Milwaukee Icons & Secrets

The famous and hidden gems of Milwaukee

See museums, modern and historic architecture and some of Milwaukee's best-kept secrets.

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Day One


9:00 AM

Start the day with a tour of the Basilica of St. Josaphat. Built in 1901, the Basilica of St. Josaphat was built after St. Peter’s in Rome and is still the largest church in Milwaukee.

10:20 AM

The Pfister Hotel is a historic jewel and home to the world’s largest hotel collection of Victorian art. Your group can also stop by the studio of the hotel’s Artist-in-Residence, located just off the lobby.

11:30 AM

Visit the St. Joan of Arc Chapel on the Marquette University campus. This 15th century chapel stood in France for centuries before it was relocated stone by stone to the Marquette campus.

12:00 PM

The historic Oriental Theatre is Milwaukee’s only operating movie palace and has been showing movies for more than 80 years. Take in the stunning East Indian-inspired décor, including larger-than-life Buddhas, porcelain lions, hand-painted murals and more.

12:45 PM

Take a tour at the Foamation Cheesehead Factory! Learn the origin of the famous Cheesehead hat, tour the factory floor, and then create your own cheesey creation to take home. This "only in Milwaukee" experience is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

2:45 PM

An icon in the city’s skyline, the Milwaukee Art Museum is the world’s only moving art museum with steel “wings” that open and close every day. Inside, the permanent collection includes 15th-20th century paintings, sculptures and decorative arts by European and American masters, and nationally distinguished collections of American and Haitian Folk Art.

4:00 PM

Visit the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum for a one-of-a-kind look at one of America’s most iconic companies. From the oldest known Harley (Serial Number One) to famous bikes like the Elvis Bike and the Rhinestone Harley, even the mildest members of your group will get a taste of the wild side.

5:30 PM

Fuel up at MOTOR Bar & Restaurant with bold American classics that celebrate the taste of life on the road. Enjoy Road House chili that tastes like it’s straight from a Texas diner, BBQ ribs you’d swear came from Little Rock and, of course, Wisconsin favorites like fish fry and Booyah Stew.

7:30 PM

Close out the evening at Bryant's Cocktail Lounge. Open since 1938, this cozy vintage lounge serves up an impressive array of more than 400 expertly-crafted specialty cocktails.

Day Two


9:00 AM

Start the day at the historic Plankinton Arcade. Built in 1915 in the 15th century Italian Gothic style with stunning glass skylights, the arcade was originally an entertainment center featuring bowling and billiards. Today it houses retail as part of The Shops of Grand Avenue.

9:30 AM

Visit The Spice House, a specialty store nationally acclaimed for high quality, hand ground and blended spices and seasonings. A spice blend inspired by one of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods is a delicious souvenir!

10:15 AM

Continue your culinary exploration of Milwaukee just down the street at Usinger's Famous Sausage. The charming turn-of-the-century store sells more than 70 varieties of sausage still made with the original family recipes from 1880.

11:00 AM

Have some fun in the sun at Bradford Beach, a favorite summertime spot for locals that’s been named among the country’s top urban beaches and top freshwater beaches.

11:45 AM

Enjoy a clandestine lunch at the spy-themed SafeHouse. James Bond fans will love the movie memorabilia, pieces of real life spy history and secret surprises hidden around every turn.

12:45 PM

See how the beer barons lived with a tour of the Pabst Mansion, the family home of Captain Frederick Pabst. The lovingly restored Gilded Age mansion is filled with original furnishings, 19th century decorative arts and pieces from the Pabst family’s extensive art collection.

2:15 PM

Your group can enjoy a tropical rainforest, a desert oasis and a seasonal floral garden without leaving the city at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. Known to locals as “The Domes,” the conservatory is comprised of three beehive-shaped glass domes, the only structure of this kind in the world.

3:45 PM

Built in 1927, The Rave/Eagles Club is a national historic landmark that remains a popular music venue to this day. Once the national headquarters of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the stunning Eagles Ballroom was widely recognized as one of the grandest of its day.

4:30 PM

Sit down to a meal of authentic German favorites at Mader’s Restaurant. Open since 1902, Mader’s is also home to an impressive collection of European art and antiques. For some shopping after dinner, simply head upstairs to the world’s largest Hummel store.

6:15 PM

End the night on Milwaukee’s permanent lakefront festival grounds at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. With 11 stages and more than 800 bands performing over the course of 11 days, there’s something for everyone at this unforgettable festival.

Spy Sanctuary

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