By Jennifer Posh
The 3.7-mile Milwaukee RiverWalk winds through the heart of the city, tying together three distinct riverfront neighborhoods — the Historic Third Ward, Downtown, and Beerline B.
More than 20 blocks from its northernmost to southernmost points, the RiverWalk is now fully ADA accessible and is an easy and fun way to explore Milwaukee.
Here are the top eight ways to enjoy your trek along the Milwaukee RiverWalk!
Admire Public Art
Milwaukee's RiverWalk is home to an outdoor art gallery called RiverSculpture! that includes both permanent pieces and temporary installations that change periodically. As you stroll along the RiverWalk you'll enjoy making new discoveries, from small, whimsical sculptures such as Gertie, the world's most celebrated duck, to sizable and striking abstract works.
There are currently 20 sculptures on display representing national, regional and local artists.
Pose With the Bronze Fonz
This piece of art deserves a mention all his own! Shooting his trademark double thumbs-up in downtown Milwaukee since 2008, the statue pays homage to Arthur Fonzarelli, aka “Fonzie,” the tough guy king of cool from “Happy Days,” the popular sitcom set in 1950s Milwaukee.
Standing 5-foot-6 (just like Henry Winkler, who portrayed the Fonz on TV) in his cool leather jacket, the Bronze Fonz is seldom seen without at least one fan wrapping their arm around him or mimicking his thumbs-up pose. Make sure to get your pic!
Eat on the Patio
Dining al fresco is even better on the water! The RiverWalk is lined with bars and restaurants with riverfront patios. Take a stroll and see what looks good!
Hop in a Kayak
Why not see the RiverWalk from on the river? You can set off on an adventure by renting a kayak or stand-up paddle board from Clear Water Outdoor. Their pier is located right on the RiverWalk, just across from the Milwaukee Public Market.
Enjoy a Show at Peck Pavilion
The Peck Pavilion at Marcus Center is a gorgeous outdoor performance space located on the RiverWalk that often hosts free entertainment for the whole family throughout the summer months. Enjoy music, dance, outdoor movies and more without ever leaving the RiverWalk!
Rock Out at River Rhythms
On Wednesday nights throughout the summer, Pere Marquette Park on the river hosts the free outdoor concert series River Rhythms. This diverse concert series hosts local and national acts in genres ranging from reggae to salsa.
Take a Cruise
As a city on the water, it’s no surprise that Milwaukeeans love their boats! From the RiverWalk, you can hop on board one of Milwaukee Boat Line’s cruises, including their popular sightseeing tour or evening cocktail and concert tours. A little ways up the river is where the Edelweiss Boat Cruises dock. Take a skyline cruise, a brunch or dinner trip, or bring the kids on a pirate-themed ride!
Grab a Brew
You’re never far from beer in Brew City, and you can enjoy local brews from two of the city’s most popular breweries without ever leaving the RiverWalk! At the start of the RiverWalk you’ll find Lakefront Brewery, famous for their hilarious and irreverent tour guides. Lakefront also has a riverfront patio where you can sip in summer style after your tour.
Further down the way in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, you’ll find the Milwaukee Ale House where you can enjoy a selection of house-brewed ales and lagers, plus a variety of quality craft beers, out on the RiverWalk.
The RiverWalk is a great start, but there’s so much more to explore! Discover the highlights of Wisconsin's largest city, and learn more at VISITMilwaukee.org.