Milwaukee Travel Guide
Introduction to Milwaukee
Anyone who grew up with a solid blue collar upbringing will find plenty to love about Milwaukee. Being home to several major brewing concerns dating back to the days before Prohibition (and plenty of microbreweries that have largely taken their place in the present day), a museum honoring one of the most famous motorcycle brands in the world, and a local cuisine that will clog your arteries but leave your taste buds in a state of blissful satisfaction, this city caters to many of the simpler and rougher pleasures in life.
That doesn’t mean that the largest city in Wisconsin doesn’t have appeal of those with other tastes, as its character-filled neighborhoods, modern botanical gardens, and trendy beaches will attest.
However, even the most “culturally refined” visitor will be tempted to turn to the dark side during their time here, as the rich food, drink, and homely Midwest hospitality will do their best to crack their resistance to these awesome aspects of life in Milwaukee.
Cultural Experiences in Milwaukee
Those looking to get a look into the lives of the rich and famous during the Gilded Age of the late 19th and early 20th centuries will want to take a tour of the Pabst Mansion. Home to Frederick Pabst, one of Milwaukee’s chief industrialists during that time, this massive house contains many fine yet kitschy elements, as the finely chiseled exterior would never have you believing that there would be a deer antler chandelier within its walls.
Gearheads will want to make a beeline for the Harley-Davidson Museum, which opened its doors in 2008 on the banks of the Menomonee River. Within the walls of this modern structure are more than 450 bikes that chart the evolution of this company’s offerings.
Along with hundreds of thousands of other artifacts (such as gas tanks, engines, and wooden race tracks upon which often deadly races took place through the years), this place will be a delightful diversion for those that love motorcycles.
Much of Milwaukee’s population base was formed by immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, and when they came here to America to settle on the shores of Lake Michigan, they brought their brand of Christianity with them.
The Basilica of St. Josaphat is a Roman Catholic Church, but one with a unique design that its Polish-American constructors created when they were erecting this beautiful house of worship. The steeple is topped with one of the larger copper domes in the world, and the interior contains murals that will capture your imagination, so don’t forget your camera when coming here!
Other Attractions in Milwaukee
While many travelers tend to try to avoid indulging in stereotypes of their destination, to come to Milwaukee as a lover of alcohol and not go on some brewery/distillery tours would be a sinning shame.
Those interested in seeing how mass production beers are made will enjoy the well-structured tours offered at the Miller-Coors factory, while those who want to get to the heart of Milwaukee’s brewing heritage in the present day will love taking a peek behind the curtain at craft brewers such as Sprecher and Lakefront, as well as the Great Lakes Distillery, which cook up some of the best vodkas and gins in the Midwest.
The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory is an excellent place to go for those that wish to immerse themselves in plant life during the depths of a bleak Midwestern winter, as well as photographers seeking to snap shots of one of the most iconic sights in Milwaukee.
These three geodesic domes are brilliant take pictures of either during the day, or at night, when they light up like Christmas trees, and within their climate-controlled interiors, plants that would normally grow in arid or tropical areas are on display for Milwaukee residents in any season, while a show dome changes on a regular basis to showcase different styles of gardening, often with seasonal themes.
If you are here during the height of the summer season, you might be suffering the oppressive humidity that the Midwest is famous for. Fortunately, this city is parked on the refreshing waters of Lake Michigan, giving residents ample opportunity to seek relief from the heat.
Bradford Beach is the most stylish of these places, with fine white sand, tonnes of volleyball courts, beach bars that are actually located right on the beach, and plenty of beautiful people to ogle at. While the water may not be tropical, it will be the refuge from the high temperatures that you will be seeking.