Milwaukee Visitors Guide 2024

Things to Do in Milwaukee

Things to Do in Milwaukee

Top Milwaukee Attractions Sometimes derisively called “Chicago north,” Milwaukee is just two hours from Chicago by car, bus or train,…

2024 Milwaukee Travel Guide

Although some people do not put Milwaukee at the top of their list of must-see destinations, this city in Wisconsin is definitely worth the trip if you are looking for a unique spot for your next vacation. There are a number of different perks of visiting Milwaukee, and all different kinds of people can have a great time in this city. The Midwest of the United States does not have a lot of different hot spots in the area, but Milwaukee is definitely one spot that you need to look into if you have the time.

Some people think that Summerfest is the only attraction to be found in this city, but the fact of the matter is there are plenty of amazing places to visit during the entire year. In fact, there are a number of different festivals that are held around the entire calendar year in this city. If you are going to visit this city at any point during the year, then you can count on some kind of music or art festival to be taking place during your visit.

In addition to a local festival, you may also want to take a look at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The design of this building was created by Santiago Calatrava, who is well-known in architectural circles as a futuristic designer of buildings. There are pieces of art from local artists and more famous artists from all around the world to be found at this art museum. You can find it on Museum Drive.

Another museum that you may want to take a look at in Milwaukee is the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. This is the perfect destination for anyone who has children because your children can learn about many different aspects of the world in one place. If you’ll like to find an educational vacation for your children, then this is definitely going to have to be a one-stop during your travels.

If you are a fan of American beer, then you may want to check out the Miller Brewery. Although Miller may not be a name that is respected around the world, it is definitely one of the staples of American beer. You get to see how the beer is actually made when you visit this brewery, and checking out what goes on behind the scenes of a big beer company is always a fun adventure for a beer enthusiast.

Whether you are coming to the city to see a baseball game at Miller Park or just want to take a walk through the city, Milwaukee will definitely keep you occupied for at least a few days. This is the kind of city that can be perfect for a romantic getaway or a family-friendly vacation. Whatever you are trying to get away from, you can definitely escape it in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Downtown

Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, continues to emerge and evolve as a major American urban location. Millions of guests come to the city annually from around the world for business, for family visits, to participate in music festivals or merely to enjoy and appreciate the close proximity to the natural wonders of the surrounding Midwestern landscape.

Guests to downtown Milwaukee experience a type of enrichment and excitement with the local culture, the graciousness of the people they encounter, and the beauty and landscape of the area that make them feel fortunate and at ease. Most guests plan to quickly return upon leaving Downtown Milwaukee and enthusiastically recommend the downtown area to their friends and family. With easy access to comfortable hotels featuring the latest amenities like wireless internet and full-service business centers, cultural institutions with wonderful art and theater, and a medley of splendid dining options, Downtown Milwaukee offers wonderful benefits to its visitors.

Whether they come for leisure or business travel, guests of Downtown Milwaukee experience the irresistible charm and growth of this wonderful Midwestern destination. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Milwaukee that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!

Milwaukee Weather

The city of Milwaukee in Wisconsin is located on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is also bordered by three rivers. The city is known for rapidly changing and sometimes extreme weather during the summer and winter. The average summertime temperature in Milwaukee is 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The average winter temperature is just less than 47 degrees Fahrenheit. Spring and fall can be very comfortable with seasonable temperatures. Travelers coming to the area should be aware of local weather trends and should check forecasts in advance because unseasonal temperatures and storms do occur every year.

The warmest month based on past averages in Milwaukee is July. The record recorded temperature was recorded in 1934 at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The city regularly sees short bursts of hot weather in the summer that can exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit for up to a week at a time. Normal July daytime temperatures usually hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Part of what any visitor should expect is a high level of humidity that could increase the heat index making it feel hotter than the official air temperature. This is caused by the moisture generated by Lake Michigan. A lake breeze effect moderates temperatures close to the water during certain summer days when there are no strong storms coming from the west. Travelers should prepare for hot days although mornings and evenings will be comfortable.

Milwaukee is known for some particularly cold winters. The coldest average month in winter is January. The lowest recorded temperature was 26 degrees below zero in 1992. The average highs during January are around 28 degrees during the day and 13 degrees at night. The city receives over 40 inches of snow every year. Milwaukee sits in an area that commonly rests above the jet stream allowing cold arctic air into the region. Travelers coming to Milwaukee in the winter should dress warmly and in layers. Although there might be occasional warming trends, the majority of the weather will be very cold with snow-covered or icy sidewalks.

Milwaukee is known to experience a variety of different weather patterns. Winds and storms from the west have actually formed tornadoes near the city. The area receives a good amount of precipitation every year. A large amount of rain that falls outside of the winter occurs during large and intense thunderstorms. Summer rainfall also occurs as light precipitation spreads across an entire week. Visitors coming to Milwaukee should be aware of what forecasters are predicting. Rain might be heavy at times but rarely lasts for a long enough period to ruin an entire vacation.

Milwaukee Transportation

As the largest city in Wisconsin, Milwaukee naturally has the best transportation network in the state. Interstate 94 connects Milwaukee with several other major cities in the Midwest Region. From Milwaukee, I-94 leads directly westward to Wisconsin’s capital city of Madison and to Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota. Additionally, I-94 runs southward from Milwaukee to Chicago and then runs eastward to Detroit, Michigan. Overall, Interstate 94 is one of the busiest highways that serve the Great Lakes region. Interstate 43 is a shorter highway that connects Wisconsin’s largest city with Green Bay, the state’s third-largest city.

Public transportation in Milwaukee is provided by the Milwaukee County Transit System. This network consists of more than 50 total bus routes that circulate throughout Milwaukee and neighboring suburbs in Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, and Ozaukee County. Quite naturally, many of the bus routes stop in the Downtown District of Milwaukee in the streets above and below Wisconsin Avenue. The Downtown Transit Center near the U.S. Bank Center is a major transfer point for the Milwaukee County Transit System.

Rail service is available at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, which is located along W St. Paul Avenue across the river from the Downtown District. This transportation hub is served by two intercity Amtrak lines. The Empire Builder covers more than 2,200 miles of track between Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Oregon. This Amtrak route offers a unique scenic journey through the Midwest and Northwestern parts of the United States. The Hiawatha Service is a regional service that runs between Milwaukee and Chicago Union Station. The Milwaukee Intermodal Station is served by bus route 57 of the Milwaukee County Transit System. Additionally, this major transit hub is also a stop for major intercity bus companies such as Greyhound Lines, Coach USA and Megabus.

General Mitchell International Airport welcomes more than 9 million passengers each year into the Milwaukee metropolitan area. This airport is served by large domestic airline companies including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. General Mitchell International Airport offers nonstop flights to more than 20 major cities in the United States and direct trips to Toronto, Canada’s largest city. Route 80 and the Green Line buses of the Milwaukee County Transit System stop directly at Milwaukee’s main airport. Both of these buses offer convenient service between the airport terminals and Downtown Milwaukee.

Eight car rental companies offer convenient ground transportation options at the George Mitchell International Airport. From the airport, drivers can merge directly onto Howell Avenue and enjoy a straight drive into the heart of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Attractions

Whether you’re looking to take a walk on the wild side or enjoy a more laid-back style of life, Milwaukee offers a variety of attractions that are sure to appeal to each individual. As the largest city in Wisconsin, visitors from around the world travel here every year to enjoy the culture, attractions, and experiences found here. Milwaukee is the perfect vacation spot for families, young adults, seniors, couples, and singles alike.

Harley-Davidson Museum

The Harley-Davidson Museum brings a sense of freedom and adventure into the heart of Milwaukee. As one of the most well-known motorcycle manufacturers in the world, visitors come from around the world to enjoy a visit to the Harley-Davidson Museum. Learn about American history through amazing exhibits and stories themed around each showcase of motorcycles. Guided tours are available for groups of 15 or more and you may even catch a glimpse of the Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations.

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum is a wonderful experience for all visitors. With more than 20,000 unique works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs, you are sure to find exhibits that your entire party will appreciate. Some of the most famous artists that have their work featured at the Milwaukee Art Museum include Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum is known as one of the best natural history museums in the country. Here you will find a collection of unique exhibits that showcase more than 6 million unique objects such as dinosaur fossils and cultural artifacts. One of the most loved exhibits at the museum is the butterfly garden. The hatching station enables guests to see butterflies during each stage of the hatching process. With lots to see and do, this is an attraction that the whole family can enjoy.

Miller Park

Miller Park is home to the Milwaukee Brewers. This baseball stadium features a fan-shaped convertible roof for a unique look and feel that allows the game to go on no matter what the weather is like outside. Enjoy a home game or simply walk around and enjoy the atmosphere of the stadium, complete with many shops and food stands. Activities for children and adults can be found within the halls for a fun-filled day at the game.

Basilica of St. Josephat

The Basilica of St. Josephat is a stunning religious site that features some of the most breathtaking architecture in the city. The Roman feel and design of the Basilica can be enjoyed from both outside and inside.

Milwaukee Dining

Mason Street Grill

People in Milwaukee absolutely rave about Mason Street Grill. The food here is extraordinary. They do a really great job with their meats in particular. The 48-hour braised ribs are so tender they practically melt in the mouth. They have a nice cigar bar here, too. A piano player is on hand to give the place a nice atmosphere.

Blue’s Egg

This is the best spot for breakfast in the city. They serve up creative takes on classic breakfast dishes. This is not the place to go for people who do not like to try new things. Their dishes are never ordinary and always delicious. It does get very busy on the weekends. However, it is a very big place and they do a great job of getting people seated and served as quickly as possible.

Oscar’s Pub & Grill

Burger lovers do not want to miss a trip to Oscar’s Bar & Grill while they are in Milwaukee. They make some of the best burgers on the planet. They also do a wonderful job with their French fries that have parmesan cheese sprinkled on them. The sweet potato fries are highly recommended as well.

La Merenda

This fantastic restaurant serves up Spanish dishes that will be sure to please every diner. Their tapas are phenomenal. They also serve up many dishes that aren’t from Spain, so less adventurous diners will be sure to find something they will like on the menu.

Barlotta’s Lake Park Bistro

This charming bistro offers many French classics that will appeal to the most discriminating palettes. The view from the dining room is spectacular as it looks out over Lake Michigan. The servers are some of the most helpful and friendliest in the city, and patrons will never leave here disappointed.

Sanford Restaurant

They have an amazing menu at Sanford Restaurant. The chef is always trying new, playful creations that utilize fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. The wait staff does an excellent job and they are all highly knowledgeable. This is a great place to go for a special occasion as it exudes class.

Kopp’s Frozen Custard Stand

It is hard to argue with the fact that Kopp’s Frozen Custard Stand serves the best custard in the world. Wisconsin is the home of custard, and no restaurant in the state serves any more delicious version of it. They have a wide variety of flavors that are all amazing. They also serve up burgers, soups and appetizers. This is one of the most-loved restaurants in the city of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Events

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is seen by many people as a younger sibling of Chicago, Illinois, but Milwaukee offers numerous charms of its own. Throughout the year, Milwaukee is home to many events that visitors and their families can enjoy. Many of the city’s most notable events happen on the Henry Maier Festival Grounds during the summer months. The most famous of these events is the annual Summerfest Lakefront music festival. Summerfest has been recognized as the world’s largest music festival, and it attracts approximately one million visitors every year. The event features 11 different stages with live music. Local and regional acts perform during the afternoon hours, while major national and international touring artists grace the stages for performances later in the day. Summerfest takes place during the weeks surrounding the Independence Day holiday, and visitors who stay past dusk are treated to a fantastic fireworks display.

Wisconsin State Fair

The Wisconsin State Fair is also held every summer in the Milwaukee area. The fair was inaugurated in 1851, just three years after Wisconsin became a US state. While at the fair, visitors can enjoy exciting rides, games of skill, and a wide variety of food and beverage vendors. Additionally, the fair features farm and dairy exhibits that depict the excellence of Wisconsin farming. One of the most popular agricultural exhibits is the Wisconsin Wine Garden. This exhibit features some of the finest wines produced in the state of Wisconsin.

Milwaukee’s Great Circus Parade

Wisconsin has shared a long history with circuses, and visitors can immerse themselves in circus heritage by attending Milwaukee’s Great Circus Parade. The parade features marching bands, animals, circus wagons, and a wide variety of clowns and other performers. The parade is fun for the whole family, and it provides a historical perspective for fans of circuses. In fact, the parade is meant to recreate the exciting historical experience of the circus coming into town. This event does not occur every year, so visitors should make sure the parade is scheduled before planning a Milwaukee visit.


Model railroad enthusiasts enjoy coming to Milwaukee each year for Trainfest. Trainfest is held every November, and it is billed as the largest operating model railroad show in America. The event is held at the massive Wisconsin Exhibition Center, and it covers over 200,000 square feet of space. Although the event is geared toward railroad hobbyists, it offers a fun time for the whole family.

A number of ethnic festivals are held in Milwaukee each year, many of which occur at the Maier Festival Grounds. German Fest and Festa Italiana are quite popular, as are Bastille Days and Greek Fest. These events are held each summer, and they allow visitors to immerse themselves in the many cultures that come together to make Milwaukee unique.

Family Fun near Downtown Milwaukee

There are lots of family-friendly activities to be enjoyed within the city of Milwaukee. Spend the day out in the sun along Lake Michigan or enjoy indoor activities ranging from educational art museums to zoos and botanical gardens. These top attractions will provide families of all ages with tons of fun during their next visit to Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Head to the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee for a visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Through different seasons, visitors will find new and exciting moving exhibits, providing them with something unique each time that they come to the museum. Walkthrough the wide-open spaces of the museum that feature contemporary art pieces, perfect for fun family photo opportunities. After browsing through the variety of artwork found at the Milwaukee Art Museum, children will enjoy a stop at the Kohl’s Art Generation Gallery. Design sketches and build your own houses for an enjoyable, interactive experience.

Milwaukee County Zoo

The Milwaukee County Zoo is one of the most popular family activities within Milwaukee. Open 365 days per year, the zoo is the perfect attraction to visit no matter when you’re traveling to the area. Be educated and entertained as you view a collection of over 2,000 different mammals, fish, birds, and reptiles in their own exhibits. Some animal species that call this zoo their home include tree kangaroos, African elephants, and moose. Special shows are held daily to learn more about select animals.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Let your children’s imaginations run wild at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. Hands-on exhibits will provide them with hours of interactive learning experiences. This is the perfect family-friendly attraction for children under 10 and their parents. From role-playing exhibits where kids can go shopping and stop by the bank, to giant interactive board games, there’s no telling what you may find at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum.

Boerner Botanical Gardens

Stop by the Boerner Botanical Gardens to enjoy a relaxing day surrounded by a wide range of beautiful flowers and plants. The English country manor feels that the gardens are truly one-of-a-kind to the area. Guided tours are also available to learn more about the arrangements that are grown here. Some flowers that you may find in bloom during your visit include roses, spring bulbs, wildflowers, tulips, and perennials.

IMAX Theater

Catch a movie with the family at the popular IMAX Theater located at the Public Museum. Educational movies themed around animals, science, and technology are shown on a regularly scheduled basis.

Shopping near Downtown Milwaukee

Milwaukee shoppers are likely to find what they are looking for in the stores at Midtown Center. Marshalls has some designer clothing at discounted prices. Payless ShoeSource offers footwear for every occasion. Bedding, curtains, and kitchen items are sold at Anna’s Linens. Shoppers can buy clothing, footwear, and items for the home at Walmart. Pick ‘n Save sells groceries. Office supplies are available at Office Depot. Milwaukee County Transit System buses will take people to this shopping center.

Shoppers will find a variety of merchandise at the stores in downtown Milwaukee. Lela Boutique offers women’s clothing. Men can buy suits and shirts at Roger Stevens. Dinnerware, table linens, and home décor items are sold at George Watts & Son. The Wisconsin Cheese Mart sells cheese and sausage. There are MCTS bus stops in the downtown area.

Bayshore Town Center

The Bayshore Town Center six miles from downtown Milwaukee in Glendale is one of the places to shop in the Milwaukee suburbs. This center has stores to suit people with a variety of interests. There are books at Barnes & Noble and board games at the Board Game Barrister. Those who enjoy sports can buy athletic clothing and sports equipment at Sports Authority. Sur La Table has a selection of kitchen items for cooks. This shopping center also has stores that sell clothing, footwear, and accessories. MCTS buses stop near the center.

Mayfair Mall

The Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa is approximately eight miles from downtown Milwaukee. Readers will enjoy the large selection of fiction and nonfiction at Barnes & Noble. Children will enjoy visiting the LEGO Store. People looking for furniture and kitchen items will find them at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. Macy’s has clothing and accessories. Shoppers can take MCTS buses to this mall.

Brookfield Square

Brookfield Square is about 11 miles from downtown Milwaukee in Brookfield. LOFT, Lane Bryant, and Windsor are some of the women’s clothing stores. Men’s Suits and sportswear are available at Men’s Wearhouse and Tux. The Children’s Place and Gymboree sell children’s clothing. Payless ShoeSource and Foot Locker have shoes for the whole family. The Kitchen Collection offers cookware and small appliances. Furniture for every room in the home is sold at Ethan Allen. MCTS buses travel from Milwaukee to this shopping center.

Travelers can also take MCTS buses to the Southridge Mall in Greendale 12 miles away from downtown Milwaukee. Macy’s, Sears, and Kohl’s are some of the department stores here. Clothing and shoes for men, women, and children are available at H&M. Specialty stores include Bath & Body Works, Yankee Candle, and Perfumania.