7 Picnic-Perfect Spots in Milwaukee

Eat, drink and take in the views at these picnic-worthy places.

1. Bradford Beach

The north point of Bradford Beach can be extremely tranquil, especially at sunset when you can look out over Lake Michigan and see cotton candy skies, when it’s a little less busy and you’re joined by good company (or enjoying your own). Whether you buy a pizza to-go or pack your own meal, listening to the waves crash against the shore while you enjoy a meal in nature can make Bradford one of the best picnic destinations in Milwaukee.

Bradford Beach; Photo by Visit Milwaukee

2. Holler Park

With nature study areas, a swimming pool, basketball court, playground and more, Holler Park is another wonderful location to have a picnic. The park is covered in Milwaukee’s flora and fauna, so it’s perfect for sitting under the sun and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And if you stay long enough, you might be able to catch a glimpse of a few stars in the evening sky (or at least more than you’d be able to spot in the city).

3. Wirth Park

If you sit down on your picnic blanket and look up towards the sky, you can see blue peaking out over the treetop at this park. Wirth Park is a very lush stretch to have a picnic, with a wooden walking trail going straight through the middle of it. It’s a great place to watch native-to-Milwaukee wild creatures in their own habitat while enjoying your meal.

4. Milwaukee Riverwalk

Find a spot along Milwaukee’s Riverwalk to soak in the views of the Milwaukee River and enjoy a meal packaged from home or takeout from one of the many restaurants housed in the Third Ward (The Milwaukee Public Market is a go-to take-out spot of mine for a picnic, especially when along the Riverwalk). After eating, you can continue the Riverwalk in either direction or relax and wave to boats as they go down the river. 

5. Lakeshore State Park

Another peaceful picnic spot with beautiful views of the Milwaukee skyline and Lake Michigan is Lakeshore State Park. During the day you can watch the sailboats on the horizon as they tack and jibe across the lake or take in the nature all around on both land and water. This is another great location to watch the sunset (or sunrise for an early morning picnic) and to look out at the old lighthouse.

Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

6. Hoyt Park

A picture-perfect picnic location, this park is 19.9 acres of land full of different things to do, sights to see and places to relax. Walk along either the Oak Leaf Trail or Forked Aster Hiking Trail to find the perfectly scenic destination where you can sit and eat. Or, if you don’t feel like walking, go to one of the sheltered picnic areas or find a shady area under a tree or near the Menomonee River.

7. Estabrook Park

Fish, hike, play a game of soccer, watch the birds or try one of the many activities at Estabrook Park to make a day out of your picnic trip. Or simply take in the trees and the sound of singing birds while you eat. And while you’re there, grab a beer at the Estabrook Beer Garden to go with your meal.

Estabrook Park; Photo by Visit Milwaukee