Located on Lake Michigan, Kenosha, WI is a tranquil lakeside town north of the Illinois border with the lakefront development of HarborPark at its center.
The town’s waterside parkland features beautifully manicured landscapes and blends perfectly with town’s historic downtown area, which is home to charming shops, casual cafés and eateries, an outdoor market, and art galleries. A vintage electric streetcar system connects the town’s attractions and entertainment.
1. Anderson Arts Center
2. Civil War Museum
3. Dinosaur Discovery Museum
4. Things to Do in Kenosha: Gateway Classic Cars
5. Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum
6. Historic Streetcars
7. Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm
8. Things to Do in Kenosha: Kemper Center
9. Kenosha HarborMarket
10. Kenosha History Center
11. Kenosha Kingfish Minor League Baseball
12. Kenosha Public Museum
13. Petrifying Springs Park and Biergarten
14. R'Noggin Brewing Co.
15. Southport Light Station Museum
16. Tall Ship Red Witch, LLC
17. The Buzz Cafe
18. Frank's Diner
The top attractions to visit in Kenosha, Wisconsin near me today according to local experts are:
- 1. Anderson Arts Center
- 2. Civil War Museum
- 3. Dinosaur Discovery Museum
- 4. Things to Do in Kenosha: Gateway Classic Cars
- 5. Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum
- 6. Historic Streetcars
- 7. Jerry Smith Produce & Pumpkin Farm
- 8. Things to Do in Kenosha: Kemper Center
- 9. Kenosha HarborMarket
- 10. Kenosha History Center
- 11. Kenosha Kingfish Minor League Baseball
- 12. Kenosha Public Museum
- 13. Petrifying Springs Park and Biergarten
- 14. R'Noggin Brewing Co.
- 15. Southport Light Station Museum
- 16. Tall Ship Red Witch, LLC
- 17. The Buzz Cafe
- 18. Frank's Diner
Attraction Spotlight: Gateway Classic Cars of Milwaukee
Gateway Classic Cars of Milwaukee is located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 35 miles south of Milwaukee. The venue, which is the twelfth of sixteen Gateway Classic Cars locations, opened in 2016. The brand new facility offers close to 40,000 square feet of showroom space, allowing for between 100-150 classic cars to be displayed on the showroom floor at all times.
Although a consignment-based dealer, the vehicles at Gateway Classic Cars of Milwaukee are a draw for visitors who are welcome to tour the showroom floor. Vehicles on site at the Kenosha showroom range from a 1919 Dodge Coupe, the oldest in the current inventory, to a candy apple red 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the most expensive in the current inventory at close to one half million dollars. Vehicles recently sold from Kenosha include a 1926 Ford Model T Coupe, considered the 20th century’s most influential car, and a 1934 3-window Ford Coupe, rebuilt as an iconic hot-rod with black pearl exterior, air-conditioning, power steering and a 3-speed automatic transmission. Some of the more unique cars on the property include a 1967 Morris Minor 1000 from Britain, a Clenet Convertible from 1980, built by Clenet Coachworks in Santa Barbara, and a rare, 1990 Suzuki Alto Works RS/R, believed to be the only such micro car in the United States.
If a car is listed as ‘Numbers Matching,’ it means the vehicle still has the original engine and transmission. This is sometimes difficult to prove as there were no identifying marks matching transmissions, engines and body parts on early cars. Many of the classic cars on the lot have been customized into ‘Hot Rod’ vehicles and updated with modern conveniences such as power steering and windows, air-conditioning, and automatic transmissions. The term Hot Rod typically refers to any classic American car with an engine modified for speed. Hot Rod may also be used as a technical term for any motorized vehicle with an engine not original to the body.
History: Gateway Classic Cars was founded in 1999 with its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, the company has sold over 25,000 vehicles, and is now the world’s largest classic car dealer, with over 2,700 vehicles for sale at any one time. Selling via consignment, the company has become a seller’s choice by listing their vehicles on over 250 websites, garnering over 5.2 million views annually. By providing financing and global shipping, and by offering 16 showrooms across the United States, Gateway Classic Cars has succeeded in making the classic car buying and selling experience easier and more accessible for all parties. Gateway Classic Cars is privately owned by Sal Akbani, who serves as President and CEO. The company expects sales of over $60 million in 2018.
The Kenosha Visitors Bureau has named Gateway Classic Cars of Milwaukee a top tourist attraction for the Kenosha, Wisconsin area. The location takes pride in being ‘like a museum, but you can take the cars home with you,’ as one guest is quoted as saying.
Cars and Coffee Event: Visitors are invited to show off their own cars in the showroom’s parking lot, enjoy a cup of coffee and browse the showroom floor to see the newest classic, exotic and collectible arrivals.
Past and Future Exhibits: Past events at the Milwaukee showroom in Kenosha have included the annual Holiday Party. The family-friendly event invited Santa Claus and offered free lunch to anyone who brought a toy for Kenosha’s Toys for Tots program. An annual Trunk or Treat event is a Halloween themed Cars and Coffee in October. Guests are invited to fill their trunks with candy for children, and display their personal classic vehicles. Neighborhood children are invited to trick or treat, and coffee and donuts are provided. Wisconsin Hot Rod Radio sponsored a summer hot rod cruise in July. At the first annual event drivers met up at Quaker Steak and Lube in New Berlin, Wisconsin for breakfast, then drove to Gateway Classic Cars for lunch and a tour of the showroom.
What’s Nearby: Kenosha, Wisconsin is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, just over 30 miles south of Milwaukee. Additional attractions include the Southport Light Station Museum, a light keeper’s home from the 1860’s, the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Civil War Museum, and the Kenosha Public Museum, which displays fine art, decorative arts, and artifacts of natural history.
9949 58th Pl #400, Kenosha, WI 53144, Phone: 262-891-4253
Attraction Spotlight: Anderson Arts Center
The Anderson Arts Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin is housed in a 9,000 square foot estate on the shore of Lake Michigan. The private residence turned art center features over 25 exhibits of local, regional and national artwork each year in addition to arts education programming for youth and adults.
The French-Renaissance revival style home is surrounded by landscaped gardens and lawns on a 4.7 acre property. The stone and stucco 2-story house contains 30 rooms. Five bedrooms include a master bedroom of over 400 square feet. Some of the more unusual rooms include a gun room, a linen storage room, silver storage room, and flower arranging room. Two bedrooms, a living room and bathroom for servants are located in the west wing of the house. French doors at the back of the galleries open onto a large flagstone patio at the rear of the house, which overlooks Lake Michigan. The home’s interior preserves the craftsmen’s attention to detail in woodworking, with high ceilings and oversized windows.
History: Formerly the residence of the Anderson family, construction on the home began in 1929 and was finished in 1931. James Anderson, the home’s owner, was an executive with American Brass, while his wife Janet Lance Anderson was the grand-daughter of Z. G. Simmons, founder of the Simmons Mattress Company. The French-Renaissance revival house was built by architects Archibald Morphet and Ralph Milman of Chicago. Milman was considered a master of classic French design and one of the forefathers of modern French Art Deco.
The home was donated to Kenosha County in 1977 to become part of the Kemper Center campus. Janet Lance Anderson lived in the home until her death at the age of 96 in 1989. The home officially became part of the Kemper Center campus one year later in 1990. The Anderson Arts Center opened inside the home in 1992. The Anderson Arts Center is a non-profit organization supported through donations, gift shop sales, and rental income via letting the house and gardens for private events.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Summer camp programs are offered each year for children between the ages of 5 and 12, as well as a full range of after-school programming during the school year. Classes include puppet making, cartooning, drawing and painting, crafting and the fiber arts as well as sculpting.
Music education at the arts center includes guitar lessons for beginners of all ages, as well as ballroom dance lessons through Miss Geri’s School of Ballroom Dance. For more experienced practitioners, ballroom dances, featuring a live band, take place periodically on Saturday nights. The dances feature a cash bar and dessert buffet.
Special events include an annual summer Twilight Jazz series. The free outdoor concert series raises funds for the Anderson Center by way of a raffle. The Art of the Car show takes place each August, while October hosts Oktoberfest. The holiday season offers a Snowflake Jazz Concert, Christmas Ballroom Dance, and the Gallery of Trees, during which professionally decorated trees are auctioned off to raise funds for the Center’s youth programming.
Past and Future Exhibits: The Center’s 3-D Gallery hosts exhibits of sculpture. Past shows have included Linda Tump’s ceramics, Pat Kroth’s mixed media fiber installation called ‘Nest’ and the wood carvings of Joe Mrazek.
The Main, East and Upper Galleries are reserved for the work of regional artists. Past exhibits have included a group show by the Women’s Journeys in Fiber artist’s group. The exhibit included quilts, tapestries, and birds constructed of fiber. Shows have been mounted by the League of Milwaukee Artists, the Chicago Society of Artists, the Racine Art Guild, Madison Contemporary Fiber Artists and the Coalition of Photographic Arts among others.
Area Artist Group Galleries host the work of local artists while galleries in the West Wing are reserved for student artwork. The galleries show the work of students in area schools, as well as work completed at the Center’s summer camps and afterschool programs.
Juried shows take place annually. Prospectus may be found on the Anderson Center’s website. There are frequently cash prizes offered for winning works of art.
What’s Nearby: The Anderson Center is located within the Kemper Center campus. The 250,000 square foot campus is home to the Durkee Mansion, an historic house museum, Kid’s Space, a classroom space and artist in residence home, and the Kemper Hall Convention Center, an event venue and office space.
6603 Third Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53143, Phone: 262-653-0481
Attraction Spotlight: Hawthorn Hollow Nature
The Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum is located just a few miles outside of Kenosha, Wisconsin in the town of Somers. The site includes a Nature Center, three historic buildings from the turn of the century, a heritage farmstead, and observatory. The site combines history, nature and horticulture, reflective of the interests of the original owner, Ruth Teuscher and her sister, Margaret.
The Nature Center is home to a small plot of original prairie, a historical ecosystem that serves as an example of the original Midwest. This ecosystem exists alongside a larger section of restored prairie, as well as woodlands and a dwarf conifer collection, perennial gardens and a butterfly garden. A 12-acre arboretum is lined on the southern boundary with Ruth Teuscher’s original lilac collection. Two miles of nature trails wind through the Pike River Valley, including the Old Indian Trail. Otherwise known as the Jambeau trail, the path has been in existence since before the United States was established, used by Indian tribes walking from what is today Green Bay to Chicago. Most recently, the trail was used by the Potawatomi tribe of the Algonquin nation, followed by European settlers to the area. A replica wigwam on the trail offers an example of the Potawatomi shelters that existed hundreds of years ago.
Wildlife viewing at Hawthorn Hollow is focused primarily on bird watching. The nature preserve is a prime destination for migratory birds passing through Wisconsin, as well as a robust population of year-round residents. A Heritage Farmstead on site offers lessons in beekeeping, and grows heritage vegetables in a community garden.
Three historic buildings were moved to the property in 1967. These include the original Pike River School, established in 1847, its second incarnation, which was built in 1906, and the original Somers Town Hall, built in 1859. A Nature Center on the property was built in the 1940’s to originally serve as the stable to Ruth’s six horses. The building was converted to a Nature Center when the last of Ruth’s horses passed from old age. A red-brick two-story Colonial home was built as a residence in the 1950’s. Today, the building is the home and office of Hawthorn Hollow’s director.
History: Ruth Teuscher bought the first 40 acres of the Hawthorn Hollow property in 1935. Ruth and her sister, Margaret, were both school teachers in Racine, and used the property as a wildlife sanctuary, a place to picnic and camp. To preserve the site’s buildings, wildlife and natural resources, the sisters deeded the property to the Hyslop Foundation in 1967. In the same year, the three historic buildings were moved on site. In 1988, Friends of Hawthorne Hollow was established to provide financial support to maintain the gardens and facilities through memberships and donations.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Educational opportunities for all ages are offered in keeping with Hawthorn Hollow’s mission. Classes include a Wildflower Walk Series, which takes place in May and September and is hosted by Hawthorn Hollow’s Restoration Ecologist. The Bird Lovers Series offers several different programs from a Bird Walk, to classes on attracting bluebirds, the Wisconsin state bird. The Heritage Workshop Series teaches local gardeners everything from harvesting heritage seeds, to building garden paths, to quilting and candle making. In the late winter months, the popular Maple Sugarin’ class offers an interactive history lesson in the traditions behind tapping maple trees for sugar.
Field trips invite students to attend nature-based learning programs. The 2-hour outdoor programs meet the Wisconsin social studies and science curriculum requirements for grade four. Topics include seed dispersal and the plant life cycle, sugar maple trees and Wisconsin’s history of maple sugaring, and the history of the Potawatomi and the Old Indian Trail. A schoolhouse program designed for third graders takes place in the Nature Center’s historic one-room schoolhouses.
Events at Hawthorne Hollow draw over 10,000 visitors annually. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Walk in the Woods Art Fair. Local artists and artisans showcase their wares along the path through the woods. Family friendly games and activities, food and drink are also offered. The Pike River Benefit Concert Series fundraises for Hawthorne Hollow. Shows take place at the outdoor amphitheater through June, July and August. The annual fundraiser, Birds and Breakfast, takes place each spring at the peak of the migratory birding season. A hearty pancake breakfast is followed by a walk through the trails to bird watch.
880 Green Bay Road, Kenosha, WI 53144, Phone: 262-552-8196