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Wondering what activities and attractions the Brew City, Milwaukee has to offer to its visitors? If you are planning a short trip or a weekend trip, take a look at some of the best and enjoyable things to do in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee is known for its breweries, art centres and cheese. In addition to these the city has both intriguing historic sites and a modern downtown centre to explore. The elegant RiverWalk pedestrian path, Historic Third Ward and the Harley Davidson Museum – a pilgrim for bike lovers, attract visitors from all over to Milwaukee. There are many things to do in Milwaukee which can easily fill up your weekend itineraries.
To make planning your trip easier, here are the best and unmissable things to do in Milwaukee.
Best Things To Do In Milwaukee
1. Go Kayaking On The Milwaukee River
For adventure seekers, kayaking on the Milwaukee River is a great way to see the city’s skyline from a different perspective. Brew City Kayaks offers kayak rentals for you to paddle your way down the river at your own pace. It also gives you an opportunity to stop at one of the restaurants or local breweries located along the river.
The waterways are clean and tranquil. Seeing the urban setting of the city from the river is one of the best things to do in Milwaukee.
2. Stroll Along The Milwaukee RiverWalk
Take a stroll at Milwaukee’s RiverWalk as you enjoy the views of some of the most beautiful architectural and natural sites in the city. This popular waterfront walkaway stretches for about 3 miles. Marvel at the amazing exhibitions that showcase various artworks along this walkway.
Dine at one of the many food outlets and restaurants that will satisfy cravings for most cuisines. Enjoy a few drinks at one of the breweries and pubs. Attend fun annual events such as River Rhythm Summer Music Series (June till August), Milwaukee River Celebration Evening (September) and Milwaukee River Challenge (September).
Be sure to capture photos with the Bronze Fonz, a bronze statue of the fictional character The Fonz, from the TV show Happy Days.
3. Soak Up The Sun At Bradford Beach
For spending a relaxing summer day, make your way to one of the most popular beaches in Milwaukee, the Bradford beach. The beach is located on the shores of the gorgeous Lake Michigan. It’s clean, has lifeguards, beach rentals and tiki bars.
If you are on a sporty side, you will find lots of volleyball courts equipped with proper nets. Also, you can grab delicious cooler drinks and snacks from the food huts at the beach. The Bradford beach is one of the city’s great public treasures that is enjoyed by visitor and locals alike.
4. Take A Food Tour At The Milwaukee Public Market
The Milwaukee Public Market is an indoor marketplace located in the Historic Third Ward neighbourhood. This market is primarily known for food vendors and eateries serving wide variety of cuisines. Whether you prefer vegan, vegetarian or non vegetarian dishes, you will find delicious food at any of the food stalls that will satisfy your cravings.
Dine in at the sushi bar in Thai-namite, enjoy burritos at Margarita Paradise or have a cupcake at C Adam’s bakery. Not only for a food tour, you can also visit the Milwaukee Public Market for a hands on cooking experience that is organised for all age groups.
5. Explore The Historic Third Ward
Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward is a lovely neighbourhood that is worth exploring. It is home to many restaurants, boutique stores, bars, art galleries, craft shops, spas and theatres. Attractions such as the RiverWalk, Milwaukee Public Market, Bobble Head Museum and Broadway Theatre Centre are also a part of Historic Third Ward.
The Historic Third Ward preserves and depicts the heritage of Milwaukee beautifully. Shop at the stores, dine at one of the restaurants, discover nightlife scenes, see sunset over the RiverWalk, catch a show at the theatre or unwind yourselves at one of the spas. There is something for everyone in the Historic Third Ward to experience and enjoy.
6. See The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (The Domes)
One the best places to see in Milwaukee is the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory. Located in the Mitchell Park, this conservatory features three domes – the Show Dome, Tropical Dome & Arid Dome. These domes date back to 1960s and display a wide variety of tropical plants.
The Show Dome is host to four seasonal shows which display a mesmerising exhibition of colourful flora based on cultural themes. It also has a garden railway that takes you through the dome. The Tropical Dome showcases 1000 species of plants including fruit bearing plants, orchids and the Kapok tree – one of the tallest trees under glass. The Arid Dome features a variety of Desert plants such as shrubs, cacti, bulbs, aloes and more such interesting plants.
Visiting the domes is a perfect way to spend your weekend in Milwaukee around glorious nature sites on a hot summer day or a harsh winter day.
7. Tour The North Point Lighthouse
One of the most stunning places to visit in Milwaukee is the North Point Lighthouse. The light that the lighthouse holds dates back to 1855, when it was first illuminated to serve as a guarding beam for sailors of Lake Michigan.
Today, it’s a beautifully restored historic landmark which also serves as fascinating maritime museum. You can also climb up the Lighthouse tower to see amazing panoramic views of the Lake Michigan and the city from its lantern room. The lighthouse is open for touring only during the weekends. So, make sure you book your tickets to the Northpoint Lighthouse in advance to skip the waiting queue and avoid any last minute hassle.
8. Visit The Harley Davidson Museum
One of the most awesome things to do in Milwaukee is visiting the Harley Davidson Museum. Whether or not you are a fan of motorcycles, this museum is totally worth exploring. The various exhibits at the museum take you through more than 120 years of history of Harley Davidson’s evolution.
The collections are in huge numbers and include motorcycle engine designs, treasured motorcycles, galleries, trophies and artefacts. The museum is spread over 20 acres, where you will also find a merchandise store, café and restaurant in the complex. Overall it is a fascinating experience to visit this one of its kind Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.
9. See The Pabst Mansion
Take a tour of one of the historic architectural gems of Milwaukee, the Pabst Mansion. Built in 1892, this mansion belonged to the captain Frederick Pabst, who was a wealthy beer baron. Pabst Mansion was used as venue for fancy events and parties hosted by the riches in Milwaukee. The charming interiors, classic furnishings and art collectibles depict the glorious lifestyle of the old times.
10. Browse Through The Artworks At The Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum features nearly 25,000 of beautiful and amazing artworks. Known to be one of the largest museums in the United States, what catches your attention immediately at a glance is the Calatrava styled architecture of the museum.
The numerous artworks in the museum include paintings, sculptures, posters, decorative arts and other art collectibles created by many American and European artists. The museum also showcases the largest collection of artworks by Georgia O’Keeffe, a Wisconsin native.
11. Visit The Milwaukee County Zoo
Regarded as one of the best zoological centres in the United States, the Milwaukee Zoo proves to be splendid experience for animal lovers of all age groups. Three thousand animals representing about 370 species make their home here. The Humboldt penguins, polar bears, grizzly bears, harbour seals, trumpeter swans, prairie dogs, reindeers, red pandas and so many other animals fascinate the visitors. You can also take a peek at jaguars, tigers, leopards and lions. In addition to this the zoo is home to many bird species as well.
Within the zoo, there many fun activities too including, Safari train, camel rides, treehouse area, Ski Safari, Sky Trail and Zip lining courses. If you are visiting with kids, then heading to Milwaukee County Zoo is one of the most amazing things to do in Milwaukee on the weekend.
Where To Stay In Milwaukee
Milwaukee welcomes more and more visitors every year, and has a huge range of accommodations that suits to any travel style. Some of the most recommended stays in Milwaukee are as below;
Budget (Under $75) : Rodeway Inn & Suites is located just 3 miles from the General Mitchell International Airport and provides free airport shuttle service for its guests. Rooms are bright, clean and comfortable with access to free WiFi services. Click here to book or check the hotel’s availability.
Mid Range (Upto $150) : Cambria Hotel is located in the downtown area and is one of the best hotels to stay in Milwaukee. The hotel features a swimming, fitness centre, bar, restaurant and outdoor fireplace area. Rooms are beautifully decorated, well furnished and comfortable with access to free WiFi. The RiverWalk is just 2 miles away from the hotel. Click here to book or check the hotel’s availability.
Luxury ($200+) : When it comes to luxury accommodation, you cannot go wrong with the iconic Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. Its wonderful architecture, elegant hallway interiors and decorated ceilings brings in the feels of royalty for its guests. The hotel boosts full service spa, saloon, well equipped gym, rooftop swimming pool, a martini bar with beautiful views of the city and award winning dining experiences. Rooms are stylish, comfortable and beautifully decorated, some of which have fantastic views of the downtown and Lake Michigan. Click here to book or check the hotel’s availability.
Now that you know the best things to do in Milwaukee during a weekend, we are sure you are in for some amazing time in the city. Let us which one of these activities is your favourite in the comment section below.
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