Must-Visit Milwaukee Highlights: A Trip to Wisconsin's Largest City
Last Updated: 10/9/2015
Courtesy of Visit Milwaukee
Wisconsin’s largest city, urban-easy Milwaukee, is a great city on a Great Lake! Well-known for its beer brewing heritage, the city also has a powerhouse arts scene, big-city attractions, revitalized historic districts, numerous James Beard-nominated chefs and a vibrant farm-to-table culinary scene.
This combination of cherished tradition and modern attitude is reflected in Milwaukee's architecture and in a variety of walk-around, character-filled neighborhoods. The city’s German heritage is celebrated along cobblestoned Old World Third Street, and the emerging Walker’s Point area is already nationally acclaimed for its locally made cheese, chocolate, ice cream, coffee and craft beers.
Stroll down the picturesque RiverWalk – past the “Bronze Fonz” statue of Henry Winkler’s beloved “Happy Days” character – to the Historic Third Ward. This six-square-block, converted warehouse district is home to art galleries, theaters, specialty stores, restaurants and nightlife, and is anchored by foodie paradise Milwaukee Public Market, ranked among the top markets by Frommer's.
Known as the “City of Festivals,” Milwaukee is home to thirty summer festivals, including world's-largest music festival Summerfest, which spans 11 days and 11 stages, welcoming more than 800,000 music fans to town.
The permanent lakefront festival park also is home to Milwaukee’s colorful ethnic fests including Irish Fest, German Fest, Festa Italiana, Polish Fest, Mexican Fiesta and Indian Summer Festival, which closes out summer festival season in September.
The iconic Milwaukee Art Museum spreads its “wings” at the lakefront; the stunning Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion is a work of art all its own, and the museum complex is home to a collection of more than 30,000 pieces of art.
Next door, maritime heritage meets 21st-Century cool at Discovery World with its high-tech displays and fresh and saltwater aquariums, also summer berth to Wisconsin’s official tall ship, the S/V Denis Sullivan.
Unleash your inner rebel at the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum where a priceless display of 450 bikes celebrates the rich history of Harley, the passion of the riders and Harley’s contribution to pop culture over the years.
Then it’s game on at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for the excitement of more than 3,100 slot machines, 100 table games, an expanded, off-track betting room and numerous culinary options.
Family fun is guaranteed at the nationally ranked Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Public Museum and Miller Park baseball stadium, while adults can enjoy brewery tours offered by MillerCoors and local microbreweries like Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee Brewing Company and Sprecher (also a great option for kids thanks to their world-class craft sodas!).
Excursion boats and kayaks beckon on the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, getting you out on the water.