Milwaukee Neighborhood Guide: 10 Reasons to Visit Whitefish Bay

Looking for a reason to visit Whitefish Bay? We have 10 for you.

This charming, Norman Rockwell-esque suburb, just north of downtown on the shore of Lake Michigan is filled with families, the top-ranked public high school in state, great parks and gorgeous homes.

Here are 10 reasons to make the 10-minute trek north on Lake Drive to check out this neighborhood brimming with equal parts nostalgia and trendiness.

Map of Whitefish Bay Hot Spots


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Klode Park

Shore Drive

This large park with tennis courts, an open field and complete playground hosts a flawless Fourth of July party every year. After descending a large hill (or stairs), you’ll find a clean, idyllic beach. One half is sandy and the other is small stones, perfect for skipping. You will almost always find people hunting for sea glass and kids dipping their toes in the water.

Bayshore Town Center

5800 N. Bayshore Dr.

This open-air mall is undergoing some changes since anchor tenant Boston Store closed it doors last year, but major chain stores like Kohl’s, The Gap, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Old Navy and H&M still make this a desirable spot to shop away an afternoon. There are plenty of casual and upscale restaurants like Devon’s Seafood, California Pizza Kitchen, Colectivo and Bar Louie to make it a great choice for lunch or happy hour. While Technically in Glendale, this mall borders Whitefish Bay.

Courtesy of Bayshore.

Shop Silver Spring

Silver Spring Drive between Santa Monica and Marlborough

The main drag in Whitefish Bay is filled with specialty shops like the Navy Knot for preppy dressers, Yellow Wood for high-end outdoor gear, New Options for women’s apparel and accessories, as well as my favorite, Winkie’s Toys & Variety for a little bit of everything under the sun.

The Bay

342 E. Silver Spring

This casual eatery has a solid menu, live music and a large outdoor eating area. It’s one of the only options for dining out in the Bay and it also caters to kids, so it’s consistently busy (and on our family’s monthly rotation!)

The Bay restaurant. Courtesy of Jenna Kashou.


501 E. Silver Spring

If you’re looking for brunch al fresco or a more upscale dinner for a date or girls night, Moxie is your spot. The small space is long and narrow with modern décor, making it feel more like a hip NYC spot rather than a suburban bar and restaurant.

Courtesy of Moxie.

Jack Pandl’s

1319 E. Henry Clay St.

This German restaurant has been around since 1915! It’s actually a designated Milwaukee County Landmark and has one of the Midwest’s largest collections of beer steins on display. Both the menu and the interior have not changed much since it opened, but the Friday Fish Fry and the outdoor patio are two great bets in the North Shore.

Pandl’s. Courtesy of Trip Advisor.

Estabrook Park/Beer Garden

4600 Estabrook Drive

For parents and kids, this large park has the best of both worlds – beer and a playground. The traditional German beer garden serves beers imported from the Munich Hofbräuhaus in the heavy glass steins. Brats, hot dogs, giant pretzels and polka music make this spot feel like a real German beer garden.

Fox Bay Cinema Grill

334 E. Silver Spring

Dinner and a movie turns into dinner while watching a movie at the Fox Bay. Tables and chairs replace the traditional aisle seating in the theater and the robust menu offers sandwiches and burgers as well as junk-food favorites like candy, popcorn, pizza, fries and sundaes. There is also a full-bar and attentive service so there is no waiting in lines! The illuminated marquee has been a staple on Silver Spring since this beautiful Art Deco theater opened in 1951.

Courtesy of Jenna Kashou.

Visiting This Fall? 

If you have the chance to visit Whitefish Bay this fall, don’t miss The Great Pumpkin Festival at School House Park (5420 N. Marlborough Drive). For the 33rd year in a row, hundreds of intricately carved pumpkins will be lit up and on display. Kids can even pick a free pumpkin to carve. The family friendly event also features food and live music.

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Jenna Kashou is a writer, storyteller and journalist specializing in lifestyle and culture feature writing for print and web. She is a frequent contributor to Milwaukee Magazine, MKE Lifestyle Magazine, The Business Journal and more. She was chosen as the fifth writer in residence at the historic Pfister Hotel where she wrote about and photographed guests and events. A Milwaukee native, Kashou has lived abroad and visited far-flung locales like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. She has always had an enormous sense of pride for her hometown and spreads this Milwaukee love everywhere she goes.