Milwaukee, the Cream City, the Good Land, the City of Champions, now has a brand-new title to add to our mantle. On Wednesday, October 22, National Geographic released its annual “Best of the World” list, including breathtaking national parks, rich cultural sites, and natural splendors from around the wor ld. Ranging from Italy’s Appian Way to Choquequirao, Peru, Busan, South Korea to Alberta, Canada, the list of 25 Best Places to Visit featured only five United States destinations, including a great place on a Great Lake, Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

Touting Milwaukee’s lively energy and close-knit creative community, the article showcases what makes our city such a special place to visit. From the iconic Harley-Davidson Museum to the upcoming Bronzeville Center for the Arts, the vast collection of local breweries to the classic Wisconsin fare, National Geographic shows off Milwaukee as the dynamic, growing city we all know it to be.

The Best Places to Visit in 2023 list, read by nearly 13 million monthly subscribers, cements Milwaukee’s reputation as one of the best places to live, work, and visit and distinguishes the city from its peers. The article will impact our reputation for years to come and elevate our destination in the eyes of travelers from every corner of the globe.

Throughout the day, many local leaders voiced their support and reaffirmed the importance of this distinguished honor including Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, County Executive David Crowley, Chair of VISIT Milwaukee’s Board of Directors and President and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Urban League Eve M. Hall, VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith, and Wisconsin Center District President and CEO Marty Brooks.
 Local government officials shared their thoughts on the impact articles like this have on Milwaukee as a global brand.

 “Milwaukee has every reason to be proud of this designation. It is particularly gratifying because of the global perspective Nat Geo provides when evaluating the ‘Best of the World’,” Milwaukee,” Mayor Cavalier Johnson said. “There is a lot to love in our city, and we should never lose sight of the fact that Milwaukee is a truly great place.”

“Milwaukee is home to many hidden gems that don’t get enough attention. Whether it is our museums, sports teams, breweries, restaurants, summer festivals, beaches, or Milwaukee County Parks System, we truly have something for everyone,” said County Executive David Crowley. “In the last few years, these amenities have made our region a destination for large-scale events like the U.S. Triathlon, Red Bull Flugtag, and national political conventions. This prestigious designation will draw even more events and more travelers landing at MKE Airport to explore our world-class city.”

Dr. Eve M. Hall noted that media coverage on the city of Milwaukee has a ripple effect on the local economy.  She also recognized Milwaukeeans and their trademark warmth and hospitable spirit as an essential part in making our city one of the best destinations on the planet.
“Let us use this recognition to remember what we all know: Milwaukee is a dynamic melting pot of culture full of world-class amenities, stunning natural beauty, and even better people,” says Dr. Eve M. Hall, chair of VISIT Milwaukee’s Board of Directors and President and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Urban League. “Whether in our personal or professional lives, we should be shouting this from the rooftops every day and inviting others to experience what makes our community so wonderful.”

Each year, VISIT Milwaukee’s Communications team works to shine a bright spotlight on our city as a destination, placing stories in local and national publications across the country and around the globe. President and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee, Peggy Williams-Smith reflected on the team’s efforts to showcase our city and reveled in the new opportunities that accolades such as this present to bring new travelers as well as meetings and conventions to Milwaukee.

“I’m so proud of the work my team has done to position Milwaukee in a way that m akes us proud but also feels authentic to who and what we are as a community,” says Williams-Smith. “This recognition allows us to position Milwaukee as both a leisure and a meeting destination. We know that an accolade like this will generate conversations about Milwaukee on the tradeshow floor, in board rooms, and in social settings for years to come.”

Finally, Wisconsin Center District President and CEO, Marty Brooks recognized that--while Milwaukee is already a world-class destination—the future of our city is bright.
“Getting Milwaukee’s name in front of the magazine’s diverse audience gives us a chance to show the world what we already know: Milwaukee is a world-class city with top-notch hospitality. With millions of eyes on us, it’s also an opportunity to earn future business for meetings and conventions and showcase our venues, including the expanded Wisconsin Center, set to open in spring 2024,” says Brooks. “It is truly an honor to have Milwaukee named one of the best places to go in the world for 2023, especially in a publication as world-renowned as National Geographic.”

Cheers, Milwaukee! To find the more about the announcement in, check out our press release and read the full National Geographic “Best of the World” list.