Racine Wisconsin is located just north of Kenosha
on the shores of Lake Michigan
and at the mouth of the Root River. This means that if you're looking for a
Racine beach you will be sure to find one in the city or up and down the coast
on both sides of the city. French explorers arrived here in 1699, and founded
a fur trading post. In the early nineteenth century, there were efforts to establish
the settlement as one of the ports on the Great Lakes, but this was unsuccessful
and the city wasn't incorporated until 1848. There are numerous Racine attractions
for visitors, and the city is easily accessible from both Milwaukee
(only about 30 miles away) and Chicago
(about 60 miles).
If you're interested in history and architecture, you will find that Racine Wisconsin has several interesting and unique buildings, three of which were designed by the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright. The 1881 Old Firehouse is a museum today. The First Presbyterian Church is a treasure of Greek Revival architecture. It was built in 1853, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Throughout the city, you will find charming cream brick houses. The DeKoven Center is housed in a beautiful group of Gothic buildings and is an important venue for events in Racine such as music concerts, festivals, and other special events.
Other Racine attractions with historical significance include both the Zoological Gardens and the Windpoint Lighthouse. Built in 1880, the lighthouse is 112 feet high and is still watching over the safety of mariners and the fishing boats. Although the interior isn't open, strolling on the lighthouse grounds offers wonderful views. The zoo was first opened in 1939, and today cares for 76 species of animals including lions, wolves, rhinos, orangutans, kangaroos, and more.
If you're looking for a Racine beach, look to the city's Lake Michigan shoreline, and this is one of the Racine attractions that draws the most visitors. Cliffside Park offers wonderful scenic vistas of the lake and harbor as well as Festival Hall, which is where many events in Racine are held. There are biking trails, boat launches, pristine sandy beaches, and beautiful dunes.
The Root River ("racine" is French for "root") snakes its way through the city and empties into Lake Michigan at the harbor. This is another of the main Racine attractions because of the many parks and trails along the river that are excellent for both hiking and biking. This is a prime place for kayaking and river sports, and some events in Racine showcase these sports. One section of the river has a stretch of Class III rapids, and there are many tranquil sections for the less adventuresome. You are even apt to find a Racine beach along one of the tamer river sections. There is also great river fishing here near Horlick Dam and Lincoln and Island Parks.
Racine Wisconsin bills itself as the "Belle City on the Lake," so many Racine events have something to do with one of the region's lakes, including, if you're up for it, the January "Polar Plunge." You'll also find plenty of places for dining and shopping.