The bustling city of Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and has a metropolitan mix of urban, downtown culture and history. Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, this city has a plethora of breweries, waterfront developments and a variety of entertainment and attractions. From events at the Bradley Center Arena to ball games at Miller Park, Milwaukee is sure to keep visitors busy while on vacation. All seasons, except winter, are a great time to visit places such as the Historic Third Ward Association, Budweiser Pavilion, or the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
In the summer, discover the natural side of Milwaukee at the Mitchell Park Conservatory. Sailing and fishing at the lake are also quite popular, and definitely relaxing. For those who like to take tours and sightsee, visit some of the many breweries or stroll along the Riverwalk, which was rated as one of the best in the country. When planning your vacation, look to Milwaukee as a destination that has a unique identity and a fun, beautiful aura.
10. Milwaukee Art Museum This beautifully built museum strives to collect and preserve art as a way to inspire and educate everyone.
5. The Domes In Mitchell Park, founded by the family of General Mitchell, the Domes are the world's only glass domes featuring flowers and wildlife that visitors will find amazing.
9. Kettle Moraine State Park With over 20,000 acres to see and traverse, visitors to Milwaukee will find this park breathtakingly beautiful.
4. Captain Fred Pabst Mansion Tour this incredible home in Milwaukee, and learn about the life of the captain, as well as the craftsmanship and artistry of the home.
8. Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin Science and technology meet adventure and excitement at this fun facility in Milwaukee that houses an aquarium, a techno jungle and much more.
3. Saint Joan of Arc Chapel Situated on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, this chapel is a stunning place to see and photograph.
7. Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum Exhibits from the 15th through to the 18th century are on display in a Italian styled mansion on Terrace Avenue in Milwaukee.
2. Milwaukee County Zoo: With over 2,500 animals and 200 acres, visitor will need to take a whole day to fully discover this incredible zoo.
6. Milwaukee Public Museum Located in the Downtown area, this museum has an IMAX theatre, planetarium and fun interactive exhibits for kids to explore.
1. Potawatomi Bingo Casino As the state’s number one tourist attraction, this Milwaukee hot spot is packed with games galore, great dining and lively entertainment.
- Hoan Bridge – Once known as a “Bridge to Nowhere”, this tiered bridge connecting I-794 to the Lake Freeway across the Milwaukee River was designed in 1975.
- Pabst Mansion – The Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion is a nice work of 1882 architecture that had modern conveniences before most homes had them.
- War Memorial Centre – The history of war and a special tribute to those who have served is offered here.
- Juneteenth – On June 19, Milwaukee celebrates the freeing of the slaves in this moving historical festival.
- Kilbourntown House – A home originally built in 1844 but moved in the late 1930s to preserve its rich historical significance.
Milwaukee Art & Culture
- Milwaukee Public Museum – Mostly natural history exhibits, this museum has a great Planetarium and an IMAX theatre.
- Pabst Theatre – Performance arts locale for drama, comedy and other types of live performances.
- Discovery World – Hands-on exhibits and lots of interesting, educational fun.
- German Fest – Incredible celebration toward the end of July offering German cuisine, music, folk dancing and children’s events.
- Milwaukee Art Museum – A lakeside, modern architectural structure offering over 1,500 works.
- Brady Street District – Touted as a Greenwich Village clone, but it truly is a fantastic place to shop.
- Artasia – Interesting Eastern Asian finds in both a museum setting and a large shop.
- Public Market – The Milwaukee Public Market is an eclectic indoor food market with great confections, cheeses and wines.
- Historic Third Ward – A neighbourhood on the south side with several galleries, specialty shops,and restaurants.
- Bayshore Town Centre – This is a mall with trendy shops, including Trader Joe’s and Coldwater Creek
Gay & Lesbian Milwaukee
- M & M Club – Renowned GLBT pub and club that’s been in operation since the ’70s.
- Walker’s Point Area – The centre of the Milwaukee gay pulse and an exciting hub in early June during Pride Fest time.
- Midtowne Spa – Get moving or simply relax at this gay-centric health and recreation facility.
- Milwaukee Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Centre – Educational services, as well as health and wellness for the local LGBT
- Woody’s – Sports bar on 2nd Street that caters to both gay men and women.
- Summerfest – One of the biggest music festivals in the world, late June through early July.
- Schlitz Audubon Nature Centre – About 185 acres of nature with winding trails, a beach and a 60-foot observation tower.
- Milwaukee Zoo – Over 300 species of animals with an emphasis on preserving endangered species.
- Mitchell Park Domes – On the outside, these look like otherworldly bubbles, but inside, these domes house an incredible collection of flora.
- Lynden Sculpture Garden – Browse through 40 acres of lush, groomed park to experience more than 50 impressive sculptures.
- Watch a baseball game in the traditional Miller Park, home to the Brewers.
- Sail the stunning Lake Michigan shoreline.
- Experience the thrill of an NBA event, rodeo or extreme boarding at the Bradley Centre, home to the Bucks.
- Test your endurance or watch conditioned athletes race in Milwaukee’s annual mid-September Riverwalk challenge, a rowing competition.
- Fish up a monster salmon out of scenic Milwaukee waters.
The February Winter Festival in Milwaukee hosts fun activities like ice carving contests, bed racing, hayrides and much more that celebrates the season of winter.
Germanfest in July is Milwaukee's best festival with events like Battle of the Bands, Pretzel Park, races and raffles.
From alternative to zydeco, the Summerfest is one of the largest musical festivals that the summer has to offer, rocking for 11 days in Milwaukee.
In July, the Fiesta Italiana in Milwaukee celebrates Italian American culture with four days of celebrity appearances, fireworks, food and amusement rides.
The Milwaukee Comedy Festival has August full of laughter. Visitors will enjoy the best stand-up, improvised theatre and funny sketches by great comics from around the area.
Whether you attend mass, visit the marketplace or hang out at the Jameson Lounge, visitors will find plenty to do at the Milwaukee Irish Fest held at the end of summer.
Tosafest celebrates Wauwatosa, a village near Milwaukee. The festival includes live music, food and fun, which in turn helps afford community projects and education.
The Milwaukee Film Festival brings more than just films in October. There is the opening night party, community discussions, and after-parties for everyone to enjoy.
Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival is a spectacular event where close to a million lights adorn almost every tree and building in the downtown area. This six-week festival is packed with every kind of Christmas activity imaginable.
Get ready to celebrate all the cultures of the world at the Holiday Folk Fair in Milwaukee. From egg rolls and strudel, all types of cuisine are enjoyed while attending the many holiday activities.
When To Go
Late spring and summer are great times to visit Milwaukee and enjoy the outdoors. The daily temperatures during March through August range from 40°F (4°C) to 80°F (27°C).
Weather in autumn has Milwaukee feeling agreeable with warm days and temperatures around 70°F (21°C).
Winters in the Great Lakes can be severe, with occasional snowstorms and extreme amounts of rain. Snow and ice storms take place mostly during the months of December, January and February.
By air, the General Mitchell International Airport is southeast of downtown, near Cudahy. Ground transportation is available to visitors to bring them from the airport to their accommodations.
The Amtrak and Greyhound share a station in Milwaukee on St. Paul Avenue. Services from the city to Chicago and over 50 other cities, operate daily bringing visitors to and from Wisconsin.
By boat, the Lake Express operates three round-trips daily to and from Milwaukee. The terminal is located in the neighborhood of Bay View with service starting in May and running through October.
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