Milwaukee has a nice, lively public market just south of downtown at the northern end of the Historic Third Ward. It has shopping for food of all sorts, crafts, places to get hot soup, hot coffee, pastries, etc. It's a fun place to go to shop or just to get a bite to eat, look at things, etc.
Milwaukee has an interesting museum of history and natural history, with a collection of animal skeletons, plants, labs with microscopes that visitors can use, ancient artifacts from around the world, artifacts on American history and specifically the history of Milwaukee, and more. It is particularly noteworthy for the many life-size dioramas/displays which the museum has, including ones which visitors can walk amongst, such as the Streets of Old Milwaukee and others showing life in various parts of the world at different points in time. There are enjoyable exhibits for children and adults alike.
Milwaukee has a city hall that is not only magnificent but rather unique. It is in a variation of the Germanic Flemish Renaissance Revival style that is similar to much of the architecture of Milwaukee from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, giving it an unusual appearance for the US as well as one that is very much tied to the character of the city. It also is unusual in that it has a very tall tower that made it, from 1895 to 1899, the tallest building in the world. It has recently been renovated and is in beautiful condition inside and out.
This is the big domed church that you pass when you are on I-94 heading south from downtown. In May 2013, I attended a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concert here. The acoustics were - well, "funky" would be one way to describe the odd reverberations sounding off the high ceilings of the basilica. But really - the architecture of this stunning church is music enough!
St. Josaphat was constructed to be a special place of worship for Milwaukee's considerable Polish population in the 1890s. They paid for it largely by themselves, and contributed their own sweat and labor. Interestingly, the stone used for most of the building was originally part of the old Post Office in the Chicago Loop. The Milwaukee Poles bought the stone when a new Post Office was constructed in Chicago, and had it shipped (200,000 tons, 500 freight cars full!) up to Milwaukee.
It's big. In fact, this is Milwaukee's largest church, with a seating capacity of 2400. And I read that St. Josephat's has one of the five largest domes in the world - larger than that of Haigha Sophia in Istanbul! Apparently this is not the original dome that was built in the first decade of the 20th century, but a very careful and stunning replacement that was installed as part of a major renovation of the Basilica only about a decade ago.
Charles Allis was the early 20th century heir of the industrial firm that later became Allis-Chalmers. He sunk his money into this north side Milwaukee mansion, and into furnishing his home with 19th century art to adorn its walls. The French Barbizon school is particularly well represented here. But it's the house itself that is the biggest attraction, I'd say. It's in a "Tudor baronial" style (with gables) that seems to be well suited for Milwaukee's general "Northern European" orientation.
Charles Allis purchased his art with the idea that its purpose was primarily decorative - intended to supplement the furnishings of the Allis' residence. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It does mean that the interest of the museum is more historical that aesthetic. And the place still feels "lived in". The museum is open Wednesday through Sundays from 1 to 5 pm.
Milwaukee summers are like no other. Having lived in Wisconsin my whole life, I can understand why. The cold definitely keeps people in, to be honest, there's not all that much to do in the winter. But when warm weather comes around...look out! Every week there's a street festival (with free live music - mostly local bands, but pretty darn good local bands) or festival on the summerfest grounds. I will gladly list all that I know, and the approx. locations:
Locust street festival - first or second week in June (Locust street in Riverwest neighborhood)
Summer Solstice on North Ave. - usually on or around summer solstice (Approx. North and Farwell ave on the East side)
Lakefront Festival of the Arts - Mid June (Milwaukee Art Museum) - This is really cool to see if you are not from the area. First off, the lake front area is beautiful. It's a great place to ride bikes, walk, go to the beach, or set up a picnic. The art museum is becoming a well known landmark to Milwaukee tourists, and it is something to see as well.
Summerfest - Last week in June - first week in July (visit www.summerfest.com for more details.) ****Tip - There are ways to save money getting down there. Don't park down there, lots of bars offer free shuttles.
Speaking of summerfest, the grounds are also used to a host of other cultural festivals throughout the summer including: Polish fest, German fest, Festa Italiana, Irish fest, Indian summer (there's probably others that I'm forgetting!) Google them for more info!
Bastille Days - Mid July (located downtown at Cathederal Square Park) French themed celebration
Brady Street Fest - Usually late July (On Brady street) Brady Street is a very cool, eclectic area on the east side.
Bayview Bash - Mid September (in the Bayview Neighborhood - Kinnickinic Ave and Russell Ave) I love this neighborhood! It is very up and coming and the people in this area are very cool!
North Ave Tomato Romp - Late September (North and Farwell on the East Side) This event is awesome! It mimicks the festival in Pamplona, Spain in which people gather in a fenced in area and chuck thousands of ripe tomatoes at each other. Even if you're in the audience you probably will get pelted, so dress accordingly :) Prior to the afore mentioned activities, there is a bloody mary tasting whereby which you go from bar to bar sampling bloodys. You have to purchase tickets to do so, and be sure to get a beer chaser for an extra $5 (apparently the "beer chaser" is unique to Wisconsin I've heard, always ask for a beer chaser when ordering a bloody in Wisconsin...they usually include them anyway).
Jazz in the Park - Every Thursday during the summer at Cathedral square park downtown (6pmish??). Pack a picnic basket and a blanket. I don't believe you can bring your own booze in anymore (That's why I rarely go...haha), but they do sell beer and wine there. It makes for a nice evening.
Chill on the Hill at Humbolt Park in Bayview - every Tuesday during the summer (6pm). Much like Jazz in the Park, but with differing musical acts every week. This one bring your own beverages!! Some of the music is not always to everyone's taste, but it's nice to sit out on a hill, enjoy a picnic and some wine.
Lakefront Brewery (Commerce Street) - A very fun and cheap way to enjoy GREAT beer. This is my favorite Brewery. Really funny, interesting tours. I believe the tour and four 8oz. tastings are still only $6 or $7. It beats the hell out of the Miller tour.
Milwaukee Brewing Co. (South 2nd Street) - Also a very cool brewery tour. Great value at this one - $7 all you can drink! Intoxication is a likely side effect. Great beer as well. Stop into Sabbatic for a free one afterward, or visit one of the awesome restaurants like: The Noble, Braise, Lo Cash live (bbq), Crazy Water, or Industry.
These honestly are just some of the major highlights of what there is to do in Milwaukee during the summer. The theme behind pretty much all of them is: Beer. We love it, we drink lots of it, and if you don't like it, go somewhere else. Ok, just kidding, there's more to do here than just drink beer...but you will find that many of our activities are centered around it. I've lived here only 2 years, and I love it. Come and enjoy!
Just about every weekend in the summer in Milwaukee, there's a fantastic festival on the Summerfest grounds. My personal favorite is Irish Fest, but there's something to suit every taste. The grounds have a number of stages and tons of food vendor stands, so at any festival there's a variety of music, entertainment and food.
You can hear the rumble...that distinctive Harley sound.
Take a visit to the Harley Davidson plant on Capitol Dr in Wauwatosa, WI...as far as manufacturing tours go, this is pretty good. You get to walk the floor with a guide and a small group of other guests, seeing how the powertrains are put together to be sent on their was to K.C. or East Troy, WI.
You can also see the history of Harley Powertrains and sit on a few bikes in the lobby.
The headphones gave me a throbbing headache by the end, but it was worth the time.
This was a nice journey through streets of a turn-of-the-century neighborhood. Alot of historic buildings and architecture.I loved it. Since I am not from here I am going to leave the contact info of the Historic Third Ward Association because I really didn't where to start I was just looking at buildings. They havew details all the buildings and sites.
If you have a day or two to spare, take the Lake Express from Milwaukee to Muskegon.
This is a ferry, so you can bring your car too. It holds 46 vehicles, and 250 people.
It's a great way to see Lake Michigan, and visit the state of Michigan as well.
The trip takes 2 1/2 hours at 40mph, but your traveling in a luxurious cabin with food service, a bar, and television to keep you occupied.
Adult ticket prices are $85.00 round trip, and children ages 5-15 are $40.00.
I have the website address below for more information. You should see my Muskegon page as well for things to do once you get there!
Summerfest is a two week bash set by Milwaukee's lakefront. They have amusement rides, and concession stands that are based around several different stages that have top name talent playing at each. If you happen to be in Milwaukee during this time, don't miss this! It's a great party!
Summerfest runs Thursday, June 24 - Sunday, July 4, 2004. The grounds are open from noon until midnight daily. There's also a fireworks display on Thursday, June 24 at approximately 10:30pm, and Saturday, July 3 at approximately 9:30pm.
So far for 2004 they have lined up concerts with:
New Found Glory
Taking Back Sunday
Story of the Year
Coheed and Cambria
The Main Gate Ticket includes entrance, and free ground stage concerts. There are several ground stage concerts running at different places. These have artists like:
Kool and the Gang
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Check their website because they add artists all the time.
To enter you must buy a gate ticket. Then you must also have a ticket for the concert you are there to see.
Adults over 10 $12.00
Children 3 - 10 when accompanied by an adult are $3.00
Children 2 and under free
Seniors 60 and over $3.00
To order tickets by phone:
Green Bay 920.494.1414
To see up to the minute live views sheck out this webcam:
The Milwaukee Repertory Theater, or better known as the Rep, has been around since the 1950's. The Rep has shows at different locations throughout the year, they do about 15-20. Some of the theatres are the Powerhouse, the Stiemke, the Stackner Cabaret, and the Pabst Theatre.
I have seen a few shows at different locations like THE SEAGULL by Anton Chekhov and WILLIAMS AND WALKER by Vincent D. Smith (awesome).
The Rep puts on some top notch performances, check out their schedule on the web. Personally, I love the small cabaret style shows at Stackner.
Ferch's Frozen Custard in Greendale, Wisconsin.
Fabulous 'marble top creamery' frozen custard, made to order from a great variety of flavors and fillings. And the best chocolate malt in the world! It's decorated in classic 50's diner style--just adorable! Here, my parents mimic an old Coca-cola advertisement by sharing a malt. :)
Greendale is a south suburb of Milwaukee that was created during the Great Depression as a source of jobs and as a home to people who couldn't afford traditional housing. It's more middle class now, and the main street is an almost touristy destination now.
One of the largest music festivals in the world. Eleven fun filled packed days of music, food and beverages.
Artists from all over the world come to play in this festival.
Music ranges from Jazz, to rock, to country Western , to Blues to Hip Hop, to just about any type available.
To show you just how much I didn't know about Milwaukee. I never realized that a river ran through the downtown area. Much like Chicago which has the Chicago River, Milwaukee and the Milwaukee River is bordered by a number of restaurants and the evening we took a walk they had a Wednesday evening concert going on in a park right by the river.
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