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On the shores of Lake Michigan, the Cliffside Park Campground is a scenic RV park just south of Milwaukee. It encompasses 233 acres in the village of Caledonia, which is just a stone’s throw from the cultural museums and family-friendly attractions of Racine.
RV camping at the Cliffside Park Campground includes access to 92 sites, all of which include a fire ring, and electric and water connections. There are an on-site dump station and a comfort station with sinks, toilets, and showers, as well as a children’s play area, basketball courts, soccer, and baseball fields.
The Cliffside Park Campground is a ten-minute drive from the Quarry Lake Park, a 40-acre green space at a former limestone quarry. It lies on the outskirts of Racine and centers around a spring-fed lake that’s a popular setting for swimming, fishing, and scuba diving. You can settle in with family and friends at one of the picnic areas or let your four-legged friends run free in the Karen A. Nelson Memorial Dog Park near the main entrance to the park.
A 40-minute drive from the Cliffside Park Campground is the Richard Bong State Recreation Area. It occupies land that was once intended for an Air Force base named for World War II veteran Major Richard Ira Bong. Hiking and mountain biking trails meander through the picturesque prairie while horseback riding, ATV-ing, and ultralight aviation are also permitted. Bird watchers may also be treated to sightings of great egrets, sandhill cranes, and great blue herons that are known to nest in the area.
Drive north to the southern outskirts of Milwaukee, and you’ll arrive at Whitnall Park, which is home to the Boerner Botanical Gardens and Wehr Nature Center. One of the state’s oldest sugar maples grows in one of the corners, while several oaks and maple trees throughout the park are between 100 and 200 years old. Stretch your legs along the picturesque Oak Leaf Trail to explore the park’s woodland, wetland, prairie, and oak savanna, then wander through the landscaped grounds of the Boerner Botanical Gardens designed by Alfred Boerner in the 1930s. Don’t miss the Wehr Nature Center to get up close to their resident reptiles before browsing the nature-themed books and souvenirs for sale in the gift shop.
Campsites at the Cliffside Park Campground are 15 minutes’ drive from the center of Racine, where you’ll find plenty of supermarkets for stocking up on grocery supplies. There are also gas stations en route if you need to fill up your motorhome rental and a great choice of dining establishments that include fast-food restaurants, gourmet delis, and global eateries.
While you’re in Racine, don’t miss a visit to the Racine Heritage Museum, which details the people and events that have shaped the city. It occupies a former Carnegie library that was designed by John Mauran in a Beaux-Arts style and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Learn about the products that were manufactured in Racine at the “Factory for the World” display and its role as a Lake Michigan port in the “Waterways” exhibit, then get up close to artifacts recovered from the Space Shuttle Columbia while discovering the life and legacy of Laurel Clark.
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Racine Art Museum, which boasts the largest collection of contemporary crafts in North America. Artists such as Dale Chihuly, Arline Fisch, and Claire Zeisler are represented in the galleries, together with over 1,500 ceramic objects that include pieces by Toshiko Takaezu and Betty Woodman. In addition to metal, glass, and woodworks, the museum also features hand-printed letterpresses and offset lithography works by names such as Scott McCarney and Patty Tyrol.
At the northern end of Racine Harbor is the Windpoint Lighthouse, which is one of the oldest and tallest (108 feet) active lighthouses on the Great Lakes. It was designed by a former Brigadier General in the Civil War and was constructed in 1880 before being listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Coincide your visit with a lighthouse opening to tour the grounds and old keepers’ quarters while soaking up the sweeping views across Lake Michigan. After visiting the lighthouse, head to nearby Racine North Beach to spend a day on the sand or drive west to explore the River Bend Nature Center.
Whether you want to explore the themed gardens of Whitnall Park or discover the rich history of Racine, book an RV rental in Racine County and start planning your visit.