Mitchell Building

Mitchell Building

Having grown up in Wisconsin I frequently visited Milwaukee’s Museums and concert venues to get a dose of culture. Through the years Milwaukee has grown into a lively up and coming beacon for a young college grad and major corporations to set down roots. Wondering why Milwaukee should move to the top of your bucket list? There are so many incredible things about Milwaukee the beautiful lakefront, burgeoning culinary scene, friendly locals, and vibrant neighborhoods are just a few of the many reasons to visit.  

Where to Stay in Milwaukee

The Westin Milwaukee

550 N Van Buren St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

I cannot say enough great things about The Westin in Milwaukee.  It’s brand new, walking distance to just about everything, and even has a running concierge that will take groups on guided runs.

Historic Third Ward Airbnb

The Historic Third Ward Neighborhood is full of charm and close to many of Milwaukee’s main attractions.  For a stylish and cost-effective option stay in this great Airbnb.

 Milwaukee Westin

Milwaukee Westin

Things You Must See in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N Art Museum Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Did you even go to Milwaukee if you didn’t see the art museum?  This iconic building is best recognizable by the Quadracci Pavilion designed by Santiago Calatrava (the same architect that designed the Oculus in New York).  The premise alone is reason enough to visit, but the museum also one of the largest in the US.

Veterans Park

1010 N Lincoln Memorial Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Explore Veterans Park after you’re done seeing the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Walk along the lake for some of the best views of Milwaukee’s skyline. One of the highlights of my recent visit was watching the sailboats cut through the bay.

The Historic Third Ward

400 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

The Third Ward is arguably the trendiest neighborhood in Milwaukee.  This happening neighborhood is known for its galleries, restaurants, and industrial buildings. I loved wandering through this neighborhood, popping into shops, and taking in the views along the river.  A couple of my favorite shops were Mod Gen (plants) and Cream City Restoration (midcentury modern furniture).

Milwaukee Public Market

400 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

One place you have to see in Milwaukee is the Public Market.  The market has just about everything you could want to eat with Wisconsin-sized portions.  Some vendors sell fish fry, cheese, wine, beer, avocado toast, and freshly squeezed juices.  Stop in here for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner.

Milwaukee Downtown Bookstore

624 N Broadway St, Milwaukee, WI 53212

To my core, I’m a nerd.  So when I stumbled upon Milwaukee Downtown Bookstore, I had to drag my sister in.  This whimsical little store is complete with endless rows of books and a couple of resident bookstore cats.  Pop in here to find your next plane/train read.

The Domes

524 S Layton Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53215

I remember the first time I went to the domes: I was 12, and my Grandma took me because I was beyond obsessed with the rainforest.  The domes are one of Milwaukee’s more unusual attractions. It’s three connected “dome” greenhouses. Each with a separate theme. Pop in here to escape the rain, avoid the Wisconsin wind, or get the perfect Instagram.

Brewery Tour

Wisconsin is widely known for its two specialties: beer and cheese. You absolutely cannot leave Milwaukee without touring one of its iconic breweries.  There is something for everyone, and the tour options are endless. Check out Visit Milwaukee’s guide to pick the tour that is best suited for you.

Festivals

Milwaukee hosts hundreds of festivals a year centered which touch on music, beer, cultural groups and more. Check out this guide to coordinate your visit with one of the city’s many festivals.

Where to Eat & Drink in Milwaukee

On The Bus

400 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

On The Bus’s smoothies and avocado toast and the perfect way to start your day of exploring.  Stop here for breakfast or lunch in the Milwaukee Public Market. Best of all they offer gluten-free and vegan options which are great if you have dietary restrictions.

Kopp’s Frozen Custard

18880 W. Bluemound Rd. Brookfield, WI 53045

Craving burgers the size of your face and the best custard you’ll ever try? Stop at Kopp's.  This Milwaukee staple is one of my favorite places to eat in the city.

Movida

524 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

I cannot say enough positive things about Movida.  We had a great dinner here filled with more Paella and Patatas Bravas then we could finish in one sitting all to the tune of an classic playlist which had the entire restaurant singing along.  Stop in Movida for date night or a meal with friends.

Bavette

330 E Menomonee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

If you are searching for meat and cheese, look no further than Bavette.  Bavette is a fully functioning butcher shop with an incredible dining space.  The menu is comprised of many shareable plates. We tried a cauliflower salad, deviled eggs, and a cheese & charcuterie board.  Make sure you try the gin & juice charcuterie (I still regret not bringing some back to Chicago).

Birch + Butcher

459 E Pleasant St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Looking for a place with great food and style for days?  Look no further than Birch + Butcher. This contemporary midwestern restaurant boasts a globally inspired menu and is one of the most Instagram worthy brunch spots in town.

Camp Bar

525 E Menomonee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Camp Bar is classically Wisconsin. This vibrant weekend spot allows for dogs in the bar and is decorated like the interior of a log cabin. Stop here for a drink or two on a weekend night.

The Outsider

310 E Chicago St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

If you are looking to go out to a fancier spot, check out the Outsider. This rooftop bar offers incredible views and a vibrant cocktail list.  

Holler House

2042 W Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53215

Step back in time at Holler House.  Holler House has one of the oldest bowling alleys in the nation (people still stack the pins). Enjoy an old-fashioned and some old school bowling at this classic Wisconsin bar.

How to Get Around Milwaukee

Milwaukee is a very driveable city.  I walked or drove to most places that I visited.  There is a reliable public bus network, and Uber is also active in Milwaukee.