July 1, 2012
The town of Elkhart Lake, Sheboygan County, boasts that it is “a legendary getaway.” I had received some ads by e-mail about the Osthoff Lake Resort in the town. I did some research, we needed to get away, so off we went. The town and the Osthoff are buzzing’ places, with lots of activities always underway somewhere nearby. While at the Osthoff, they had a triathlon, in nearly 90 degree weather. Incredible.
Elkhart Lake is in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The Osthoff claims to be “elegant, yet comfortable.” It sure is big and beautifully sited on Elkhart Lake. Service at the hotel is fantastic, as it was throughout the town. The facility is equally fantastic. We had a couple issues with the hotel which we have addressed with management, but overall, we had a great time.
Let’s start with the Osthoff, as it is really a centerpiece of the town, and then show you this terrific town. The Elkhart Chamber of Commerce has a nice history on the Osthoff.
This is a massive facility. I took this shot from the back, from the lakeside. It wraps around almost in a semi-circle.
Another view. I shot this form the balcony attached to our room, which holds true for the next group of photos to follow.
Of course, a pool. On the main floor, close to the pool, is a casual dining room which is really very nice, and to the left, out of the photo, the top-flight restaurant where you can still dress casually --- this is a resort. The food in both restaurants is superb.
The grounds are first class.
Here you are looking from our room out to the lake. There are bike paths, to the left a canoe and kayak rental and launch area, a dock for boats, and to the right, out of the photo, a bar, seating area, and beach. If you were to walk to the right maybe 50 yards or so, and hang a right, you would soon be in the town of Elkhart Lake.
This is the bar area outside I mentioned previously, with terrace seating looking out to the lake.
I shot this photo from my bar stool while having a cool one! to the right of the red balloon in the water you can make out two heads in the water, on each side of the street lamp. They were familiarizing themselves with the swimming route for the triathlon which would occur the next day.
There is another swimmer working the route wearing a wet suit. These people came prepared.
This is a view of people heading back to the resort from the beach area or just continuing on their stroll through the grounds.
I guess I woke up at around 10 am. I think the triathlon, started at 8:00 am. This is the bicycle park set up for the contestants. I believe they dod the sam first, then run to this area, get into their bike riding outfit, and head out on that course. When they return, they head out to finish up by running. My guess is it was already in the 80s. I shot this from my balcony and was amazed at how fit these people were. They sent them out in shifts to keep everything manageable, and there were many different competition classes.
You can see that after they park their bikes, they head out through the “Run” portal.
Frankly, I was amazed at how rapidly the resort’s hotel teams cleared out the bike park area, cleaned up the grounds, and set up for this afternoon wedding.
Now let’s turn to the town of Elkhart Lake, just around the corner from the Osthoff. It is truly a delightful small town. Before the rail line came through, Elkhart Lake was a remote spot, hard to reach. The Chamber of Commerce has written, “In the 1860s, the Mississippi Railroad to Glenbeulah was completed. Many people would take the train there and then travel to Elkhart Lake by stagecoach. In 1872, the Milwaukee and Northern Railroad pushed northward and Elkhart Lake was added to the route.” The Chamber has a nice history on-line.
This was one of my favorite shots, right in the center of town. The red building hosts “Off the Rail,” serving breakfast and lunch, baked goods and specialty coffees.
The grey building hosts Feed Mill Shops, one of the most notable being “Ginas” fine gifts and framing. The Feed Mill Market is Elkhart’s locally owned grocery store.
I might have said my photo of the “Off Rail” was my favorite, but here is my favorite place, the “Lake Street Cafe.” We had brewskis and dinner here one night during the triathlon weekend, and it was a land-office business inside, just a lot of fun. I had stopped by earlier in the day and got a few shots of the inside, when she was a title slow after lunch.
I have to admit, this is my kind of place. She was hopping’ during the dinner hour.
This is a fitting way to close out this article. These are bronze statues of kids and the American flag, in the town center, saying The Pledge of Allegiance. The sculptures were done by Glenna Goodacre and gifted by Tom and Be a Hollfielder on July 4, 2011. I am certain these kids did the whole pledge, saying “One nation under God.”