Fun in the Sun, Cool in the Water
If you're looking for a place to enjoy the summer sunshine or a way to beat the heat, check out these great beaches, pools and water parks.
With summer here, the water is beckoning. Whether you enjoy lakeside beaches or waterslides, there are plenty of options in the area. Patch has pulled together information on some of our favorites.
Idle Isle Park, Muskego
This 7-acre island park offers fishing, a boat launch and parking, swimming and a picnic and playground area. The Pavilion will feature Island Ice Cream beginning June 22, and on Wednesday evenings the Water Bugs Show Ski Team performs at 6:30 p.m.
Muskego County Park, Muskego
A part of the Waukesha County Parks System, Muskego County Park offers swimming, camping, hiking and picnic facilities. Pavilions are available as well for large group gatherings.
The beach area is supervised by trained lifeguards, and offers areas for small children to experienced swimmers. A concessions stand is also available for refreshments and snacks.
The beach is open at 10 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sundays the beach closes at 6 p.m.
Lake Michigan/Bender Park, Oak Creek
Bender Park, situated at the bottom of bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan, provides scenic views of the lake, a sandy beach to hop in and out of the water and a multi-lane boat launch.
One of Milwaukee County's newest parks also has hiking trails and a waterfront pavilion. Whether you are a boater, a swimmer, or just want to enjoy the lakefront view, Bender Park is a great place to access Lake Michigan. It's also been the subject of a paranormal investigation.
Park is open from 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
To get to Bender Park, take I-94 to the Ryan Road exit. Go east to Highway 32. Turn left (north) for one block. Turn right (east) onto Old Ryan Road. The road becomes gravel. At the gate, follow the paved road into the park.
For more information, call (414) 762-1550.
Doctors Park , Fox Point
Doctors Park has public beach access and plenty of cool water in Lake Michigan. Recently, the Milwaukee County Parks Department repaved the parking lot and repaired the path to the beach.
Doctors Park Friends has also been fixing up the beach house, bathrooms and pulling invasive weeds. Doctors Park is part of the Milwaukee County Parks system, so it's open daily until dark.
Menomonee Park, Menomonee Falls
Known locally as the Lannon Quarry, Menomonee Park is located in the heart of Lannon on the way to Menomonee Falls, and features a 16-acre quarry and 160 feet of beach along the shore. There's even a beach house with restrooms, concessions and showers available during the swimming season.
Located right off Town Line Road near Willow Springs Learning Center, this park is open from June to August, and is just footsteps from Sussex's front door.
Beach hours (June to August):
- 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays
- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends and holidays
North Beach, Racine
The North Beach Oasis, 100 Kewaunee St. in Racine, offers a front seat along Lake Michigan.
The kids can play at Kids’ Cove, one of the largest playground areas in the state. You can sip on a beverage and munch goodies at the concession stand, enjoy a band, or play some volleyball. There’s also a bike path and a path to the water suitable for strollers and wheelchairs.
North Beach also hosts the Ironman and Irongirl competition, and the World Championship Volleyball competition.
While the beach never closes, the Oasis is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Memorial Day through Sept. 12.
Lifeguards are on duty on the beach from mid-June through August. Call the beach hotline (262) 636-9233 to see if it is closed.
Quarry Lake Park, Mount Pleasant
Quarry Lake Park offers a concession stand, bathhouse, picnic area, volleyball, fishing and a dog park. Park amenities include picnic tables and grills as well as an air-conditioned beach house and locker room. During the swim season, patrons must pay a small entrance fee. The concession stand is open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and on Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.
Port Washington Marina, Port Washington
Fishing, boating and even a thriving lakeside restaurant community are the major draws of this Lake Michigan marina. Schedule a trip on one of any number of charter fishing boats, or walk out on the breakwall and find your own best spot.
If you're less nautical, numerous restaurants and coffee shops offer outdoor seating and beautiful views of the lake.
The lake never closes, of course.
Atwater Beach, Shorewood
Situated at the intersection of Lake Drive and Capitol Drive, Atwater Beach and Park serve as Shorewood's vista to Lake Michigan.
Venture down to the beach and stick your toe in the cold lake and then lie on the sand and tan in the summertime. Or, build a sandcastle, launch a canoe or jump in for a swim; with lifeguards on duty late into the afternoon.
The beach has seen new upgrades recently including a new boardwalk, and brand new, unique playground equipment.
Hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Visit the village of Shorewod's website for more information
Greenfield High School Natatorium, Greenfield
The Greenfield Natatorium is a state of the art indoor swimming pool at Greenfield High School.
The WIAA regulation-size pool is 25 yards long, and has eight lanes with starting blocks, a 12-foot deep end for competitive diving and two diving boards.
The pool locker rooms are separate from the school's locker rooms, and there is a family changing area as well. There is seating capacity for more than 400 spectators and access for the disabled.
Open and lap swim hours vary because of the City of Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department's usage of the pool, high school events and other scheduled practice times. Call the Community Relations Office at (414) 529-9090, Ext. 5817, for available times and more details.
Tosa Pool at Hoyt Park, Wauwatosa
One of Wauwatosa's proudest civic achievements, Tosa Pool at Hoyt Park has just begun its second year of operation after citizens raised $8 million in donations to rebuild the former Hoyt Park Pool, which closed in 2003.
The new pool is a state-of-the-art facility with the features of a small water park. It offers zero-depth entry, a variety of slides, fountains and play pieces and broad decks for sunning (and plenty of shade, too).
Concessions are sold in the lovingly restored Depression-era bathhouse, which can be rented for private affairs.
Open swim hours:
- Parent/Tot: Monday to Friday, 9 to 11 a.m.
- Weekdays: Monday to Thursday, noon to 4:30 pm; Friday, noon to 6 p.m.
- Evening: Tuesday and Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m.
- Saturday and holidays: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Daytime admission is $7, parent/tot time and evening (6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday) is $4, children age 2 and under are free.
Wirth Aquatic Center, Brookfield
Whether the goal is lounging poolside, skateboarding, playing summer sports or hiking trails, Wirth Park and Wirth Aquatic Center in Brookfield has visitors covered.
Wirth Aquatic Center features a 50-meter pool with 1- and 3-meter diving boards, and a zero-depth pool for younger children. There is a flume slide, as well as geysers, a spray feature, a sunbathing deck with umbrella-covered tables and a children's playground with sand area. Men's and women's locker rooms and a concession stand also are available.
The aquatic center is located within Wirth Park, a 145-acre city park that has a skateboarding facility, two sand volleyball courts, picnic areas and shelters with restrooms, five ball diamonds, three soccer fields, eight tennis courts, nature trails and bike paths.
Wirth Aquatic Center, 2585 N. Pilgrim Road, is about four miles west of the I-45 exit ramp at North Avenue (Mayfair Mall).
On weekdays, the zero-depth pool is open from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the full aquatic center is open from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m.
From Aug. 13 to 17 only, the full center is open from 1 to 8 p.m without the 4:30 p.m. closure.
On Saturday and Sunday, the full facility is open from 1 to 8 p.m. (It will be closed Sunday July 15 for an Elmbrook Swim Club Swim Meet.)
Daily admission for City of Brookfield residents is $4 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 to 17 and seniors, and free for children ages 2 and younger. Admission rates for non-residents are slightly higher.
Admission to just the morning zero-depth pool is $2.75 for adults, $2.25 for children ages 3 to 17 and seniors, and free for children 2 and younger.
Get a taste of the Wirth Aquatic Center facilities in this photo gallery.
Waukesha Pools, Waukesha
The City of Waukesha has two public swimming pools – Buchner Pool and Horeb Spring Aquatic Center. The two pools opened in mid-June and are run daily throughout the summer.
Buchner Pool is a neighborhood pool nestled in Buchner Park in a residential area off of Racine Avenue. In addition to swimming areas, the pool has a small water slide and water basketball hoops.
Horeb Spring Aquatic Center, located in Horeb Spring Park off of Summit Avenue and Spring Street, is the larger of the two pools. It features two large water slides and a zero-depth entry.
Buchner Pool is open every day through Aug. 19, with reduced hours Aug. 20-24. Horeb Springs Aquatic Center is open every day until Sept. 3. Find details about pool hours and activities on the city's website.