AROUND THE HILLHOUSE
Swimming | Fishing | Biking | Hiking
There's no shortage of activities in the immediate area around Lake Wandawega, from historic sites, to State Parks, restaurants, bars, and shopping. Below are just a handful of our favorites, but for a more thorough rundown of things do do, please see Walworth County Visitors Bureau.
THINGS TO DO
East Troy Electric Railroad Museum
Tour the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum and take a step back in time by riding a historic railcar from East Troy to The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, where you can buy their world famous apple pie, baked in a brown paper bag. After the museum, visit Lauber’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor for another fun trip back in time.
Rushing Waters Trout Farm
Year-round trout fishing. It’s a fisherman’s dream! Their beautiful 80-acre farm has crystal clear ponds and raceways full of rainbow trout. Fishing their public fishing pond is a fun and educational way for the entire family to relax and unwind. Rushing Waters Trout Farm invites you to visit one of the most ideal and naturally sited fish farms in the country. No entrance fee or fishing license required and you only pay for the fish you catch.
Ten Chimneys, the Genesee Depot estate lovingly created by theatre legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, is open to the public as a world-class house museum and national resource for theatre, arts, and arts education.
Old World Wisconsin
Old World Wisconsin’s historic farm and village buildings comprise the world’s largest museum dedicated to the history of rural life. Return to Wisconsin of the late 19th century, when waves of immigrants came to America’s heartland in search of a better life. It’s a vivid re-creation of the working farmsteads and settlements established by European immigrants in America’s heartland, located in nearby Eagle.
More than 22,000 acres of glacial hills, kettles, lakes, prairie restoration sites, pine woods and hardwood forests can be found in the nearby Southern Unit of The Kettle Moraine, making this a popular area for bird watchers, hikers and cyclists. The Forest is 30 miles long, extending from the village of Dousman, almost to the city of Whitewater.
Elkhorn Antique Flea Market
Check the schedule to see when the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market’s in town. Many experienced flea market junkies consider this among the best in the Midwest, if not the U.S. In addition to the sort of hunting/fishing/rural stash you’d expect to find in Wisconsin, you’ll also find a little bit of everything, from Victorian to Mid-century Modern to ‘70s kitsch and everything in between.
FOOD & DRINK
An old school Route 12 roadhouse reborn as Holi Cannoli, a family Italian restaurant. While most of the historic details of the old joint and the adjacent “Route 12 Cheese and Sausage” have been lost to time, the food and hospitality make it well worth a visit. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find such generous portions of expertly prepared traditional pastas, and wood-oven pizza. If you show up during the dinner rush, expect to enjoy a few drinks at the bar before you get a table. Or better yet, call ahead to make reservations.
Lakehouse Breakfast Bar & Grill
Adjacent to Holi Cannoli on nearby Route 12 is an old bar, recently renovated and reborn as Lakehouse Breakfast Bar & Grill. Enjoy the games on their big screen tv's in the bar, including drink specials during the games. Owner John Robert' mom bought their family's first lakehouse on the south side of Lake Wandawega on Territorial Road back around 1947. John's been coming to the area since he was a kid, and now he's a year round resident.
We’ve been eating at and ordering from Sperino’s for as long as we can remember. While ownership – and recipes – have changed a few times over the decades, the vibe has remained the same. Think of it as a Chicago neighborhood Italian joint transplanted to Elkhorn. Sperino Maiale opened Sperino’s Spaghetti House in 1967. His nephew Carlo Ippolito took over in 1976 and turned it into Sperino’s Little Italy. While not Italian, the Aune family carries on the proud tradition. The main dining room ceiling is decorated with a kitschy assortment of Chianti bottles. And, found among them, is a single dusty bottle of Rīgas Melnais Balzams a barely drinkable Latvian herbal liqueur/cold remedy hung by the Latvians of “Vandavega” sometime in the ‘70s.
Inexplicably rising from the cornfields and dairy farms of County A is a gem of a kitschy chalet. From Friday night Fish Fry, to any night awesomeness, The Chalet is well worth the trip. The quality of ingredients, preparation and presentation are NOT your typical middle-of-nowhere fare.
Mars Resort & Supper Club
Mars Resort & Supper Club is an old school Como lakefront resort and supper club dating back to the Prohibition era. While the resort is pretty much non-existent, the supper club is still quite the gem. Old school in just about every regard, it’s the kind of place that’s a dying breed. So go now, before it’s too late. Like most lakefront joints you can arrive by car, boar or snowmobile. They don’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait; if you’re lucky, the piano player will be there to entertain you while you sip your Old Fashioned.
The Village Supper Club
Like Mars, The Village Supper Club is another wonderful, old school lakefront supper club that’s well worth the trip. This one’s on Delavan Lake and circa 1966. Like every place in the entire state of Wisconsin, Friday night is all about Fish Fry. And like any proper supper club, the relish bar is available nightly. Pull up to the bar and order yourself an old school cocktail. Like Wandawega, you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time.
Anthony’s Steak House
A one-of-a-kind 70’s vibe, combined with generous portions of steak, fish and chops, make Anthony’s Steak House worth the visit. One of the Yelp reviewers gripes “It’s like eating a steak in a funeral home. If you’re under 60, this probably isn’t what you were looking for.” But that’s what we love about it. Oh yeah, Anthony also owns Vegas Gentleman’s Club, and they’re always kind enough to offer up some free passes, in case you have nothing better to do.
The Elegant Farmer
The Elegant Farmer is where you will find all the goodness of homemade, fresh-picked and delicious offerings in their Farm Kitchen Bakery, Deli & Market. Home of the award-winning Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag, The Elegant Farmer is noted by Gourmet Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Food Network and Milwaukee Magazine as having “the best pie in America.” The award-winning Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag has been the farmer’s signature item for decades, baking over a quarter of a million pies each year.
The Trout House At Rushing Waters
Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Kettle Moraine Forest, The Trout House at Rushing Waters is more than another great restaurant; it is a unique, mouthwatering, farm-to-fork, culinary experience. The Trout House menus celebrate seasonal local ingredients sourced on-site from their own fishery, smokehouse and the area’s bountiful farms.
The Duck Inn Supper Club
The Duck Inn, a historic Supper Club, is located on the corner of County A and Hwy 89 in the township of Richmond, city of Delavan, WI. The name, The Duck Inn, originated first during the prohibition era when the Duck Inn was a speak easy. Therefore, patrons were to secretly “duck in” for a drink where the bartender would tell a patron to be quiet and “speak easy”. After prohibition ended, Wisconsin Liquor licenses were issued mostly outside the city limits, with the contingency that the establishment must serve food. To make use of the liquor license, establishments started to specialize in dinners, thus “supper clubs” were born.