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Perfect Summer Weekend Getaway

Beloit, Wisconsin offers the perfect getaway just outside Chicago and Milwaukee that features an interesting mix of outdoor adventure, awesome food, and beaches in the summertime.

Finding family fun is a breeze in Beloit. Beloit is a fun and charming town on the banks of the Rock River, just north of the Illinois border in Wisconsin. In the summertime Beloit truly comes to life, bursting with water adventures, lively music entertainment, and an abundance of local culture.

And here’s an added benefit of a trip to Beloit: The itinerary can be tweaked whether you’re packing up the kids and taking a family vacation or if you’re looking for a fun friends’ weekend or couple’s escape. To simplify your planning process, we’ve curated two distinct weekend itineraries just for you. One is tailored for a nature-filled family retreat, while the other is designed for a blend of relaxation and adventure ideal for groups or couples. Both itineraries begin late Friday morning and extend through Sunday afternoon because, let’s face it, why settle for one summer excursion when you can have two?

Start planning!

Itinerary #1: Family, Fun, and Nature


Late Morning: Visit Nature at the Confluence

To embark on an enriching nature and educational journey with the kids, kickstart your journey by visiting Nature at The Confluence – an urban ecology center that aims to restore and celebrate the prairie land where the Turtle Creek converges with the Rock River. There is a lot to explore here, so if you’re ready for a water adventure, try canoeing or kayaking along the Rock River National Water Trail. The confluence provides a prime spot for observing wildlife and reflecting on the rich history and cultural heritage of the native peoples who founded the area. For interest in renting kayaks and joining a guided paddle, check out Paddle Adventure Club.

Afternoon: Swim at Pearl Lake

Located just a brief ten minute drive from Nature at The Confluence lies Pearl Lake, a perfect place to spend a fun and lazy afternoon near Beloit. Renowned as a resort destination primarily for camping enthusiasts, Pearl Lake offers plenty of great summer activities for those wanting to spend the afternoon there.

Spanning eight acres of soft, powdery sand and encompassing 50 acres of crystal clear water with visibility levels ranging from 30-70 feet, Pearl Lake provides an inviting environment for aquatic adventures. The main swimming beach is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting, for a small day pass entry fee. Kids can splash at the huge inflatable water park while you lounge or compete in a game of water or sand volleyball. Paddleboards and kayaks are also available for rent.

Because of its clear water, Pearl Lake is a hot spot for scuba diving, featuring cool underwater finds, including a sunken school bus, airplane, and submarine. Various beaches around Pearl Lake serve as launch points for diving adventures. Cool off with a cocktail at the resort’s newly renovated clubhouse while the kids indulge in an ice cream treat, or refuel with a hamburger or hot dog for lunch. Pearl Lake hosts food trucks on the weekends and there is always an exciting vibe with music playing on the beach and live bands for holiday weekends.

Evening: Indulge at Northwoods Premium Confections
After dinner, head north to downtown Beloit for dessert at Northwoods Premium Confections. At this local favorite, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with delicious ice cream, homemade chocolates, retro candies, and gourmet popcorn. You’ll find the owners to be as pleasing as the sweets. This old-time candy shop is also a stop along the Rock River National Chocolate Trail.


Morning: Have breakfast at Double B Farm Café

You’ve heard of farm-to-table, but a table at the farm is as fresh as it gets. Just outside of the city, this country store and café is located on an operational farm which means most menu items are sourced on-site. Dig into generous helpings of home-style country eats at the café for breakfast or lunch – like their famous biscuits and gravy – served in a warm, family-run atmosphere. The café has a reputation of being the best-kept secret around.

Afternoon: Float Lake Victoria
Next up: a leisurely day paddling across the serene waters of Lake Victoria in South Beloit, Illinois. Whether you opt to rent a kayak or bring your own, it’s an ideal activity for the entire family to savor the tranquil beauty. Following your aquatic adventure, make your way to South Beloit City Park for a nice outdoor picnic lunch, followed by a spirited round of disc golf at the recently constructed course.

Evening: Go to a Beloit Sky Carp baseball game

The Beloit Sky Carp are a High-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, giving you the opportunity to see major league talent at minor league prices. Head to ABC Supply Statidium in downtown Beloit for a night game from April through September, where you can enjoy cooler weather and affordable ballpark dining options like hot dogs or nachos that hit it out of the park. Don’t miss their entertaining weekly theme game nights, including a fireworks display, for added excitement and enjoyment!


Morning: Take a stroll through Riverside Park

Wrap up your last morning adventure with a visit to the vibrant Riverside Park on your final day. Let the kids unleash their energy through the grassy fields and sporting courts. Take in the picturesque sights of the lagoon and meander along the three and half mile paved walk/bike path alongside the Rock River. Keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of wildlife, such as geese, turtles, fish, and other creatures that call the park home.

Afternoon: Tour Beckman Mill

Make one last stop at a notable Beloit attraction before leaving for home. Beckman Mill, a grist mill constructed in 1868, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and recently restored to its 1920’s era condition. Guided tours are offered from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and generally last 45 minutes. Carve out extra time to explore everything in the surrounding 52 acre county park and let the kids pick out a souvenir from the gift shop.

Itinerary #2: Music, Friends, and Food


Late Morning: Enjoy Fridays in the Park

Soaking up the warm sun, grooving to live tunes, and savoring local eats: it’s the perfect recipe for lunching with friends. Any Friday in May through September, check out Downtown Beloit Association’s “Fridays in the Park,” which begins at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of State Street and Grand Avenue. For just $8 you get lunch and a drink from a nearby local eatery while enjoying a complimentary two-hour live music performance. It’s an unbeatable way to kick off the weekend getaway!

Early Evening: Attend Music at Harry’s Place

On most Fridays, mid June through late August there’s a free summer concert series at Riverside Park. Attendees of Music at Harry’s Place bring their own lawn chairs or blankets and relax under the stars while enjoying the region’s hottest bands! There are also several food truck vendors offering a diverse selection of tasty eats, drinks, and even a beer tent.

Late Night: Have dinner at Merrill and Houston’s Steak Joint

For a night or late-night dinner, grab a table at Merrill and Houston’s. The restaurant features excellent wine and steak selections. Many of the house specialties or seafood items are palate-pleasers, too. And just in case you haven’t had enough live music for the day, get there before 10 p.m. for more live, local music.


Morning: Browse the Downtown Beloit Farmers’ Market

Spend your Saturday morning at the Downtown Beloit Farmers’ Market. At this colorful and upbeat city gem, you’ll find more than 130 vendors weekly selling local produce, organics, baked goods, honey, jams, bedding plants, meat, eggs, cheese, fresh flowers, artisan crafts, skincare, and more. For breakfast, stop by one of the food trucks for a warm doughnut and enjoy live music as you shop.

Afternoon: Eat, shop, repeat

Start your afternoon with a killer burger at Lucy’s #7 Burger Bar on Grand Avenue, known locally for cool burger concepts (and tipsy shakes, if this is a weekend for indulging). Feast on stuffed burgers made with real Wisconsin cheese and a glass filled with locally crafted beer only brewed in Wisconsin. Kick back, unwind, and enjoy your meal al fresco on the sidewalk during the warmer months.

If you’re craving a lighter lunch, try Zen Sushi. Order the sushi lunch special, or choose from a variety of menu items ranging from rice and noodle dishes to sushi bar entrées. Zen also offers al fresco dining on their outdoor patio.

After lunch, spend some more time on Grand Avenue shopping in historic downtown Beloit. Nest Egg is a must-stop, featuring creative gifts ranging from accent furniture and area rugs to clothing and jewelry to wine accessories and coffee. And, if you’re into vintage and antique decor, check out Vintage Bliss to shop 10,000 square feet and more than 40 of the area’s best vintage vendors.

Evening: Have dinner at truk’t

Step straight off the street, enter through the exposed garage doors (weather permitting), and immerse yourself in the extraordinary gourmet street taco experience at truk’t, just like those major big cities right in Downtown Beloit. Prepare to be astounded by their unique recipes, homemade tortillas, and an extensive selection of over 100 tequilas and whiskeys!


Afternoon: Watch a race at Blackhawk Farms

If you love an adrenaline rush but prefer keeping your feet on the ground, head to Blackhawk Farms, a 1.95-mile, seven-turn private circuit racetrack located in South Beloit. The venue holds a wide variety of sports car racing, ranging from historic automobiles to the latest in automotive race car technology, and has hosted the likes of drivers Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, and Paul Newman. Check the schedule in advance of a weekend visit to see what’s coming up at the track.

These aren’t the only things you can do on a family or weekend getaway with friends in Beloit, but it’s a fun start. For a comprehensive list of things to do and places to stay in Beloit, Wisconsin, check out our online travel guide.

Beloit Official Visitor Guide

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