Town Square Publications


Welcome to Janesville – we invite you to experience the power of our community and all that it has to offer. A vibrant business and employment climate, a myriad of recreational and cultural experiences, charming neighborhoods, a responsive city government, and a strong educational focus all blend to create the power of the Janesville community. Whether you're here for a day or a lifetime, Janesville proudly welcomes you.

Janesville is conveniently located adjacent to I-90 in southcentral Wisconsin, approximately 12 miles north of the Wisconsin/Illinois border. The city is centrally located between Milwaukee (75 miles east), Chicago (105 miles southeast), Rockford ( 45 miles south), and Wisconsin's capital, Madison (40 miles north). Highway, rail, and air connections provide easy transportation.

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The natural beauty that first attracted settlers here in the 1830s has been preserved and nurtured through the years. Boasting nearly 2000 acres of parkland, Janesville has earned the name "Wisconsin's Park Place." Take a leisurely stroll, picnic, or energize your competitive spirit with a game of softball, volleyball, tennis, football or soccer in one of many Janesville parks. The Rock River and many surrounding lakes provide excellent swimming, boating and fishing opportunities. Lions Beach and Kiwanis Pond offer ideal swimming and fishing adventures.

Hike, bike or ski on more than 25 miles of marked and groomed trails in Janesville parks. A 5.5 mile portion of the 1,000 mile National Ice Age Trail begins near the entrance to Rotary Gardens and is perfect for hiking, jogging, nature observation and cross-country skiing. The Kiwanis Hike & Bike Trail is a 1.5 mile off-road trail running parallel with the Rock River. The trail stretches between the Lincoln-Tallman Restorations and Riverside Park. Entrances are at the 400 block of North River Street and Ashland Avenue, off of North Washington Street and Riverside Park.

Camden Playground, the largest handicapped-accessible playground in the world, was created in Janesville in 1993 in Palmer Park. The castle-like structures offer children the opportunity to play to their hearts’ content.

Two public and one private golf course are beautiful and challenging, attracting golfers from a wide area. At least 10 other golf courses are located within minutes of Janesville.

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Discover the proud heritage of our community while enjoying a walking tour of the seven historic districts located in and near downtown. Janesville is home to approximately 20% of Wisconsin's buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A guide to the city's heritage sites may be obtained from Forward Janesville and the Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 51 S. Jackson Street, or from the Rock County Historical Society, 10 S. High Street.

The diversity of cultural experiences range from the Rock County Historical Society's Lincoln-Tallman Restorations to the nationally acclaimed waterski team, the Rock Aqua Jays.

The Lincoln-Tallman Restorations at 440 N. Jackson Street is the only private home in Wisconsin still in existence in which Abraham Lincoln slept. This 26-room Italianate mansion has been meticulously restored to its 1857 grandeur. Just steps away is the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center at 426 N. Jackson Street. This new museum center serves as the welcome center for the Lincoln-Tallman Restorations, an exhibit gallery, gift shop, meeting space and administrative offices of the Rock County Historical Society. The Historical Society is located at 10 S. High Street and offers historic and cultural exhibits and many special events.

Rotary Gardens, located at 1455 Palmer Drive, is a delight to horticulturists and nature lovers alike. The Gardens showcase 14 internationally themed and specialty gardens that are open for touring year ’round during daylight hours. Admission is free. Guided and group tours are also available for a fee; please call two weeks in advance to arrange for a guided tour. The Rath Environmental Center includes a visitors’ center and gift shop.

The Rock Aqua Jays offer the thrills of a nationally acclaimed championship waterski team, renowned for its 34-person waterski pyramid. The group performs weekly on the Rock River at Traxler Park. Shows are performed free of charge on Wednesdays and Sundays at 7 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Miracle the White Buffalo Calf was born on the Heider Farm in 1994 and is considered to be the first white buffalo calf born since 1933. Miracle's birth is important to the religious beliefs of many American Indian tribes. Visit the Heider Farm daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours are subject to change.

You are welcome to experience performing arts in many forms through attending exciting productions and concerts by the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra, Janesville Concert Association, Janesville Little Theater, U-Rock Players, and Spotlight on Kids.

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From elegant to casual, antiques to state-of-the-art technology, Janesville’s shopping, dining and lodging establishments welcome residents and visitors to take advantage of all the city has to offer. More than 300 retail and specialty stores, seven major department and discount stores, over 90 restaurants, 12 motels and one bed and breakfast cater to those looking for a memorable experience.

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Janesville's state-of-the-art medical facilities include Mercy Health System and Riverview Clinic of Dean Medical Center. These facilities have made Janesville a regional center for quality health care.

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General Motors Truck and Bus Group is the city's largest employer. The 3.5 million square foot complex produces Yukons, Tahoes and Suburbans. Other major employers include Gillette Stationery Products Group, SSI Technologies, Lab Safety Supply, Alliant, Lear Corporation, Gilman, Prent Corporation, HUFCOR and Monterey Mills.

Tour businesses such as General Motors, Gray Brewing Company, Rock County Airport, Schuler's Country Furniture and Wisconsin Wagon Company during your stay in Janesville. Information is available from the Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau or from the companies offering tours.

Forward Janesville

Forward Janesville is the community's economic development organization. The organization's mission – strengthen existing employers’ ability to stay and grow – is accomplished by working on many fronts: economic development, government relations, education, downtown revitalization, and small business development. For more information about the Janesville business community, please call (608) 757-3160 or (888) FJI-8886. Forward Janesville is located at 51 S. Jackson Street.

Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Whether you’re planning a day trip, week-long vacation, or a convention for 500, the Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau can answer questions about where to go, what to see, and where to stay. Please call (800) 48-PARKS or visit the office at 51 S. Jackson Street.

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