Lake Geneva is a resort city in Southern Wisconsin. It is famous for its water recreation on Geneva Lake as well as its charming downtown shopping district. With its four distinct seasons, abundant hiking and walking trails, and proximity to the culture and entertainment of Milwaukee, Lake Geneva is a popular retirement destination for active adults.
Climate & Geography
Like the rest of the state, Lake Geneva has a humid continental climate. There are large seasonal temperature differences, with summers reaching hot, humid temperatures and winters frequently dipping below freezing. Snowfall and rainfall are similar to the national average, both reaching 36 inches per year, and there are about 191 days of sun.
Lake Geneva is located in the Eastern Ridges and Lowlands geographic region of Wisconsin. This area is known for its flatland that is mainly used for agriculture. Closer to the Geneva Lake, there are some steep hills and bluffs.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
As a resort town, Lake Geneva has a variety of recreation and entertainment options. The city sits on the eastern portion of Geneva Lake, which offers 21 miles of walking paths along the shore. Big Foot Beach State Park is a popular destination for swimming, kayaking, and hiking, and there are several resorts in the area that have ski slopes in the winter.
The Streets of Lake Geneva is the downtown area, with local boutique shops, restaurants, and cafes. This downtown is located at the edge of the lake, with access to the shore path. In addition to a local theater and museum, Lake Geneva has several golf courses designed by professional golfers, all accessible within 20 minutes of the city.
Residents seeking more options, such as craft breweries, concerts and sporting events, and high-end restaurants can head an hour north to Milwaukee.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Lake Geneva’s cost of living is below the national average mainly because of low housing costs. Other factors like health care, transportation, and groceries are also below average, while health care is above average.
Wisconsin does not tax Social Security benefits, but it does fully tax all other forms of retirement income. In addition, property taxes in the state are very high, but some retirees may qualify for a homestead credit. Sales taxes are low, and groceries and prescription drugs are untaxed.
According to Gallup’s Well-Being Index, Wisconsin ranks in the top 24 scores, scoring well in the community aspect.
Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center-Walworth is the only hospital in Lake Geneva. The closest hospital that is rated high performing by U.S. News is Centegra Hospital-McHenry in McHenry, Illinois. Other nearby high performing hospitals in Wisconsin include Waukesha Memorial Hospital in Waukesha and Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Franklin.