Kenosha County Attractions
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, nestled between Chicago and Milwaukee, Kenosha County is Wisconsin’s southern gateway! It’s also a great place to enjoy shopping, gaming, great dining and lodging and antique hunting! Some fun but unusual treats also await Kenosha County travelers such as Renaissance reveling, dancing and jousting, military history, automotive sports, indoor bicycle racing, and classic 19th century architecture.
Settled in 1853, Kenosha County is home to America’s oldest musical instrument manufacturing company, five colleges and university centers, two brand-name manufacturers and designers’ outlet malls. The Bristol Renaissance Faire features medieval entertainment with dancing and jousting and the oldest operating velodrome in the United States sports indoor bicycle racing!
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Kenosha Country’s many nature areas, hiking and biking trails, parks, campgrounds, hunting areas and ski trails. Lake Michigan fishing piers, boat launching facilities, fishing guides and charter operators provide Great Lakes trout and salmon fishing excitement from April through November. The scenic Fox and Des Plaines Rivers and more than fifteen Kenosha County lakes provide a variety of recreational activities, from on-shore wildlife observation to boating, swimming and quiet-water fishing in relaxed, wooded surroundings.
Kenosha County – Wisconsin’s southern gateway – is a great getaway anytime of the year!
Museums and Historical Sites
Palumbo Civil War Museum
Carthage College, 2001 Alford Drive, Kenosha
Visit one of the most complete private Civil War collections in the country, including artwork, photos, weapons, uniforms, currency and personal papers. Among the most important pieces are letters of commission signed by President Abraham Lincoln, who once served as a Carthage College Trustee; a Union “seven shooter” Spencer carbine; a Confederate muzzle-loading musket and one of three Confederate Navy cutlasses known to be in existence. Open Monday through Thursday 1:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday by appointment only.
Kenosha County Historical Museum
6300 Third Avenue, Kenosha
Housed in an 1899 mansion, the Kenosha County Historical Museum’s seventeen exhibit galleries display life in the Kenosha area from the pioneering 1800′s to the early twentieth century, including a full-size diorama of a Potowatomi Indian camping beside his birch bark canoe on the shore of Pike Creek in 1800; a nineteenth century country store and apothecary shop; the typewriter invented by Latham Sholes, an early Kenosha resident; children’s toys, dolls and an early rocking horse; a one-room schoolhouse; a fully furnished one-room frontier home; and more. Open September – May, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday; June – August, Noon – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Kenosha Public Museum
5500 First Avenue, Kenosha
Located in Kenosha’s Civic Center Historic District, the museum offers guided interpretive tours and special family fun programs. The Museum is open daily. General admission is free. Group fees may apply. Sunday – Monday 12 Noon – 5 PM, Tuesday – Saturday 9AM – 5PM.
Kenosha Military Museum
10700 120th Avenue, Kenosha
Travel through the history of modern warfare from the camouflaged tanks that won the Desert Storm to horse-drawn cannons that defeated the Kaiser in World War I, World War II ducks, Korean War and Vietnam-era helicopters, sky-lifters, motorized rocket launchers and armored personal carriers. Climb aboard and experience the feel of the historic battle machines collected in this outdoor museum. Open Wednesday-Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. year round. Closed on inclement weather days.
6501 Third Avenue, Kenosha
Step back to luxurious living, late 19th century style, in the 1860′s Durkee Mansion and Kemper Hall, both located at the Kemper Center, a 17.5 acre county park. Tours arranged by appointment. Call 262-657-6005.
National Register Historic Districts
800-654-7309 or 800-411-4969
Enjoy a walking tour or trolley ride through Kenosha’s Third Avenue, Civic Center and Library Park National Register Historic Districts to view exceptional examples of 19th century craftsmanship in architectural styles ranging from Classical to Tudor Revival.
Parks & Nature Centers
Bong State Recreation Area
I-94 and Hwy. 142, Kansasville
Camping, hiking, swimming, boating, hunting, cross-county skiing, snowmobiling and wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy this large, year round, state-operated recreation area. The park offers 217 camping sites, flush toilets, showers and electrical hook-ups. Advance reservations are recommended during peak camping periods.
117th Street and 3rd Court, Pleasant Prairie
Prairie preservationists will marvel at the botanical diversity found in the Chiwaukee Prairie where the moderating influence of nearby Lake Michigan fosters growth of species not found in more inland prairies.
Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum
880 Green Bay Rd. (Hwy. 31), Kenosha
Lying along the banks of Pike Creek, the Hawthorn Hollow Nature Center offers trails to meander through and beautiful woods, gardens and historic buildings.
Lincoln Park Floral Gardens
7010 22nd Avenue, Kenosha
In Lincoln Park, visitors will find the Warren J. Taylor sunken garden, featuring 31 formal beds of more than fifty flower varieties.
New Munster Wildlife Area
34315 Geneva road, New Munster
Naturalists will enjoy observing the wildlife found along the trails of this great 1,048-acre nature area. Hunting is permitted in season.
Petrifying Springs Park
Hwy. 31 Hwy. A, Kenosha
This park offers year round outdoor variety: Scenic hiking, biking, cross-country skiing trails, streams and rivers, tubing, tobogganing, sledding, picnic areas, playgrounds, volleyball courts, ball diamonds and a golf course.
Prairie Springs Park
I-94 Hwy. 165, Pleasant Prairie
Along the shore of Lake Andrea visitors will find Prairie Springs Park; a multi-use activity center that offers a scenic, 2.3 mile paved bicycle and in-line skating trail around the lake, a sparkling sandy beach area, water slide, pavilion, archery range, picnic areas and a children’s playground.
Pringle Nature Center
Hwy. MB, Bristol
Hikers and cross-country skiers enjoy trailing through the Pringle Nature Center’s majestic oak community thriving in the Bristol Woods bottomland. The center offers recreational nature programs for children and adults, year round.
Special Things To Do
Bristol Renaissance Faire
I-04 and Russell Road, Bristol
Experience the romance, mystery, food and jesting, and jousting games of Elizabethan England at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., the last weekend in June through the third weekend in August.
57th Street 7th Avenue, Kenosha
Take a fun ride through downtown Kenosha on a 50-minute live-narrated tour of the City’s three National Register Historic Districts and the Lakeshore Business District. Memorial Day through September, Tuesday – Friday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Pike Bike Trail
Bike the 9.4-mile Pike Trail from the Illinois border through Kenosha and north to Racine. The trail runs near Kenosha’s three National Register Historic Districts, along Lake Michigan, past two historic lighthouses, parks and beaches, across the Pike River and on to the north.
Stunts Are Us
I-94 Hwy. 142, Kenosha
Witness behind the scenes Hollywood action that’s only seen on actual movie sets at Stunts Are Us. Open year-round by appointment.
Points of Interest
Anderson Arts Center
121 66th Street, Kenosha
View the works of noteworthy local and regional artists in a historic French Tudor Mansion. Open Thursday through Sunday 1:00 – 4:00 during exhibits. Call for exhibit information.
50th Street at Lake Michigan, Kenosha
Tour two majestic sentinels of the lake located within easy walking distance of one another: the cream-colored brick constructed 1866 Southport Lighthouse on Simmons Island, and the bright red, ironclad Pierhead Lighthouse at the end of the Simmons Island pier. In days gone by they offered welcome beacons of safety to storm-tossed sailors; today, both stand as reminders of their faithful tenders and the courageous inland seafarers saved by their lights.