Top Dog-Friendly Spots in the Lake Geneva Area

By Nat Wexler | Photo courtesy of Maxwell Mansion

While the hot, dog days of summer may be behind us, there is still fun to be had in the Lake Geneva area in the cooler temps of autumn. It can also be a great time to travel with your canine companions. One recent study by vacation insurance company Allianz Travel found that more people are traveling with pets than ever before: 41% of travelers between the ages of 18 and 34, and 36% of travelers between the ages of 35 and 54 plan to travel with their pets this year. The Lake Geneva area is a perfect getaway for those looking to spend some quality time with man’s best friend, so we decided to put together our own guide to dog-friendly lodging, activities, restaurants, stores and veterinary medicine facilities in the area that will help you plan a “paw-some” visit.


  • The Ridge (Lake Geneva). This 146-room hotel located steps from the shores of Lake Como offers amenities for humans and canines alike. For humans, there’s a fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, bar trivia, live music on the weekend and multiple dining venues. Canine companions are welcome at the resort as long as you register them before arriving. A flat fee of $75 per dog will be added to the reservation. The Ridge offers guests traveling with their pet a Dog Guidelines pamphlet, which outlines designated dog-walking areas on the resort property.
  • Maxwell Mansion (Lake Geneva). A historic-mansion-turned-boutique- hotel located in downtown Lake Geneva and within walking distance of Geneva Lake, Maxwell Mansion features a pool, multiple bars (including a speakeasy) and live music. There are several room types available, some of which allow dogs under 50 pounds. The $55-per-night pet fee (which is waived in the case of an ADA-identified service dog) includes a special gift and other goodies for your dog, to make their stay as comfortable as possible.
  • The Downtowner (Lake Geneva). This large vacation home is located in the heart of downtown Lake Geneva. With 9 bedrooms and 71⁄2 baths, the house can accommodate up to 20 people. There is even a full, state-of-the-art kitchen. The eclectic interior is decorated using flea market finds, industrial design and other creative elements. Guests can have one dog under 50 pounds staying with them, but their pet must be cleared before arrival.
  • Big Foot Beach State Park (Lake Geneva). For those looking for a more rustic outing with their pooch, Big Foot Beach State Park offers 100 campsites on its property just outside of downtown Lake Geneva. Enjoy hiking trails, picnic areas, a fishing lagoon, a playground and a small beach. Campsites include fire rings and picnic tables; there’s also a shower building, toilets, and a dump station on the property. Visitors need a vehicle admission sticker to enter the park; campsite reservations can be made online. Pets are permitted in most areas of the park if they are always on a leash that is less than 8 feet long. Big Foot Beach State Park has a designated pet picnic area; this is the only picnic area where pets are allowed.
  • Lollipups Pet Resort (Delavan). If you want to bring your four-legged friend on vacation but need to board them for a portion of your stay, arrange for a stay at Lollipups Pet Resort just north of Williams Bay. The aesthetically pleasing facility offers a playroom, exercise yards and grooming. Dogs can be dropped off for the day or can stay overnight.


  • Hike the Shore Path. One of the most popular tourist activities in the area, the Geneva Lake Shore Path is a roughly 22-mile walking path that encircles Geneva Lake. You can hike the path in portions or in full; hiking the whole path takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete. (Pick up At The Lake’s new Geneva Lake Shore Path Guide for maps, tips and points of interest along the route.) Dogs are welcome on the path but must always stay on a leash and be picked up after. Remember that while the path itself is open to the public, the land on either side of the path is private property. Exercise caution and respect for homeowners.
  • Hiking at Lake Geneva Ziplines and Adventures (Lake Geneva). Lake Geneva Ziplines and Adventures offers a variety of adventure activities, from a ropes course and zipline to biking and hiking trails. Dogs can accompany their humans on the hiking trails if they stay on a leash and are picked up after.
  • Play time at the White River Dog Park (Lake Geneva). There are several local dog parks in the area, including options in Williams Bay, Linn Township and Delavan. In Lake Geneva, the White River Dog Park is a fully fenced-in dog park just two blocks from the heart of downtown. Here, your dog can let loose and run to their heart’s content. The park is located across from the Lake Geneva Skatepark and behind Eastview Elementary School. In addition to the recreation space, the park offers water fountains, benches and pet waste stations.
  • Outdoor Fall Festival Fun. Fall in the Lake Geneva area means there are several Oktoberfests, craft festivals and farmers markets to enjoy. Many of these outdoor events welcome your four-legged friends. Make sure to check the event’s website for guidelines regarding pets.
  • Getting on (or in) the water. There are a handful of spots around the lake with dog-friendly swim areas, including the area outside the swim buoys at Big Foot Beach, the area near the kayak storage on the west end of Lake Geneva’s Library Park and the area in front of the footbridge west of Williams Bay’s Edgewater Park. Kayaking and paddleboarding (and even wake surfing!) are popular activities to share with your furry friends as well.


Many restaurants in the Lake Geneva area allow dogs on leashes to dine outside with their humans. Since fall weather in the Midwest can be very unpredictable, it’s best to call the restaurant before coming in to ensure the outdoor seating area is open. Here are a couple of spots to enjoy.

  • The Bottle Shop (Lake Geneva). The Bottle Shop is a wine bar and retail shop located in downtown Lake Geneva that offers an impressive selection of wines, beers, sodas, spirits and snacks. Dogs are welcome at the shop and can join their humans by snacking on treats and sipping on water the shop provides.
  • Topsy Turvy Brewery (Lake Geneva). Topsy Turvy Brewery offers live music, an outdoor beer garden, multiple craft beers and “guest taps” from other breweries. Dogs are welcome to hang out with their humans on the outdoor patio (only service animals are allowed inside the brewery).

And of course, if there is a restaurant you want to try but it doesn’t allow pets, you can always get takeout and head back to your accommodations or find a pet-friendly picnic area.


Forget something? If you need to pick up a few more supplies for Fido, there are a handful of pet-specialty stores in the area that you can visit for toys, dog food and other miscellaneous odds and ends.

  • The Pet Gourmet (Walworth)
  • Paws For Treats (Lake Geneva)
  • The Bark Market (Delavan)


In the case of an emergency, there are several veterinary facilities in the area that offer high- quality care for your dog, though be aware that the closest 24-hour emergency vets are in Waukesha, Kenosha or Crystal Lake, Illinois, all about a 45-minute drive away. For local vets during regular business hours, try:

  • Geneva Lakes Animal Hospital (Walworth)
  • Lake Geneva Animal Hospital (Lake Geneva)
  • Veterinary Medical Services Corporation (Lake Geneva)
  • Lake Geneva Veterinary Clinic (Lake Geneva)
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