Visiting Illinois Beach State Park & SE Wisconsin

Illinois Beach State Park

Illinois Beach State Park

Illinois is blessed with dozens of dozens of enticing state parks for visitors seeking recreation or simply a peaceful locale to appreciate nature. One of the state’s most geographically unique venues is Illinois Beach State Park, located at the far northeast corner of the state …

With spectacular Lake Michigan serving as its backdrop, the park is one of the state’s most visited natural areas.




Illinois Beach State Park is divided into two separate areas, a North Unit and South Unit. Each are easily accessible off Sheridan Road and in total, the park stretches 6.5 miles along the Lake Michigan shoreline north to the Illinois – Wisconsin border …

Overview of Illinois Beach State Park

All told, Illinois Beach State Park encompasses over 4,100 acres of beach front, marshes, prairie land, forests, and more. The park is a recreational magnet – hikers, joggers, bikers, and campers will all find ample opportunities to pursue your passions …

Illinois Beach State Park

IL Beach State Park Map

In addition to traditional beach activities in the summer, fisherman love it here. Fishing is permitted along the shore in areas exempt from swimming, and there are several inland ponds well known as prolific angling spots. Rainbow trout are stocked in some of the inland fishing ponds, making the park a prime destination for fishermen of all ability levels …

If you’ve forgotten anything on your visit, a concession stand and gift shop is open seasonally in the park’s South Unit. It’s accessible from the main beach area parking lot …

Lastly, for a comfortable lodging option, the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center is located in the South Unit. It’s the perfect place to spend a few nights to fully explore the park and surrounding areas …

Why Is This Area A State Park?

Well, for one, the location on Lake Michigan is sublime!

A more scholarly or geographic reason is this: Illinois Beach State Park is the last remaining beach ridge shoreline remaining in the state. A “beach ridge shoreline” means there are large, stable expansive dunes which, over the centuries, have formed a long ridge above the actual beach and shoreline …

Illinois Beach State Park FlowerChick.com

Illinois Beach State Park

The photo to your left was taken from the rear deck of the Park Office, located in the South Unit. We’d guess the deck is a good 75 to 100 feet above the beach below, affording spectacular views of the lake and shoreline. Visit on a quiet weekday after Labor Day and the small picnic table on the back deck just might be the perfect spot for your lunch!

Explore the Ever Evolving Geology of Illinois Beach State Park – Click Here

Illinois Beach State Park is far from “just a beach”. Here you’ll find well over 600 varieties of plants, large expanses of marshes, prairies blanketed with colorful wildflowers, and even black oak forests. A literal cornucopia of nature – and when you visit, you’ll see why this locale is so beloved by so many …

One of the plant species thriving here is prickly pear cactus (of all things!) We’ve seen this plant in the American Southwest, but never growing wild here in Illinois. We didn’t see any to photograph, but we’ll take the word of the helpful staffer at the park’s office who noted this plant thrives in the dry areas of the park …




If you’re wondering why this location is the only beach ridge shoreline left in the state, the answer is twofold. The #1 reason is development … beach front property is highly desirable and in limited supply. The second reason is the evolution and erosion of the shoreline over the decades (even centuries) …

The Kenosha Dunes, a few miles to the north over the border into Wisconsin, are facing the challenge of erosion. We talk about the Kenosha Dunes below …

The History of Illinois Beach State Park

This unique landscape was formed centuries ago by the forces of advancing and retreating glaciers. The constant winds sweeping across Lake Michigan helped form the dunes, beach ridges, and prairies you’ll see in the park today …

Environmental visionaries brought forth the idea to make this area a regional park as far back as the late 1880’s. They correctly foresaw threats to what is now the park from development, industry, and legislative priorities. Finally in the 1920’s, efforts began in earnest …
Illinois Beach State Park FlowerChick.com
The State of Illinois began acquiring parcels of land and by 1950, the Illinois Dunes Preservation Society was established to protect the area’s natural qualities. By the 1980’s, land north to the Wisconsin border was acquired and Illinois Beach State Park became a reality …

We were impressed and pleased at how well Illinois Beach State Park is maintained. Facilities are clean, parking lots are litter free, and Mother Nature takes a well deserved front row seat!

Visit for an afternoon, a full day, or longer. Our three hour visit just scratched the surface …

Authentic Lake Michigan Beach Glass Jewelry … Click Here To See The Collection

Read on for more natural attractions in southeast Wisconsin, along with our spotlight feature on several great places to stop and enjoy in Kenosha and Racine …

Across The Border Into Wisconsin

The beach ridge of Illinois Beach State Park extends over the border into Wisconsin (nature doesn’t stop at state lines!). Our first two southeast Wisconsin natural attractions, Chiwaukee Prairie and the Kenosha Sand Dunes, are a scant mile or two north of the Illionis – Wisconsin border.

If you’re planning a road trip, we showcase them here for you in a south to north direction. Chiwaukee Prairie stretches north from the border to the Kenosha Sand Dunes, whose southernmost edge is roughly 80th Street in south Kenosha. The Pringle Nature Center is a few miles west of Kenosha not far off Route 50, a prominent east-west state route in southern Wisconsin. Finally, Wind Point and its famous lighthouse is about 12 miles further north along the Lake Michigan shoreline, north of Racine …

Let’s explore each of these natural attractions in more detail …

Chiwaukee Prairie FlowerChick.comChiwaukee Prairie: Entering Wisconsin from Illinois on Sheridan Road, the Chiwaukee Prairie is on your right. It’s essentially between Lake Michigan and Sheridan Road and stretches from the state line north to about 80th Street …

The north end of the prairie technically encompasses the Kenosha Dunes, but we’ll spotlight the dunes separately just below …

Chiwaukee Prairie is approximately 400 acres of wet and dry prairie. It was created thousands of years ago when Lake Michigan retreated and shoreline plants began to take over. We’re told the entire prairie area is beach sand covered by about ten inches of topsoil …

Chiwaukee Prairie FlowerChick.com

Chiwaukee Prairie’s Wildflowers

There are really no marked trails (that we saw anyway), but the prairie is delightful to view from your car or on foot via the quiet back roads in these parts. You’ll see countless colorful wildflowers from spring through late fall. The prairie plants grow longer into the year here due to the moderating effect of Lake Michigan …

More than 400 species of native plants are found here, along with countless birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Chiwaukee Prairie is overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and it’s a designated State Natural Area. The bold title is a link to Chiwaukee.org, an organization of volunteers who serve as friends to the prairie and sponsor beneficial activities, like clean up days, educational programs, and more …

Kenosha Sand Dunes: This dune area forms the north end of the Chiwaukee Prairie, but most Kenosha residents know it as an extension of sorts to popular Southport Park, which borders the dunes on the north …

Kenosha Sand Dunes FlowerChick.comLike all sand dunes around the lake, the Kenosha Dunes were formed by two elements – wind and Lake Michigan. It’s a wonderful place to hike and the lake views are breathtaking. Parts of the dunes have suffered erosion damage in recent years, and there’s ongoing research and activity taking place to ensure this natural attraction remains viable …

You can best access the Kenosha Dunes area from the south end of Southport Park. Park in the lot and walk to the south end … you’re now at Kenosha Dunes where you can start your hike along the top ridges. Be sure to bring your camera!

Pringle Nature Center FlowerChick.comPringle Nature Center: We just discovered Pringle Nature Center this visit. It’s located a few miles west of the intersection of I-94 and Highway 50, then south on County Road MB. The Nature Center is actually within Bristol Woods County Park …

This is another great place to hike, as there are four miles of marked trails through stretches of prairie, wetlands, and forest. At the link, you’ll see a self guided interpretive trail map which points out all the interesting trees and natural sites along the trails …

Wind Point Lighthouse:

Wind Point Lighthouse

Wind Point Lighthouse

Nationally renowned Wind Point Lighthouse is located at the tip of Wind Point, a beautiful small lakefront community just north of Racine. Wind Point’s most distinguishing feature is the “point” juts out into Lake Michigan … hence the need for the lighthouse.

As you can see, the view is spectacular and there are beautifully maintained gardens on the lighthouse grounds. The lighthouse is available for tours on select days seasonally and you can climb to the top on the tour if you wish.


To reach Wind Point, just take Main Street north through Racine to Four Mile Road. Head east and you’ll run right into Wind Point. Highly recommended!

Exploring Kenosha and Racine

Kenosha WI lakefront FlowerChick.com

Kenosha’s Lakefront

If you’re at all like us, you like to combine exploring nature and exploring area cities and towns. Such is the case on this visit to Illinois Beach State Park. The proximity to southeast Wisconsin is just a handful of miles. Fortunately, all roads lead to two of our favorite southern Wisconsin communities – Kenosha and Racine …

Kenosha and Racine are small cities located south of Milwaukee and north of Chicago. They’re quite popular destinations for weekend travelers from both cities and points beyond …




We’ve been visiting Kenosha for decades and just in the past few years have discovered Racine in depth. Kenosha and Racine’s primary draw is their location right on Lake Michigan, which offers one important weather advantage … cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter!

Guide to Collecting Rocks on Lake Michigan’s Shorelines – See It Here

We literally have dozens of establishments, businesses, and bars/restaurants in both cities we enjoy. We’re happy to recommend these great places and hope you pay them a visit. Here are just a few, and to follow along with this feature, we’ll list them from the Illinois border going north into Kenosha, and then Racine:

Stiles Vegetable Farm FlowerChick.com

Some of the Goodies at Stiles

Stiles Vegetable Farm: One of a few new discoveries for us on this visit, Stiles is a family farm which sells their excess produce at an on site farm stand and greenhouse seasonally. Locals swear by Stiles as a great place to buy their plants!

We purchased several freshly picked peppers and really enjoyed them prepared in a pasta dish with giardiniera from Morelli’s Deli (more about that in a few minutes) …

Stiles is just over the state line on the right hand side of Sheridan Road. Look for the cars in the big gravel lot with visitors and locals stopping by to pick up plants and fresh produce. We love Stiles!

Wooden Nickel: Have you ever visited an establishment and said to yourself “Why on earth haven’t I stopped in this place sooner??” Well, that’s the feeling we got after visiting Wooden Nickel for the first time …

Best described as the ultimate low key local bar, Wooden Nickel is located at the corner of 116th and Sheridan Road. It has been here since 1986 making people happy …

Wooden Nickel is just what a comfortable local bar should be. Walk in and there’s a long wooden bar on your left. There’s a pool table to your right, and, well … that’s about it. Which makes it perfect for a friendly, relaxed spot for a drink or two.

The Ultimate Guide to Wisconsin’s Historic Taverns & Breweries … Click Here

On our visit, affable bartender Phil told us about Wooden Nickel’s specialty drink – apple pie shots. We’re not big on shots but we LOVED these! Wooden Nickel makes their own and bottles it. They’re very proud of their apple pie shots and rightfully so. We settled in for about 45 minutes and enjoyed a couple bottles of cold Old Style (retro beer blast from the past!) brewed in Milwaukee and mingled with the gregarious locals.

It was our first time to the Wooden Nickel … but it won’t be the last! Stop here and see what we mean …

Morelli's Deli FlowerChick.com

Morelli’s Deli, Kenosha

Morelli’s Deli: While it looks like a convenience store from the outside, trust us, there are gems waiting within!

Located just north of the Kenosha Dunes and Southport Park at the corner of 75th Street and 7th Avenue, Morelli’s is best known to locals for their deli menu of hot and cold sandwiches. The menu leans Italian and features specialties like Italian Beef sandwiches, meatball bombers, and sub sandwiches …

Morelli’s does a lot of catering business and they’re also known for their breakfast sandwiches and house made soup of the day. Just step up to the deli counter and order! You can also pick up traditional convenience store items, making Morelli’s a one stop shopping experience. Insider Tip: Buy a container of their fantastic giardiniera, either hot or mild. It’s made in house from a Morelli family recipe and coming from people who know a thing or two about giardiniera, it’s excellent, we love it! We mixed a small container with fresh peppers from Stiles Vegetable Farm, pasta, and two diced links of hot Italian sausage from Brossman Meats (below). Wow!

Paelli's Bakery FlowerChick.com

Paelli’s Bakery

Paelli’s Bakery: One thing we’ve learned about southern Wisconsin, the locals value their bakeries. One of our two favorites in Kenosha is the wonderful Paielli’s Bakery, located just off the corner of 52nd Street and 39th Avenue …

This traditional Italian bakery offers kringle, wonderful freshly baked bread, cookies, pastry, donuts, and … well you get the idea. We always buy a couple loafs of their Italian bread – one for the week ahead and one to freeze for later (the bread freezes great!). Paielli’s has been around since 1923, so you know they’re doing something right to have that kind of staying power …

We can’t talk about Kenosha bakeries without mentioning our other favorite, Oliver’s Bakery, located just five minutes south of Paielli’s on Roosevelt Road. Also a long standing Kenosha landmark, Oliver’s offers great kringle, rivaling those you’ll find in Racine (see below). They also do something unique for a bakery on Fridays – Oliver’s offers fish to go by the piece and it’s really good.

Stop by these two bakeries when in Kenosha and pick up something sweet …

Lou Perrine's FlowerChick.comLou Perrine’s: You’ll find this Kenosha landmark at the corner of Sheridan Road and 52nd Street. Primarily a gas station, Lou’s also offers a wide variety of Wisconsin made products like cheese curds, locally brewed root beer, Wisconsin beer, sausage, fresh produce, and much more. It reminds us of a small grocery store with all the choices …

Lou Perrine’s has quite a history. They’ve been at this corner since 1954, back when Sheridan Road was the primary artery through Kenosha to points north. Our Aunt B used to stop here when in Kenosha visiting relatives and raved about the customer service, which is still in place to this day …

Loue Perrine's Ho Ho Cake FlowerChick.com

Ho Ho Cake!

Insider Tip: Here’s something we don’t think even Aunt B knew about … Lou Perrine’s Ho Ho Cake. Kind of a layer cake and available in all sorts of different flavors, Ho Ho Cake is packaged and sold by the slice. We like the Original and also the Lemon flavor. Lou’s makes Ho Ho Cake for your dog friend, too. They’re also packaged by the slice and made with wheat flour and other dog friendly ingredients. Our neighbor dog Jack loved it!

Jerry Smith Farm: This is one of our favorite family friendly destinations in the Kenosha area. Beloved locally, Jerry Smith Farm is a long time family owned and operated destination situated just west of Highway 31 on 18th Street (Highway L) …

Jerry Smith Farm FlowerChick.com

Jerry Smith Farm

Here you’ll find an inviting array of things to do and fresh produce and other goodies to bring home. Spring and summer are bursting with berries, sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, and more. Moving into late summer and fall brings apples, pumpkins, local honey, and a full calendar of fun activities.

A large, expansive farm destination, Jerry Smith Farm is the perfect family destination to spend a few hours on a nice day. It’s a popular place for groups and parties for all ages. Locals know it as one of the best choices to buy freshly grown produce and we agree! We’ve been stopping here for years and love all the fresh options …

TG’s Restaurant & Pub:

If you’ve read any of our other “Visiting Midwest Gardens” features, you know we try to seek out “The Oldest Bar in Town” whenever we travel. In Kenosha, that title proudly goes to TG’s …

TG's Kenosha WI FlowerChick.com

The Oldest Bar In Kenosha

TG’s is a classic restaurant and bar. They’ve been in business since 1889 (no, that’s not a typo!) and when you walk in, you’ll get a vibe of old saloon mixed with 21st Century sensibility …

If that sentence is a little unclear, let’s just say TG’s combines the best of the old and new. The menu is slightly upscale pub food that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The tap beer selection includes old standbys and the latest trendy beers. There’s food specials every day, a nice beer garden out back, and all sorts of events drawing regulars, new customers, and occasional out of town visitors like us …

Open every day from 11 a.m. to close, you’ll find TG’s just off the corner of 7th Avenue and 41st Street, less than five minutes north of downtown. It’s situated in a primarily residential area, as most traditional old taverns are. We link to TG’s in the title, and when you visit their website, be sure to visit the “About Us” page, which details their history. Future President John F. Kennedy visited here, along with countless other national figures from the political and sporting world …

Wisconsin: Out Drinking Your State Since 1848 – Click Here To See It!

TG’s is a place we stop every time we’re in Kenosha and we’re so pleased to spotlight them in this feature …

HobNob FlowerChick.com

Love This Sign!

HobNob: HobNob is a fine dining tradition in the Kenosha/Racine area since 1954. They boast a spectacular location right on Lake Michigan on Sheridan Road a few minutes north of Kenosha and south of Racine …

HobNob has kind of a Wisconsin Supper Club feeling. It skews to the upscale but doesn’t take itself too seriously. People tend to dress up a little to visit here, but it’s not really a “shirt and tie” type of place (although you’ll see them) …

Drinks at HobNob

The menu is classic fine dining, although there’s the obligatory nod to Wisconsin tradition with a wonderful Friday fish fry, which we’ve enjoyed. If you’re not in the mood to dine, not to worry. HobNob’s bar features one of the most desirable features of all – the seats look out directly at Lake Michigan and if you’re lucky enough to visit for happy hour and sunset, it’s an experience you’ll never forget …

In the warmer months, you can enjoy your cocktails on HobNob’s outdoor patio. There’s no better place to enjoy and relax with friends, family, or someone special …

Wells Brothers Racine FlowerChick.comWells Brothers Italian Restaurant: Wells Brothers is a Racine landmark … they’ve been in business since 1921. A comfortable, casual family place, Wells Brothers is best known for their fantastic pizza, though the menu offers a full range of traditional Italian specialties. They’ve been featured in so many “Best Of” articles it’s impossible to count …

Located on Racine’s south side at 22nd and Mead, you’ll see a sign pointing the way on Sheridan Road. Even if you’re not a regular, you’re greeted and treated as family. The atmosphere is warm, inviting, and old school. The pizza lives up to its billing – the crust is cracker thin and has a crispy crunch differentiating it from any other pizza we’ve had. Just outstanding!

If you like to relax with a cocktail before dinner, head up front to the retro style horseshoe shaped bar and mingle with locals and area families. This was our first visit to Wells Brothers, but we’re already planning our schedule to come back again. When you visit, you’ll see what we mean ….

Kewpee Racine WI FlowerChick.com

Kewpee Lunch Racine WI

Kewpee Lunch: Hands down our favorite breakfast spot in Racine, Kewpee is located right downtown. There’s ample free parking and breakfast is cooked up fast, delicious, and just the way you like it.

Kewpee has quite an interesting history, in Racine and beyond. Famous for their hamburgers (hence the name Kewpee Lunch), it has been around almost 100 years – since the mid 1920’s. Walk in and you’ll get a diner feel, complete with the art deco motif and horseshoe shaped counter.

Kewpee is actually one of the oldest hamburger franchises in the country, outdating McDonald’s by more than 30 years. There were once hundreds of locations throughout the country but today, few remain and the Racine outpost is one. We are so glad they’re here!

Perhaps the most unique feature here is the display case of dozens of kewpie dolls along the west wall. There are a few articles about Kewpee’s history interspersed and the low prices are a blast from the past too. We’ve just had breakfast here but locals rave about the cheeseburgers, which are served with pickles, raw onions, ketchup and mustard.

Open until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Kewpee is a Racine landmark. Stop in and enjoy!

Lornacopia Racine WI FlowerChick.com

Lornacopia Racine WI

Lornacopia:

This store is an absolute gem in downtown Racine! As you enter you’re warmly greeted by the owner – you’ll feel right at home …

Lornacopia Boutique sells new and like new designer clothing, handbags, shoes, boots, jewelry and accessories as well as many familiar and well known quality brands. Since I last visited, they’ve expanded their jewelry section. What a selection of interesting necklaces, earrings, and bracelets you’ll find waiting for you here. Perfect to treat yourself or purchase as a gift for a friend …

Their merchandise is very current as they only accept clothing within the last 2 years of fashion. No out of date clothing to muck through … plus they cater to women of all ages and sizes. Check out the Lornacopia Facebook page to see what’s new and currently featured. Can’t make it to Racine? The owner will ship merchandise directly to you!

Racine Brewing Co. FlowerChick.com

Try The Root Beer!

Racine Brewing Company: Stroll around downtown Racine and you’ll come across this new local brewery at the corner of 3rd and Main. Locally owned and operated, Racine Brewing Company is a popular gathering spot for their fresh creative house brewed beers …

We stopped in on a Saturday afternoon and really enjoyed the jovial crowd and eclectic setting. Insider Tip: Try the root beer on tap. It’s house made just like all the RBC beers and it’s fantastic! You can get it as a root beer float too. What a nice new addition to the ever evolving and improving downtown Racine landscape …

Smoke'd on the Water RAcine FlowerChick.com

Smoke’d on the Water

Smoke’d On The Water: Not the classic Deep Purple song, but a gem of a waterfront outpost at the Racine harbor. Just two short blocks from downtown, this seasonal bar and grill offers counter service of familiar favorites like hot dogs, nachos, and the like …

Smoke’d On The Water has a few metal picnic tables and benches scattered about for seating and an ample selection of beer in cans and bottles. Free live music is offered frequently. If you like enjoying lake front views without paying an arm and a leg, this is the place to go in Racine …

Kringle!: If Racine is known for a foodie delicacy, it’s definitely kringle! Kringle is a pastry of Danish origin, baked into a ringed shape with a filling inside (usually fruit flavored) and frosted atop. People travel from all over to experience Racine Danish Kringle … they’re that good! Some of the bakeries in Racine even ship their kringle across the USA, so you don’t have to live in Racine to get your fix …

Racine Kringle Shipped Right To Your Door … Click Here!

We have three favorite Racine bakeries, and each is well known for their kringle. The first is the largest, O & H Danish Bakery, which has five locations in the area and has been a Racine landmark since 1949. We love the original location just two minutes north of downtown Racine on Douglas Avenue and the large expansive outpost on Washington Avenue west of the city. All these bakeries offer several flavors of kringle (we’re partial to cherry, strawberry, and apricot) and you’re sure to find a variety you love.

Bendsten's Bakery FlowerChick.com

Inside Bendsten’s Bakery Racine WI

If you head out west just five minutes from downtown Racine on 6th Street, it changes names to Washington Avenue and you’ll see our two other favorite Racine bakeries practically right across the street from one another. They’re Bendsten’s Bakery, which has been around since 1934, and Larsen’s Bakery, which has also stood the test of time. Insider Tip: In addition to kringle, these bakeries also offer freshly baked bread and we’ve got to tell you, it’s fantastic! Whether you prefer white, rye, pumpernickel, multi grain, or any number of others, do yourself a favor and pick up a loaf or two at each of the bakeries. The bread freezes well so you needn’t worry about it going bad …

Another Insider Tip: If you’re unfamiliar with Racine and want to visit all three bakeries quickly, head west from downtown on Washington Avenue as mentioned above. You’ll see Bendsten’s and Larsen’s … O & H’s west location is just a few minutes further …

It’s often said kringle and kringle alone keeps folks coming back to Racine again and again. Truer words have never been spoken!

The Sausage Kitchen Racine FlowerChick.comThe Sausage Kitchen: Google Maps is wonderful. There, we said it! Whenever we travel, we use Google Maps to plan and plot out our visit so we make sure we don’t miss anything. My husband is “wound a little tight” about making sure we don’t make wrong turns or get lost by accident, and he knows where everything is in town before we visit …

Anyway, it’s a long way of saying that’s how we found The Sausage Kitchen. It’s a short few blocks west of the wonderful O + H Bakery and we’re so glad we became acquainted …

The Sausage Kitchen bills itself as “Racine’s #1 Sub Shop” but to simply call it that doesn’t do this establishment justice. Yes, they do offer a variety of freshly made sub sandwiches to enjoy on site or to go, but they’re also a deli, breakfast restaurant, and local gathering place …

Walk into The Sausage Kitchen and you’re in the midst of a small room with scattered tables and chairs with locals enjoying their breakfast or lunch. A few steps to the left past the cashier counter and you’re in the deli and grocery area, where we picked up house made ham salad, natural casing hot dogs, and a few more items we couldn’t live without …

Probably best known for their breakfast sandwiches, The Sausage Kitchen has been part of the Racine landscape since 1958. If you get the sense we have great respect for history and longevity, you’re right.

The Sausage Kitchen also caters and offers a soup of the day and daily specials. A great place!

Racine Zoo FlowerChick.com

Visit The Racine Zoo

Racine Zoo: I’ll admit, I’ve always had a soft spot for visiting the animals. The Racine Zoo is small as zoos go, located on the near north side of town adjacent to Racine’s famous North Beach …

This 28 acre zoo has been a part of Racine since 1923. Their mission is to strengthen the bond between people and nature by offering an affordable and enlightening wildlife experience. Visit here and you’ll encounter approximately 100 species of animals from Wisconsin and around the world …

#Racine Hats … A Great Gift Idea!

We are really impressed with Racine Zoo’s outreach efforts to their members and the community at large. They offer an ongoing slate of special events geared toward varying interest levels, from spotlighting various species to holiday events to unique events like “Old Fashioned Cocktail Night”.

As you might expect, the zoo reaches out to youngsters with a variety of programming. Among the many options are summer camps, slumber safaris, birthday parties, scout programs, and more …

The zoo is also actively involved with several important animal conservation efforts, including Frog Watch USA, Giraffe Conservation, and 96 Elephants Campaign …

The Racine Zoo is one of the area’s most popular and worthwhile destinations for all ages. Nothing beats a stroll around the grounds to visit with the animals and enjoy the invigorating Lake Michigan breezes!

Brossman Meats FlowerChick.com

Brossman Meats – A Must Stop!

Brossman Meats: Along with seeking out the oldest bar in town, another item on my husband’s agenda during our “Visiting Midwest Gardens” travels is visiting area meat markets to shop for specialty meats. I must say he’s got an uncanny knack for locating really great markets!

In the Racine area, you won’t want to miss Brossman Meats. Located off the corner of Route 31 and Six Mile Road north of town, this place is a gem if you like fresh cuts of quality meats at reasonable prices …

Clean, organized, and very inviting, Brossman Meats is a full service meat counter offering standard and specialty cuts of beef, chicken, pork, and more. We purchased Spicy Thai marinated chicken breasts, various deli items, pecan encrusted chicken breasts, house made Hungarian sausage, and some of the best ground chuck we’ve ever had. They’ll cut any type of meat to order, although the selection is so varied you’ll probably only need to opt for what’s displayed.

Insider Tip: Pick up a bottle of Brossman’s private label barbecue sauce. We recommend the “Thickin’ Sweet” variety … it’s just as the name implies, thick and slightly sweet with a tiny bit of tangy heat. Perfect on hamburgers or any cut of meat, we love it and haven’t been able to stop gushing over it …

If you’re anywhere north of Racine, stop in at Brossman’s Meats. It’s right on the way from Racine to Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners (stay tuned for our post about this wonderful spot) …

Milaeger's Racine FlowerChick.com

Inside Milaeger’s greenhouse, Racine WI

Milaeger’s: Milaeger’s is a gardening and lifestyle retailer that’s one of our favorite Racine area shopping destinations. They’ve got two stores in the Racine area and their garden centers and nurseries are an absolute delight …

We love Milaeger’s tag phrase – “Something wonderful is always happening at Milaeger’s”. Whether you’re looking for plants, home decor, fashion, seasonal collectibles, or even landscaping design help, you’re in good hands here. We’re partial to the Douglas Avenue store on Racine’s north side as it’s close to many of our other favorite area destinations, and every time we visit, there’s something new to discover …

Visit on a Sunday and you’ll enjoy their year around Great Lakes Farmers Market. Held outdoors in the warmer months, the market is bursting with fresh produce vendors, local specialties, food, drink, live entertainment and more. There’s nothing quite like strolling through a wonderful farmers market with your favorite beverage in tow! Local breweries are often on site, and the mimosa and Bloody Mary stations are busy keeping people smiling and happy …

One visit to Milaeger’s and you’re sure to return over and over …

Summary

Racine WI Harbor

Northeast Illinois and southeast Wisconsin offer a little something for everyone! From Illinois Beach State Park to the Kenosha area natural attractions, gardeners and nature lovers will be impressed. For other pursuits like shopping, dining, or settling in at “the oldest bar in town”, it’s an equally satisfying experience …

We visit this area often and we’ll be updating this feature in the near future with expanded recommendations, new updated information, and of course more Insider Tips. Stay tuned!

FlowerChick.com is delighted to spotlight this beautiful area in gardening Zone 5. Do you have any recommendations in this area? Tell us about all your favorites by dropping us a line at our Contact Page. We love hearing from our readers!

View from Wind Point Lighthouse FlowerChick.com

View from Wind Point Lighthouse