Wind Point Lighthouse
For a brief summer escape from the city, head south along the shoreline to Racine Harbor. The highlight of the trip is Wind Point Lighthouse, a popular spot with picnicking families. The lighthouse is located on a small outcrop and offers views over Lake Michigan. There’s a small inviting stretch of beach for quiet strolls or sunbathing.
The lighthouse was constructed in 1880 and has been an important part of local nautical heritage ever since. Today, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. The beacon, which stands 108 feet (33 meters) above the ground, is one of the tallest in the Great Lakes and was originally powered solely by kerosene lamps. The lighthouse is owned and operated by the village of Wind Point, who conduct guided tours on a few selected dates throughout summer. Plan ahead and check the Friends of Wind Point Lighthouse website for tour times and availability.
An extensive restoration was completed in 2007, and it bears all the hallmarks of a picture-postcard lighthouse – pristine white paintwork and symmetrical arched windows, surrounded by a colorful flower garden at its base. The original lighthouse keeper’s dwelling is now the town hall and also doubles as the local police headquarters. There is a small exhibition space displaying artifacts including the original 19th century beacon lens.
Wind Point Lighthouse is bathed in festive lights to celebrate Christmas, and draped in the Stars and Stripes for national holidays. It makes for a romantic scene after dark. The lighthouse neighbors Shoop Park Golf Course, so keen golfers can combine a little maritime history with a leisurely round of nine.
Wind Point Lighthouse can be found in Wind Point village, 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of Milwaukee on the northern edge of Racine Bay. Access to the lighthouse grounds is through the entrance of the adjacent Shoop Park Golf Course. It’s only open for guided tours a few days each year during the summer.