15 Reasons to Visit Geneva, Illinois

Saturday, June 8, 2019

15 Reasons to Visit Geneva, Illinois

15 Reasons to Visit Geneva, Illinois: History, Chocolate, Nature, Local Makers and More

Geneva is one of my favorite places to visit in Illinois to get away from it all. Whether I am in the mood for history, nature, chocolate, shopping or anything in between, Geneva has it with its own unique flare. Geneva offers so many interesting experiences including those exemplifying its Swedish heritage and intriguing history. Here are our 15 reasons we love Geneva:

1. All Chocolate Kitchen: All Chocolate Kitchen truly is a chocolate adventure. Chef Alain Roby has earned many accolades and it really shows at All Chocolate Kitchen. From chocolate and sugars sculptures, to gelato, to pastries, to chocolate truffles, to chocolate drinks and much more, you will be wowed. We visit nearly every trip to Geneva.

2. The Little Traveler:  Inside an Italianate Victorian mansion, The Little Traveler holds 36 rooms filled with unique items from around the world as well as many made in the USA and fair trade items. The concept for The Little Traveler originated around 1922 from teas home owner Kathryn Raftery once held to share items she received from friends around the world with more local visitors. Soon, she opened a little shop which was quickly dubbed "The Little Traveler." Today, The Little Traveler still wows with items from all over the world and even has its own cafe for tea.

The Little Traveler in Geneva, IL is a treasure trove full of items throughout the whole world.
The Little Traveler invites adventure.

3. Graham's Fine Chocolate & Ice Cream: Many a warm day in Geneva features a long line outside of Graham's for it's fabulously large selection of delicious ice cream. Also not to be missed is Graham's selection of homemade chocolates. For coffee, explore sister shop Graham's 318 which currently has a nearby pop up shop while awaiting renovations to be finished.

4. Fox River Trail: The Fox River Trail runs along the beautiful Fox River through several preserves providing plenty of picturesque points.

The Fox River Trail runs along the Fox River and right in front of the Fabyan Windmill.
The Fox River Trail runs along the Fox River and right in front of the Fabyan Windmill.

5. Fabyan Windmill: The Fabyan Windmill is certainly a marvel as one of the most authentic Dutch style windmills in the USA. The windmill appears pleasantly out of place and provides a wonderful photo opportunity. On certain days, visitors can even explore inside!

6. Fabyan Villa: Fabyan Villa was once the home of Colonel George and Nelle Fabyan from 1905-1939. In 1907, Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled the farmhouse. The estate featured gardens, a Roman-style pool, the Fabyan Windmill, a private zoo, a working lighthouse and more. Tours are available of the home which features many interesting artifacts including those showing the Fabyan's appreciation of Japanese culture.

7. Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden: A tranquil Japanese Tea Garden was crafted on the Fabyan Estate just footsteps from the Fox River by landscape designer Taro Otsuko in 1910. While small, the restored garden is full of the classic elements of Japanese tea gardens and certainly takes your breath away with beauty.

Wandering through the elements at the Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden in Geneva, IL
Wandering through the elements at the Fabyan Japanese Tea Garden.

8. Swedish Days:
Every June, Geneva celebrates its Swedish heritage with Swedish Days melding traditional Swedish experiences with festival fun.

9. Viking Ship: A replica of an authentic Viking ship currently finds its home in Good Templar Park. The ship was featured in the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The ship was sailed from Norway to Chicago.

Touring Viking the Viking ship replica in Geneva, IL.
Touring Viking the Viking ship replica in Geneva, IL.

10. Good Templar Park Stugas: A unique feature of Good Templar Park happens to be the inclusion of little Swedish stugas. Several times of year, you can tour them. The first was constructed around 1933. Some events feature craftspeople sharing their goods in the stugas.

11. Festival of the Vine: Fall is time to celebrate the harvest from the vine! Of course, Festival of the Vine features plenty of tastes but also an Arts and Crafts show, entertainment and more.

12. Fox River Distilling: Fox River Distilling features locally distilled spirits and offers tours of the distillery. Spirits include bourbon, whisky, gin, vodka and moonshine.

13. Peck FarmPeck Farm is an 1800s farmstead that has become a natural recreational site for the community. The site includes trails, a historic home, a silo with a view and a nature exploration playground. In warmer months, the farm features a butterfly enclosure.

Summer prairie days at Peck Farm in Geneva, IL
Summer prairie days at Peck Farm.

14. Penrose Brewery: At Penrose Brewery, experience locally brewed Belgian inspire ales. The taproom features a bring-your-own-food atmosphere. Tours are available.

15. Historic Downtown: Historic Downtown Geneva features over 160 shops and restaurants many in historic buildings or renovated homes. Truly a splendid afternoon adventure or even weekend getaway!

15 Reasons to Visit Geneva, Illinois: History, Chocolate, Nature, Local Makers and More


  1. What a neat place! I'm not sure what appealed to me more: chocolate, distillery, or nature trails!

  2. Sounds like a great getaway! I would love to walk the Fox River Trail!

  3. Hello Mel! Thanks for sharing 15 reasons to visit Geneva. I appreciate your efforts! I must say you have great writing skills. Kudos buddy! Keep up the good work!