Facts and Figures
Size of Community
The Village of Elkhart Lake was incorporated in 1894, back in the days of our 24th President Grover Cleveland. The residents of the Village came from the hard working German Heritage. That can-do spirit has been a main stay from the beginning. Back in the late 1800’s, when “tourism” first took hold, the entire Village from farmers providing the produce, milk and eggs, to the local horse drawn wagon drivers delivering guests who traveled by train, all supported the resort and hoteliers endeavor. It took everyone pitching in to provide the vacation experience to keep em’ coming. And keep ‘em coming they did! Though the physical landscape today looks different, the “community wide can-do-spirit hasn’t changed much at all!
Today the population is still small and robust at a permanent resident count of approximately 967. The Village of Elkhart Lake is located within the northwestern part of Sheboygan County, within the Town of Rhine. According to the US Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.3 square miles of land.
Elkhart Lake is a 292-acre, 120-foot-deep spring-fed lake. Statistically, it measures just a bit more than a mile across a just over four miles around. Its shore line is distinctive with it many Cedar trees native to the area. As one of the states deepest lake in the state, its natural springs and sandy bottom provide the most magical blue color on sunny Elkhart Lake summer days.
Lakeside Resort Village
Many who have recently “discovered” Elkhart Lake, feel they have found an undiscovered jewel. However, Elkhart Lake has been in the hospitality business since the late 1800’s, when Terrett C. Sharpe built the first hotel in 1867. Weary city dwellers traveled by train from Chicago and St. Louis to visit this quaint and relaxing destination.
Today, Elkhart Lake is home to three Bed & Breakfast Inns and three distinctive lakeside resorts, each offering special features, amenities and accommodations to meet the needs of today’s modern-day travelers.
The Osthoff Resort
The original Osthoff Hotel was built in 1885. Rebuilt in 1995, the AAA Four Diamond Osthoff Resort is an all-suite hotel providing all of the comforts of home. Each one, two and three-bedroom suite is appointed with fine furnishings and finishes, whir pool baths and separate shower. The beautiful views and the 500 feet of beautiful sandy beach make it a breath taking site for couples, families and groups.
Aspira Spa at the Osthoff Resort opened in 2005 as the first spa in the Midwest to offer the “spa suite” concept. The SpaSuite incorporates personal services and amenities all within the confines of a luxurious private suite. The spa also includes a meditation sanctuary, yoga room, sauna, indoor and outdoor pools and spa café.
L’ecole de la Maison at the Osthoff Resort is a French culinary school where you can feed your passion and enhance your basic cooking skills. Courses are faithful to traditional recipes, yet geared toward you and your kitchen. Individual and group courses are available.
The Osthoff Resort also boasts two restaurants. Otto’s Restaurant serves fine American and Continental cuisine seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At Lola’s on the Lake, the resort’s signature restaurant, offers panoramic views of Elkhart Lake as you dine for lunch or dinner. Enjoy the eclectic menu, created by the award-winning culinary team
The Siebkens Resort
Siebkens is a landmark turn-of-the-century resort purchased in 1916 by the Siebken family. It is currently owned and operated by the family’s fourth generation. It is nestled in the heart of the village, with beautiful lawns, tall trees and a private well-groomed sandy beach. In 2008, the Lakeview condominium hotel suites were completed, architecturally recreating the original building. The suites boast one, two and three-bedroom condominiums with an open concept floor plan, full kitchens, and all of the amenities and comforts of home.
Siebkens Main Dining is known for its outstanding and unique ambiance. Enjoy gourmet cuisine in the main dining room, or visit in the internationally known Stop Inn Tavern.
Victorian Village Resort
Victorian Village Resort was originally built in 1872 as Lakeview House. It was destroyed by fire in 1890 and rebuilt in 1891. In 2000, Ken and Judy Salzwedel purchased, restored and expanded the property. The extensive million-dollar renovation was completed in 2005. This renovation restored 49 hotel rooms in the Victorian Inn, 12 condos in the Lakeside suites. The restoration of the Grand Victorian Lady created 12 luxury condos and returned this unique building back to its turn-of-the-century splendor.
A private beach, indoor and outdoor pools and watersports provide fun for everyone. This historic 11-acre resort also features a traditional theater, offering summer musicals and live entertainment and weddings throughout the year. The Back Porch Bistro, an elegant restaurant on the lake, is famous for grand vistas and delicious food. The Barefoot Bay Tiki Bar is also know as one of the best places to enjoy the view of the lake while listening to live outdoor music.
Elkhart Lake’s Road America
Elkhart Lake’s road racing history began with open-road sports car racing and big events that occurred between 1950 and 1952. Thousands of cheering fans lined the circuit to watch some of the world’s top sports car drivers take the sharp corners and hills of this open road race circuit. When state legislature banned racing on public roads, Clif Tufte and other village leaders worked together to build Road America, which opened 1955. Now a scenic 640-acre property, Road America attracts drivers and spectators from all over the world to experience motorsports racing.
Elkhart Lake is located in the southeast portion of Wisconsin – putting you half way between Milwaukee and Green Bay – each about a one-hour-drive away.
FROM CHICAGO (about 2 1/2 hours): Take I-94 to Milwaukee, then I-43 north out of Milwaukee to Hwy 57 junction at Saukville. Go north on Hwy 57 to Hwy 23. Take Hwy 23 to Hwy 67. Go north of Hwy 67 into downtown Elkhart Lake (about 6 miles).
FROM MADISON (about 2 hours): Take Hwy 151 to Fond du Lac. Take Hwy 23 east to Hwy 67 junction (before Plymouth). Take Hwy 67 north to Elkhart Lake (about 6 miles).
FROM MILWAUKEE (about 1 hour): Take I-43 north out of Milwaukee to the Hwy 57 junction at Saukville (about 24 miles). Go north on Hwy 57 to Hwy 23. Take Hwy 23 west to Hwy 67. Go north on Hwy 67 into downtown Elkhart Lake (about 6 miles).
General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), located in Milwaukee, is the largest airport in Wisconsin, with nonstop or direct service to approximately 90 cities. Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB) is the third largest airport in Wisconsin and is located in Green Bay. General Mitchell International Airport, Austin Straubel International Airport and Outagamie County Regional Airport (ATW) in Appleton are all approximately one hour from Elkhart Lake. Guests interested in flying into Madison can do so at the Dane County Regional Airport (MSN), which is a two-hour-drive to Elkhart Lake. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) provides flights to and from nearly every destination in the world. Guests flying into O’Hare are approximately three hours from Elkhart Lake. Sheboygan County Airport also offers private charter service. Please call 920-467-6151 to make arrangements. All airports offer on-site car rental services.