Looking for a big city experience in an area compact enough to explore on foot? Then Milwaukee is the place for you!
With a dense urban core packed with historic buildings, a love for tradition, art-filled streets, vibrant neighborhoods, and the Lake Michigan shore, Milwaukee offers something for everyone.
The historic Third Ward
Once Milwaukee’s downtown warehouse district, this area became the home of Milwaukee’s Italian community. The area fell into decline in the 1960s as increased trucking moved warehousing out into the suburbs and highway construction displaced many of the area’s residents. Today this thriving neighborhood is filled with galleries, restaurants, theaters, and shops.
The Milwaukee Riverwalk
The two-mile long Riverwalk follows the Milwaukee River through the heart of downtown. The walkway is a pleasure to stroll, with funky bridges, wonderful views of the city, signage that explains the city’s history, and a variety of art installations. It’s a great way to visit some of the city’s museums, restaurants, and shops.
Milwaukee is most famous for its beer, a tradition that began in the city’s earliest days as German immigrants moved in. The first breweries were established in the 1850s and, by the end of the 1870s Milwaukee had become the beer capital of the world. The big breweries ran into trouble in the 1980s, but their histories (and their historic buildings) remain . . . and new craft breweries have stepped up to keep the beer flowing.
Along Lake Michigan
Milwaukee’s miles of Lake Michigan shore helped it become a major commercial and shipping center. Today it provides the city with acres of parkland and wonderful views of the water from almost everywhere. It’s also home to the dramatic Milwaukee Art Museum.
The Menomonee River Valley
This is a revitalizing neighborhood west of downtown. Two places of particular interest to visitors here are the Harley-Davidson Museum and the glass domes of the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory.
Planning a visit
Visit Milwaukee’s web site has a wealth of information for planning your visit to Milwaukee, including information on attractions and tours, history, and walking tours for every interest.