8 Great Kenosha Spots for Carthage Students
By: Magdalena Werger ’24
Located on the Lake Michigan waterfront, the historic city of Kenosha offers a wide variety of dining options, events, and activities for students to enjoy. Here are seven Carthage favorites.
The Buzz Cafe
The Buzz Cafe is the perfect spot in downtown Kenosha for a quick study session or caffeine fix. With their unique drinks such as the Maple Latte, Spiced Pecan Latte, or their signature Honey Bee Latte, the Buzz offers the perfect drink for everyone. The cafe is part of the Grease & Honey Restaurant Family, a locally owned and operated group of restaurants in Kenosha, which owns the Apis Hotel & Restaurant, Buzz Café, Sazzy B, and The Garage.
Washington Park Velodrome
Established in 1927, Kenosha’s Washington Park Velodrome is the oldest operating velodrome (an arena for track cycling) in the United States. The track has hosted at least seven national championships and recently underwent more than $700,000 in city-funded renovations. Cycling competitions, themed events, and races for children are hosted at the velodrome on summer evenings. (Specific dates can be found on the track’s schedule.) Kenosha families and cycling enthusiasts bring lawn chairs and camp out to watch the exhilarating races. It really is a unique experience.
National Parks and Trails
With more than 150 miles of biking trails in Kenosha County, students can experience beautiful scenery, burn off some of those donuts, or just get outside in a variety of parks, nature preserves, and forests. One of the more popular trails, the Kenosha County Bike Trail, runs straight through Carthage and also passes by some local restaurants and businesses around town. See a virtual bike tour online at the Kenosha County website. Opened in June of 2018, the brand new KR Trail passes through Carthage along Lake Michigan, leading to Downtown Kenosha. The trail begins on a wooden boardwalk before transitioning into pavement, creating a safe separation between vehicles and trail-users. Another favorite spot is The Petrifying Springs Park. About a 10-minute drive north of campus, “Pets” offers 350 acres of beautiful hiking and bike trails for students to enjoy.
The Coffee Pot
Originally established in the 1930s, The Coffee Pot has undergone many changes on its journey to becoming the wonderful, family-oriented, American diner Kenosha locals and Carthage students love today. Even with an expanded dining area added in 2016, The Coffee Pot is packed on weekend mornings with hungry customers. The restaurant is dedicated to quality ingredients, sourcing produce from local farmers’ markets, and is well-known for its incredible homemade bread. Carthage students say this location is a must-try for anyone traveling through Kenosha. Pop in on the weekend for an outstanding breakfast, and you will most likely see some Carthaginians!
There is no shortage of fascinating history in Kenosha. The Kenosha Public Museum and Civil War Museum are located next to each other downtown, near Harbor Park. The Kenosha Public Museum offers a variety of interesting exhibits, including a woolly mammoth that was excavated in Kenosha County and work from local artists. History buffs can learn about Kenosha and the upper Midwest’s role in the Civil War at the Civil War Museum, through educational videos, artifacts, and reenactments that are on display. At the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, students can check out interactive exhibits, fossils, and life-size replicas of real dinosaurs. The Carthage Institute of Paleontology’s paleontology lab is also housed at the museum, led by Carthage paleontologist and biology professor Thomas Carr. Many Carthage students participate in valuable internships with Kenosha’s museums as well.
Kenosha Kingfish Baseball
Anyone looking for a summer night of entertainment, great food, and fun activities should attend a Kenosha Kingfish baseball game. Since its first season in 2014, the elite collegiate baseball team has developed a huge following. The team won the 2015 Northwoods League Summer World Series, and then hosted the 2016 Northwoods League All-Star Game. But don’t just go to watch the game. The Kingfish stadium has incorporated an early 1930s fishing boat, the Bambino, into their outfield wall, which also serves as a celebration area for guests. At every home game, the Kingfish mascot, King Elvis the First, launches down a zip line attached to the Bambino to throw the first pitch of the game. That’s something you really don’t want to miss.
Art Galleries and Studios
The arts are very prevalent in and around the Kenosha area. There are many opportunities for students to experience local theatre, fine arts, and music. The Pollard Gallery, located in the Rhode Center for the Arts in downtown Kenosha, displays beautiful works from local artists, as well as its own share of Kenoshan history. The gallery is named after world-renowned artists George and Nan Pollard of Kenosha. George worked as a professional portrait artist, commissioned to paint presidents, the pope, celebrities, and athletes. Nan illustrated children’s books that many Carthage students grew up reading, including Curious George and Peter Pan. The couple lived in Kenosha for more than 50 years and their legacy lives on in the gallery.
The Kenosha Trolley
Now that the Kenosha Lakefront trolley stops on campus, Carthage students have no reason not to explore the area, especially since Carthage provides students with free trolley tickets. The trolley begins its run at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and makes stops throughout downtown Kenosha. Simply flag down the driver and check out some of the Carthage favorites you just read about!