A Wisconsin beach day getaway

A Wisconsin beach day getaway
Get your beach-day fix at North Beach in Racine.

When summer peaks and talk turns to hitting up the beach, landlocked Wisconsinites can feel like they’re missing out. That is, if they don’t know about North Beach in Racine.

Set just north of the city’s downtown, the beach boasts 2,500 feet of flat, sandy shoreline along Lake Michigan. The expansive vista of white-sand-meets-blue-water makes you feel like you’re oceanside.

The usually calm surf and wide-open sandy stretch make it an easy escape for beachgoers of all ages—and all activities from swimming and sand-castle building to picnicking and kicking back with a book. And a blue wheelchair-accessible walkway on top of the sand makes it relatively effortless to drag coolers and beach umbrellas out to your preferred perch.

The Beachside Oasis offers concession-stand eats like hot dogs, nachos and popcorn, plus a few picnic tables. This is also the place to hear live music on weekends from June to Labor Day. Nearby, a few hammocks are strung up if you’d like to relax, and beyond that, volleyball courts line up on the sand. After a game or two, you’ll appreciate how refreshing Lake Michigan’s temperatures stay year-round.

In 2004, the beach became the first in Wisconsin to earn Certified Blue Wave designation by the National Clean Beaches Council for its environmental responsibility.

On the south end of the beach, past the (free) parking lot is a large Kids Cove playground, while north of the beach is the Racine Zoo, home to about 100 different species of animals, many from Wisconsin. In other words, families can count on an action-packed day when they visit.

Of course, others have already taken note of North Beach. Parents magazine named it a Top Ten Family Beach in 2011 and USA Today ranked it as the top beach in Wisconsin in its 51 Great American Beaches roundup the following year.

Get your beach-day fix at North Beach in Racine. Photo by Katie Vaughn