbp2Several restaurants dot the strip, and present you with a range of dining experiences from sit down to faster fare like hot dogs and Italian beef. Lakeside dining can be found at Pier 290 and views of the lake can be had at Harpoon Willie's.  Of course, beach days call for ice cream and a Dip in the Bay is a local favorite serving dairy-fresh, hand-dipped ice cream. Yum!

wbp3On our recent visit, we explored the Green Grocer, which is not just a place for a bite to eat but more of a destination. The Green Grocer may look like a small grocery store focusing on local and organic products. However, once we entered we were amazed by how many products filled the store. Housed in a lovely brick building, the store and restaurant provides a warm setting for a little lunch. With menu choices including smoothies, salads, sandwiches and gourmet pizzas, you will easily  find a treat. We picked up sandwiches and a salad for our beach day.

wbp4Nearby Fun

Williams Bay Beach is in close proximity to other locations worth exploring. Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy contains 4 miles of hiking trails allowing visitors to observe prairie, oak wood, kettle, deciduous forest, mead, and creek ecosystems. Yerkes Observatory is a great place for families to learn about our universe and astronomical research. There are free tours on Saturdays and tours for a fee on weekdays. Of course, Williams Bay is close to Lake Geneva itself which opens you up to an array of shops, activities and more.

Yerkes-fallA Day of Peace

For us, a day at Williams Bay is a day of peace. We always feel well-rested after a visit. I have always found Williams Bay Beach to be a great for young families and we will certainly keep fond memories of enjoying beach days with our daughter. When I am looking for a calm day, Williams Bay is always on my list!

icelandbiophotoMelissa Schwartz is a contributor and editor of Two Moms, a Little Time, and a Keyboard, a hyper-local blog in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. She also manages the social media for Norton’s U.S.A., a general store in Barrington, Illinois only selling products made in the U.S.A. She has a passion for traveling a little off the beaten path and finding gems that others have overlooked. She especially enjoys creating special travel memories with her husband and 9-year-old daughter.