Exploring the Wellness Scene in Williams Bay

By Sarah Koehler

When most people think of wellness destinations, they likely think of yoga retreats in the Utah desert or a visit to the hot springs of Colorado. They might even consider exotic and international places, like the geothermal-heated pools of Iceland or the ancient bathhouses of Greece. But closer to home, there is a location with many options for health, wellness and, yes, even pampering.

Over the past few decades, Williams Bay’s small downtown area has evolved into a Geneva Lake-area niche full of diverse wellness options. Whether you’re looking to spend some time outdoors, take a yoga class or indulge in well-deserved pampering, Williams Bay has options for anyone looking to treat themselves to some “me time.”

One of the newest additions to the Williams Bay wellness scene is Heatwave Hot Yoga Studio, owned by Gianna Hogan. She grew up visiting Lake Geneva in the summers, but made Williams Bay her full- time residence in 2020. In opening Heatwave Yoga, Hogan wanted to put a new spin on traditional yoga, Pilates and barre classes, all of which she says are responsible for helping her change her life for the better.

“We put a twist on each [class] to make it exciting and fresh each time a client steps into the studio,” Hogan explains. “Our advanced infrared heating system is the icing on the cake for a lot of people, [who love] getting all the same health benefits that an infrared sauna would offer while simultaneously getting a workout in.”

Another space that focuses on wellness in Williams Bay is Crescent Moon Wellness Center, owned by Nikelle Burrough. Crescent Moon’s expert staff focuses on providing multiple types of massage, and the center also offers yoga, meditation, acupuncture and other wellness opportunities. Crescent Moon began with just one massage therapist 10 years ago, but has grown to four rooms and seven massage therapists who focus on whole-body wellness.

Burrough, a licensed massage therapist, certified body coach and yoga instructor, opened her space in Williams Bay because of a personal love for the area. Like Hogan, she grew up spending summers on the lake. After marrying her husband, a Williams Bay native, Burrough became a full-time resident, and she loves that there are so many options for self-care in Williams Bay. “You can start your day with a class at Crescent Moon … continue down the block for lunch at Green Grocer or Harpoon Willie’s, connect with nature in Kishwauketoe then finish the day with a deep tissue massage,” Burrough says.

Some of the yoga classes available at Crescent Moon are affiliated with a group called Yoga Lake Geneva. In addition, Burrough and her staff host mindfulness workshops, breathwork, sound healing and other wellness events that allow clients “to dive inward and find deep lasting change.”

Karen Babcock, owner of Your Beautiful Life, embraces this whole- self approach to wellness as well. In her Williams Bay space, she offers traditional massage services, but also provides several unique options for clients, including massages targeted specifically for prenatal care, geriatric needs, oncology patients and even hospice massage. On top of this, Babcock’s Brain Health Coaching services can help clients with emotional pain, such as grief, stress, anxiety, trauma and depression, as well as strategies to help manage Attention Deficit Disorder.

Of course, wellness can also involve even more pampering forms of self- care. Since 2005, Clear Waters Salon Med Spa’s flagship location in Williams Bay has offered a wide variety of options for this kind of relaxation. The full-service salon and medical spa is perhaps best known for services like massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and haircuts and colors. Unique to Williams Bay, the med spa also employs a registered nurse, a medical director and support staff, which allows the spa to provide advanced medical treatments such as Botox, Juvéderm, Restalane and a number of other options for filling fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin conditions and helping clients look and feel their physical best.

Dawn Marie Mancuso-Licht, co-owner with Jennifer Veith and her twin Jane Larson, recently broke ground on a new, state-of-the-art space for Clear Waters Salon Med Spa, kitty-corner from the current space. Mancuso-Licht says the first floor of the new space will include a wine bar and outdoor seating, while the second floor allow space for salon services. “The hope is the new place will be open by June 1, 2025,” Mancuso-Licht says. “The current building is more than 100 years old, so the maintenance is a lot. The new space is much bigger, newer and will allow for more custom use of the interior space.”

Next door, and owned by the same trio as Clear Waters, is the Green Grocer Deli and Cafe, which serves organic and locally-sourced options for breakfast and lunch. The adjacent coffee shop space offers a full coffee bar, teas and pastries. In everything they stock and serve, the Green Grocer’s emphasis is on high-quality, organic ingredients and produce, as well as products made locally and in neighboring counties.

Wellness can also be found in something as simple as a day spent in nature, and Williams Bay is an ideal spot for that as well, thanks to Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy. With nearly four miles of dedicated and maintained walking trails, a 15-acre arboretum and restored historic woodlands, a hike through Kishwauketoe provides an unparalleled glimpse of a variety of landscapes and wildlife.

Burrough of Crescent Moon Wellness points out that the wide range of wellness options in Williams Bay is really quite impressive for a small town. “Being part of a like-minded community motivates me to serve the community and continue to learn, utilize and promote holistic care,” she says. “I love that the Bay is a home for wellness. It adds charm to its already serene and comfortable vibe.”

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