Milwaukee exudes a laid-back Midwestern vibe. The city of almost 600,000 residents has a reputation as the “City of Festivals”, and Milwaukeeans know how to enjoy themselves.
Lake Michigan’s shoreline dominates the downtown area, framed by a skyline of modern steel and glass. The city also boasts preserved turn-of-the-century districts in East Town and the Historic Third Ward, which is dotted with theaters, galleries and restaurants.
Milwaukee has a colorful history with a strong German influence, and it’s still regarded as America’s “Brew City.” Get acquainted with Milwaukee’s beer heritage with a tour of the world-famous Miller Coors Brewery. Learn more about the city’s history at the Milwaukee Public Museum in downtown.
For more cultural pursuits, art lovers should make Milwaukee ArtMuseum (MAM) the first port of call. It features an impressive contemporary design and more than 30,000 works of art dating back to the 15th century. Visit the popular Charles Allis Art Museum in the city’s East Side neighborhood to browse elaborate antique furnishings and decorative art.
The best vantage point for photos of the city’s skyline is from Festival Park or along the Bay View promenade overlooking Lake Michigan. From here, it’s an easy walk to nearby Discovery World, which caters to children with hands-on science exhibits. Hire a car and venture further afield to visit the wildlife at Milwaukee County Zoo.
Milwaukee experiences cold winters, but there are plenty of indoor attractions to escape the chill. Spend a day browsing books at the Milwaukee Public Library, or visit indoor gardens at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. Visit the city in summer, and you can enjoy a wealth of open-air events and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene on the lakefront. Go to the Water Street or Bay View districts to mingle in stylish waterfront bars and cafés until the early hours.