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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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In Travel & Visitors Guide

The Electric Streetcar Circulator is a great way to tour the city of Kenosha.

Kenosha bridges Milwaukee and Chicago


The Milwaukee 7 was formed in September 2005 to create a regional, cooperative economic development platform for the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin. In this OnMilwaukee.com series, Gregg Hoffmann profiles each of the counties and highlights their unique attractions and appeal.

Kenosha County, home to the world headquarters of both Jockey International and Snap-on Incorporated, serves as the gateway to the Milwaukee 7 region and the entire state for thousands of visitors from Chicago and elsewhere.

Interstate 94 has a steady stream of northbound traffic on most weekends, especially during summer months. Kenosha County has prepared itself well in recent years, to make sure that at least a percentage of those travelers stop and explore.

Many of those visitors make their first stop the Prime Outlets at Pleasant Prairie. More than 90 outlet stores offer brand name products in the mall at I-94 and Hwy. 165.

If you go east into the City of Kenosha, you'll find a variety of attractions, starting with a renovated marina and lakefront access.

The Electric Streetcar Circulator includes five beautifully restored electric streetcars which travel a two-mile loop. The route provides a scenic tour of the Lake Michigan shoreline, HarborPark, two historic districts, the downtown business district and the METRA train station. The fare is 25 cents.

If you're in town during the summer months, the bike races at Washington Park are a must-see. The facility there is the oldest operating velodrome in the U.S.

If you prefer indoor activities, the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Kenosha History Center and Kenosha Public Museum offer great tours and exhibits.

You can enjoy the arts throughout the Kenosha area. The Anderson Arts Center, Carthage College, Kenosha Art Association, Kenosha Pops Concerts, Lakeside Players, Inc. at the Rhode Center for the Arts, Lemon Street Gallery & Artspace, Inc., Pollard Gallery and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside provide performing arts and exhibits. LakeView RecPlex & IcePlex, adjoining Prairie Springs Park, is another highlight.

Kenosha is proud of its reputation for Italian heritage and numerous notable Italian-Americans actors hail from Kenosha, including Don Ameche, Al Molinaro, Daniel J. Travanti, Mark Ruffalo and Ellen Travolta. You can enjoy Italian cuisine at several restaurants in the city. Villa D'Carlo is this writer's favorite. Mangia, 5717 Sheridan Rd., is arguably, though, the best and most well known restaurant in the County.

But, you need not limit yourself to that one ethnic variety. Other excellent restaurants are throughout the city. Ray Radigan's and the Hobnob are two traditional places that top the list.

As you head west out of the city, you can stop at Dairyland Greyhound Park to enjoy some racing and, during the summer, at the Bristol Rennaisance Faire where "Knights are Noble, Maids are Merry and Turkey Legs are Titanic."

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