Situated on the Wisconsin/Illinois border along the Rock River, just one hour southwest of Milwaukee, visitors will find the booming town of Beloit. Beloit is undergoing a renaissance, evident by commercial and residential growth to the area along with the redevelopment of historic town buildings. New bars and restaurants, downtown landscaping, boutique hotels, parks, trails, transformed golf courses and the beautiful new ABC Supply Stadium are all breathing life back into Beloit, making it a delightful weekend visit.
While Beloit’s name origin is widely disputed, legend says it came from a French word meaning “handsome ground.” We could not agree more that this handsome town is worth the trip, for the day or a long weekend.
Read on for some of our favorites for a weekend in Beloit to stay, play and explore a town rich in history, rekindled by dynamic food and drinks options and the perfect blend of old and new.
History and luxury combine at Hotel Goodwin in Downtown Beloit. Inspired by former 19th century hotel, The Goodwin House, Hotel Goodwin has found its home in an ornate and beautifully renovated 1920’s three-story office building. Clean, crisp and chic with beautiful tile floors and gorgeous black and white photography, Hotel Goodwin is the perfect mix of modern sophistication and heritage. We love the room’s three-sided glass-enclosed shower – dreamy! Offering 34 pet-friendly rooms, Hotel Goodwin is just steps away from a wide array of downtown bars, restaurants, shops and the Beloit River walk. Grab some records from the front desk and crank up the tunes on the room’s vintage record player or head up to the rooftop bar to enjoy a cocktail and sunset.
Located along the banks of the Rock River and River Walk, enjoy a stay at the boutique Ironworks Hotel. Ironworks Hotel draws inspiration from Beloit’s industrial past and former foundry Merrill & Houston Ironworks, evident in their décor and vibe. Choose from a traditional room to an oversized Legacy Suite outfitted with a gorgeous two-sided gas fireplace. Warm, comfy and cozy, this is a great stay in town and walkable to the all downtown activities. Don’t leave Fido at home; Ironworks is a dog-friendly hotel.
Eat & Drink
Begin the morning with a cup of joe or specialty coffee at Blue Collar Coffee Co to kick off a weekend in Beloit. Enjoy the lounge seating, free Wi-Fi and a nice selection of muffins, croissants, rolls and egg sandwiches. Blue Collar Coffee Co. serves coffee from beans roasted by home state-based Ruby Coffee Roasters.
Bagels & More, a locally owned neighborhood cafe, is a great spot for breakfast or lunch in Beloit. Using as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, the menu features a wonderful selection of house-made soups, sandwiches and salads along with traditional breakfast items like avocado toast, biscuits and gravy, quiche and skillets.
Refuel on unique cheese-stuffed burgers, hand-cut fries and local craft beers at Lucy’s #7 Burger Bar in Downtown Beloit. This fun and funky spot serves up some of the best pub grub around including cheese curds, chicken wings, fried pickles and chippy dip (crispy homemade pub chips and warm beer cheese) – yum! All burgers are made-to-order, and we love the Wisconsin-only draft beer choices. Ask about the burger of the month and don’t forget to re-fill your beer growler to go.
Plus, check out the wall mural of the real-life Lucy circa 1949, a Wisconsin farm girl turned WWII nurse turned wildly popular pin-up girl.
Velvet Buffalo Modern Italian, located at the bottom level of Hotel Goodwin, serves up an elevated Old World vibe and is a must-visit for a weekend in Beloit. The memorable eatery dishes up Italian classics with a contemporary flair and the freshest ingredients around.
Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint, located on the ground level of the Ironworks Hotel, is a classic steakhouse with the highest quality steaks and seafood around. The bar opens at 4 p.m. daily and features a robust selection craft cocktails, martinis, wine and whiskey. Guests can enjoy signature and smaller cuts of steak as well as seafood and pasta specials. Stop in every Friday at 8 p.m. to enjoy live and local music. Reservations are recommended.
CheezeHEAD Brewing features a rotating menu of craft beers including IPA, wheats, porters, stouts and ales. Try a pint and then nosh on favorites like cheese curds, hot dogs, pizza and flatbreads. We love the outdoor beer garden with yard games during warmer weather, a great way to spend an afternoon during a weekend in Beloit.
Opened since 2015 on the outskirts of Beloit is G5 Brewing, serving up a rotating selection of tasty brews. G5 has an extensive menu with delights such as truffle fries, giant pretzels with IPA mustard, burgers, made-to-order pizzas and a traditional Friday-night fish fry. G5 has tall ceilings and large windows, perfect to watch the sunset, sip on a cold beer and experience Wisconsin’s southernmost brewery.
Street tacos, tequila and whiskey – oh my! Perfect for lunch of dinner, Truk’t prides itself on innovative and bold flavors, house-made corn tortillas and a huge selection of more than 100 tequilas and whiskeys from all over the world. Try unique tacos like shrimp curry or charred Brussels and taste innovative drinks such as the refreshing cucumber-cilantro margarita or bourbon-peach smash. Truk’t has live local music Thursdays, May through October.
Stop in this fun and eclectic shop specializing in local cheese, meats, beer, wine, snacks and groceries. Part bookstore, part plant shop, part grocery and deli, this is a fantastic space to grab a book, enjoy a snack and relax for a bit. Bushel & Peck’s cafe serves lunch Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Beloit Outdoor Farmers Market, found downtown, begins the first Saturday in May and ends the last Saturday in October. The indoor market starts the first Saturday in November and ends the last Saturday in April. During a weekend in Beloit, visitors can shop a variety of vendors selling locally baked goods, cheese, meats, flowers and crafts.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Northwoods Premium Confections in downtown. Three generations of family recipes combine at this mom and pop shop to create favorites like truffles, clusters, caramels, barks and much more. Pop in for a sample of the gourmet popcorn, ice cream, retro candy and, of course, the small-batch handmade fudge made with Wisconsin butter and cream.
Located on the Rock River, this 23-acre park has something for everyone. Summers are hopping with live music, events and celebrations. Visitors can rent paddleboats or tandem bicycles as well as enjoy fishing, tennis and the 3.5-mile paved Beloit River walk. bike and pedestrian path. Take the kids and enjoy the fun-filled adventure area of Turtle Island II Playground during summer months. Check out the website for a list of special events and happenings.
Originally built in 1909 as the Country Club of Beloit, Beloit Club underwent extensive renovations and a complete rebuild of all of the facilities and classic 18-hole golf course. The gorgeous three-story facility features a full-service clubhouse along with multiple dining and entertainment options. While this is a private club, all guests who stay at Hotel Goodwin and Ironworks Hotel can utilize the Beloit Club with their “member for a stay” perk. Hotel guests can play golf (word of advice, stay out of those brutal bunkers!), use the pool in the summer and or enjoy a drink and meal at Scratch Bar and Standard Tavern.
Treat yourself to handcrafted bath and body products made with natural ingredients at Bath + Body Fusion during a weekend in Beloit. Indulge in everything from soaps and scrubs to body wash and bath bombs. Stop in the downtown shop or order online. Bath + Body Fusion has great gift packs, perfect for the holidays or birthdays.
Check out a Beloit Sky Game, a High-A Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Miami Marlins.
Tour Beloit College, Wisconsin’s oldest continuously operated college.
Visit Wright Museum of Art, a campus teaching museum.
The Beloit College campus features 20 conical, linear and animal effigy mounds built between approximately AD 400 and 1200.
Pack a picnic and head to Beckman Mill County Park, approximately six miles west of Beloit. The park includes a restored 1868 gristmill, gift shop, nature trail and creamery.
Take a swing at Ironworks Golf Lab, a state-of-the-art indoor golf performance and entertainment facility. Choose from more than 80 golf courses around the world on the HD simulator.