Introduction to Waukegan, Illinois
Waukegan is situated along the shore of Lake Michigan in Lake County. It's located approximately midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Although he was born in Chicago, the city of Waukegan is recognized as the hometown of the famous comedian Jack Benny. A statue of him is situated downtown.
The municipality is recognized as one of the earliest communities in the state. It began as a French trading base and a Potawatomi Indian settlement called Little Fort. In 1829 the Potawatomi signed a treaty which relinquished their land to the Federal Government.
In 1849 the town was renamed Waukegan. The name translates to "fort" in the Potawatomi language. The early residents utilized the area as a port to ship produce and grains to Chicago. Due to the arrival of the railroad in 1855 the city developed into a manufacturing center.
- Genesee Theatre offers concerts, musicals and comedy acts
- Jack Benny Center for the Arts
- Marytown/National Religious Shrine features beautiful stain glass windows and large, attractive mosaics
- Kenosha Military Museum
- Great Lakes Naval Museum showcases numerous artifacts and memorabilia regarding the history of the Navy. Tours of the Great Lakes Naval Training Center are provided
- Bowen Park Theater & Opera Companies
- Waukegan Community Players
- Cuneo Museum & Gardens is a historic mansion featuring Italianate architecture, situated on a large acreage which includes a variety of gardens
- Waukegan Harbor
- Waukegan Yacht Club
- Lake County Discovery Museum includes the Vortex Roller Coaster Theater and a beautiful forest area
- Temple Lipizzans
Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the recreational trail which traverses through town. The Waukegan Municipal Beach features a sandy shoreline and natural dunes. The beach provides opportunities for swimming, volleyball, picnicking and other activities. The Illinois Beach State Park is another popular destination. The Bonnie Brook Country Club, Greenshire Golf Course and the Midlane Golf Resort are some of the popular locations for golf enthusiasts.
Waukegan Beach and Bowen Park located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan provide a great opportunity to view migrating hawks, a variety of shorebirds, ducks and passerines. The Chain O' Lakes State Park is a large acreage which provides excellent nature trails, opportunities for camping, horseback riding, canoeing, rafting and other activities.
The city is home to the Waukegan Regional Airport. The Metro offers transportation from Waukegan to Chicago by way of the Union Pacific North Line. Pace offers bus service in the city and nearby areas.