Food, Fish & Fun – Why Racine County’s an Ideal 2020 Domestic Destination
Like all of Wisconsin, Racine residents and businesses take COVID-19 very seriously. Our businesses practice social distancing of six feet or more, limit the number of diners and shoppers in each restaurant and store, respectively, and facial coverings are encouraged when indoors. Visitors are also asked to practice social distancing and other CDC-recommended protocols when enjoying Racine’s abundant outdoor resources. Together, we can make Racine a safe place to enjoy.
When deciding to vacation locally, it’s funny what you discover in your own “backyard.” You may have associated perfect vacations with air travel and far-flung locales, but look around your region and you’ll be surprised what you find. In Southeastern Wisconsin you’ll find a beachside resort community that features two healthy rivers, and cultural curiosities from architecture and galleries to summer festivals, independent restaurants, and bars. Even though you may not have thought about the Third Coast for a while, given all the hassles inherent in air travel, timeshares and the like, 2020 is a great year to consider Racine, Wisconsin, for your getaway. Here’s what a day on the sand in Racine County might look like.
Located one hour and 35-minutes from Chicago and Milwaukee respectively, you can easily gather the crew and arrive in Racine County with plenty of time for a relaxed breakfast to launch your day. The Apple Holler opens at 8:00 am every day of the week. Their Weekend Breakfast Buffet stretches until noon, so you can take your time selecting homemade biscuits and gravy, cheesy hash-brown casserole, buttermilk pancakes and, of course, apple fritters from among over 15 brunch offerings.
Known locally as an apple pickers paradise, you’ll find educational programs, a gift shop and all sorts of events at the Holler once we roll into fall. The Farm Park also provides great recreation all summer with barnyard animals, the Orchard Express Train Ride, mazes and the Giant Slide. There are ponies to ride and pigs getting ready to race in fall. Don’t forget to look up and see Billy crossing the Golden Goat Bridge. Families easily make a day of it here in this fun-filled introduction to farm life.
The Apple Holler is one of several restaurants that serve locally-sourced meals from breakfast through dinner. The Blue Bear “Benedict” draws praises across the social media spectrum, as do the breakfast combos at The Maple Table. From 5-egg omelets to the California Crab Cake Benedict, breakfast is served right within the Maple Table’s fresh and bright ambience. The Red Onion Café, A Little R&R Café, and Mimosa are just a few of many breakfast and brunch options to fuel up throughout Racine County.
Racine County is first and foremost a beach community, starting with more than 50 acres of sand at North Beach on Lake Michigan. Heralded as one of USA Today’s “Top 5 Freshwater Beaches in North America,” the Third Coast vibe thrives here, whether you step easily into town from shore, chill out at the Beachside Oasis or hang with the little ones at the Kids Cove playground. You can also slide your kayak or canoe into the water at several entry points along the 14-mile Fox River Trail. The river’s gentle current entices mid-morning “supping” (standup-paddleboarding) under the spring and summer sun. Anglers cast for derby-sized salmon and trout from the Root River shores or wade into Brown Lake in Burlington, a favorite largemouth bass fishery. However you prefer to get wet, midday on the water is the way to go here.
Afternoon Cultural Crusade
Racine County has a unique status as a freshwater resort, arts hub, and vibrant agrarian community. Summer captures this dynamic blend brilliantly.
Arts appreciation begins at the Racine Art Museum, home to America’s finest contemporary crafts collection. RAM is renowned regionally for its innovative exhibitions. The Racine Heritage Museum plots regular interactive experiences as well, like a local scavenger hunt. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts also invites you to get involved by engaging in open-studio classes in ceramic, watercolor, stained glass and other visual arts throughout the year.
To learn just how much Racine has grown as a prime vacation destination, look inside its kitchens. Across the board, Racine County chefs revel in using local ingredients to create feasts that convey a distinctly Wisconsin flavor. Look no farther than Butcher & Barrell’s Gouda Bacon Mac & Cheese for insight into how much one can do with a familiar meal. Nash Racine adds pot roast to the dinner mix, offering ample servings of local root vegetables and smothering the dish with a demi-glaze. Like all Racine restaurants, Olde Madrid serves affordable dinners with culinary nuances like Spanish tapas, among a spectrum of ethnic menus.
Make it an Overnight
Easy as it is to day trip from Milwaukee and Chicago to Racine County, adding an affordable stay just feels more like a full vacation. Racine County is served by numerous inns and hotels, all priced for an easy stay that won’t dent your wallet. Whether you choose the DoubleTree by Hilton, the Delta by Marriott-Racine or one of a dozen additional hotels, you can rely on comfortable accommodation within an easy walk from downtown, North Beach and attractions.
Visit the Real Racine website to start plotting your local holiday.