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Bus Route 15

Sep. 7, 2011
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The Route 15 bus offers an exhaustive north-south tour of the townships bordering Lake Michigan. With Bayshore Town Center on the northern end and a number of interesting neighborhoods along the way, this route is ideal for students.

Bayshore Town Center offers pleasant outdoor sidewalks and roadways connecting its many shops. In addition to popular retail outlets such as H&M, Kohl's Department Store, GameStop, Barnes & Noble and the Apple Store, the mall holds tasty dining options, including a standard food court, Cheesecake Factory and Fro-Yo Bella frozen yogurt shop. The iPic Entertainment theater provides extra-plush seats and a full bar for an evening at the movies.

Interested in a smaller cinema venue? Try out the Fox Bay Cinema Grill (334 E. Silver Spring Drive), where you can grab dinner at the in-house restaurant and catch a wide selection of box-office hits.

Continuing south on the 15, we find a slew of Whitefish Bay's attractive upscale venues, including salons, restaurants and the historic variety store Winkie's (629 E. Silver Spring Drive). Among the many offerings at this eclectic store are office supplies, holiday decorations, jelly beans and imported chocolate at the enormous, old-time candy counter.

Upon entering Shorewood, the 15 takes you past many affordable restaurants and shops along a particularly pleasant stretch of Oakland Avenue. Grab lunch at Einstein Bros. Bagels (4301 N. Oakland Ave.) or Benji's Deli and Restaurant (4156 N. Oakland Ave.), which offers tasty Jewish-American food, including some of the finest corned beef in the city.

Riders can walk a few blocks from the intersection of Oakland and Capitol to find more shops and restaurants. Particularly memorable is Anaba Tea Room (2107 E. Capitol Drive), with its immense selection of high-quality teas, as well as light lunches and dinner options with English and Asian accents. The food is scrumptious, and a rooftop dining room makes the experience all the more enchanting.

As the bus enters Milwaukee and the UWM neighborhood, we find even more restaurants with affordable meals for students. Along the way are Domino's Pizza (3139 N. Oakland Ave.), Jimmy John's (3129 N. Oakland Ave.), Noodles and Co. (3121 N. Oakland Ave.) and Qdoba (3101 N. Oakland Ave.).

The intersection of Oakland and Locust is a jackpot for hungry students. Here you can find Cold Stone Creamery (2907 N. Oakland Ave.), Five Guys (2907 N. Oakland Ave.), Shiraz Persian Grill (2921 N. Oakland Ave.) and the famous Oakland Gyros (2867 N. Oakland Ave.).

Slightly further south is the Urban Ecology Center (1500 E. Park Place, just off of Oakland in Riverside Park), a stunning facility devoted to environmental education and preservation. Bordering the Milwaukee River, the center features exhibits and garden spaces that are free and open to the public, as well as classes and lectures. This Milwaukee jewel is well worth a day trip.

The bus continues south, crossing North Avenue and its multitude of shops and bars, proceeds along Brady Street, which turns into Water Street, and then enters the city's Downtown. Here it passes such entertainment venues as the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts (929 N. Water St.), the Milwaukee Repertory Theater (108 E. Wells St.) and the Pabst Theater (144 E. Wells St.). Downtown Milwaukee is home to numerous bars and restaurants, including chains and original eateries.

The next neighborhood the 15 crosses is the Third Ward and MIAD area, an upscale shopping district with a beautiful stretch of the RiverWalk and many fascinating historic buildings. Of note here is the Milwaukee Public Market (400 N. Water St.), which offers a wide range of eat-in and carry-out options, a beautiful second-floor eating space, merchandise for sale and even cooking classes. Nearby is the Milwaukee Ale House (233 N. Water St.), a full restaurant and microbrewery.

After leaving this area, the 15 enters Milwaukee's South Side. Landmarks include ComedySportz (420 S. First St.)—its weekend shows should be on every new Milwaukee college student's to-do list. The 15 also travels right past the Allen-Bradley tower (1201 S. Second St.), for many years the world's largest four-faced clock.

Once through the more industrial part of the South Side, we enter the Bay View neighborhood, where another delightful strip of shops and restaurants is situated. Grab some delicious bakery at Wild Flour Bakery (422 E. Lincoln Ave.), a tasty sandwich at Café LuLu (2261 S. Howell Ave.) or one of Soup Market's (2211 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) rotating daily options served with a big chunk of bread. One of the area's three Outpost Natural Foods co-ops is along the way (2826 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), offering a wide selection of organic products.       

The last several miles of Route 15 take us through St. Francis, Cudahy and South Milwaukee, with its final stop at Grant Park (215 Lake Drive, South Milwaukee). This spacious lakeside park contains acres of woodland, an enormous golf course, beautiful beaches and the Seven Bridges Trail.


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