The original item was published from August 27, 2020 4:14 PM to August 31, 2021 12:00 AM
Lately, many of us have asked that question more often than usual, in search of safe ways to have fun as we navigate the new normal. Geneva is a welcome place for the wanderer who is seeking an adventure or simply a change of scenery. Maybe you had to cancel your holiday trip, but you can still bring your family to Geneva for a simple getaway.
Geneva’s eclectic shops and restaurants are open, following the recommended guidelines for room occupancy, masks, and sanitizing to operate safely. Explore Downtown Geneva and drop into a few stores or arrange a spa treatment to pamper yourself. Find a new book, try a new dish, sip a new brew, savor a new coffee or tea, or indulge with a new dessert, while enjoying an open air seat in an expanded outdoor patio. Next month, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce invites you to participate in Sip & Sample Through September at participating restaurants. For a $20 ticket, you can visit a local restaurant and receive a wine or beer with a sample appetizer or dessert pairing.
Business is thriving and growing in Geneva with new ventures still wanting to call our community home. Since spring, Graham’s 318 Coffee House has completed a renovation to its Craftsman bungalow home with beautiful new community space available for party rentals. The Latest Crave cupcake shop has become Hey Sugar at 507 S. 3rd St., offering more seating and an amazing menu of new desserts and beverages. Art History Brewing, Geneva Winery, and The Burger Shop have all opened their doors recently.
For some shopping fun at Geneva Commons, visit the cool new furniture store, Lovesac, where you can purchase modular furniture or a beanbag big enough for one to four people. Binny's Beverage Depot has also moved to the neighborhood, right next to DSW. Before heading over, check the Geneva Commons website for Fall and Back to School coupons.
To fully explore Geneva, stay overnight. The Herrington Inn & Spa, Comfort Inn & Suites, and the Oscar Swan Country Inn are welcoming guests. Take a walking tour; the Geneva History Museum offers two amazing self-guided tours available for $3 on its website (the Central Historic District Walking Tour and the Public Art Tour.)
Explore the Fox River Bike Trail which connects Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles along the Fox River. Paddle the river on a kayak, stand up board or canoe (rentals available at Mill Race Cyclery). Bring your binoculars because a number of birds including Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Cormorants are often sighted fishing on the river. The Fabulous Fox Water Trail map will help you plan your trip.
Island Park and River Park are great places to have a picnic with a river view. Island Park has a fun nature-themed playground. Trains can be seen crossing the Fox River from the playground, which is quite entertaining for locomotive fans. River Park, which is a nice walk from Island Park, has unique public art and gorgeous native prairie plants reflecting the time of year. If you enjoy miniature golf and disc golf, head to Wheeler Park, a short distance from Downtown Geneva. The park's soft floored outer space themed playground will not disappoint the kids.
Fabyan Forest Preserve, south of Downtown Geneva on the Fox River Bike Trail, is another fun outdoor experience. You can wander the paths of the estate grounds to find a former bear cage, lighthouse, Dutch windmill, Japanese Garden and other fascinating elements. The Forest Preserve of Kane County contains more than 20,000 acres of woodlands, wetlands and prairies. If you are craving a larger amount of open space, Dick Young Forest Preserve in Batavia is less than 15 minutes away. With 1,285 acres and nine miles of trails, it is a popular destination for runners and birdwatchers alike.
Before you head home, pick up a souvenir. Whether it’s a new accent piece for your home, some gourmet olive oil, a trendy blouse or a baby gift, the small shops of Geneva have you covered. We hope to see you soon.