Milwaukee celebrates its German heritage (brews and brats, anyone?) while also making the most of its Lake Michigan location with beaches, boat tours, sailing and waterfront museums. Check out our picks for what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Milwaukee.
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Milwaukee Wisconsin Riverwalk
Riverwalk
| Credit: Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Do

American Family Field 

Catch the Milwaukee Brewers in this major-league ballpark (formerly Miller Park) with a retractable roof and reasonably priced tickets.

Bradford Beach 

Bring a towel and relax at this popular urban beach, or get in on soccer, sand volleyball or a yoga class. Beachside snack bars make it easy to find ice cream and drinks.

Brewery heritage 

Experience the city's brewing heritage with local beer and snacks, like a sausage flight, at Lakefront Brewery. Sprecher Brewing Co., which makes root beer and other craft sodas as well as beer, offers tours. Check online to see when Miller Brewing Company will resume tours.

Discovery World
Discovery World
| Credit: Courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Discovery World

Exhibits encourage exploring science and technology at the engaging waterfront museum. 

Festivals

The city celebrates its heritage through festivals. Signature events include Irish Fest, the Wisconsin State Fair and Summerfest.

Fiserv Forum 

The $524 million sports and entertainment arena opened in 2018, providing a 17,500-seat home for the NBA's Bucks and a venue for performers like Justin Timberlake. Check the website for upcoming events.

Grohmann Museum

Paintings and sculptures at the Milwaukee School of Engineering chronicle the evolution of organized work in areas such as agriculture, skilled crafts and mining. 

Harley-Davidson Museum gas tank exhibit
Harley-Davidson Museum
| Credit: Courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Harley-Davidson Museum 

The 20-acre campus is a must-see for its hands-on exhibits and nine Harleys to "ride" past farms and rivers.

Milwaukee Public Market
Milwaukee Public Market
| Credit: Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Historic Third Ward 

A 12-square-block neighborhood of 1890s warehouses now holds boutiques, galleries, cafes and the Broadway Theatre Center. A highlight: Milwaukee Public Market, a collection of specialty food growers and shops selling goods and serving lunch and dinner.  

Historic Milwaukee Inc. Walking Tours 

Passionate volunteers lead the preservation society's architectural tours.

The Hop MKE 

The streetcar connects Milwaukee's central train and bus station to many of the city's attractions and hotels.

Milwaukee Art Museum
Milwaukee Art Museum
| Credit: Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Milwaukee Art Museum

Glass ceilings soar 90 feet above visitors to the postmodern Quadracci Pavilion. A $34 million expansion and renovation brightened galleries displaying highlights of the museum's 30,000-piece collection.

Milwaukee Boat Line 

Double-deckers ply the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan for sightseeing.

Milwaukee City Tours

Tour options include Around the Ward in 90 Minutes and a Streetcar Lunch Tour. Private tours available on request.

Milwaukee Public Museum 

Discover what the city was like during the 1880s in The Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Or walk through Africa or Living Ocean

National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum

The world's largest collection of pop culture nodders (6,500-plus) stars Babe Ruth, Flo the Progressive Insurance saleswoman and more. 

Old World Third Street 

This former German community has restaurants, 19th-century storefronts and cobbled streets. Usinger's, a fourth-generation business, sells over 70 sausage varieties.

Pabst Mansion 

Beer baron Frederick Pabst built this 1890s Flemish Renaissance mansion; the restored home hosts exhibits and tours

RiverWalk

The 3-mile path along the Milwaukee River winds past restaurants, shops, pubs and outdoor art. 

Sea Dog Sailing 

From May through September, the 38-foot Quinn Marie sails from McKinley Marina.  

Eat and Drink

AJ Bombers 

Peanut shells litter the floor and crayon graffiti decorates the walls of the burger joint, which delivers nuts via overhead "bombers."

Balzac 

Mismatched chairs, cherubs and taxidermy set a fun mood for wine and sharing small plates. 

Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro 

Savor seasonal French cuisine at this pastoral spot along Lake Michigan.

Blue's Egg

It's hard to beat the Classic Benedict with piles of ham and poached eggs, but we love the goat-cheese- stuffed hash browns, too, at this lively brunch spot. 

Braise 

About 400 Wisconsin farmers supply the ingredients for the braised dishes that will please discerning palates. 

Cafe Benelux and Market Milwaukee Wisconsin
Cafe Benelux
| Credit: Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Cafe Benelux

With 40 pages of beers to choose from, you're sure to find one to go with your European-style meal of mussels and mac 'n' cheese with Brie at Cafe Benelux.

Colectivo Coffee 

This local coffee cafe serves tasty cookies, huge yogurt parfaits and sandwiches, plus offers free Wi-Fi and great joe, of course. You'll find multiple local branches, but our favorite is the one along the lakefront in the historic Milwaukee River Flushing Station.

GoodKind

This cozy Bay View tavern serves comfort foods, like fennel-rubbed spare ribs and spicy crab pasta with pepperoni.

Harbor House

Waterfront dining shows off Lake Michigan views and seafood such as rainbow trout, salmon and lobster.

Kopp's Frozen Custard 

Locals call this frozen custard their fave. 

Mader's

Open since 1902, Mader's art and antiques turn dinner into a gallery visit. The sampler features three German classics, including Wiener schnitzel.

The Mecca

This Deer District bar caters to sports fans with dozens of screens throughout the space and elevated takes on bar food classics, like the Mecca Burger Nachos with brisket burger and cheese. 

Sanford

James Beard Award-winner Justin Aprahamian creates seasonal fare—like a cucumber gazpacho with lemon cream or pear compote with Maytag blue cheese—at his fine-dining spot.

Uncle Wolfie's Breakfast Tavern

One of Milwaukee's favorite brunch spots in Brewer's Hill is best known for the BELTCH: Bacon, eggs, lettuce, tomato and cheddar on sourdough with sambal aioli and potatoes. 

Sobelmans 

At the classic, blue-collar Milwaukee bar, we love the Sobelman Burger, topped with Swiss, cheddar and American cheeses; bacon; fried onions; and fried jalapenos. 

Stack'd Burger Bar 

Burgers, beer and milk shakes go high-class at a slick Fifth Ward bar. The German Stack is a potent mix of beer brat patty, raw onion, spicy mustard and sauerkraut. 

Third Coast Provisions 

The porthole in the front door hints at the seafood specialties: dishes such as king crab and sweet leek bruschetta, lobster pot pie, and chargrilled oysters.

Milwaukee Wisconsin restaurant
The Vanguard
| Credit: Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

The Vanguard

It's the place to go for housemade sausages, with more than two dozen options for classics, as well as chef-selected toppings.

Stay

Brewhouse Inn and Suites Milwaukee Wisconsin
Brewhouse Inn and Suites
| Credit: Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

The Brewhouse Inn and Suites 

Gleaming copper brewing kettles anchor the lobby in the refurbished Pabst Brewery Complex, which has 90 guest suites and an on-site pub.

Hilton Milwaukee City Center 

The lakefront, museums and other downtown attractions are easy to access from this Art Deco hotel.  

Hotel Metro 

A 63-suite Art Deco boutique lodging downtown offers a variety of accommodations including pet-friendly suites, spa suites and conference suites. 

The Iron Horse Hotel 

An edgy yet welcoming downtown hotel mixes biker-inspired decor with sophisticated guest rooms.

The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel 

To encourage local exploration, the hotel lends guests customized leather backpacks, as well as custom bikes. Come back to relax at The Outsider rooftop bar or Tre Rivali restaurant.

Pfister Hotel

Opulent architectural details, antique furniture and an artist in residence combine with modern comforts in the 1893 Romanesque Revival hotel.

Milwaukee Wisconsin
Saint Kate Arts Hotel
| Credit: David Mitchell

Saint Kate Arts Hotel

The former Intercontinental Hotel has an artsy new personality, with a ukulele, record player, colored pencils and drawing paper in every room. 

For more information: visitmilwaukee.org