Escape to Kenosha: Top Things to Do on Your Couple’s Weekend Getaway

Kenosha is a Midwest hidden gem with a warm heart. Where everyone knows everyone and a hospitality that’s second to none.  Our weekend getaway to Kenosha got us wishing we could move to this small quaint town just under 2 hours away from Chicago. This town welcomed us with open arms, which felt like home away from home. From sightseeing, to everything else in between we knew were in for a weekend to remember!  Here is your couple weekend getaway itinerary to explore.

Where to Stay

Apis Hotel

The perfect mix of comfort and luxury is what the Apis Hotel has to offer. The Apis Hotel is a charming boutique hotel that effortlessly blends modern elegance with a cozy and inviting atmosphere creating a sense of luxury and comfort that sets it apart from other accommodations in the area.

With each room carefully designed to make you feel at home. We’ve checked into the queen suite loft. Our room were fully equipped with snacks and drinks for purchase, a kitchen area and a fireplace!  One of the standout features of the Apis Hotel is its location. Situated in the heart of Kenosha, it offers easy access to popular attractions, restaurants, and shopping destinations. We particularly enjoyed the proximity to the scenic Lake Michigan shoreline, allowing us to take leisurely walks along the beach and enjoy the views.

With access to the restaurant downstairs, no stay here is completed without indulging in the delectable offerings. Their menus are globally inspired and change constantly. We tried the Apis Gyro and the Smoked baby back ribs, which both were fantastic! And sip on with a view of downtown basking in and the aesthetic of the hotel giving you the calm serene. The hotel also boasts a rooftop bar, which gives you a great view of downtown with a few firepits to sit next to. Make sure to check out The Rooftop bar when it opens in the summertime!

Things to Do

Kenosha Public Market and Kenosha Harbor Market

The Kenosha’s Public Market and  Kenosha Harbor Market are a true feast for the senses, offering a blend of fresh produce, local crafts, and vibrant community energy. The Public Market, located in the heart of downtown Kenosha, invites visitors to explore a cornucopia of flavors and artisanal creations. Here, one can find an abundant selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables, fragrant herbs, and locally sourced meats and cheeses. The market is not only a haven for food enthusiasts but also a gathering place for local artists, bakers, and craftsmen, who proudly display their creations and engage in lively conversations with patrons.

The Harbor Farmers Market adds a touch of nautical charm to the shopping experience. With picturesque Lake Michigan as its backdrop, this market offers a unique setting to peruse stalls brimming with farm-fresh produce, homemade jams, honey, and handcrafted goods. We were more than happy to support the local growers filling our fridge to the brim. Both markets provide an opportunity to connect with local farmers and artisans, supporting the community and promoting sustainable practices. Whether you’re in search of fresh ingredients or simply craving a taste of Kenosha’s vibrant atmosphere, the Public and Harbor Farmers Markets are not to be missed.

Pottery Painting At Alpaca Art

This was a new experience for us, but it was so much fun!  Owned by twin sisters, Brenda and Becky, they will walk you through on selecting a pottery piece of paint and how the colors will look with different coats. Aaron selected a Gnome and Stella got a teapot. We learned quickly that we aren’t the greatest artists in the world, but we still had a fantastic time painting and laughing at each other of how bad we were. Once we were finished, the owners took our pieces  and clear glaze and fire it up in a kiln. After a week, you can either pick up your piece or have it shipped to you. When we received ours, they looked amazing! They did a great job having the colors pop out!

The staff at Alpaca Art deserves special mention for their exceptional customer service. They were knowledgeable, patient, and always willing to offer guidance and suggestions. Whether you’re an experienced artist or a beginner like us, their expertise and enthusiasm are sure to enhance your artistic journey. They took the time to explain different painting techniques, helping the both of us  bring our vision to life. We highly recommend visiting Alpaca Art, and let your inner artist out. Don’t worry it will turned out great.

Lakeshore Pedal Tour

Bar hopping with Lakeshore Pedal Captain Mike was an absolute blast! This BYOB pedal tour is a one a kind as you slowly go through the streets of Kenosha with the music blaring over the speakers, waving and honking at the locals and having an amazing time. Embark on a curated tour with Lakeshore Pedal, exploring the best bars in town. With a group of around 10 people, enjoy approximately 15-minute stops at each bar. At Union Park Tavern, savor your drink in their spacious backyard. Next, visit the modern and spacious Tavern on 6th, where you can indulge in drinks and delicious fries. Let Lakeshore Pedal take the lead in finding the perfect bars for you, making your vacation a breeze and allowing you to explore like a local.

Go to the Lighthouses

Exploring the lighthouses in Kenosha is an enchanting experience that immerses visitors in the rich maritime history of this charming lakeside city. Nestled on the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan, Kenosha boasts two magnificent lighthouses that stand as beacons of the past. The first is the Southport Lighthouse, a majestic tower that has stood since 1866. Ascending its spiral staircase rewards you with breathtaking views of the shimmering lake and the surrounding landscape. The second is the Pierhead Lighthouse, a striking red and white structure that guards the harbor entrance. Its weathered façade tells tales of storms weathered and ships guided to safety. You can walk along the pier, listening to the soothing sound of crashing waves and feeling the invigorating lake breeze.

We also had a chance to tour the old house at Southport that was home to the lighthouse keepers. The historian gave us an amazing look of the nautical history of the area including history of the keepers and the ways the lighthouse was maintained by the different ways they used to keep the light going. He also gave us the story of the SS Wisconsin and the many, I mean MANY times that bad luck happened with the ship before it was eventually sunk in 1929 in Lake Michigan.

Take some time out of your vacation and check out these sites. Marvel at the historical buildings and just sit and take in the sounds of the lake crashing against the shore.

Take a Ride in a Vintage Street Car

Downtown Kenosha is easily accessible with everything within walkable distance; However, adding the street car ride to your visit allows you to slow down and truly takes in the view. This 2 mile loop allows you to witness stunning views of Lake Michigan, the vibrant harbor, and the parks that dot the cityscape. While riding, we felt as if we’ve stepped back in time to experience what it was like back in the day. If you are a photographer lover, pull out the camera and take some shots of the streetcars. There are currently 7 streetcars in operation with the oldest one dating back to 1948! If you have a sense of adventure pop the window open and stick your head out and enjoy the lake air. We promise it is worth the ride.

Mars Cheese Castle

There’s a story about why we went here. Each time we travel up to Wisconsin, we would always pass this Castle on the side of the highway. Being out of the ordinary, Aaron really wanted to go for kicks and giggles, but never figured out a good time to do it. Luckily, we had that chance! Built in 1947, the Mars Cheese Castle began as a modest roadside cheese shop that sought to bring the finest cheeses throughout the world. Over the years, their business grew, and the Mars Cheese Castle evolved into the iconic structure it is today.

As you approach the Mars Cheese Castle, its eye-catching exterior immediately catches your attention. The architecture boasts a blend of whimsy and grandeur, reminiscent of an European castle. The sprawling space houses an extensive selection of over 700 varieties of cheese sourced locally and from around the world. From classic cheddars and goudas to exotic blends and infused specialties, every cheese connoisseur’s taste buds are guaranteed to be satisfied. They also have gourmet foods, delectable sausages, mouth watering pastries, and a cornucopia of locally made products.

So, whether you’re a cheese aficionado, a curious traveler, or simply seeking a unique culinary adventure, a visit to the Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha is an absolute must. Indulge in the flavors, embrace the quirkiness, and be transported to a world where cheese reigns supreme.

Where to Eat

Twisted Cuisine

Twisted Cuisine in Kenosha is a culinary gem that tantalizes taste buds with its inventive and artfully crafted dishes. This restaurant combines a sophisticated dining experience with a unique twist on classic flavors. Led by a team of skilled chefs, Twisted Cuisine presents a menu that showcases a harmonious blend of global influences and local ingredients. From starters to desserts, each dish is a work of culinary art, with unexpected flavor combinations and exquisite presentation. Whether it’s their signature small plates bursting with bold flavors or their mouthwatering entrees that showcase the freshest seafood and perfectly cooked meats, Twisted Cuisine never fails to impress. The restaurant’s cozy and elegant ambiance creates the perfect setting for an unforgettable dining experience. With its commitment to culinary excellence and creative flair, Twisted Cuisine has become a beloved destination for food enthusiasts seeking a memorable gastronomic adventure in Kenosha.

The Daily Dose Café

The Daily Dose Café in Kenosha is a haven for coffee aficionados and food lovers alike. This cozy café exudes warmth and a welcoming atmosphere from the moment you step inside. Experience the aromatic delight of artisanal coffee at The Daily Dose Café. Their skilled baristas source high-quality beans locally, crafting each cup to perfection. Indulge in classic espressos or specialty lattes with unique flavors. The café also offers a delectable menu, including panini sandwiches, salads, and frittatas. With a friendly staff, cozy ambiance, and exceptional coffee and cuisine, The Daily Dose Café is a beloved local gem in Kenosha’s vibrant culinary scene.

The Coffee Pot

We grabbed breakfast at this retro American dinner that’s extremely popular in the area. The Coffee Pot is decorated with a mix of 50s vintage and modern elements, creating a comfortable and relaxing space. The main dining area features an old school counter seating, so you always get prompt service and a good view of the cooks at work.

For it being called The Coffee Pot, of course it has to have the best coffee in the area! They also offer espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes to specialty drinks such as Irish Coffees and Mimosas. We decided to get a cinnamon roll to share and to our shock for how big it was! All of the baked goods offered are made in the restaurant, so it’s guaranteed to be fresh!

Add The Coffee Pot to your Kenosha culinary adventure! From breakfast to lunch, they offer some great dishes when you’re in the mood for some great diner food

Iguana Wana Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar

On our way out of Kenosha for the weekend, we stopped by the Iguana Wana Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar. The ambiance that the restaurant offers caught us off guard as we walked into Iguana Wana. The lively atmosphere and colorful decor immediately captivated us. The vibrant murals, rustic accents, and energetic music set the stage for a festive dining experience. The restaurant successfully creates an ambiance that transports you to the heart of Mexico.

The menu at Iguana Wana offers a diverse selection of Mexican dishes, featuring traditional favorites and innovative creations. From the moment we tasted the complimentary homemade salsa and chips, we knew we were in for a treat. The flavors were authentic, with each dish expertly seasoned and crafted with care.

One of the highlights at Iguana Wana is their extensive tequila bar, boasting an impressive collection of tequila and mezcal varieties. Whether you’re a tequila connoisseur or simply looking to expand your palate, the knowledgeable staff can guide you in choosing the perfect tequila or crafting a tantalizing margarita. They make their tequila mixes pretty strong, so be ready when you have one!

Los Cantarito

Nestled in Kenosha, WI this restaurant will transport you straight to Mexico. This authentic Mexican restaurant has been delighting locals and visitors alike with its mouthwatering dishes, warm hospitality, and lively atmosphere. 

Family owned since 2006, the restaurant’s vibrant decor, adorned with colorful Mexican motifs, sets the stage for an immersive dining experience. The menu boasts a wide array of traditional Mexican dishes, each prepared with passion and an unwavering commitment.

Another thing we enjoyed with the restaurant is that it was an intimate experience, being a small place. It was the running theme of all the restaurants we tried in the Kenosha area. It really makes the dining experience more personal and more engaging.

Is Kenosha Worth The Trip?

Kenosha delights visitors with captivating experiences, warm hospitality, and a genuine sense of community. From the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan to the charming downtown district, this city offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and culinary delights for a weekend getaway. Whether you’re exploring the city’s maritime heritage, indulging in the local culinary delights, or simply enjoying the tranquil serenity of Lake Michigan, Kenosha’s charm and hospitality create an unforgettable destination.



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