Racine is called by its residents "The Belle City of the Lakes". This is the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States of America. Racine has about 83.000 residents and 18.7 square miles of land. It is located on a shore of Lake Michigan, near Root River. Close to Racine there are Milwaukee and Chicago. The area on which is now Racine was visited for the first time by Europeans in 1699. John Paradise was the one that led the settlement of this city, whom he called Racine, the French word for "root". In present, the city has other six sister cities - Aalborg in Denmark, Bluefields in Nicaragua, Fortaleza in Brazil, Montelimar in France, Oiso in Japan and Zapotlanejo in Mexico.
Wind Point Lighthouse is located in the Racine Harbor. The lighthouse has 108 feet and is one of the tallest in the area still active. It was first lit in 1880 and it was built from brick in an Italianate style. Its light can be seen 19 miles away.
Racine Zoo is located on 32 acres within the city. The garden has more than 100 species of animals, mostly native of Wisconsin. The zoo also has a playground, a discovery center and a small restaurant.
Thomas P. Hardy House is actually a one room schoolhouse. It was designed like a prairie school by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1905 in Racine. The building is not so imposing as seen from the street, but from the shore of Lake Michigan it looks extraordinary.
Olde Madrid is a family restaurant. It offers Spanish food and the specialty of the house is paella. Inside this Racine restaurant you can enjoy a great dinner and also a fine selection of wines. Don't miss the Spanish Sangria, one of the best.
1. Racine Art Museum: located near the heart of rejuvenated downtown Racine it houses one of North America's most noted collections of modern-day crafts of fibers, metals, ceramics, paintings as well as sculptures created by nationally and internationally recognized artists.
2. River Bend Nature Center: located along the banks of Root River, River Bend Nature Center is a favorite place for outdoor activities. The nature center hosts enrichment programs and seasonal events on the wildlife and vegetation of Racine County.
3. Wilmot Mountain: during your winter visit to Racine the mountain offers 25 downhill ski runs for both expert and novice skiers as well as a snowboard half-pipe. In summer the mountain becomes a Bike Park offering trails for the BMX crowd as well a cross-country enthusiast, with slalom, skateboarding and in-line skating courses.
4. Racine Zoological Center: is a children's amusement park, where even parents can enjoy the comical activities performed by animals and birds. Families can enjoy this children's zoological center along with its playground, picnic areas, gift shops and food stalls.
5. Wind Point Lighthouse: has been in operation since 1880. Fully automated in 1964 it is the oldest and tallest lighthouse in operation on Lake Michigan. Today the building houses the Town Hall for the village of Wind Point. Tours are limited to the first Sunday from July to September.
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