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The Lakefront: Welcome to summer!

May 28, 2018  |  Topics: Spotlight

PHOTO ESSAY by Eddee Daniel

Bradford Beach

Milwaukee’s magnificent and unmatchable lakefront—where else do you go on Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer? Especially if the inland temperatures rise above 90° as they did this weekend. Although I tend to avoid crowds, I decided to check it out this year. It was definitely crowded. Lincoln Memorial Drive was a slow crawl from end to end all afternoon. But it was in fact noticeably “cooler near the lake” and a perfect opportunity to observe how much we Milwaukeeans love our lakefront.


Beach volleyball on Bradford Beach

Bradford Beach, epicenter of the action, was pretty much wall-to-wall people. A surprising number even ventured into the frigid waters of the lake.


Defenders of the sand fort

Not wanting to be intrusive, I tend not to train my camera on individuals at the beach. But these young people saw my camera and invited me to take their picture.


Those who desired a less congested beach experience chose McKinley Beach, the semi-circular sandy inlet just north of McKinley Marina.


Kayakers setting off from McKinley Beach


The Veteran’s Park lagoon was hopping with activity, kayaks, paddleboats and paddleboards aplenty.





There was a kite festival going on at Veteran’s Park. I didn’t get out that far but it was easy to see the striking display of kite design and flying ability from Lincoln Memorial Drive. I did find a couple of boys having their own personal kite festival on the wide-open stretch between McKinley and Bradford Beaches.


The Oak Leaf Trail running between the lagoon and Lincoln Memorial Drive saw a steady stream of people walking, biking, rollerblading, and running.


I found this amazing and aromatic panorama of lilac bushes at the corner of E. Lafayette Hill Road, across from Colectivo.



Eddee Daniel is a board member of Preserve Our Parks and the project director for A Wealth of Nature.