7 Lake Michigan beaches to check out as Milwaukee weather warms up

MILWAUKEE, WI – As the weather gets warmer and we have more sunny days, you might be looking for a new place to experience and relax next to our city’s Great Lake.

Besides the views, Milwaukee’s parks on Lake Michigan also offer a wealth of options for recreation and relaxation. Whether it’s swimming, dining, or sunbathing, there’s a beach in Milwaukee that has you covered.

Some things to consider: Not all beaches have lifeguards, so before you go swimming, be sure to check weather hazards and make sure conditions are safe. Additionally, beaches sometimes become unsafe with bacteria, but levels are regularly monitored and can be checked on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

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From north to south, here are seven Milwaukee beaches to check out this summer as the weather turns warmer:

Doctor’s Park – 1870 Fox Lane, Fox Point.

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Located at Fox Point in Milwaukee’s North Shore communities, Doctor’s Park offers a significant beach and park setting. A somewhat steep ravine trail opens up to Lake Michigan and a beach. The large park also offers picnic areas and a playground. Parking is available.

Klode Park – 5960 North Lake Drive, Whitefish Bay.

Klode Park, located in Whitefish Bay, offers a playground, tennis courts and terrain atop the cliffs of Lake Michigan. A descent to the water reveals Lake Michigan and a large beach perfect for relaxing or swimming. Parking is available.

Atwater Park – 4000 North Lake Drive, Shorewood.

Located in Shorewood, Atwater Park has a large beach with piers jutting out into Lake Michigan. A trip here in the summer will often see boats, large and small, off the coast. An iconic statue also sits atop the cliffs, looking out into the lake.

A playground sits atop the park’s cliffs, while a staircase and winding path can take you down to the lake. When summer sets in, the path leading to the lake is often lined with foliage and flowers. Parking can be found on the street.

Bradford Beach – 2400 North Lincoln Memorial Drive.

Milwaukee’s largest beach offers more than sandy shores and views of Lake Michigan. Often during the summer, Bradford becomes populated with people from all over the county. Volleyball courts pop up most summers, and two “Tiki” bars offer drinks for those looking.

The beach is big enough for you to stretch out and spend some time in the sun or toss a ball.

The area around Bradford Beach also offers plenty to do. A quick walk south toward downtown will reveal a Colectivo cafe, a kite shop called Gift of Wings, and more. A limited number of parking spaces are available in the lots, there is also street parking in the area.

South Shore Park, 2900 South Shore Parkway.

This park on the south side of Milwaukee is home to a yacht club, historic 1930s bathhouse, beach, and beer garden. The South Shore Terrace, the park’s beer garden, also offers food and signature Miller beers.

The terrace menu also features soft pretzels, fries, wings, a host of sandwiches and burgers, as well as salads and a Friday fish fry. With its catering and private rental offer, the spot can also be ideal for a special occasion.

Read more about the beach on the terrace website.

Grant Park, 100 East Hawthorne Avenue, South Milwaukee.

The extensive Grants Park offers a wide variety of nature to discover. A waterfall and miles of trails through the woods are complemented by a wide sandy beach on Lake Michigan. The beach is accessible by a stone staircase and parking is available.

The beach has plenty of room to relax, a beach house, and the seasonal Ferch’s Beachside Grille offers classics like hot dogs and burgers, as well as sandwiches and of course sundaes. The park also offers chair and umbrella rentals, as well as volleyball.

Bender Park – 4503 East Ryan Road, Oak Creek.

Bender Park at Oak Creek offers access to a small sandy beach and a network of trails atop the Lake Michigan cliffs. The hiking trails will take you through woods and past wetlands. Parking is available.

There’s also plenty of space for picnicking, though one of the park’s main draws is its access to drop a boat into the lake.

Multiple vantage points offer sweeping vistas of Lake Michigan and the awe-inspiring landscape of the Milwaukee area.


About Marc Womack

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