Saturday, June 4, 2016

Beaches Open for Summer

Atwater Beach
Living so close to Lake Michigan, we're lucky to have nine official beaches in the county management system, and two others maintained by municipalities. The beaches are monitored for water quality, and although you may sometimes see smelly seaweed washing ashore, you will know the water quality is OK by checking the Beaches website.  Generally, if we've had significant rain, the water will not be safe for swimming.  At this link you can see the Bradford Beach webcam, weather conditions, UV warnings, and any other potential hazards.

South Shore Beach has had problems with runoff from the parking lot and work was done last year, so we'll see if it is better this year.  For information about how the water monitoring is done, read more at this link.

You'll see this sign posted when the water quality is poor

Here's the list of Lake Michigan area beaches:

Klode Beach in Whitefish Bay.  Klode is somewhat protected by rock walls, so you won't see big wave action here.  There's sand on one side and more rocky on the other side.  There are no concessions, but there is a public restroom.

Atwater Beach in Shorewood.   There are toilets on the bluff above the beach.  If you want food or drink, you need to bring your own.  This is a family friendly beach.  There are playgrounds both on the bluff and down at the beach level.  My favorite!

Lifeguards are provided at Bradford Beach.  This is more a beach for the college age and other adults.  They serve alcohol and food.  You can play beach volleyball here. Last year Wheel Fun Rentals had a rental space for kayaks and SUPs, but they will apparently not be back.   Parking can be very difficult to find on a hot sunny day, so bike or take the bus if you can. Stairways were added to the bluff above so you can also park on Wahl Avenue.

The other county beaches with addresses below as excerpts from the linked website:

Bay View 3120 S. Lake Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Big Bay 5000 N. Lake Drive, Whitefish Bay, WI 53217
 *Beach water not monitored at this site

Bender 4503  E. Ryan Rd., Oak Creek, WI 53154

Doctors Park (Tietjen Beach) 1870 E. Fox Lane, Fox Point, WI 53217

Grant 100 S. Hawthorne Ave., South Milwaukee, WI 53172
Amenities: sand volleyball courts and concessions.
For information on programs, visit (external link)

McKinley 1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Amenities: unreserved picnic areas

Sheridan 4800 S. Lake Drive, Cudahy, WI 53110
*Beach water not monitored at this site

South Shore 2900 S. Superior St., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Amenities in the lower level of the pavilion: wheelchair-accessible restrooms, concessions
Concessions Hours (Memorial Day Weekend–Labor Day Weekend):
Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. -7 p.m.
Memorial Day and Labor Day, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Weather permitting

No dogs are allowed on any of the beaches, and you risk a $200 fine.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tours on again at Forest Home Cemetery

Have you taken a walk at a cemetery lately?  I'm only half crazy, and yes, I do it routinely.  I love the beautiful trees and landscaping at Forest Home Cemetery. I enjoy looking at the gravestones and recognizing familiar names from streets and buildings around the city.  I like the flowers that bloom around the buildings.  The chapel is lovely.  The halls of history reveal details about Milwaukee's past.  What is there not to love about all of this?  It's even on the National register of historic places.

Because this cemetery is so unique, there are guided tours by docents who know a lot about Milwaukee's beer barons, civil war heroes, and city forefathers.  You can learn something and get exercise while they unravel stories about the past.  Check out the Facebook Page for photos of recent events at the cemetery.

If you're interested in doing a self guided tour, you can download the maps from the cemetery website. Though you can walk through the cemetery, it is a very big place- about 200 acres. You might prefer to drive.  If you have a dog, you're welcome to bring it along.  Just be sure to keep it leashed and pick up messes.

If it's a guided tour you're wanting, check out the calendar. Generally speaking, you'll find tours on Sunday from 2-3:30, starting at the Halls of History.  Donations are welcome, but there is no set fee.   More details are on the calendar too.

June 5 Women of the 1800s
June 12 Civil War Part 1 tour
June 22 Famous Milwaukeeans
July 3 Famous Germans
July 17 Mayors of Milwaukee
July 31 Milwaukee Beer Barons
Aug 14 Contemporary Milwaukee Women
Aug 28 Civil War Part 2
Sep 4 Cemetery Art and Symbolism
Sep 18 Milwaukee History
Oct 15 Fall Color

Another noteworthy event is this month,  Brunch with the Barons- beer barons that is.  An excerpt from the website where you can purchase tickets at $10.  And it's family friendly.

Forest Home Cemetery, The Pabst Mansion and the Milwaukee County Historical Society invite you to Brunch with the Barons; a unique event where Milwaukee's “beer royalty” come alive in a new and unique way. June 18th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., all are invited!
Forest Home Cemetery is the resting place for many of Milwaukee's beer barons and the Brunch with the Barons event brings their lives and stories to light through re-enactors and family members.  Participants can walk the cemetery’s "beer path" during this event which will wind them through the roads so that they encounter the resting places of the Blatz, Pabst, Schlitz, Melm and Gettelman families; among others. At each location, a re-enactor or family member will be present to talk about their lives or to share stories of their family members and family brewery.
Enjoy a peaceful walk, music, great food, and, of course, beer!

Highlights of the event include:
- A rare opportunity to enter the Blatz mausoleum hosted by Blatz family members.
- Encounters with Milwaukee's "beer barons" and baron family members/descendents.
- Activities and information from beer and brewing-related organizations.
- Entrance to the event including the event activities and permanent on-ground buildings and exhibits including the chapel and Halls of History Museum.
- Pabst-brand beers will be available for sale, as will brunch items.

Hope I've given you a reason to go see this beautiful place.