Getting Here

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  • Lake Andrea
  • Simmons Island Beach
  • Electric Streetcar, Civil War Museum, the harbor

Traveler Stories

"We are a young married couple in Chicago that have had one fun February tradition for the past 4 years. That tradition is to take a weekend trip to Kenosha! For the majority of our marriage, we have intentionally chosen to be without a car, but often winter in Chicago gets a bit crammed, and we have consistently taken the Metra north train as far as one can away from Chicago, and where that takes you is Kenosha! This trip has always been something we look forward to, and we visit all of our favorite sites."

-Josh & Ida from Chicago, IL, 3/16

"We just visited your beautiful city and had a great day there. We wanted to give your free museums a try. We love museums and your public museum was truly world class.  We ended up going downtown shopping and had a nice Valentines day lunch in town.

We've adopted Kenosha as our go-to place during the weekends (we're from Elk Grove Village Illinois).  Can't wait to see what spring and summer have in store."

-Mike from Elk Grove Village, Ilinois, 2/15

"My family and I recently had a Friday that my daughter didn’t have school and my husband had the day off. We knew it was going to be a warm, sunny day and we wanted to go on a road trip but didn't want to travel too far. We have been to Kenosha before to visit family and knew how beautiful the lakefront was, so we thought it would be a perfect day trip! We weren't disappointed!

We started our day at the Civil War Museum. Amazing. We weren't sure if it would hold the interest of our 7-year-old, but she loved it!!  Her favorite part was finding the mailbox for each letter (given to her by a volunteer before entering the exhibit) that are addressed to personalities within the exhibit. A great way to get younger kids involved in the exhibit story.

Next we hit the museum right next door – the Kenosha Public Museum! We also made a stop at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum! Who knew Kenosha had the largest collection of meat-eating theropods?! Or that dinosaurs and birds were related?

We enjoyed a ride on the streetcar – a  great way to see the downtown area. After lunch we walked along the beach, finding beach glass and cool rocks was a highlight of the day! We fit so much in to just a few hours and had such an enjoyable day! I recommend if you want to have a great day in a beautiful city, visit Kenosha! We had a blast!

On the way home my daughter asked, "Mom, When can we go back? I really like it there!  We had such a fun day!” We are planning a weekend visit for Thanksgiving weekend when Downtown has activities as part of their “Lightin’ Up” day."

-Judi from La Grange, Illinois, 10/14

“My family and I had a great time visiting Kenosha for a weekend in July. We went to Franks Diner (great beef enchilada and homemade toast), the Civil War Museum (realistic characters telling their stories), and a Kingfish baseball game (fun family entertainment). We also walked along the lakefront and enjoyed the boats going by. There is a lot more we want to do in Kenosha so we are planning another visit soon!”

-Kendra of Illinois, 7/14

Robin's Nest Cakery

"Last year, I was fortunate enough to be a winner in the Visit Kenosha Pinterest contest.  My husband and I took advantage of this as a weekend "reconnect" escape.

We particularly enjoyed the Civil War Museum (and will return with the kids) and enjoyed many of the establishments in the Kenosha area. We had gift certificates to a number of area businesses (which helped my son forgive us for 'escaping' - cupcakes and popcorn go a long way towards making a teenager happy!).

We had a wonderful night out at the theater and got to try out the sleep number beds at the Radisson."

-Elizabeth from Illinois, 5/14

"I came to Kenosha for the Victorian Christmas event at the Civil War museum--even the snow that was falling couldn't spoil my time in Kenosha. I spent the night at Best Western--met only friendly, helpful people there--to include a customer who cleaned off my car! I spent some time (money!) at the mall; ate at a couple restaurants and shopped at Piggly Wiggly… .

I plan to return this summer and take my granddaughter to the Civil War museum that is interested in history (13).  The dinosaur museum will be on the list of things to do. …Thank you for the helpful information you sent me; the city map in the back was very easy to read/follow."

-Faye from Iowa, 1/14

“We managed to find a couple of days in July when we took off to an area we had never visited other than the outlet mall. We had lunch at Franks Diner, an extremely unique place that fed us more delicious food than we should have inhaled. From there we spent some time at the Civil War Museum. I was very impressed with that, and I am not a history buff as my husband is! From there we had dessert (ice cream) at Sandy's Popper. Did we need dessert? No way, but they have some pretty fabulous, very rich ice cream! After a long walk by the lake we decided to check into the Radisson which is a beautiful facility. A rest was what we needed to give us the incentive to head back to town and visit the Rustic Road Brewing to have a couple of drinks. Had some very interesting conversation with the bartender and some local people and then went on to dinner and another walk by the lake. The next day we did some shopping and finished off our visit with lunch at The Spot.  … Kenosha is a great city to visit and I am sure we will head back there again.”

-Sandy from Rochelle, IL, 10/13 

Lake Michigan

"Ever since my 10 year wedding anniversary we have been coming over to Kenosha for our anniversary. We don't have much money to go real far so we come to Kenosha. Ever since the first time I have loved the scenery to take pictures. Franks Diner was the reason we first came to Kenosha but we keep coming back to try something new and see more beautiful scenery especially by the water. Scoops is our go to ice cream shop when we come over."

-Kim from Janesville, WI, 9/13



"My wife had a conference in Lake Geneva and the kids and I had a day to burn, so we headed to Kenosha.

Taken at Jelly BellyI'm a 1996 graduate of Carthage College and had only made one brief stop on campus in the years since. My April 2013 visit included stops at the Jelly Belly facility (the kids loved it!), the three downtown museums and a visit to my alma mater.

I couldn't believe the development on the outskirts (I remembered the old Target/Fazoli's marking the new, edge of town when I was going to school) and on the waterfront.

We packed a picnic, but I wished we hadn't as I would've loved a stop at The Spot with my kids.

We'll be back ... and next time we'll bring my wife!"

- Brian from Wausau, WI, 6/13

"There is a place where people from the Neon City of Vegas, with all the flashing lights, shows and non-stop partying go to when they want a vacation, that place is Kenosha Wisconsin.  In a town where everything sparkles and entertainment is everywhere our escape to Kenosha was fun, exciting and relaxing.

Visiting museums like the Civil War Museum left us with a sense of how much more important the history of our country is than some glowing neon lights. The art exhibits at the Kenosha Public Museum (we got to view Transparent Watercolor Society of America exhibit) were amazing in the quality and the variety of subject matters. The best part is the museums felt friendly with a joy about art that was infectious and as you viewed each work you were excited to see the next one. Unfortunately we ran out of time to see the Dinosaur Discovery museum.

We visited several different pubs that didn’t feel like huge commercial establishments, but each had their own personalities as well as Cider (my new favorite) on Draft and Cheese Curds. The restaurants also had individual personalities, we especially loved the Coffee Pot with their wonderful breakfasts, The Boat House Pub and Eatery for incredible Clam Chowder, Capt. Mikes for Midnight Mac N’ Cheese with Lobster (gastrorgasmic) and Twisted Cuisine with incredible and interesting combinations including Captain Crunch encrusted Tuna. For people who are used to World Class cuisine, we had to loosen pants and belt buckles because the food was unique and irresistible.

The town has a mix of old and new that feels comfortable with Old Style Trollies going down streets filled with a mix of eclectic shops that pull you in and even if you are just window shopping you might just find that one thing you have to purchase that you have never seen anywhere else. That is all before you get to the water.  We were lucky enough to get to go sailing while in Kenosha and I think that sailing left me more relaxed than a massage at the spa.

We spent a week in Kenosha and it just wasn’t enough time to do all that we wanted to do, which just means the next time we want an escape to the arid desert we will return to Kenosha."

- Carrie Anne from Pahrump, NV, 6/13

"Every Saturday from May until November we drive across the IL/WI border to Kenosha to shop. When we moved to Illinois three years ago from Missouri, we were accustomed to shopping at the farmers market on Saturdays. Our local market is during the week which doesn't fit our schedule, so we searched for area farmers market and found the HarborMarket fit our needs. I've been to many markets including the famous Ferry Plaza in San Francisco, and I have to say the HarborMarket is top notch! Driving to the market we accidentally stumbled upon Tunuta's Market. So now every week we drive up to Kenosha for a fun day of shopping near the lake.  Last weekend we hit the farmers market, Tenuta's, and Woodman's, and filled the gas tank with cheaper gas before we went home! See ya on Saturday, Kenosha!"

- Leslie from Lake Villa, IL, 5/12

Write about a favorite place you like to spend time at in Kenosha County: "Trolly Dogs (Trolley Dogs) is a restaurant that sells hotdogs, corndogs, and stuff like that. I would recommend there corndog or trolly dog. The owner messes around with you, and if you ask for a balloon he will go to the freezer and get you a balloon. He has a radio and he sings along with the song. If they call your number (your order number) and you don’t go get your food he yells your order then you and him should start laughing. And that is why you should got to trolly dogs."

- Samuel, Southport Elementary, Local Third Grade Essay Contest Winner, 5/12

Write about a favorite place you like to spend time at in Kenosha County: "My favorite landmark is The Veterans Fountain. It’s my favorite because people go there to honor veterans. I like it because you can see how it works through the window on the side of it. I like beautiful it is. Also it is super cool when the water shoots up in the air. When I go to see Peanut Butter & Jam, I love looking at the fountain. What I don’t like is that people think it’s okay to swim in the fountain. The fountain is like a globe. That’s why the veteran’s fountain is my favorite landmark."

- Layla, Grewenow Elementary, Local Third Grade Essay Contest Winner, 5/12

Write about a favorite place you like to spend time at in Kenosha County: "My favorite place in Kenosha is the Kenosha Public Museum because they have sharks, animals, Indians, fish and things about Kenosha. My favorite thing is the Indian history because there are models, pictures, and movies. I used to be scared of the Museum because there was a gigantic shark model that gave me the chills. The model was up high so when I went on my dad’s shoulders I was really freaked out. I really like the wooly mammoth. The animals are very cool. I absolutely love the Kenosha Public Museum."

- Michael, Southport Elementary, Local Third Grade Essay Contest Winner, 5/12

Write about a favorite place you like to spend time at in Kenosha County: "I like to go to Kenosha by Lake Michigan. When I go to the beach, I play in the water and try to catch fish. Then, I like to burry myself in the sand and cover my head with a bucket so nobody can see me. Then, I like to play tag with my brothers. Then, I go under shade on the beach. Then, it gets really hot at the beach, so I dunck my body into the water and hold my breath. I like going to the beach because the waves really fun to go under the water."

- Keane, Pleasant Prairie Elementary School, Local Third Grade Essay Contest Winner, 5/12

Write about a favorite place you like to spend time at in Kenosha County: "Wolfenbytyl Park (Wolfenbuttel Park). My favorite park is Wolfenbytyl Park. I like it because my family bike rides there every summer. I like to also sit and look at the beautiful flowers. I sometimes try to name the kinds of flowers. My favorite flowers are the dark purple ones. I can’t wait to go there again."

- Brandy, Pleasant Prairie Elementary School, Local Third Grade Essay Contest Winner, 5/12