Racine, Wisconsin is located right on Lake Michigan just a couple of hours north of Chicago, Illinois and little more than a half hour south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It’s a beautiful city with an historical downtown area. Venture out toward the lake and you’ll think you’ve travelled far. The focus near the lake is much more modern and new.
Racine is well known for its lighthouse. The Wind Point Lighthouse has been used on postcards and photos throughout the world. It’s one of the oldest and tallest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It brings such recognition to the area that the local high school band is called the “lighthouse brigade”. Although you can no longer climb the lighthouse, it’s still a great photo opportunity. So take your camera and lots of film or an empty digital card and prepare to get some “windy” photos with the lighthouse as the backdrop.
Racine is also home to the SC Johnson Company. Although best known as being the makers of Johnson Wax, the SC Johnson Company has another claim to fame. Their administration building is the work of the world-renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. You need only take one look at it to know it came from the master himself. Speaking of masters, when SC Johnson Company calls itself one of the best family places to work, they are the masters. They continually receive awards for being an outstanding family focused employer. Fortune Magazine in 2006 ranked them number 10 of the 100 best places to work and upped the rank to number 7 in 2007. AARP named SC Johnson as the top company on their 2007 List of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Working Mother named SC Johnson as one of the top 100 companies for working mothers in 2007.
If you like shopping, not only are you less than two hours away from the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, but you’re only about 45 minutes away from one of the best outlet malls in the United States. With over 200 stores, Gurnee Mills is a shopper’s paradise. The shops are as varied as people’s interests and reason enough to travel to this area. If you’re a coupon lover, visit this website for coupons for your favorite store: http://www.simon.com/mall/directory.aspx?ID=1251. In addition to shop till you drop, they have over 30 places that can satisfy your hunger or thirst. If you get an itch to sit for awhile, you can catch a movie at the Gurnee Mills Cinema. They have 20 screens showing the most recent flics.
But the best thing in Racine is not the architecture, not the things it’s near, not the Wisconsin hospitality nor the unique employers, it’s my family’s favorite Wisconsin treat – Kringles. If the only Kringle you’ve heard of is Kris Kringle (otherwise known as Santa Claus), you’re missing something in life. Kringles are Danish pastries that are melt-in your mouth good. They’re a mixture of lighter than air pastry, yummy fillings and smooth calorie laden icing. Although you can get them at most stores, even convenience markets, we usually go to O&H Bakery. It’s been in business since 1949. One step into their shop, you smell the aroma and are hooked. Be quick, though. Favorite flavors go fast. My favorite is Cherry Cheese. Try one. You’ll love Racine, too.