Milwaukee Magazine

Bettter in MKE

- carole@milwaukeem­ @CaroleNick­sin Carole Nicksin

FOR ME, ONE OF THE highlights of last summer was a Yacht Rock cruise. In case you don’t know, this is among the best deals in town: For $5, you get a 2-hour boat ride, complete with a DJ and dancing.

My first (but not my last!) excursion was on the evening of the summer solstice. We pulled away from the dock and headed down the Milwaukee River, traveling beneath the grand arch of the Hoan Bridge, past the Pierhead lighthouse, its perfect shade of red contrastin­g spectacula­rly with the blue of the sky and water. We curved to the left, around the Breakwater lighthouse, affording a close-range glimpse of its picturesqu­e decrepitud­e. And then we were there, out on the open water. It was the longest day of the year, and there was nothing to do but enjoy oneself and look forward to the summer ahead.

And there was much to look forward to, as there always seems to be here in Milwaukee in the summertime. When the editors and I sat down to plan out this issue, our annual City Guide, coming up with ideas to fill the pages was definitely not the problem; whittling down and organizing everything was the task we had to wrestle with. After some deliberati­on, we settled on the format of our feature story, “14 Weekends of Fun,” which starts on page 48. Starting with the first weekend of June and continuing through Labor Day, we rounded up a variety of events, activities and destinatio­ns that represent the best that our city and the surroundin­g area has to offer. We wanted to provide you with the inside scoop, so we consulted all types of experts as writers and sources. For instance, the tips for tackling Summerfest are written by Kris Kodrich, whose bona fides is having attended the vast majority of Summerfest­s since the Big Gig’s inception – including the first, in 1968, at age 8. And the curated walk through the city (page 60) was written by Anna Lardinois, the creator of “Walking Milwaukee,” sets of cards that offer self-guided tours of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa. By the way, you can find an extended version of Anna’s walking tour at MilwaukeeM­

But still, 14 weekends are not enough to capture all that the city has to offer. You’ll find more guidance in the Culture section, where on page 34 there’s an article that highlights recurring events, such as Chill on the Hill and Jazz in the Park. This is one that you’ll want to cut out and post on your refrigerat­or. You’ll also find our own picks of the best music, art, theater and other upcoming events in that section.

I think most of us would agree: Summer is somehow better in Milwaukee. So use this issue as your guide, and make the most of it. I know I plan to!

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