Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee, is always buzzing with good energy. From the bright blue Lake Michigan waterfront to award-winning craft tastes to the cheers at festivals and sports stadiums, this city has something for everyone. Bring your friends, bring your family, and enjoy all things Milwaukee! To get a taste of the Cream City, here are few iconic highlights.
Check out this original article in the Wisconsin Travel Guide for more travel inspiration!
Summerfest, Milwaukee’s Giant Music Festival
Join in the revelry of Milwaukee’s Summerfest. Known as the Big Gig, this three-weekend music festival features more than 1,000 live performances. The celebration attracts more than 850,000 guests every year thanks to the combination of top musical acts and an unbeatable location right on the lake.
The Deer District, Home to NBA Champions
Did someone say, “Bucks in Six?” While the 2021 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and their thriving Deer District may have put Milwaukee in the national spotlight, the area around Fiserv Forum is always a must-explore.
Bronzeville, a Place That's Changed the World
Named by the New York Times as one of 52 places that changed the world, Milwaukee’s Bronzeville district is home to a cultural revival and many must-visit Black-owned businesses. After the thriving African-American neighborhood was displaced in the 1960s, the district is now being reenergized and reorganized by local Black leaders and business owners. Be sure to check out the Bronzeville Collective to shop gifts and art by local artists, and visit the re-opened Black Holocaust Museum.
Holiday Lights and Downtown Ice Skating
You’ll know the holiday season has arrived when Milwaukee’s Cathedral Square comes alive with one of the city’s best light displays. After you’ve seen the lights and dropped off your letters to Santa, head over to Red Arrow Park downtown to cap off a festive family evening with outdoor ice skating.
Craft Beer and Unique Restaurants
Whether you and your fellow adventurers are looking to discover a craft beer or experience new flavors at a trendy restaurant, Milwaukee has something new to try. Lakefront Brewery for a seasonal craft brew and Don's TV & Repair for a retro speakeasy experience are both great places to start.
Unforgettable Festivals & Celebrations
Milwaukee is always up for a party. Cultural celebrations like Irish Fest, Mexican Fiesta, Juneteenth and Bastille Days offer delicious food and traditional music and dance. Art festivals such as the Milwaukee Film Festival and Lakefront Festival of Art proudly display local talent.
Bradford Beach, One of the Nation’s Most Accessible Beaches
Beaches aren’t always welcoming for people who have mobility challenges, but Bradford Beach is for everyone. You can tell by the free-to-check-out beach wheelchairs and the wheelchair-accessible Mobi-Mat that extends all the way to the water. (And the mat brings you to the beach’s outdoor bar too!)
Museums in Milwaukee
Milwaukee is home to 22 museums that span almost every topic imaginable. Marvel with your young ones at the largest dinosaur skull in the world at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Stroll hand-in-hand through colorful exhibits at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Soak up American culture and release your free spirit at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Or drink in local history at an eclectic gem like Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery.
Hiking & Biking
Thanks to Milwaukee’s 120-plus miles of trails, you can easily find a great place to exercise, even in the lively downtown area. Two of the best trail systems for urban hikes and rides are the Oak Leaf Trail and the Hank Aaron State Trail. You can pick both up right from the lakefront.
Looking for more? Keep exploring Milwaukee or check out these 5 rooftop patios in the city.