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The way to Expertise Milwaukee Like a Native in 2024

The skyline of downtown Milwaukee during the evening
Posted: 3/15/2024 | March fifteenth, 2024

The next visitor put up is by my associates Adam from the web site Getting Stamped. He and his spouse are very long time residents of Milwaukee and, since I’ve by no means been, I’ve invited him on to share some tips on visiting the town.

Milwaukee is underrated, for my part. I find it irresistible!

The biggest metropolis in Wisconsin and just one.5 hours north of Chicago, it’s the good measurement: not too small not too massive. It gives tasty meals and drinks, nice sports activities groups, and enjoyable festivals. Plus, it’s inexpensive. And don’t neglect the pleasant locals!

I’ve lived right here my complete life, and my spouse has lived right here for 20 years. We’ve traveled all over the world many occasions, and when it got here time to plant roots and begin a household, we may have gone wherever. However we select to come back house to Milwaukee, which has a lot to supply.

If you wish to know tips on how to expertise it like a neighborhood, listed here are my insider ideas:


1. Keep central

I extremely advocate staying downtown or the Third Ward. That is the place many of the common sights are situated. The resorts could be barely dearer than elsewhere, however you’ll save on transportation prices since every little thing is walkable.

These are two resorts I really like:


2. Reap the benefits of free rides

Milwaukee doesn’t have a subway system, nevertheless it does have a tremendous free streetcar service known as the Hop, with quite a few stops downtown and across the Third Ward space. Merely hop on and off — no tickets or reservations are wanted! The Hop runs each quarter-hour throughout peak occasions and each 20 minutes off-peak and weekends. Click on right here for the map and schedule.

Insider tip: If you’re heading to a sporting occasion, many bars and eating places supply free shuttles to American Household Subject for Brewer baseball video games and concert events, Summerfest Grounds for festivals and concert events, Fiserv Discussion board for Bucks basketball video games, and different occasions round city.

3. Eat like a neighborhood

The popular Public Market at night in bustling Milwaukee, USA
You would possibly assume Milwaukee’s all beer and cheese (and there’s no scarcity of these), however the meals scene has much more to supply. Milwaukee has its personal (generally quirky) meals traditions and staples, like ButterBurgers and frozen custard.

It additionally has some unimaginable markets, the place you may take pleasure in among the metropolis’s greatest meals from many distributors, multi function place and in a enjoyable and inexpensive food-hall environment. These are two of my favorites:

  • third Road Market Corridor – It is a must-visit vacation spot, because it offers a spot for vacationers and locals alike to take pleasure in Milwaukee’s numerous delicacies. Right here, you will see that the aforementioned frozen custard, plus pho, pizza, burgers, artisan sandwiches, tacos, sizzling canines, home-cooked meals, ramen, sushi, arepas, and a lot extra — all at inexpensive costs.
  • Milwaukee Public Market – Positioned within the historic Third Ward, this superior market is the perfect place to patronize all kinds of distributors with distinctive merchandise, meals choices, and drink pairings. It’s a singular spot to expertise the flavors of Milwaukee’s culinary scene, all underneath one roof, and soak within the native tradition whereas buying or grabbing a chunk.


4. Take pleasure in native delicacies

Feasting at Vanguard, a restaurant in Milwaukee known for its amazing house-made sausages
There are a couple of meals that it’s essential to attempt that you just (possibly for good cause) won’t discover many different locations. They’re distinctive, tasty, and general fairly inexpensive!

  • Deep-fried cheese curds – Sure, it’s a factor, and they’re wonderful — get them organized and thank us later. Lakefront Brewery is our high decide.
  • Frozen custard – It could appear to be ice cream, nevertheless it’s a lot richer and creamier, with a couple of further substances. Kopps is the perfect place for it (and nice burgers) — and in addition a type of locations that, for those who don’t go, did you even go to Milwaukee?
  • Bratwursts – One other Milwaukee staple. No person does them at a better stage than Vanguard Restaurant within the Bayview neighborhood. It’s best identified for its wonderful house-made sausages, together with vegan choices, with many at an inexpensive worth of underneath $10.

On this checklist, we’ve got solely centered on the Milwaukee favorites, however foodies who need to delve deeper into the culinary scene might also need to try our full checklist of the greatest eating places in Milwaukee.

5. Discover brewing historical past

Whereas microbreweries aren’t precisely a brand new development, Milwaukee has been brewing since earlier than it was cool. At one time, it brewed extra beer than any metropolis on the earth. That historical past is clear throughout city in breweries, eating places, and pubs.

Lakefront Brewery gives in all probability the perfect brewery tour within the metropolis. It’s much more enjoyable than simply shiny tanks and sniffing a pungent jar full of hops. The tour guides are hilarious (some are actually comedians from a neighborhood membership), and your tour will embody 4 beer samples. That is by far the perfect worth and our private favourite tour — plus, the beer corridor is a number of enjoyable. The excursions are tremendous common and promote out on the weekends, so it’s suggested to buy tickets upfront.

If you wish to hold sampling native beers, be certain that to take a look at a couple of different of my favourite Milwaukee breweries:

  • MobCraft Beer – This brewery gives excursions and in addition has an incredible taproom with tasty pizzas, in addition to actually good IPAs and bitter beers.
  • Eagle Park Brewing Firm – They don’t supply excursions, however they do have an enormous collection of distinctive bitter beers.
  • Good Metropolis Brewing – There are two areas: the Eastside one gives excursions, and the downtown one doesn’t. However the latter is true throughout the road from Fiserv Discussion board and excellent place for a beer earlier than a recreation.


6. Do some inexpensive actions

The relaxing Riverwalk along the river in Milwaukee, USA
Milwaukee has far more to do than we may squeeze onto this web page, however we’ve narrowed it down, specializing in must-do and budget-friendly choices (some are even free!):

  • Bradford Seashore – It is a sandy park on the shorelines of Lake Michigan. Carry a towel and go for a swim, take part a recreation of seashore volleyball, or seize custard at MooSa’s or lunch at The Dock Waterfront Bar & Grill.
  • Stroll the Milwaukee Riverwalk – Expertise the guts of the town, and immerse your self in its tradition. Lots of the Milwaukee’s greatest retailers and eating places could be discovered alongside the three-mile route alongside either side of the Milwaukee River.
  • Disc-golf at Milwaukee County Parks – Milwaukee has 11 disc-golf programs — six full ones ($5) and 5 short-practice ones (free).
  • Bike the Oak Leaf Path – Milwaukee County gives over 135 miles of trails for biking, lots of which characteristic scenic views of Lake Michigan. You will discover the path map right here.
  • Bronze Fonz – Cease to take an image with a bronze sculpture of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka the Fonz, from Completely happy Days (a sitcom a few Milwaukee household within the Nineteen Fifties).
  • Indoor garden video games at third Road Market Corridor – Get pleasure from quite a lot of distinctive eating places and free indoor video games, together with large Jenga, cornhole, shuffleboard, and golf simulators. It’s a enjoyable place, particularly when the climate isn’t nice!

After you’ve scoured this information, if it’s essential to fill any clean spots in your itinerary, we’ve got an in-depth checklist masking all the issues to do in Milwaukee.

7. Get pleasure from free-admission days

A few of Milwaukee’s high sights welcome guests totally free on sure days. Watching the calendar can rating you free tickets that in any other case would set your group again lots of.


8. Chase low cost comfortable hours

For higher or worse, the individuals of Milwaukee take pleasure in their enjoyable occasions intertwined with a beer or three. To kick off an thrilling night time in Milwaukee, head to the place the locals go: discover a good comfortable hour, or go to a budget-friendly dive bar.

  • McGillycuddy’s – $1 faucets, $2 craft beers, $4 rails and mixers, and $5 appetizers (Tuesday–Friday, 3–7pm).
  • Mo’s Irish Pub – $2.72 drafts, $5 wines (Tues–Thurs 4–6pm, Fridays 3–6pm); additionally free brewery shuttles.
  • Milwaukee Brat Home – Completely happy hour specials change day by day (Mon–Fri 3-6pm).


9. Discover the colourful public artwork scene

Many locations round city have large-scale public artwork shows that you would be able to go to totally free. Most of those items are in among the most enjoyable and stylish areas. These are a few our favorites:

  • Black Cat Alley – One of many largest areas devoted to public murals is situated close to North Avenue, within the Eastside neighborhood. Along with the artwork, you’ll additionally discover nice eating places, breweries, and artisanal retailers.
  • Sculpture Milwaukee – Yearly, this city-funded program shows sculptures by artists from internationally on Wisconsin Avenue. Some are everlasting and a few are modified out yearly, so there are at all times new issues to see.


From meals to free days and bratwurst to beer, Milwaukee has a ton of issues to do and see on a price range. Hopefully this checklist gives you a good suggestion of the place to begin!

Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz are full-time journey writers and run the journey web site Getting Stamped, which is devoted to firsthand guides to their favourite locations all over the world. After they aren’t touring the world, Milwaukee is the place you’ll discover them, and so they cowl their hometown in-depth on the web site Milwaukee Insider. You possibly can observe their adventures on Instagram and social media @gettingstamped.

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