Racine is an attractive port city on the shore of Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, named for the Root River ("Racine" in French) and known colloquially as the "Belle City". Founded in the mid 19th century, many of its first generation buildings and homes survive, and it has important buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Racine was a notable manufacturing town, home to the Mitchell Car Company, Horlicks, JI Case, Johnson Wax, and many others. The local food specialty is Danish Kringle, a sweet pastry that has been produced here since our earliest days. We believe our lighthouse to be the oldest and tallest still working on the Great Lakes. On our outskirts, we enjoy farms and original Wisconsin prairieland.
- Racine in North America
- This map shows Racine on the shore of Lake Michigan in the State of Wisconsin. The area is generally known as "The Midwest".
- The Great Lakes Area
- Map of the area and local environmental information. Click on Lake Michigan, and on Wisconsin for more detail.
- 1883 Portrait-Map of Racine
- This map was based on aerial and long-distance photographs, supplemented by artists who roamed the streets of Racine sketching the buildings. Many, like the one shown in the pop-up drawing above, still survive.
- City of Racine
- Mostly of interest to Racine residents, but check out the "Racine Community" link at the center of the top navigation panel for tourist amenities.
- Racine County
- Mostly of interest to Racine County residents, but scan the extensive alphabetical index at the bottom of each page. These include camping grounds and reservations, parks, hunting licenses, and our history.
- Visit Racine
- Information about visiting Racine, including accommodation, shops, bakeries, restaurants, activities and events.
- About Danish Kringle
- Americans describe kringle as a "coffee cake"—which is not a coffee-flavored cake, but a sweet confection usually accompanied by a mug of hot coffee. This site will give you some history and details.
- Racine Danish Kringles
- Now shop online for one or more of these gourmet kringles.
- O & H Danish Bakery
- Alternatively, try some kringle from this bakery - you might even win some!
- Tom's Pick of the Local Restaurants
- Tom has eaten in and around Racine, accompanied by his international business contacts. Read what they have to say!
- Racine Heritage Museum
- Children and adults will all enjoy this museum with its vintage Mitchell car, the Egyptian mummy collected by James Horlick and forgotten in his attic until the new house-owners found it there, a tornado machine, a massive lens from the old lighthouse, and much more.
- Racine Art Museum
- Housed in an award-winning conversion of the old M&I Bank on Main Street, this pleasant museum holds one of the most important contemporary craft collections in America.
- Milwaukee Museum of Art
- While in the area, be sure to check out this new museum by Sandiego Calatrava, with its great white bird-wing roof and fascinating art collections.
Places to Go—Racine
- The Southeastern Wisconsin Aviation Museum
- Although tiny, Racine's own Batten airport receives international flights - and has a delightful museum of vintage aircraft.
- The Kenosha Military Museum
- Good for a full afternoon, this armored vehicle graveyard is an educational and moving experience. Nothing prepares you for the sheer size and variety of these vehicles.
- Racine Zoo
- One of the last remaining free zoos. Be sure to visit Kali, the Siberian tiger, who enjoys receiving guests at her enclosure gates.
- The DeKoven Center
- Now a retreat and conference center, the complex was originally known as "Racine College"—and you can find two portraits of it in the 1883 map linked above.
- Racine Theatre Guild
- A wide range of interesting and fun performances for adults and children—take a look at what's on offer while you're in Racine.
- North Beach
- The longest beach on Lake Michigan, and the second "blue wave beach" in the Great Lakes, this beach nestles in an attractive bay near the marina. It is equipped with an extensive children's playground and served by a refreshment center with live music.
- Quarry Lake Park
- Silurian reefs. Interesting photos on this site.
- The Great Midwest Dragon Boat Festival
- 8th and 9th July, six Chinese dragon boats raced by twenty-person teams on the lakefront; meanwhile onshore there is food, music and entertainment.
- Spirit of Racine Triathlon
- 1500 competitors from Racine, from Wisconsin, from America, and from the World! The scenic course comprises 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run for a $25,000 purse. This year's date: July 24, 2005.
Places to Go—Nearby
- Kenosha Public Museum
- Exhibition (including one complete skeleton) of the woolly mammoths that were found locally and forced a radical rethinking about the arrival of humans in America. The Woolly Mammoth Site has an explanation and photos (click on drawing at bottom for the rest of that site).
- Chiwaukee Prairie
- A precious fragment of preserved prairie, definitely worth checking out. This site will show you what is in bloom during your time here, and will let you listen to bird calls so you know what you're hearing when you visit. (More photos here.)
- Jelly Belly Factory
- A jelly bean candy made locally - you can visit the factory and sample some of the fifty different flavors.
- Tall Ships Festival
- August 4-8, 2005, a gathering of square riggers and schooners in Kenosha's harbor, including copies of some very famous ships and several that can be toured.
Places to Go—Further Afield
- Aztalan, Prehistoric Indian Citadel
- Worth the drive out from Racine to see this prehistoric citadel. This site from the White Horse Middle School, Madison.
- The Spinning Top Museum
- A great place to visit—see the exhibits and then buy some!
- The Modine-Benstead Observatory
- The observatory is only open once a month, so check dates before actually visiting.
- EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh
- The biggest fly-in of experimental aircraft in the world, the show includes everything from historic antiques to the latest state-of-the-art aircrafts, rides, how-tos, aerobats, astronauts ... This year's dates are July 25–31.
Things to Do
- Bicycle Trails from Chicago to Milwaukee
- Printable maps, photos and descriptions of several local trails, provided by a rather excellent local radio station.
- Racine County Fair
- Tractor pulls, livestock shows, craft stalls, food and fairground amusements make for a great day out, July 27–31, 2005. This site is also in French.
- The Bristol Renaissance Faire
- The Renaissance Faire re-creates an English Village in the time of Queen Elizabeth I. From spirited peasant through industrious merchant to lofty noble, every class of Elizabethan life is represented in our shire.
- The Kenosha Drive-in Movie Theatre
- One of the oldest drive-in theatres in Wisconsin, The Keno shows double programs during the summer months.
- This festival is now thirty years old and still providing great competitive fishing, music, food and prizes every July.
- The Dennis Sullivan
- Faithful copy of a 19th-century Great Lakes Schooner docked in Milwaukee. The trips last three hours. You can explore the crew's quarters and galley, can help hoist the sails, and maybe even take the helm!
- Upbeat wall of sound jazz by very fine local musicians clearly enjoying themselves.
- Animal Crackers
- Evening jazz concerts in the grounds of the Racine Zoo. Bring a picnic!
- Exciting and atmospheric - try and catch one of their gigs!
- Rodd Page
- "Trance Music", check out his CDs and see if you can catch a performance.
- Belle City Brass Works
- A classic brass band.
- Racine's Drum and Bugle Corps.
- Man's music!
- The Christmas House
- Bed-and-Breakfast Inn and Conference Center in historic turn-of-the-century mansion close to Racine's historic Main Street and the 6th Street "Heart of the Arts".
- Lochnaiar Bed and Breakfast
- An attractive period house within walking distance of Racine and with great views over the Lake.
- Mansards On the Lake
- Self-catering suites in a European style townhouse situated in a well-maintained historic area very close to town.
- Radisson Inn, Harbour Walk
- Located right in the marina, and host to The Chancery Restaurant with easy and interesting food and the occasional table-side conjuror.
- The Racine Marriott
- With boardroom amenities, bar and several restaurants, this hotel is located near the newly developed upscale shopping area in Racine.
- Lochnaiar Inn
- Should be online by about 20th May.
- The Christmas House
- A large and attractive turn of the century Mansion close to downtown Racine.