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Wisconsin's Lake Michigan

Explore the Shore From Kenosha to Washington Island

Major cities, seaside communities, and plenty of stunning views are set along Lake Michigan is eastern Wisconsin. You'll find awesome museums, beautiful parks, and overflowing Wisconsin culture in Kenosha, Manitowoc, and Milwaukee.


Wisconsin’s fourth largest city, Kenosha is found in the southeastern corner of the state on Lake Michigan. You’ll spot it by the 1866 Kenosha Light Station.

Must See
The city is known for hosting the Smithsonian Institution affiliated Kenosha Public Museum System in downtown Kenosha. Check out the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, Civil War Museum, and the Kenosha Public Museum – home to a Woolly Mammoth and “The Wisconsin Story” exhibits.

Local Guide
For more time on Lake Michigan, visit any time from May through October for the Kenosha HarborMarket. Here, you can pick up the ultimate Wisconsin souvenir – cheese. Winter travelers can browse the market at the Rhode Center of the Arts.

Kenosha features nearly 800 acres of parkland, plus golf courses, bike trails, and recreational fields. Take advantage of Lake Michigan’s shoreline public parks, hike through Petrifying Springs Park – where you can shoot 18 at the Petrifying Springs Golf Course.


Now head 35 miles north on WI State Route 32 to Brew City. The largest city in Wisconsin, Milwaukee is a tourism mecca – home to famous attractions, sports teams, universities, and more. Also set on Lake Michigan, Milwaukee suburbs include Pewaukee and Germantown.

Must See
You’re Milwaukee itinerary is packed with great stops like the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World Museum, and the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. Be sure to leave time for the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park or the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, lunch on Brady Street, and shopping in the Historic Third Ward.

Local Guide
This is Brew City, meaning you have to check out Historic Pabst Brewery, Pabst Mansion, and Pabst Theater. Follow up a PBR tasting with local hot spots like Lakefront Brewery, Inc., the Sprecher Brewing Company, and Bryant's Cocktail Lounge.

Instead of driving along Lake Michigan, get on the water yourself and try sailing, windsurfing, or just hanging out on the Grand Necklace of Parks.


From Milwaukee, hop on Interstate 43 and move north for 80 miles to Manitowoc. Known as Wisconsin's Maritime Capital, Manitowoc is definitely worth a stop on your Lake Michigan shore tour.

Must See
Explore Port City attractions like the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, the Rahr West Art Museum, and the Rogers Street Fishing Village & Museum.

Local Guide
Stop for an incredible seafood lunch in Manitowoc. Check out the menu at Waters Edge Restaurant, the historic Fat Seagull, and the Wisco-Tech Bar & Grille.

Sand castles, sunshine, swimming, and surfing are found along Manitowoc’s public shores. Pack a lunch and send the day at Neshotah Beach or Red Arrow Beach on Lake Michigan. We can take it all the way on this tour! Head north on SR 42 along the Lake Michigan shore in northeastern Wisconsin. You’ll pass Sturgeon Bay, switching to SR 52 and continuing to Sister Bay, Gills Rock, and North Port at the tip of Door Peninsula.

From Northport, hop on the Washington Island Ferry Line to explore the scenic Washington Island. Here you can stretch out on Schoolhouse Beach, browse the Jackson Harbor Maritime Museum, and shop through quaint, local businesses like the Fragrant Island Lavender Farm & Shop.