Kenosha, or as the kids call it, ‘K-Town,’ is a short drive from Milwaukee and offers plenty of opportunities for summer fun and diversion. Here are just a few.
In a world cruelly lacking in drive-in restaurants, Kenosha is an oasis. The city has two of the state’s best with Big Star and The Spot, and most Kenoshans will debate vigorously over which is better. But that’s not what matters here. What really matters is getting a big ol’ burger at whichever spot you prefer and enjoying the freedom of eating in your car. Try both if you really want to stake a claim in this eternal Kenosha debate.
When: All summer
Where: Big Star: 1500 Washington Rd.; The Spot: 2117 75th St.
Kenosha absolutely overflows with church festivals during the summer – throw a rock and you’ll hit one. St. Peter, Mount Carmel, Holy Rosary, St. Therese, and more Catholic parishes offer plenty of home cooked food, kids’ games, and beer for the religious and secular alike. Each festival has its own unique specialties, such as Holy Rosary’s fried dough, which is the best you’ll find this side of the Atlantic.
When: July – August
Where: Various churches
The Kenosha Harbor Market brings dozens of vendors together by the lakeshore, where the block is lined with tents selling locally-grown food and handmade crafts. Get yourself some kettle corn, a fine smoothie, maybe a couple rutabagas, and enjoy a sunny summer afternoon. Live musicians often entertain the crowd, and the Public and Civil War museums are right next door.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: 2nd Avenue in Downtown Kenosha between 54th and 56th streets
If you turn in after the Milwaukee fireworks on July 3 still burning for more explosions in the sky, come down to ol’ Keno on the fourth, where another fireworks celebration will take place on the harbor. The beach quickly fills up with lawn chairs and picnic blankets, so come early to lock down some prime sandy real estate.
When: July 4
Where: The Kenosha Harbor
Tenuta’s Deli is a must-stop in Kenosha any time of the year. It has great cheese, wine, candy and all manner of Italian treats. And oh, the cold cuts. But in the summer things get a little extra awesome. The outdoor grill opens up, and you can grab a brat, Italian sausage, panini or any of the other offerings. Enjoy a fine meal on one of the outdoor tables, where you’ll get a feel for the classic Kenosha deli. Maybe follow it up with one of Tenuta’s cannolis, because who doesn’t like cannoli?
When: Open daily
Where: 3203 52nd St.