Friday, December 7, 2012

Atwater Beach, Shorewood

NOTE:  This park has been updated since this was written.  For current photos and additional information, click here.
Atwater Beach in summer- usually not crowded

Atwater Beach is a local park, run by the village of Shorewood.  It's right on Lake Michigan and is often overlooked because you can't see the best parts, which lie beneath street level.  Look at Tripadvisor for recent reviews. Even though it's chilly outside, don't bypass a visit to this lovely park.

The upper level includes a small playground and some information about a shipwreck located just off the coast, as it's part of the Wisconsin Maritime Trails.  If you have some time, there's a lot to explore on the Maritime Trails website with ideas for kids and loads of historical information.

There's a beautiful piece of art on the bluff done by Jaume Plensa, a Spanish artist that also did the famous Crown fountain in Chicago that shows faces.
These signs pop up all along the coastline at parks

Jaume Plensa sculpture

Street level playground

This is a great place to watch a sunrise, and if you show up there, you will likely be in good company.  Often you'll see photographers, dogs (which by the way, are not allowed), and even people doing yoga.  The big draw for fitness buffs is the staircase.  It has probably just under 100 steps and is quite steep, which provides a good cardio workout, even if you do it just once a day!  They recently redid the paved path to the beach level and it is gated, so if you want to bring a wheelchair, it is possible, but the grade is pretty steep so try this at your own risk.  There is also some new intriguing play equipment.  I'm not sure if it was designed for kids or adults, but it is a lot of fun.  I have seen all ages on it.  Go try it yourself!  In the summer this past year, they had lifeguards, but I'm not sure if the funding will be there to have it all the time.  Still, the beach is quite protected and I haven't seen huge waves there.  People do launch canoes and kayaks here.
Some nice landscaping along the paved path

Stairs are quite a workout
New playground equipment

All ages can enjoy the swings!

Fall sunrise at Atwater Beach
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