Things to do in Waukegan

Published on 2/15/2023

Waukegan, Illinois, is a vibrant city located on the shores of Lake Michigan. With a rich history and diverse culture, there are plenty of things to do in Waukegan that will appeal to visitors of all ages and interests. From outdoor recreation to cultural events, here are some of the top activities to enjoy in Waukegan, Illinois.

  1. Visit the Genesee Theatre: This historic theater, located in the heart of downtown Waukegan, has been entertaining audiences since 1927. Today, it hosts a variety of live music, comedy, and theater performances, making it a must-visit destination for entertainment enthusiasts.

  2. Go hiking at the Greenbelt Forest Preserve: The Greenbelt Forest Preserve offers over 12 miles of hiking trails through lush forests and along the Des Plaines River. The preserve is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes, and hawks, making it an excellent destination for nature lovers.

  3. Explore the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum: Waukegan is the birthplace of legendary science fiction author Ray Bradbury, and the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum pays homage to his life and works. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits, artifacts, and artwork inspired by Bradbury's works.

  4. Take a stroll along the Waukegan Lakefront: The Waukegan Lakefront offers a scenic setting for a leisurely stroll or bike ride. The area features a picturesque marina, a beach, and a boardwalk with stunning views of Lake Michigan.

  5. Visit the Jack Benny Center for the Arts: The Jack Benny Center for the Arts is a community-based cultural center that offers a variety of programs and events, including music performances, art exhibitions, and theater productions. It's a great place to connect with the local arts scene.

  6. Attend a festival or event: Throughout the year, Waukegan hosts a variety of festivals and events, including the Waukegan Fest, the ArtWauk, and the Annual Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival. These events offer a chance to celebrate the community, enjoy live entertainment, and sample local food and drink.

  7. Go fishing at the Waukegan Harbor: The Waukegan Harbor is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, offering opportunities to catch salmon, trout, and other species of fish. The harbor also offers charter fishing trips for those looking to explore the waters of Lake Michigan.

Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or a culture connoisseur, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Waukegan, Illinois. So why not plan a visit and discover all that this dynamic city has to offer?