Racine's North Beach is ranked as a Top 5 "Best Freshwater Beach" by voters in the USA Today Readers' Choice program.
The 50-acre, city-owned beach finished in fourth place in the online balloting that ran from Feb. 15 through March 14. Readers were invited to vote once a day during the balloting period for a slate of 20 freshwater beaches located from California to Vermont.
North Beach was the highest ranked Wisconsin finisher in the competition. It placed behind Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pa.; Grand Haven State Park, Grand Haven, Mich.; and Park Point Beach, Duluth, Minn. Milwaukee's Bradford Beach finished in eighth place.
The Freshwater Beach honor is the latest in a long string of national accolades for North Beach. It has been named one of “51 Great American Beaches” by USA Today, a “Top 10 Family Friendly Beach” by Parents magazine a “Top City Beach” by Midwest Living magazine and an "Honorable Mention - Great Lakes Beaches" by beach expert Prof. Stephen Leatherman, known as Dr. Beach.
North Beach was the first Wisconsin beach to receive the Blue Wave Beach designation from the National Clean Beaches Council in 2004. According to city estimates, the beach attracts about 200,000 people annually. It hosts several major events, including the EVP Beach Sports Festival in June, the Ironman 70.3 Racine triathlon in mid-July and the Bikes, Boards 'n Beach Series in late July.
North Beach will open for the 2016 season on Memorial Day weekend (May 27-30).