For someone who takes pride in having lived in the Greater Milwaukee Metro Area since the day I was born, I had never experienced Kenosha from anywhere except I-94 until just a few weeks ago. As you might have noticed, I don’t need to take a long trip to justify travel; if I’m given the opportunity to explore a new place for even a few hours, I’m all in! When my mom asked how I wanted to spend the Mom-and-me Saturday before my birthday, I decided to make the most of an adventurous travel buddy (and free chauffeur) by spending the start of our day in Kenosha!
My mom and I are a lot alike in that we’d drive anywhere just to go for a good walk. When we entered Kenosha County, we took the first exit and headed to UW – Parkside to hike at a neighboring trail. A cross-country meet turned our nature walk into a campus tour, but this lesser-known member of the UW college system had a beautiful campus and surrounding woods, notably similar to the layout of UW – Green Bay.
We got back in the car and took Highway 32 along the lakefront all the way to downtown Kenosha. Having lived in the City of Milwaukee since starting college four years ago, I am easily excited by most smaller cities when I realize that it’s possible to park in and around downtown for free! While walking from our parking spot to the lakefront, I was surprised by the way beautiful new apartment complexes were intermingled with vacant and slightly deteriorating commercial buildings. I’d love to learn more about development in downtown Kenosha; if you’re a local, hit me up!
We were surprised to find a massive farmer’s market along a street neighboring the lake, but since I had no intent of spending my birthday celebration buying things I didn’t need, we perused right on past it to the harbor. My favorite thing about this harbor, compared to Milwaukee’s, is how open it felt. When there isn’t a breakwater surrounding the entire lakefront, the expanse of water really starts to feel like an ocean. Similar to Milwaukee, though, Kenosha had a large red pier-head lighthouse. The entire area was picturesque, especially the lookout pictured below, which was regularly overtaken by massive waves and made for some great shots! Maybe windy days by the lake aren’t so bad after all.
I’m already anticipating my next visit to Kenosha! What restaurants, attractions, and trails do you recommend? Important follow-up: is the Kenosha Public Museum worth exploring? Let me know in the comments below!