My wife and I went to this beach on a Tuesday afternoon while we were in Milwaukee for vacation and let me just say... wow. This beach was so incredibly crowded on the side where the volleyball nets were that people were absolutely crammed together. We had to park on the EXTREME west end of the beach because there was literally nowhere to park anywhere close to the beach itself. Once we got settled in on a space that was relatively empty and got to lay back and enjoy the sun and sand, it was very nice. But this is by no means what I would consider a beach you can just park, walk up and relax on. It's extremely active and FILLED with all kinds of people.
As someone who has been to several different beaches, this was by far one of the most full and active. The only other beach I've seen that challenges Bradford Beach as far as population is Santa Monica Beach in Southern California. And that includes Cocoa Beach in Florida, Jean Klock and St Joseph Beach in Michigan and Manhattan Beach in California. None of those beaches even came close to how crowded Bradford was and on top of that, all of them actually were much prettier.
The beach itself and the scenery is actually quite pretty. The sand is beautiful, the water seems to go on forever and you can get a gorgeous view of the skyline from just about anywhere on the beach. There was a very fishy smell, so beware of that, but it seems to be a trait for beaches on Lake Michigan.
Overall, it wasn't a bad beach at all. If it was a little less crowded, then it would have gotten a LOT higher marks from me. But I simply cannot understand how it could be so full and busy on a frickin' Tuesday afternoon at 1 PM! I can't say I'm dying to go back.
Pros: Beautiful scenery, huge beach area, central location for other activities.
Cons: Simply way too crowded, parking is an absolute nightmare, fishy smell, not a very relaxing beach.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.