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The Hidden Gem (Kenosha)

Our Lake Michigan shoreline is one of our most popular features, with nearly 90 percent publicly accessible via parks, beaches, festival places and a miles-long promenade. The lakeshore also boasts five one-of-a-kind museums, an authentic electric streetcar system, two historic lighthouses, and the popular Kenosha HarborMarket. A vibrant Downtown district full of shopping, dining and the arts is ideally located just steps from the lakeshore and makes for a truly special visit.

Away from the shoreline, the Kenosha Area is teeming with opportunities for fun! Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets and Jelly Belly Visitor Center are visitor favorites that you’ll want to build into your itinerary. If it’s the great outdoors you seek, Kenosha’s western region delivers beautifully. Pristine golf courses, tranquil inland lakes, hiking and biking trails, a ski and snowboard area, and so much more await you year-round.

Kenosha, Wisconsin History

An early group of Native Americans originally named Kenosha, Wisconsin Kenozia which means "place of the Pike".  In 1836, after more settlers arrived and the first post office was established, it was renamed to Pike Creek. In the ensuing years, the area became an important Great Lakes shipping port and the village was once again renamed — to Southport. In 1850, one last change gave Kenosha its current title, a modernized version of the early Kenozia, and the name for which the county is also named.

The transportation industry developed much of the area's great economic resources. Kenosha has been the home to many well-known automotive industry leaders such as Nash Motor Company, American Motors Company and DaimlerChrysler Corporation. Other industry giants that make the Kenosha Area their home today include Amazon, Jockey International, Jelly Belly Candy Co., Ocean Spray, Snap-on, and Uline.

The Kenosha Area is filled with interesting and unique historical places, including the United States' oldest operating velodrome (bicycle racing track). Weekly races are still held there in the summer months, drawing crowds from near and far. Kenosha is also one of only three Wisconsin cities to have more than one National Register Historic District. Visit Kenosha's four historic districts — including the Civic Center Historic District, Library Park Historic District, Third Avenue Historic District and the Pearl Street Historic District — as well as two historic lighthouses.  Kenosha’s rich history is preserved and proudly displayed at our various museums, including the home of the Kenosha County Historical Society – the Kenosha History Center.

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