10 Reasons To Visit Milwaukee

Milwaukee Skyline

by Ken Mobile on Flickr
by Ken Mobile on Flickr

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is usually not one of the top cities you list to visit on your vacation. But take my word for it, it has a lot to offer no matter what your interests. I lived in Milwaukee for 10 years and there was always something going on. We were never bored and had trouble looking for activities. All our friends were surprised at what all they could find.

Here are 10 reasons for you to visit Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Art Museum

by The New No. 2 on Flickr
by The New No. 2 on Flickr

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum is truly something you have to see. It is made up of the War Memorial Center, the Kahler Building, and the Quadracci Pavilion which was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and was featured in Time Magazine. The Pavilion is one of the most beautiful things to see as they periodically open up the wings of the building. Their collection of art is wonderful and their featured exhibits change periodically. Attending a wedding held in the Pavilion is a sight to see. I attended a cousin’s wedding there and going outside to watch the special wing display with Lake Michigan in the background was the icing on the cake. It is open daily 10 -5 and Thursday until 8. They offer special events including a Sunday Brunch.

Opening of the Wings

Milwaukee Public Museum and Imax Dome by kjv31 on Flickr
Milwaukee Public Museum and Imax Dome by kjv31 on Flickr
Live Butterfly Exhibit by o0o0oecho0o0o on Flickr
Live Butterfly Exhibit by o0o0oecho0o0o on Flickr
North American Indian by shirazbashir on Flickr
North American Indian by shirazbashir on Flickr
by petecapp on Flickr
by petecapp on Flickr
Streets of Old Milwaukee by Retinal Fetish on Flickr
Streets of Old Milwaukee by Retinal Fetish on Flickr

Milwaukee Public Museum

You cannot visit Milwaukee without going to the Public Museum. Do not expect to just go for an hour or two. This is an all day affair and you still might not see everything. I've been the museum more times than I can count and I find something new every time. The details in the exhibits are unbelievable.

Permanent Exhibits:

  • Living Oceans - You'll dive under the oceans and see all the amazing life there. It's a fun time for everyone and you don't have to worry about getting sea sick.
  • Puelicher Butterfly Wing - Everyone in the family will enjoy this as you enter a room (a very warm room) full of live butterflies. Hold out your hand and watch as they magically land and tickle. You'll also find a large collection of moths and butterflies on display and see the various stages of their lives.
  • Bugs Alive - If bugs creep you out, avoid this section. You'll find exhibits that include live hissing cockroaches and buffalo beetles.
  • The Third Planet - Travel back in time to the development of the continents and when the dinosaurs ruled. Huge exhibits that make you feel like you are there.
  • Rainforest - Another amazing section that leaves very little of the rainforest hidden from your exploration. You'll find parrots, mammals, reptiles, and a biology hall to educate you.
  • North American Indians - A great exhibit in honor of the rich Native American tradition in Milwaukee. All the various tribes in the state and others in the country are represented. You'll leave with a much better understanding of the various cultures.

  • Streets of Old Milwaukee - An amazing place to see the history of Milwaukee. You'll find houses displaying the ethnic diversity that founded this old city. Take a walk back in time and visit an actual old-fashioned candy store.
  • Other Exhibits - There are 11 other permanent exhibits that are rich in education and experience.

Special and Featured Exhibits

  • The Titantic Artifacts - Until May 2009 you can see pieces from the Tiantic up close and personal.
  • Nunnemacher Arms Collection - See the development of the first firearms.
  • Numismatics - a coin collection heaven of 200 rare pieces
  • Thinking Outside the Treasure Chest - an exhibit exploring various types of treasure that has been discovered
  • Wisconsin Archeology - Explore what archeology has uncovered right here in Wisconsin. You might be surprised.

IMAX THEATER

Seeing a film at the IMAX is a wonderful experience. Currently you can see the Mysteries of the Great Lakes and Ghosts of the Abyss. Sit back and relax and you find yourself part of the show.

PLANETARIUM

Any kid or adult loves to visit the planetarium and experience the awesome view of space. So don't miss this experience.

2 Minute Milwaukee Public Museum Tour

Miller Park

Come see Milwaukee's own Major League Baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers. The domed park is a great place to bring the family and friends. For the whole family, there is the family section in which no alcohol or swearing is allowed so that children can enjoy the game, too. Banquet facilities are available and even some good restaurants. Take time to take a tour of the Hall of Fame.

The Klement's Sausage Race

by noutoo on flickr
by noutoo on flickr
by noutoo on flickr
by noutoo on flickr
by noutoo on Flickr
by noutoo on Flickr

Milwaukee County Zoo

You don't have to have kids to enjoy a full at the Milwaukee County Zoo. You'll have a blast looking at the African Elephant, Red Panda, California Sea Lion, cheetah, Grizzly bear, and all the reptiles and fish you can imagine. But can more than just animals at the zoo. The zoo has a full calendar of events throughout the year including a Trick or Treat night, Breakfast with Santa, Thanksgiving Day specials, and so many others. You can have your company picnics, holiday parties, and even your wedding at the zoo. Take a look and see what wonders you can find.

by Retinal Fetish on Flickr
by Retinal Fetish on Flickr

Basilica of St. Josaphat

Stop by and see the beautiful Basilica of St. Josaphat. The beauty of the architecture cannot be described but must be experienced. The stained glass windows are breathtaking. Make the time to see this piece of Milwaukee history and take a few moments to rest and enjoy the scenery.

by plain_jane53177 on Flickr
by plain_jane53177 on Flickr
by Wes Eli on Flickr
by Wes Eli on Flickr
by Wes and Eli on Flickr
by Wes and Eli on Flickr
Christmas by isarian450 on Flickr
Christmas by isarian450 on Flickr

Mitchell Park Domes

No matter if you come to Milwauke in the summer or the cold winter you can find a beautiful place to visit, relax, and learn at the Mitchell Park Domes. You can visit a tropical jungle, a desert oasis, and a special dome that changes on the seasons and special events. You'll find live birds that live throughout the year in the domes. You'll find the smells to be exotic and will transport you to whole new worlds. This is great place to go for solitude or with the family to spend the day.

by rtfagan on Flickr
by rtfagan on Flickr

Milwaukee Breweries

Milwaukee is probably most known for its breweries. Though several of them have moved to other cities, you can still find several to visit and take tours of. The famous Miller Brewery still dominates the Milwaukee scene and can be seen throughout the city. There is the Lakefront Brewery and the Stonefly Brewery that you can visit. Then there is Sprecher Brewery where the beer and the popular Sprecher Root Beer is produced. Don't miss all the smaller local restaurants and pubs that brew their own such as Rock Bottom Brewery and Water Street Brewery. Just always remember to be responsible and use a designated driver or use the taxies and buses.

1995 FLSTF Fatboy by euroiskut on Flickr
1995 FLSTF Fatboy by euroiskut on Flickr

Harley Davidson

Milwaukee is the home of the world famous Harley Davidson Motorcycle. In 1901 William Harley completed his first design of a bicycle with an engine in it. He teamed up with Arthur Davidson to release the very first Harley Davidson motorcycle that was designed to be a racer. They never dreamed that the demand for their product would lead to a customer ending up on waiting lists as their bikes are made for them with every detailed examined. You are "There" when you can sit astride your very own Harley. Visit their museum and see the development over the past 100+ years of quality motorcycles.

100th Birthday

Festa Italiana by kusha on Flickr
Festa Italiana by kusha on Flickr
Indian Summer by uncleSquare on Flickr
Indian Summer by uncleSquare on Flickr
German Fest by Bill in STL on Flickr
German Fest by Bill in STL on Flickr

Festival After Festival

Milwaukee is the City of Festivals. There is rarely a week that goes by when you won't find a festival somewhere around town. Here is just a SAMPLE of what you can find in Milwaukee throughout the year (though most ethnic festivals are during the summer).

  • Summerfest - the largest festival that brings top name music groups from around the world as well as local bands.
  • Festa Italiana - Come get a taste of Italy and woo that special someone as you listen to Itailian music.
  • African World Fest - Take a walk through the African culture and sample many of the foods from that vast continent.
  • German Fest - Enjoy the sausages and the beer as you sing along with the German bands.
  • Polish Fest - Love Polish sausage? Attend this festival and eat to your hearts content.
  • Riversplash - Food and entertainment all along the Milwaukee riverfront.
  • Arab World Fest - Taste the food and the rich culture of the Arab people.
  • Lakefront Festival of the Arts - The Milwuakee Art Museum gives you a chance to enjoy various art forms as you walk along the lakefront.
  • Asian Fest - A fun time for all as you taste Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and many other Asian foods. Shop throughout all the stalls.
  • Bastille Days - More food and shopping as you celebrate the Bastille Days of France.
  • Indian Summer - Get familiar with the Native American culture with their music, trips into the past, and enjoyment of foods such as flatbread and buffalo burgers.
  • Irish Fest - You don't have to be Irish to enjoy this and eat potatoes cooked in many different ways.

There are so many more festivals that would take hours to list for you. When you are getting your plans together to visit Milwaukee, check out the Milwaukee tourist site to see which festivals are happening during your trip.

Queen Elizabeth  by spierson82 on Flicr
Queen Elizabeth by spierson82 on Flicr
Joust  by spierson82 on Flickr
Joust by spierson82 on Flickr

Bristol Renaissance Faire

During the summer you cannot miss the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Located just a few miles south of Milwaukee, you enter an old world of fun, excitement, surprises, and wonders everywhere. Don't be surprised at the interaction among the people from long ago as they try to steal your spouses, sell you their wares, and toothless men try to bribe a kiss. You'll see the royal court of Queen Elizabeth and watch a joust. Take part of a mud show, throw vegetables at some poor bloke, receive your food from serving wenches, and listen to music that transports you back in time. Try a turkey drumstick, garlic mushrooms, GIANT pickles, and roasted corn to name a few of the foods you will find. In shopping the storefronts you can buy period costumes, swords, flags, muscial intruments, and many others. You might even take tea with the Queen herself. It is a fun time for all.

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Comments 6 comments

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

Wow! I never realized Milwaukee was so interesting! Thanks!


RGraf profile image

RGraf 8 years ago from Wisconsin Author

I have to confess that I was surprised too. Milwaukee was not on my list of cities to visit when he (hubby - a native of Milwaukee) first took me there. Though I don't live there anymore, I encourage anyone to go see how much fun it can be. There is even more these 10 things to do but most of the time these are the most popular.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

My mother grew up in Milwaukee and I still have cousins living there. My aunt was a docent at the Milwaukee Art Museum (when she was alive). My grandfather managed the tallest building in Milwaukee (at that time years ago) and was one of the responsible people who got the first baseball team there....the Milwaukee Braves. So lots of personal history there and it IS a fantastic small city. Parks abound.......many more besides Mitchell Park.

Thanks for letting folks know a bit more about Milwaukee.


Komodo Gear profile image

Komodo Gear 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

We have visited Milwaukee; what a FUN place to visit and hang out. The locals are friendly; great food and drink.

Lots of history - definitely worth visiting!

http://www.komodogear.com


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wonderful hub about Milwaukee! You highlighted so many great things about the city. The ones that I have not already done are definitely on my list to do.


PamD 4 years ago

Milwauke is MY KIND OF TOWN!!!! :-)

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    RGraf profile image

    Rebecca Graf (RGraf)868 Followers
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    Rebecca Graf is an experienced writer with nearly a decade of writing experience with degrees in accounting, history and creative writing.



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