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Cool Things To Do In Milwaukee

Visit Milwaukee For The Food And Drink

Our Top 10 things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Best tourist attractions in 2022)

As we ate at the different restaurants downtown Milwaukee, all I could think of was how cool this city is. There are so many world-class bistros and cafes. Milwaukee is a place that has a speakeasy, cocktail lounges, boutique hotels with regionally inspired foods, beer halls, gourmet roasted coffee. There are so many cool eateries in Milwaukee, we felt like it was Americas boutique dining capital.

  • Brady Street in Milwaukees East Side is a popular spot for bar hopping and dining.
  • Bay View is another popular spot for nightlife located just south of downtown.
  • See our full breakdown of where to eat in Milwaukee

Keep Traveling Along The Downtown Milwaukee Riverwalk

The Milwaukee RiverWalk is a continuous pedestrian path along the banks of the Milwaukee River. The 22-block RiverWalk connects the Historic Third Ward neighborhood with downtown Milwaukee. It is a great place to take a walk, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

There are also several restaurants and bars along the RiverWalk, so you can stop for a bite or a drink while enjoying the view. With the recent re-opening of the Bronze Fonz, a statue of the Fonz from the TV show Happy Days, the RiverWalk is even more fun and festive.

If youre looking for things to do in Milwaukee, taking a stroll along the Milwaukee River is a great way to experience the city.

Fun Things To Do In Milwaukee: Drink + Eat

Since youre in the city that beer built, your first question might be wheres a good place to drink? Bryants Cocktail Lounge is the oldest cocktail lounge in Milwaukee, which opened its doors to drinkers in 1938.

You may try classic cocktails or unique depression-era cocktails or you can ask the bartender to surprise you. You may also want to be on a lookout for Dock18, a mobile cocktail lab that does pop-events in the city.

Collectivo has been serving great coffee since 1993 but they also offer letterbox fine tea, keg company beers and food.

For the health-conscious- The Juice Kitchen is a great source of fresh-pressed juice, smoothies and cleanses.

Whatever you like to drink toast with your partner for your happy times in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Public Market is a great destination for finding a variety of things to eat, drink and indulge in. 18+ vendors offering up everything from food, chocolate, cocktails, coffee and desserts.

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Feel The Social Vibe In The Historic Third Ward

The social hub of Milwaukee is in the Historic Third Ward, the downtown district along the riverfront. Defined by art galleries, trendy restaurants, and renovated warehouses, the district is a lively place to visit. Keep your eyes peeled for creative art in unlikely places, like oversized sculptures on the sides of buildings and in the center of pedestrian areas.

This neighborhood is a creative hub that features performance venues like the Broadway Theatre Center, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and the Renaissance Theaterworks. There are regular public events, festivals, and gallery nights that take place in the Historic Third Ward, so it is a fun and easy place to visit anytime during your stay.

Another great place to spend some time is the Milwaukee Public Market, which features local vendors and some of the freshest, in-season food and spices. Stop in to buy some local ingredients to take home as souvenirs, or grab a bite to eat at one of the small ethnic restaurants.

From the Historic Third Ward, make your way to the Milwaukee RiverWalk, which is the pedestrian pathway along the Milwaukee River that connects several other districts. The entire walkway covers more than 20 blocks, and it is a fun way to explore downtown Milwaukee on foot.

North Point Water Tower

The Actually Cool Things to Do in Milwaukee Right Now

Aerial view of the North Point Water Tower and Ascension Columbia St. Marys Hospital Milwaukee. James Meyer | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6

Address: 2288 North Lake Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202

  • Allow 30 minutes

While you may not be able to view the inside of this spectacular water tower, you will nevertheless be charmed and fascinated by its history and architecture.

This unusual site is stunning, built in the Victorian Gothic style in 1874 using limestone and wrought iron.

Located on a bluff above Lake Michigan, this tower was also one of the first and principal pieces of the Milwaukee water supply system.

An official landmark of the city, you will be awestruck by the sheer beauty and elegance of this water tower that is like no other, with its lofty spires, beautiful masonry, and gothic details.

Set against the lovely backdrop of trees and view of Lake Michigan, this spot is the perfect place for both amateur and professional photographers.

Be sure to take your time viewing this breathtaking building during your visit to Milwaukee.

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Potawatomi Hotel And Casino

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

Wisconsin has complicated gambling laws, but the exception to the rule is tribal casinos owned by Native Americans.

The Potawatomi Hotel and Casino isnt the only one in the state, but its one of the best, and its located right in the heart of downtown Milwaukee.

A luxury hotel will provide jacuzzi tubs and salon massages.

Four-star restaurants will serve duck, lamb, sushi and steak.

Multiple bars will let you relax with a cocktail after a long day of travel.

The biggest draw of Potawatomi, however, is its casino.

From slot machines to poker games, there are plenty of ways to enjoy adult fun with high dollars and high stakes.

Do you like bingo? Does Lady Luck guide your hand at roulette?

Theres even off-track betting if you cant make it to the races and see the horses for yourself.

If youre looking for a decadent experience in Milwaukee, it doesnt get any better than the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino.

Itll offer relaxing days and exciting nights for couples, groups, bachelors and even families.

The kiddos cant play blackjack, but they can relax in your suite while you indulge!

Address: 1721 W Canal St, Milwaukee, WI 53233, USA

Fill Up On Milwaukees Favorite Foods

You cant come to Milwaukee and not eat! This is a comfort food town. Were talking fried cheese curds, bratwurst, fish fry, and all the frozen custard you can eat.

First, the cheese curds. You can find these fried bites of goodness at just about any restaurant, but some of our favorites are at Wisconsin Cheese Mart and Clock Shadow Creamery.

For the best bratwurst, you have to go to Usingers, a Milwaukee institution thats been around since 1880. The sausages here are made with only the finest ingredients, and theyre absolutely delicious.

Dont sleep on the Milwaukee-style pizza as well! Starring a cracker-thin crust and topped with a variety of meats and cheeses, its sliced tavern-style or in squares. You can find some of the best pies at Zaffiros, which was founded in 1954 and still uses the same secret family recipe.

Ever heard of a butter burger? Its a burger with, you guessed it, a healthy dollop of butter on top. It might sound strange, but its actually really delicious! You can find some of the best butter burgers at Sobelmans, a local chain with several locations around town.

Still hungry? The Friday fish fry is a year-round Milwaukee institution, but theyre especially popular during Lent. Order it Milwaukee-style with potato pancakes, tartar sauce, and sliced caraway rye bread plus coleslaw for a hearty meal.

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Stroll Through The Historic Third Ward

This revitalized warehouse district is one of the most essential Milwaukee attractions and is filled with unique boutiques, eclectic eateries, and remarkable displays of art and culture.

The Historic Third Ward is actually the oldest center of warehousing and commerce in the city. It was also where Milwaukees most devastating fire happened, which led the way to its redevelopment.

Nowadays, the HTW is home to some of the top Milwaukee attractions. Theres the , American Family Insurance Amphitheater, and the Henry Maier Festival Park , just to name a few.

Youll actually find the Milwaukee Public Market on the north side of the Third Ward, while the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design is located on the south side.

The Third Ward is also where youll find a variety of art galleries, such as the Haggerty Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum. In short, its hard to run out of things to do in Milwaukee at the Historic Third Ward alone!

Lakefront Brewerys Palm Garden Fish Fry

Best Things to Do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1872 N Commerce Street

Get to know your neighbors elbow-to-elbow at a community table as you feast on beer battered fish plates, heaping stacks of homemade potato pancakes, soft slabs of rye bread, creamy coleslaw and tart applesauce. Every Friday night at Lakefront Brewerys Palm Garden, the beer venue transforms into an authentic fish fry. The sounds of the squeezeboxes and banjos of The Brew House Polka Kings, whose act features a functioning bubble machine, allow locals aged two to 92 to polka all night. Established by brothers Russ and Jim Klisch twenty years ago, Lakefront offers more than a dozen original brews including the nations very first 100% organically brewed ale, Organic Extra Special Bitter Ale.

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Milwaukee County Historical Society

milwaukeehistory.net

The Milwaukee County Historical Society was founded in 1935 and has become the place for people to learn about and to celebrate Milwaukee. Through education programs, exhibitions, the research library, and special events, MCHS offers Milwaukeeans and visitors to Milwaukee a chance to connect with the heritage of Milwaukee. The MCHS headquarters is located in a historic bank building along the Milwaukee River.

Fun Fact: More than one million documents and photographs and more than 60,000 artifacts are preserved by MCHS.

Cool Waters Aquatic Park

MAD.vertise | Shutterstock

Address: 2028 South 124th Street, West Allis, WI 53227

  • Book times in advance
  • Allow 2 -3 hours

Are you in Milwaukee during the summer and need to cool off?

Among the many fun things to do in Milwaukee in the summer, Cool Waters Aquatic Park is one of the best, especially for spending time playing with the kids.

Head to this water park near Milwaukee, and you and your family will have a great time.

Play on waterslides and challenge each other to sand volleyball before getting snacks at the café.

Take a speedy trip down the body slide or fly down the flume on a tube with your friends or family, then head over to the water obstacles, where you can test your balance as you make your way across the water.

Have a fun-filled day and cool off at this amazing water park that is only 11 minutes from Milwaukee.

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Betty Brinn Childrens Museum

If you have kids, you need to come here. The Betty Brinn Childrens Museum is designed with the goal of educating children in ways that help build critical skills during their younger years.

Its chock full of awesome, interactive exhibits and programs that help out the kids, as well as a whole slew of options that educate the caregivers. Dont forget, and its also a ton of fun!

  • Address: 929 E. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee

Milwaukee Scavenger Hunt: A Splash Of Color By Lets Roam

10 Fun Things to do in Milwaukee with Kids

@LetsRoam

Entry Ticket: Starting at $12.99

Address: 700 North Art Museum Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202

  • Book in advance

You and your family will thoroughly enjoy the unique experience of seeing the city with Milwaukee Scavenger Hunt: A Splash of Color, provided by Lets Roam.

Explore Milwaukee while following clues and solving riddles, seeing some of the most impressive buildings, beautiful green spaces, and spectacular art Milwaukee has to offer.

Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum and peruse sculptures while you look for answers to riddles.

Also, discover the historic Pfister Hotel, in addition to its breathtaking interior.

While you work with your team to find the next location, a guide will be nearby, always at the ready if you get stuck or have any questions, ensuring that you have a fun-filled experience.

See Milwaukees sights in an exceptional way with this scavenger hunt.

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Milwaukee Ghosts Tours And Investigations

@American Ghost Walks

Entry Ticket: Starting at $25.00

Address: 400 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202

  • Book in advance
  • Allow 2 3 hours

Are you wondering if Milwaukee has some haunted houses?

Milwaukee Ghosts Tours and Investigations provides a fun and thrilling experience for visitors of the city who want to take a closer look at the spookier side of Milwaukee.

With three different types of tours available, you will be sure to find just what you are looking for, whether it be a walk through the Historic Third Ward, a tour of the downtown area, or a visit to the haunted Brady Street area.

Your tour guide will regale you with not only the haunted history of the spookiest spots, but also give you information about the most recent paranormal investigations that have occurred.

Take a unique tour and get to know the ghosts of Milwaukee on this entertaining trip through the some of the oldest parts of the city.

Great Lakes Distillery Tour

The Great Lakes Distillery Tour is a unique tour that is definitely worth visiting. It was here that I learned the proper way to serve absinthe should be filtered through ice when served and you do not need to add sugar contrary to popular belief.

The Great Lakes distillery makes hand-crafted Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka, Gin, and Whiskeys that you can taste in-house after the tour. They use fresh local ingredients like basil and ginseng for gin, real citrus fruit, and pure Wisconsin honey for vodka. We learned how they use mountain stream water distilled to perfection taking out chlorine and fluoride to a pure and smooth finish. Book your distillery tour here.

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Henry Maier Festival Park

Looking for a good old-fashioned time for the whole family? Then pencil in a visit to Henry Maier Festival Park, one of the coolest places to go in Milwaukee for live events.

Situated on the shorefront of Lake Michigan, this 75-acre festival park has a little something for everyone. Famous for holding the annual Summerfest festival that brings fairground rides, musical and cultural acts, as well as local food & drink vendors, its an events hub with a difference.

Most of the big events at Henry Maier Festival Park take place in the huge open-air amphitheater which can fit a huge 23,000 people in it. Not bad for a park on the river!

Visit The Museum At North Point Lighthouse

Fun things happening in Milwaukee this weekend

The historic North Point Lighthouse now operates a museum to the history of the Great Lakes and the lighthouse keepers that served them.

Visitors can tour the keepers quarters, which have been restored to an early 1900s appearance and see what life was like for the men and women that kept the light.

See artifacts and models of the lakes greatest ships and the machinery that powered the lighthouse.

Learn about daring rescue missions and the work of the coast guard throughout Milwaukee Bay.

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Tour Clock Shadow Creamery

Wisconsin knows its cheese, and a tour of Clock Shadow Creamery in Milwaukee is a great way to learn more about the towns only urban cheese factory. During a tour here, youll learn more about the history of cheese-making, and be able to sample fresh cheeses.

You can also buy some of the best artisanal cheeses here. Clock Shadow Creamery is one of the only places in the country that still makes cheese curds from scratch. Their unique flavor combinations will leave your taste buds begging for more.

Best Places To Stay In Milwaukee

Iron Horse Hotel Milwaukee : One hundred years ago, the building was a warehouse. Now its an upscale hotel created for both bikers and business travelers alike. It has a warm, inviting atmosphere with a spectacular restaurant and modern feel that showcases art, events, and is dog-friendly. Even if youre not planning on staying, the Iron Horse is a truly Milwaukee experience that never fails to entertain. Address: 500 W. Florida St, Milwaukee Check Rates

Aloft Hotel Milwaukee : Its located near the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Fiserv Forum & Deer District, and Old World Third Street. Aloft offers something for everyone, especially the food lover. Restaurants, brewpubs, boutiques, and so much more are steps from the door. Address: 1230 Old World Third Street, Milwaukee Check Rates

Pfister Hotel Milwaukee : Built in 1893, the Pfister has been a staple of Milwaukee Elegance for over 100 years. Everything in this hotel exudes a sense of class and style. Enjoy the night in beautiful rooms with impeccable service. The Pfister is a truly wonderful experience that harkens back to the glory of yesteryear. Address: 424 E. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee Check Rates

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Things To Do In Milwaukee This Summer

Looking for a way to get out and enjoy summer with your friends and family? We have ideas. From eating at a restaurant with a great patio view to enjoying local festivals to exploring the many outdoor attractions around town and more, here’s everything you need for a great Milwaukee summer.

Looking for a way to get out and enjoy summer with your friends and family? We have ideas. From eating at a restaurant with a great patio view to enjoying local festivals to exploring the many outdoor attractions around town and more, here’s everything you need for a great Milwaukee summer.

Check it out and enjoy your fun-filled summer!

Get a burger from Nite Owl: Satisfy your taste buds with a burger from one of the best burger joints around. Known for their generous portions and ’50s era atmosphere, Nite Owl is a classic. Read more about the drive-in here.

Kayak down the Milwaukee River at night in boats rented from the Milwaukee Kayak Company or Urban Ecology Center: Want to see Downtown at night from a whole different angle? The Urban Ecology Center hosts several paddling programs, including one where you kayak down the Milwaukee River at night. And, if you’re Downtown Milwaukee Kayak Company has you covered with daily rentals too!

Sail at Milwaukee Sailing Center: See Lake Michigan from a whole new perspective when you learn how to sail onto the great lake. The Milwaukee Sailing Center will help you to develop the skill for this fun recreation.

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