Best Of Milwaukee
THE "BEST OF THE BEST" IN MILWAUKEE.
With so many attractions, tours, sporting events, and museums to offer – your only problem will be knowing which ones to choose. That's why we chose some for you.
Milwaukee is the only city in the world where the city icon – the Milwaukee Art Museum – literally opens its “wings” to welcome all. Designed by renowned international architect Santiago Calatrava, this striking architectural beauty features a “wing-like” sunscreen with a span equaling that of a Boeing 747 that can be raised or lowered.
Unleash your inner rebel at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Starting with the first Harley ever produced in 1903, the museum chronicles the history of an American legend and its role in pop culture. Stop at Motor Bar & Restaurant for Route 66-inspired foods like chili and barbecued ribs.
The Milwaukee County Zoo is one of the country’s finest zoological attractions, with over 2,000 mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles in specialized habitats spanning 200 wooded acres. The Zoo even offers the Sky Trail® Ropes Course, which features 24 elements on three different levels. No worries, younger children can have fun as well on the SkyTykes Course, a slightly scaled down adventure. The entire family can view the Zoo at a different angle, from above, with the new 500-foot zip line.
The Milwaukee Public Museum, one of the largest in the United States, is a museum of human and natural history that provides a dynamic and stimulating environment for learning. The museum opened in 1882 and has grown considerable since then, with its collections containing more than 4.5 million specimens. The 150,000-square-foot space allows over 700,000 visitors to experience Africa, Asia, Europe, the Arctic, South and Middle America, the Pacific Islands and a Costa Rican Rainforest, not to mention the gas-lit, cobblestoned streets of old Milwaukee. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the IMAX Dome Theater and Planetarium for a 3D film on giant screen.
Discovery World connects innovation, science and technology with the environment and our Great Lakes freshwater resources. The museum features interactive exhibits, fresh and saltwater aquariums, touch tanks, digital theaters and labs. During the summer, the inner harbor is home to Wisconsin’s Flagship, the S/V Denis Sullivan, a 137-foot re-creation of a three-masted Great Lakes schooner and floating classroom. Visitors can come aboard for a short sail, or an actual voyage to learn how to survive on the Great Lakes, the Atlantic and the Caribbean.
It’s game on at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino with the excitement of more than 3,100 slot machines, 100 table games, a bingo hall and an expanded, off-track betting room. Treat yourself to one of the many dining options and enjoy a show in the intimate, club-like atmosphere of the Northern Lights Theater. New in Fall 2014 – The Potawatomi Hotel. Modern and with a view of the amazing Milwaukee skyline – 18 floors, 381 rooms – an experience you’ll never forget.
Milwaukee is rightly known to many as the "City of Festivals" and home to the famous Henry Maier Festival Park, located downtown on the Lake Michigan shoreline. The park plays host to nine different festivals throughout the summer months, starting in June with Pridefest, festivals like Irish Fest, the largest Irish culture festival in the world, inbetween and ending in September with Indian Summer Festival. The 75-acre park’s most prominent festival is Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. The 11-day, 11-stage music festival is a local and visitor favorite and brings in acts such as Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Usher.
Start your city tour in Milwaukee’s up-and-coming Walker’s Point neighborhood. The area, which was recently featured in the New York Times, was a historic factory ward that has transitioned into an amazing culinary and food manufacturing scene. Locally owned businesses such as Milwaukee Brewing Company, Clock Shadow Creamery and Purple Door Ice Cream all call the area home. However, the neighborhood hasn’t lost touch with its manufacturing roots; the Rockwell Automation Headquarters and the building’s iconic Allen-Bradley Clock Tower still watch over the new businesses.
Walk right over the First Street bridge to discover the Historic Third Ward! The revitalization of this turn-of-the-century warehouse and manufacturing district has earned it comparisons to New York’s trendy SoHo neighborhood. This six-square-block area contains the city’s highest concentration of art galleries, as well as theaters and a selection of exclusive boutiques, specialty stores, restaurants, nightlife and the Milwaukee Public Market.
From the Third Ward stroll along the RiverWalk, which extends for more than 15 city blocks. You’ll see a variety of permanent and temporary public art displays along this scenic promenade of restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops. At the southeast corner of Wells Street and the RiverWalk, be sure to stop for a thumbs-up photo with the "Bronze Fonz" – a life-sized statue of Henry Winkler’s iconic character "Fonzie" from the Milwaukee-based "Happy Days" TV show.
Continue down the RiverWalk to Old World Third Street, a historic landmark zone where Milwaukee’s German heritage is brought to life in the detailed facades of the 19th-century, European–style buildings lining this cobblestone street. Shopping at Wisconsin Cheese Mart, the legendary Usinger’s Sausage and The Spice House is a feast for all senses. And a visit would not be complete without a stop at the Old German Beer Hall and Mader’s, where famous German dishes have satisfied hungry patrons for more than 100 years.
BREWERY & DISTILLERY TOURS
Whether you’re up for “Miller time” or craft brews, Milwaukee’s entertaining brewery tours make for a fun afternoon. Take a tour at Sprecher Brewing, Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee Brewing Company or MillerCoors to sample the beers that make Milwaukee famous. Joining the ranks of brewery tours is Great Lakes Distillery, Wisconsin’s first small batch distillery and a national award winner for vodkas, gin and spirits.
AWARDS & RANKINGS
Milwaukee continues to be recognized by top publications and travel experts as the place to see and be seen. Here are some of our most recent accolades:
- Ranked as one of Yahoo! Travel’s “7 Underrated but Intriguing U.S. Cities You Need to Visit”
- 2014 Top Family Destination by ABC Travel Guides
- Listed as a “hot destination” on JetSetter.com’s “Where to go in 2014”
- Named Top Destination for Lesbian Travel by Edge Magazine due to the city’s annual PrideFest
- Buzzfeed included Milwaukee on its “14 Underrated Towns You Really Want to Move To”, calling the city “The unsung gem of the Midwest, this little city offers everything from an eclectic music scene to the House of Harley-Davidson.”
- Justin Aprahamian, Chef/Owner of Sanford, was named Best Chef Midwest by the James Beard Foundation
- Fodor’s named Braise restaurant as one its Top Ten Roof-to-Table restaurants for 2014.
- Time magazine listed Summerfest on its international list of “14 music festivals to check out in 2014.”
- Milwaukee is ranked 14th on Nerdwallet’s Top 15 “Budget and Waist-Friendly Vacation Spots in the U.S.” Listed among cities such as Boston and Seattle, Milwaukee is known for its music scene, cooking classes and fun runs!
- Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport listed in Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Best Airports.”
- Forbes named Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport as one of the “10 Best Airports”.
- Festa Italiana named one of the “Best Italian Festivals in America” by 10Best.com, a division of USA Today Travel.
- Conde Nast Traveler readers have named the Iron Horse Hotel one of the “Best Hotels in the Midwest” three years in a row.
- The hotel was also listed in Men’s Health Magazine’s “20 Manliest Hotels in America.”
- Complex Magazine’s listed the Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion as one of “20 Must-Visit American Homes.”
- Draft Magazine featured Milwaukee’s Palm Tavern, Roman’s Pub and Sugar Maple in their “America’s 100 Best Beer Bars: 2013” list.
- OpenTable named Milwaukee as one of the country’s “Most Romantic Cities”
- Milwaukee’s PrideFest earned the city a spot on TravelNerd’s “Top 10 Destinations for Gay Travelers.”
- MSN.com calls Milwaukee one of the “10 Coolest Cities in the Midwest.”