Beyond the Plate

10/29/2018 - Food Travelists

Beyond the Plate - things to see and do in Kenosha, WI
Beyond the Plate - things to see and do in Kenosha, WI
Beyond the Plate - things to see and do in Kenosha, WI
Beyond the Plate - things to see and do in Kenosha, WI
Beyond the Plate - things to see and do in Kenosha, WI
Beyond the Plate - things to see and do in Kenosha, WI

Sometimes the best destinations are hidden in plain sight. Kenosha Wisconsin is a delightful locale, just a jaunt from Chicago, Milwaukee and other large Midwestern cities. But don't let Kenosha's smaller size fool you. The city packs tons of great food (always a focus for us as Food Travelists), fun activities, historical interests, and beautiful scenery. Here are just a few of the unexpected delights beyond the plate that you can expect when you visit Kenosha.

Dinosaur Discovery Museum. Yes, really. There's a big fella posted right out front so you are sure not to miss it. We love natural history and dinosaurs are a constant source of delight. Kenosha's Dinosaur Discovery Museum is the only museum that focuses on the link between meat-eating dinosaurs and birds. There are amazing exhibits with casts of actual dinosaur skeletons, including such favorites as the Allosaurus and T-Rex. There's also the wonderful permanent interactive exhibit of Little Clint - The Story of a Baby Dinosaur, that takes you through the five chapters of Little Clint's life. The museum is actively engaged in research, fieldwork and educational programs. With plenty to appeal to visitors of all ages, the Dinosaur Discovery Museum is one museum that will give everyone a chance to dig in and enjoy.

Southport Light Station Museum. Some people travel the world looking at lighthouses. After spending time at this beautiful brick beacon, it's easy to see why. Built in 1866, this one is the third lighthouse to stand in this spot. You can go inside and climb 72 steps to be rewarded with a view of the surrounding area. The light station keepers house now boasts a museum that is full of history. The first floor of the building has been restored, including an authentic paint scheme and even a period kitchen. You'll discover stories about its keepers, including the first and only female keeper. There's a history of the harbor and its businesses and evolution. And, there's plenty of information about the changes in technology, including an authentic Fresnel lens like those actually used in lighthouses. The majestic beauty and intriguing history will make you want to explore all the lighthouse and the museum. A knowledgeable guide will tell you everything you want to know and you'll be amazed at the view you'll get from the top. The Kenosha History Center is on the same campus, and is great for those who seek to learn more about Kenosha's past. 

Kenosha Parks. Not only is there an absolutely gorgeous shoreline in Kenosha, but there are some beautiful parks there as well. Kenosha is home to 70 park and conservation sites throughout the city on some 1000 acres of land. Veterans Memorial Park and Wolfenbuttel Park are two of our favorites.  Veterans Memorial Park at the lakefront and 52nd Street features the Lone Soldier Memorial, a commemorative monument with a seven-foot-tall lone soldier as its central image honoring casualties of American wars. The Veteran's Memorial Fountain includes mementos from historic battlegrounds, such as an eight-ton boulder from Okinawa and sand from Omaha and Utah beaches in Normandy. Adjacent to Eichelman Park and Beach, Wolfenbuttel Park is named for the town in Germany that has been Kenosha's Sister City since 1970. There you'll discover a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, an enchanting gazebo, a flower garden and plenty of walking and biking trails to enjoy it all.

Street Art in Kenosha is alive and well. If you enjoy discovering unexpected artistic expressions, then you'll have a great time in Kenosha. Buildings with all kinds of art are abundant while exploring the city. It's kind of an unofficial way to see the spirit of the artist community come alive. There is even a Sculpture Walk that lines the harbor. If you want to continue your exploration of the arts in Kenosha, there are plenty of wonderful galleries such as the Lemon Street Gallery & Art Space, Re:Vision Gallery, and Artworks. It's easy to wander through Kenosha and feel unexpectedly inspired.

Golf at the Petrifying Springs. If you love golf then you'll want to be sure you get a chance to check out the Petrifying Springs Golf Course. It's a beautiful 18-hole course with plenty of challenges for the experienced golfer, but friendly enough for those who just want to give it a whirl for fun. If you like being surrounded by nature's beauty as well, this is a course you will love. Petrifying Springs Park is actually the oldest and largest park in the Kenosha County park system. The scenery includes beautiful rolling hills and hardwood forests. The 6,000 yard, Par 70 course offers a chance to challenge yourself or simply enjoy. Afterward, you can treat yourself to a cool drink and a nibble at the clubhouse, on the patio or at the nearby beer garden. Whatever your level of golf skill, your ability to have fun at this beautiful course and park will be at the top.

Electric Streetcar and Lakefront Trolley. If you want to give your feet a rest, take a ride on one of Kenosha's beautifully restored authentic electric streetcars – which are all restored to look like and named in honor of the cars from cities that once had this mode of transportation. They travel along the shoreline of Lake Michigan on a 2-mile loop. You'll get to see many highlights such as the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Kenosha Public Museum, HarborPark,  Civil War Museum and the Sculpture Walk. If you want to take a different route, Kenosha's Lakefront Trolley has you covered. It takes a route that includes stops by art galleries and the Sesquicentennial Bandshell performance space, as well as Carthage College at the north end of the route and Kemper Center to the south. Whether you like to ride the electric rail or see where the rubber meets the road, Kenosha will get you where you want to go in style.

Civil War Museum. While some museums touch you for a moment, some unexpectedly affect you for a lifetime. The Civil War Museum in Kenosha is one of the latter. While we may think a lot about the north and the south in this conflict, what we don't often consider is the important role the upper Midwest played and how it was affected by the war. When you first enter the exhibit, you are met with the statue of a soldier, surrounded by a moody environmental setting. The goal of the museum, as it takes you through the many interesting and highly informative exhibits is that when you exit past the same statue and setting, your perspective has been altered, and you have been changed. We must say that this was true for us. The museum has some amazing artifacts from citizens, soldiers, and slaves. There are interactive and experimental exhibits, like a train where you can sit next to people of the time and learn their stories. Capping it all is an incredible 360-degree movie that literally puts you in the center of a battlefield during the Civil War. We highly recommend allocating plenty of time to give this unexpectedly important and affecting museum your full attention.

We've literally only covered a fraction of the unexpected joys you will discover in Kenosha, Wisconsin. There are boat rides and fishing trips, incredible architecture, beaches, concerts, shops, and of course delicious food everywhere. You can explore Kenosha your way and make it all your own. However and whenever you decide to take in Kenosha, expect the unexpected in this delightful city.


Community Blog Team 2018

Food Travelists

Community Bloggers

Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris - Food Travelists' goal is to connect food travelers with great destinations, and experiences. Traveling the world seeking memorable food and drink in every destination.