Kenosha Stories and Tips

Road Trip From Milwaukee to Kenosha

The "New" Kenosha Lighthouse of Kenosha Photo, Kenosha, Wisconsin

This is about a 100 to 120 mile (round trip) day trip from Milwaukee. I spent a lovely October Sunday getting out to see a bit more of what's along Lake Michigan, between my city and the state line with Illinois. I was surprised at just how much is out there to see and do.

Since my first stop would be the Wind Point Lighthouse & Museum in Racine, I continued my journal on to the Southport Lighthouse & Museum along the lakefront. As I passed through the City of Racine, I noted the Racine Zoological Gardens aka "the zoo." While I did not stop, I can provide folks with some information. They are open 365 days per year and charge $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for kids ages three to 15. Parking is free. For more info on their specific daily hours, check out their website at: https://www.racinezoo.org/hoursadmissions .

While in Kenosha I saw the local trolley that is the city's public transportation that goes through much of the downtown area, operating on a 1.7 mile loop. The cars were built in 1951 by the Canadian Car and Foundry for use in Toronto where they were in service until 1995. The trolley runs every 15 minutes and makes 18 stops throughout the city. The fare is $2.50 for an all day pass or $1.00 for "one ride" for adults and $.50 for kids ages 12 and younger. I wish I had more time while in Kenosha as I would have loved to have taken a ride around, just to experience it.

While in the harbor area near the museums, be sure to go down to the pierhead and check out the "new" Kenosha Lighthouse as well as the two pierhead lights. While I was down there, the pier had a number of fisherman hoping to catch salmon as they make their journey up the Pike River. I didn't see anyone catch anything, so I don't know how good the fishing really is there. From what I've read, they will head upriver once the water temps drop, so perhaps soon.

As I was leaving town, I passed by the Kenosha Velodrome which is the oldest cycle track in the USA. Built in 1927, it has hosted numerous large national and international races. In 1940 they acquired the lighting system from the 1939 World's Fair held in New York City. Unfortunately with WWII, the velodrome when dark, reopening in July 1947.

Operated by the Kenosha Velodrome Association, sanctioned races are held throughout the summer on Tuesday evenings starting in mid May and running through August. The public is encourage to bring a lawn chair and enjoy the racing free of charge, weather permitting. The track is also open to the public free of charge, subject to events and races held by the association.

One free tour opportunity is the Jelly Belly distribution center located just outside of the city in Pleasant Prairie. I have been there before and thoroughly enjoyed learning about the making of Jelly Belly brand jelly beans. It was a jar of Jelly Belly's that graced the Oval Office of the Ronald Reagan White House in the 1980's. Tours take about 45 minutes and are quite popular, especially with families. They also have a huge retail store but be prepared to spend a hefty penny for their jelly beans ($9.99/lb unless you are buying seconds).

As hopefully you can see, there is a lot to fit into a day trip from Milwaukee to Kenosha. My day was about seven hours in total, and I could have added another couple of hours had I not wanted to be home by 4:00pm.

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