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I'm Terri and I love to travel with my kids. We have a goal of visiting all 50 states. Learn more...
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Wisconsin – Racine’s North Beach

When you think about beautiful family friendly beach towns, cities in Wisconsin are probably not among the first places to pop into your mind. But keep reading, because perhaps Racine, Wisconsin deserves some consideration. Our most recent visit to North Beach was on a glorious summer day last July. Our approach to the beach was picture perfect. The blue water was beckoning me, but I made my husband pull over so I could get a picture.

North Beach Racine

Up a little closer, you can see that it is a popular summer hangout spot. But it wasn’t always this way. My husband grew up in Racine and said the beach was not very clean or nice when he was growing up. They’ve really done a lot of work to clean up the beach since then.

North Beach Racine 2

Since 2004 Racine’s North Beach has been certified by the Clean Beaches Council as a Blue Wave Beach, an environmental certification for beaches. Look closely at this next picture. If you had to guess what state it was in, I bet you wouldn’t guess Wisconsin. Am I right?

North Beach Racine 3

The beach is great for little kids because the water has a very long shallow section before it gets deep. Parents should note, though, that flotation devices are prohibited.

Shallow waters of North Beach Racine

And the broad, sandy beach is a great place to build a sand castle. If you’ve read much of my blog, you’ve probably read that my kids love to build sand castles. Here’s one they built with their cousins:

Sand castle North Beach Racine

From North Beach, you can see the Wind Point Lighthouse.

Wind Point Lighthouse from North Beach Racine

The beach has a very family friendly feel and there are lifeguards on duty. Pets and alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the beach.

Family friendly North Beach Racine

But further back from the water, you’ll find a slightly different scene. The Beachside Oasis is also a happening place.

Beachside Oasis North Beach Racine

The Beachside Oasis often has live music.

Live music at North Beach Racine

There’s a snack bar with hot and cold treats.

Snack Bar at North Beach Racine

And some adult beverages to wash down your food.

Beer at North Beach Racine

This building also houses restrooms, showers, and changing facilities. The oasis is also surrounded by palm trees.

Palm Trees at North Beach Racine

There are also a couple of sand volleyball courts.

Volleyball at North Beach Racine

If you’ve got young kids, you’ll definitely want to check out the playground.

Kids Cove Playground North Beach Racine

Kids Cove Playground is a community-built playground with a section for 5 to 12-year-olds and a Tot Lot for 2 to 5-year-olds.

Kids Cove Playground 2 North Beach Racine

There are also several swings, including handicap-accessible swings.

Playground swings North Beach Racine

The City of Racine’s website says that North Beach Park also has a nature center and historical exhibit. We didn’t see them and I don’t know where they are located relative to the bathhouse, but we will have to look for them on our next visit.

Ready to Visit?

North Beach Park
1501 Michigan Blvd., Racine, WI 53402

Open for Memorial Day Weekend, then closed until the first weekend in June when it stays open through Labor Day.
Lifeguards on duty daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m

 

This post is part of Best of the USA at The Traveling Praters.  

22 comments to Wisconsin – Racine’s North Beach

  • mary lofty

    I retired and moved from Racine over a year ago but I still miss the lake and my friends.

  • Hi Terri:
    Thanks for the kind words and GREAT pictures of Racine’s North Beach. Yes, we are very proud of our piece of paradise on the shores of Lake Michigan. A huge recognition in 2012 was North Beach being named one of “51 Great American Beaches” by USA Today.
    We hope you and your family will return soon for another visit – you’ve just scratched the surface!

    Sincerely,
    Paul Holley
    Marketing Director
    Real Racine (Racine Co. Convention & Visitor Bureau)

    • Terri Weeks

      Paul – I’m glad you liked the article. I guarantee we will be back for another visit. My in-laws live in Racine. :-)

  • Looks like a beautiful place! Love the sandcastle!

  • Ellen Cardwell

    North Beach is really a gem….and on a hot summer day there’s a nice breeze and it’s a wonderful way to cool off. There are also great things to see in Racine….the North Point Light House has a museum, a lovely garden and a place to walk by the water and the DeKoven Center way on the other side of town also has fantastic gardens and buildings that are like Hogwarts of Harry Potter Fame. Also check out the burgers and fries and Root Beer Floats at Kewpie’s right off Monument Square. We also have festivals and parades all summer. And we have a terrific zoo.

  • Hi Terri:
    You mentioned your husband’s memory of North Beach as not being all that nice a place. Here’s a link to short video about North Beach’s comeback and what is being done to keep it a top-flight destination. It’s on the Real Racine You Tube channel with other neat features.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNfuXVjIzbc

    Drop by and see us at the Real Racine Visitor Center next time you’re in the area. We’re at I-94 and Highway 20 (exit 333.)

    Sincerely,
    Paul Holley
    Real Racine

    • Terri Weeks

      Paul – Great video! They’ve done a great job. I will be sure to stop at the Visitor Center next time.

  • I live in Michigan, so I already know that Lake Michigan has some of the best beaches! I’ve never been to the Wisconsin side, but it looks beautiful!

  • You’re right. I had no idea that Wisconsin had beaches like that! What a fun place to spend a hot summer day.

    That sandcastle your kids made with their cousins is very impressive! They did a great job.

    Thanks for linking up to the Best of the USA and for introducing me to another new destination.

  • Amy

    I live 2 blocks from this beach on Main St. And it REALLY is a nice place. It is always packed in the summer. Another plus about it is the Racine Zoo is within walking distance. You can start your day at the Zoo, then go relax and cool off at the beach.

  • Hi everybody! This weekend (June 15-16) is Spike ‘n Splash, one of the most fun events of the summer at North Beach.

    There is beach volleyball, played by two-person, men’s and women’s teams and watercraft races. The action starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free admission and free parking.

  • Elizabeth Sheppard

    looking forward to our first outing there July 5, 2013 (I know super crowded on the 4th of July weekend…) but no where have I found information on admission to the beach for out of towners or parking costs and locations. can you help?

    • Terri Weeks

      Elizabeth – There is no admission fee or parking fee. There are a few parking lots there, but when it is busy, they can fill up and people start parking on nearby streets. Put the address into Google Maps, switch to satellite view, and you’ll be able to see the parking lots. I hope you have a great time!

      • Elizabeth Sheppard

        thanks so much for your quick reply with good information! Happy 4th of July!

        • Hi Elizabeth: Hope you enjoy your visit to Racine and our fabulous North Beach. The weekend weather forecast is looking great.

          While you’re here, drop by the Real Racine Visitor Center, I-94 and Hwy 20 (exit 333), for maps, brochures and information about other things to see and do in Racine County. Open 9-5 daily.

          Paul Holley
          Marketing Director
          Real Racine

  • Wonderful review, Terri! I love this and cannot wait to share it with the rest of the department. :) Thank you. Please stop in our Parks & Recreation office at 800 Center street, RM 127 if you are free.

    Cheers,

    Jenni
    Marketing Director | Program Outreach | Special Events
    262.636.9139

    • Terri Weeks

      Jenni – I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I’m not sure when our next visit to Racine will be yet, but I’ll try to stop in.

  • Monica Coey

    This is a great article about North Beach. We, in Racine, are truly lucky to have a beach to run to in the summer. The city has done so much to make North Beach a great place to hang out and attend special event like the triathlon, sand castle, and volleyball competitions. I have fond memories as a child going to North Beach, and am glad to be making memories for my own children by enjoying North Beach.

  • Anna Aiello

    I’m online on this cold January morning….looking for images of our Racine lakefront. I am drawing up sketches of our lakefront for our 2014 Kiwanis ornament and I need a visual of it while sitting at my desk. My search brought me to your site and your beautiful pictures. Thank you for posting them and your wonderful comments about Racine! Since your husband is from Racine I’m sure you are well aware of our Kringle…so I just want to put out there to others, who are new to Racine, to make sure they stop at one of our many bakeries and pick up a Kringle…skip those at the grocery store and go right to the little bakeries…you will not go wrong with pecan! :) Our Kringle has even been written about and photographed for a 2007 National Geographic article about local foods. If I remember correctly, the photograph got a full page spread. Thank you again for your wonderful review AND really great sand castle!!

    • Terri Weeks

      Anna – Thanks for your comments and kind words. Yes, I have had Kringle many times. That would make a great article the next time I am in Racine. Thanks!