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One Mile: Finding Fun in a One Mile Radius

7/21/2017 - Jared Rasmussen

Downtown, Family-Friendly, Sports & Outdoors

I know visiting the Kenosha Area has to be fun because I know that living in Kenosha is great. There are so many things to see and do that, even presenting two or three attractions to prospective visitors each week for a year, this blog still cannot give due credit to all of the places, businesses, and people that comprise the fabric of our community. For that reason, I decided to try something new: select an entire mile within the Kenosha Area and showcase some of the highlights.

One mile is not very far. If you’re driving here (or taking the train from Illinois), you can park the car once and walk – or bicycle, rollerblade, whatever! – the rest of the way. I picked a logical starting point: the Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Downtown Visitor Information Center, located at 812 56th Street. Here is the map with a one-mile radius.

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Where to go from here? We have so many possibilities! Given the proximity to Downtown Kenosha, we can go in any direction and find several great businesses, some of which are highlighted on this default view from Google Maps even. To complete the thought of catering to our neighbors to the south, I decided to include the northern terminus of the UP-North Metra line – that’s the blue icon on the map denoting the Kenosha train station.

Now with two points already spanning one third of a mile, we need to get a little crafty. Ideally, we can get to the lake because, well, it’s Kenosha! Lake Michigan is a valuable resource to those who live in Southeastern Wisconsin, and visitors and locals alike love to see boats and ducks cruising the harbor. So that will be our destination: due east, Lake Michigan! Highlighting a few spots along the way, I made some quick detours to get some variety out of the mile; for example, did you know we have a museum entirely focused on dinosaurs just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Visitors Bureau? That’s too close for me to pass up!

By adding on this point of interest, our course is started to take shape. Train station, Visitor Information Center, and a museum. With this, we have our final map. If you come to Kenosha and can only walk one mile, here is one of many possible passages you can take. Please peruse the map, pictures, and links to the destination businesses, along with my brief write-ups below. Enjoy your one mile! My next blog should be “Mile Two: the Best Return Route”; until then, let your senses guide you as you explore our area.

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So, with a start point at the train station and the on-site restaurant, Choo Choo Charlie’s, which opened in 2015, the first destination is the Info Center. When coming to the Kenosha Area, a stop by the friendly team at the Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is the best way to learn more about our community. The team will tell you the best places to go, things to do, and fun to have. They even have coupons and helpful information to stay on budget while exploring. One current informational brochure (and future blog topic?) is Fun 101: 101 things to see and do for under $10.

Pic-4.JPGYou can see fossil recreations and learn fun facts about prehistoric creatures big and small at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum! In fact, this museum houses the nation’s largest collection of meat-eating theropods! (If you don’t know what that means, you’ll definitely have to make this a stop on your list so you can learn!) There is a nice variety of dino-themed art on display, too, including two sculptures if dinosaurs on the front lawn. This museum is FREE, with a suggested donation of $3 per person.

Pic-20-(1).jpgScoops Ice Cream is a must-stop. Home to 32 ice cream flavors, 2 soy flavors, 2 Italian ice flavors, and a “doggy frozen yogurt” for your four-legged friends, this confectionery also has a candy shop and bakery case, sure to cater to any sweet tooth. I had “This $&@! Just Got Real,” which the server said was the most popular flavor and, true to its name, seriously good.

The theme in this bar is that beer is king. Public Craft Brewing Co. features nine Kenosha-brewed beers and not much else – and that is a good thing!  The team at PUBLIC encourages you to converse, read, play games (they have foosball, extra-large Jenga, and various board games), and draw on the coasters, all in the name of creating a casual atmosphere in which to hang out… while drinking beer, of course.

Boasting an unusually large collection of officially licensed sports merchandise, Something Different is a store that will impress. Wall to wall, the shop is filled with treasures (mostly NFL, but a decent selection of NHL, MLB, NASCAR, College teams, etc.), providing credibility to their business motto of being “a sports fan fantasy land.” They also sell classic video games and other trinkets.

19961277_1477457642293690_2530148466006956053_n.jpgWhat’s better than buying art? Making it yourself at Alpaca Art Pottery Painting, of course! This fire-glaze pottery studio allows patrons to create their own designs on already made ceramic pieces. Just choose your piece, decide on a design, pick out your paint colors, and get started. Pieces are then fired and glazed and ready for pickup within about a week. If you’re visiting from out of town, you can arrange to have your piece mailed to you!

Another few blocks and you'll be at the lakefront as promised. This route ends at the Southport Marnia or Tot Park at HarborPark. Here you can enjoy the views, play at a park or splash pad, or start a new adventure in another direction! These are just a few of the places along my route. As mentioned before, there are countless other route options, with more great sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences to enjoy. Where would you go if you were walking a mile in the Kenosha Area?

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Jared Rasmussen

Community Blogger

Carthage College Graduate. Kenosha Resident by way of Racine.  Roommate to Allie, the cat. Living near HarborPark. Interests include art, animals, sports, music, and dining at Kenosha restaurants.

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