By Melanie Radzicki McManus
Head to Janesville to check out its unique variety of locally-owned shops, like Adorn Janesville, a boutique selling quality and handmade items sourced from both local and fair-trade artisans. Their unique selection includes leather bags, tarot cards, biodegradable sisal soap and bamboo boxer shorts. At Urban Boutique, which sells stylish women’s clothing and accessories, you can score cow-print boots, knee-length cardigans or a crossbody purse. Shop your favorite brands at Velvet & Tulle like Lucky, Nation and Michael Stars. At The French Lily Boutique, find a fresh new summer look, including a new outfit, accessories or even hairstyle.
For resale finds, head to 608 Vintage, a 13,500-square-foot store loaded with items from more than 300 vendors. Many sell strictly vintage pieces, including clothing, jewelry and toys, but some offer handmade items. Visit Blessed Divine Creations where you can shop wares from local, Black- owned businesses, including clothing, handmade gift baskets, fragrance, lotions and even cinnamon-roasted pecans and cashews. Art lovers should check out Raven’s Wish Gallery, where you can browse and purchase contemporary artwork from more than 75 regional and national artists. Their selection includes jewelry, freeform quilting, paintings, pottery and photography.
Both Rotary Botanical Gardens and the Rock County Historical Society gift shops feature art pieces and practical items from local and regional makers. They offer a nice selection of handmade jewelry, garden art, pottery and sculptures. You could pick up a set of hand-turned wooden salt and pepper shakers, a scented candle or fused glass garden art.
FOLLOW THE ART TRAIL
Explore Janesville’s more than 60 pieces of public art, including 27 large-scale murals created by local, national and international artists. The collection also features sculptures, statues, historical markers and monuments. Go to janesvillecvb.com and download the Public Art Trail brochure to begin your arts exploration. It will be easy to spot some pieces, like the 5-story “In History We Trust” mural and “Resilience,” a 28-foot- tall steel and glass sculpture with LED lighting that crosses the Rock River.
DINE LIKE THE LOCALS
Catch Janesville’s vibe by dining at favorite local hotspots such as Sandwich Bar, Lark and Genisa Wine Bar. The colorfully-painted Sandwich Bar features gourmet sandwiches like It’s Not a Tuna Melt, a smoked-trout spread on toasted rye with Swiss cheese and apple. The casual-chic Lark is the place to enjoy a crispy pork-belly taco or mushroom pastrami and craft cocktails, while Genisa Wine Bar carries a selection of more than 100 international wines and offers specialty pizzas, charcuterie boards and decadent desserts.
For more information on shopping, dining and recreational opportunities in Janesville, visit janesvillecvb.com.