Known affectionately as “Kringleville” for its iconic Danish pastries, Racine is the fifth-largest city in Wisconsin and one of the most affordable. Just 25 miles south of Milwaukee, Racine is a unique combination of city and small town. You’ll find friendly neighborhoods, an inspiring cultural scene, and ample opportunities to be active and outdoors.
Arts & Culture
With three theatre companies, two performing artist groups, and multiple music organizations including the Racine Symphony Orchestra, there are performances going on somewhere in Racine nearly every week. Racine is also home to several concert series; including the Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival, a four-day event that includes live jazz performances, midnight jam sessions, and film screenings. In the winter, check out the Big Chill State Snow Sculpting Championships, where professional snow carvers transform blocks of packed snow into intricate artistic sculptures.
If architecture inspires you, you’ll want to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture of SC Johnson. The Johnson Administrative building is located at SC Johnson’s Racine headquarters, and is the largest commercial project that Wright ever designed. You can explore this unique building via a public tour. In addition, the Wind Point Lighthouse is another popular architecture destination in Racine. Built in 1880, it is the oldest and tallest working lighthouse on Lake Michigan, and you can take a guided tour to learn about its rich history!
The Racine school district educates over 20,000 students in 21 elementary schools, eight middle schools, and six high schools. Nearby UW-Parkside offers 37 undergraduate majors and Gateway Technical College, located in downtown Racine, Gateway offers education programs in 65 business, manufacturing, and service careers.
Our museums include the Racine Art Museum - the country’s largest contemporary arts collection, and the Racine Heritage Museum. Family fun abounds at the Racine Zoo, a compact 28-acre setting that is home to more than 100 different species and many interactive exhibits, including opportunities to hand feed birds in the Norco Aviary.
Sports and Recreation
Outdoor enthusiasts will be right at home in Racine. The Root River, which winds through the city, is a popular fishing, canoeing, and kayaking destination. Racine County is also home to the Fox River Water Trail, which is popular with canoer and kayakers from around the areas. For bigger waves, Lake Michigan offers serious sport fishing and boating opportunities. If a day at the beach is more your speed, North Beach, located just a few blocks from downtown, is home to 50 acres of sand and pristine waters. It’s been named one of the Top 5 Freshwater Beaches by USA Today, Top 10 Family Friendly Beaches (Parents magazine), and a Top City Beach by Midwest Living Magazine. North Beach is also home to many special events, including EVP Professional Beach Volleyball, the Ironman 70.3 Racine triathlon and the Bikes, Boards 'n Beach Series.