MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Looking for family reunion spot not far from Milwaukee and Chicago

My family is looking for a family-friendly reunion spot close to outdoors hiking. Near a lake would be great. But with everyone coming from all over the U.S., being closer to a major airport area is needed. Less than a 3-hour drive from Milwaukee and/or Chicago. We plan to go late August, most likely, and have at most 35 people. We like places that are vacation homes/cabins, so we can eat meals together. And we would plan to stay for a week. Any thoughts? - Valerie, St. Francis, Wis.

A lot depends on how much you want to spend. If you can afford it, the Lake Geneva area is ideally located, an hour from Milwaukee and Chicago, and you can hike the path around the lake or in Kettle Moraine State Forest nearby

Your group is pretty big for anything but a large resort. You'll have to scour town and VRBO listings and consult with the big property-management companies.

For example, in the town of Lake Geneva, the Nautical Inn can accommodate 29 people in next-door houses and a studio apartment.

Or, you could try the historic Covenant Harbor Bible Camp & Retreat Center, a short walk from town on the lake path. It has plenty of room for your group.

Otherwise, you're talking large resorts. The Abbey is the only one on the shores of Geneva Lake. Grand Geneva, in the countryside, is another big one.

You do have one advantage in that late August is a little bit off-peak, so you'll find better rates and availability.

For more about that area, see Gawking in Lake Geneva.

For a more woodsy experience, you could try the lodgings at Starved Rock State Park, west of Chicago. There's a lodge, an inn, cabins and a lot of great hiking.

Or go to Travel Wisconsin and check out resorts within 50 miles of Lake Geneva there are 24 listed.

Last updated on January 7, 2011