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Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip to Kenosha, WI

Kenosha, WI

By Meredith Lyons

To get away from Chicago without going too far, few options beat Kenosha. Less than two hours away, discover everything from the origin of Jelly Belly jelly beans to one of the area's best flea markets. Don't miss out on the history of this fun little town on a one-tank adventure never to forget.

Getting There

Getting to Kenosha from Chicago takes just less than an hour and a half.  All you really have to do is drive up the lake. Take I-94 west until you reach Wisconsin, then begin looking for Exit 342 toward WI-158/Kenosha; it's right there on the lake.

Kenosha Historical Society and Museum

What To Do

Kenosha Historical Society and Museum
220 51st Place
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 654-5770

Price: free

You can't go wrong with free, although donations are always appreciated at the Kenosha Historical Society and Museum. Exhibits change frequently and are always chock full of history about Kenosha and the state of Wisconsin, focusing on the auto industry from a particular point in history as well as historical businesses. The gift shop is well worth a visit to take home a little piece of the city's history.

Jelly Belly Wisconsin Tour

Jelly Belly Visitor Center
10100 Jelly Belly Lane
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
(262) 947-3800

Price: free

Kids and adults alike receive a free tour on a colorful train — your paper hat is your ticket — which makes stops along the way for visitors to view educational videos on how the beans are made. At the tour's conclusion, everyone is given a sample bag of Jelly Bellys and then shown into the gift shop. You can try as many free samples as you like while deciding which beans to take home. There is also an option to purchase belly flops, the beans that are misshapen and didn't quite make the quality control cut, but are sold at a cheaper rate.

Wilmot Mountain Flea Market

Wilmont Mountain Flea Market
11931 Fox River Road
Wilmot, WI 53192

Don't forget to stop by the largest Flea Market in Kenosha County for shopping like you've never had it. The wares are constantly changing with the more than 400 vendors in this 150,000-square-foot sales space. Anything you might be looking for from antiques to tools and even some crafts and produce can be found at the Wilmont Mountain Flea Market. Breakfast and lunch concessions are available in the outdoor flea market, including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic offerings. The flea market is famous for its bloody Marys.

Related: Best Spots for a Picnic in Chicago

Ashling on the Lough
(credit: Ashling on the Lough/Facebook)


Ashling On The Lough
125 56th St
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 653-0500

Located right near the lake, Ashling On The Lough, offers Irish pub fare at its finest. The drinks menu doesn't stop at beer, boasting a selection of wines and spirits as well as martinis. There is also outdoor seating in the summer months so everyone may relax and enjoy the view. Stop in for just a drink or have a full meal, the food is solid and there is a wide selection on the menu, perfect for any taste.

Southport Bed and Breakfast


Southport Bed and Breakfast
4405 7th Ave.
Kenosha, WI 53140
(262) 652-1951

If you decide to stay overnight, walk straight to the beach from your room, staying at the clean but inexpensive Southpot Bed and Breakfast. Located three blocks from Lake Michigan, the accommodations include private entrances and single Jacuzzi baths en suite.  Continental breakfast is served in your room at your convenience, and parking is free. Each room is also equipped with a small dining table, microwave and mini-fridge.

Related: Best Campgrounds in the Chicago Area

Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at

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