Janesville, Wisconsin’s “Great Outside,” boasts endless outdoor beauty and opportunities for exploration. Rotary Botanical Garden is an award-winning, 20-acre property that houses many dramatic and themed gardens. Each summer, Rotary partners with the Hedberg Public Library to host a “Story Walk” program featuring different children’s books. In December, the garden presents the spectacular “Holiday Light Show.” Plan to spend two hours at the site and allow time to shop the Cottage Garden Gallery gift shop, which features work local and regional artists and makers. Guided tours are available. Or, wander the gardens on your own. Much of the garden is wheelchair and stroller accessible, with wide, level paths and many benches to sit and take in the surrounding beauty.

Lincoln-Tallman Museum
Lincoln-Tallman Museum
Photo by: Full Spectrum Photography


Tour the Lincoln-Tallman Museum, an Italianate-style mansion constructed in 1857 and occupied by William Morrison Tallman, a lawyer and abolitionist. The tour focuses on how a prosperous Victorian family would have lived, weaving in stories about the Tallman family and Abraham Lincoln’s visit in October of 1859. In November and December, explore the museum as it’s decked out in holiday finery both inside and out. The Lincoln-Tallman Museum offers a chair lift to access the first floor. While the basement and upper floors are not accessible, a video tour is available.

Next door, the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center offers exhibit galleries that feature Pauline Pottery and Pickard China, as well as rotating exhibits celebrating the history and heritage of Rock County. Visit the gift shop, which features work by regional artists and makers including pottery, children’s items, soap, sculptures, and much more. The Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center is wheelchair accessible, including an elevator. 

Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show
Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show
Photo by Kim Hoholek Photography


Janesville’s Rock Aqua Jays are the most successful water ski show team in the world, with more than 20 U.S. National Championships. They perform free shows that include jumps, pyramids, and more on Wednesday and Sunday evenings from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The RAJ Stadium in Traxler Park is wheelchair accessible, and bathrooms are available in the park.

For a more laid-back excursion head over to Fermenting Cellars Winery. Located on a beautiful rural property, Fermenting Cellars hosts wine tastings, live music, unique local performances, weddings, and so much more. It offers a covered pavilion, cozy private shed, or an open-air patio with a large fireplace. 

Learn More

Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Lead image:
Downtown Janesville
Photo by Full Spectrum Photography