Fun things to do in Milwaukee

  • Looking Toward Usinger's Sausage Building
    Looking Toward Usinger's Sausage...
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    The Art Museum Looking North
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Milwaukee

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    INSIDE THE MANSION

    by LoriPori Updated Jan 10, 2007

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    Unfortunately flash cameras and video cameras were not allowed inside the Mansion. However, I will describe here some of the wonderful rooms I saw.
    As you walk in you enter the Reception Hall where guests were received and greeted. You are immediately drawn towards the ceiling where an enormous gas and electric wrought iron chandelier is festooned with elk antlers.
    The Musicians's Nook. On the evenings when the mansion was opened for large parties, musicians would play stringed instruments in this nook and their music could be heard throughout the house.
    Mrs. Pabst's Parlor. The interior design of the ladies parlor is French Rococo in style.The woodwork, trim and moldings are painted in an ivory color and highlighted with gold leaf. The magnificent fireplace mantle is framed with Rococo style carvings that edge the onyx facing. The furniture in this room is original and was custom built to compliment the interior design of Mrs. Pabst's Parlor, which was often the scene of afternoon teas.
    The Music Room. Greatly influenced by the Venetian Renaissance style with its elaborately spiraled columns and Corinthian capitals. The walls are covered with Lincrusta, a popular Victorian pressed wallcovering that has been hand-painted. Captain Pabst entertained his family and guests in the music room with performances by popular singers who were accompanied on a grand piano.
    The Dining Room. French Rococo in style, the theme in the room's design is the Rose, one of Mrs. Pabst's favorite flowers. The cove is elaborately embellished with gold leaf rosettes highlighted by roses set in shells.
    The Captain's Study, also referred to as the smoking room, is an excellent example of German Renaissance Revival. The fireplace grate is original and features Captain Pabst's initials in the center of this intricate piece of ironwork.

    Pabst Mansion
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    VISIT THE HISTORIC PFISTER HOTEL

    by LoriPori Written Dec 22, 2006

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    You would never think to visit a hotel, but that's exactly what we did. Kristi said we just had to see the inside of the HISTORIC PFISTER HOTEL. The premier hotel in downtown Milwaukee, the Pfister is a 1890's Victorian masterpeice. The hotel features a world-class Victorian Art Collection on permanent display. When you walk into the Lobby you are just amazed at its beauty and as it was the Christmas season, a huge decorated Christmas tree was the center of attraction.
    The Pfister Hotel's 82 suites offer sitting rooms, relaxing Jacuzzis in oversized baths, California-sized beds, and large windows with outstanding views of the city and Lake Michigan. The Pfister style is apparent in details such as the 23rd-floor indoor swimming facility, where guests enjoy incredible lake views and emerge for a relaxing massage. The hotel offers 15 meeting rooms with over 24,000 square feet of distinctive space, including two versatile ballrooms.

    Lobby of the Pfister
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    VISIT PABST MANSION

    by LoriPori Updated Dec 20, 2006

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    Wednesday, December 13, 2006
    The finest Flemish Renaissance Revival Mansion in America. the CAPTAIN FREDERICK PABST MANSION was completed in 1892. Captain Frederick Pabst was a world famous beer baron, accomplished sea captain, real estate developer, philanthropist and patron of the arts. The Mansion was considered the jewel of Milwaukee's famous avenue of mansions, called Grand Avenue. The Pabst Mansion is a testament to his success, his love of life and his German heritage. The mansion was absolutely beautiful, boasting stunning interiors, elegant original furnishings, wonderful wood craftmanship, intricate ironwork, stained glass and rare art works.
    And as it was the Christmas season, wonderfully decorated Christmas trees and decorations could be found throughout the mansion.

    Open Daily Monday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Sundays noon to 4:00 p.m.

    Adults $9.00
    Seniors / Students $8.00
    Children ages 6 - 17 $5.00
    Under 6 years of age Free

    Pabst Mansion
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    INSIDE THE MANSION PT 2

    by LoriPori Updated Jan 10, 2007

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    As we were not able to take flash photography inside Pabst Mansion, I will describe some of the rooms inside the Mansion.
    Emma's Room was a bedroom for the Pabst's youngest daughter and designed in the late English Regency style.
    Elsbeth's Room. This room was assigned to Captain and Mrs. Pabst's first granddaughter, Elsbeth, who was adopted by them and the only child to be raised in the Mansion. This was by far my favourite room, with "Morning Glory" a miniature Victorian styled doll house on permanent display in the room. Also there was glass shelves with a huge collection of bisque dolls and antique toys on display.
    Other rooms include: Mrs. Pabst's Upstairs Sitting Room, the Master Bedroom, the Servant's Hall, The Servant's Dining Room, the Butler's Pantry and the Pavilion.

    Pabst Mansion
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    Pfister Hotel

    by Dabs Updated Dec 19, 2006

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    This is still a functioning hotel, be sure to take a look inside the grand lobby even if you are not a guest. The lobby is opulent, with gilding, frescoed ceilings and marble staircases and filled with Victorian paintings from Charles Pfister's collection. It's especially nice around teh Christmas holidays with a grand tree and decorations.

    Milwaukee's grandest old hotel was the idea of Guido Pfister who inconveniently died before it was realized. His son Charles, whom is reported to still haunt the place, took over and the Pfister was opened in 1893. It was constructed at a cost of $1 million with new fangled features such as fireproofing, electricity throughout the hotel and thermostat controls in every room.

    In the 1960s, the Pfister was purchased by Ben Marcus and the 23 story round tower was added. Although not in keeping with the original architecture, I suppose it helped to keep the Pfister as a functioning hotel and off the demolition roster.

    Pfister Hotel Pfister Hotel at the holidays

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    Pabst Mansion

    by Dabs Updated Mar 29, 2005

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    I toured the inside of this Flemish Renaissance Revival mansion during the Christmas Holiday season when they have the mansion decorated. Due to the number of visitors during this season, they do not have guided tours instead giving you a fact sheet to read as you go along and docents posted in most of the rooms. I'd like to go back some time and get the guided tour.

    The mansion dates back to 1892 and was the home of Captain Frederick Pabst, one of the top brewers of his day. The Pabst family would only live in this mansion for little over a decade, Capt. Pabst died in 1904 and Mrs. Pabst died in 1906. In 1908 the Archdiocese of Milwaukee purchased the Mansion as a home for the Archbishop, in 1978 Wisconsin Heritage purchased the Mansion and opened it up to the public.

    At one time this street was called Grand Avenue and was the site of many large mansions.

    It's open for tours from 10-3:30, Tues-Sat and 12-3:30 on Sun. Around Christmas, they decorate the Mansion for the holidays.

    There's a 50% off coupon for admission on this website
    Key Milwaukee

    Or if you are driving up from Chicago, you can stop at the visitor's center right past the state line and there's one in the Key Milwaukee guide.

    Pabst Mansion Pabst Mansion

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  • A Must-See for Architecture Buffs

    by gerblunk Written Jan 22, 2004

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    Located on Water and Wells Streets in Downtown Milwaukee, City Hall is a really cool building. If you happen to be in town on a weekday between 9 and 5 pm, you can walk inside this Flemish renaissance gem and look up into the awesome eight-story atrium. City Hall was built in 1893. Fans of the 1970s sitcom "Laverne & Shirley" will remember City Hall from the opening credits -- it was the building that had a sign on it reading "Welcome Milwaukee Visitors." The sign is no longer there.

    City Hall - a Milwaukee Icon

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  • A Solid Natural and Cultural History Museum

    by gerblunk Updated Feb 1, 2004

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    Most people who do the museum thing in Milwaukee visit the Art Museum, with it's famous winged addition. But on the other side of Downtown on 7th (James Lovell) & Wells is the Milwaukee Public Museum, which despite the bland name is actually a good natural history and cultural history museum. MPM could use a remodeling, but the collection is top-notch. "The Streets of Old Milwaukee" is a life-size representation of a typical Milwaukee street ca. 1900, very well done. The museum has a pretty good dinosaur and geology section, and an excellent Native American collection.

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    GOTO THE MARKET FOR A EAT AND A BARGAIN

    by jhorsfield30 Written Jan 20, 2006

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    Chat with A specialty food vendors, they will suggest ideas that elevate your meal from simply edible to truly memorable.

    Grab a bite to eat and join friends or family for your next lunch, snack or dinner in the Palm Garden, on the mezzanine level.


    Register for the Winter Comforts Cooking classes. Our staff of market chefs will return, in addition to new instructors and chefs from local restaurants. Sure to give you new ideas to brighten and warm cold winter days. Click the cocoa mug for details.

    Warm up with a freshly brewed specialty coffee or hot cocoa and take in the colorful sights and wonderful smells of the Milwaukee Public Market!
    If you?ve yet to have a taste of the Milwaukee Public Market, we welcome you to hunt, gather and go home happy.

    The public market concept dates back to the 8th Century B.C. in ancient Greece. The type of public market found today began in England during the 17th Century with replication in Boston dating to 1639. New Orleans' French Quarter Market is considered the longest continuously operating public market in the United States with origins from 1794. Today, 3,000 markets exist throughout Europe including 41 neighborhood locations in Barcelona alone.

    By the end of World War I, the United States had 237 municipal public markets in 128 cities. A precipitous decline accompanied advancing technology in grocery stores and intense development of highways diminished dependence on downtown areas for shopping of any kind.

    Public markets are being revitalized and new entities are emerging in cities across the United States because their intangible attributes are unique, important and of lasting value. Public Markets reflect the heritage and diversity of communities. The creation of the Milwaukee Public Market follows the national trend and a way of life that was never lost in Europe.

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    Joan of Arc Chapel - Find the stone she kissed!

    by aussiedoug Updated Jan 27, 2004

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    On of our trips to West Bend we specially went in to MIlwaukee to see the Joan of Arc Chapel because I had read about it in a guide book.
    It was a cold and bleak day, because as teachers we have only travelled in our Summer Holidays (vacation to you American guys) which means of course northern hemisphere 'winter'.
    This is the chapel that Joan of Arc prayed in before she was burnt at the stake by the English. Yes it is hard to believe that so many wars through history have seen both sides worshipping supposedly the same God!
    Anyway, I digress.That alone fascinated me, but when I read that the stone she kissed,
    before going out to be burnt at the stake,
    was supposedly perceptibly colder than all the others (and this in a Miwaukee winter!) made both the passionate and the sceptic in me, want to see. So we did! After fruitlessly searching for this colder stone (as implied earlier,they all felt pretty cold to me!) a lady came who was either associated with the Uni or the Chapel itself and pointed the stone
    out. Lo and behold it is TRUE!!!!
    What's very interesting is the way this chapel, stone by stone was dismantled then reconstructed first in Long Island in 1926/27 next to a French Renaissance chateau also came from France! In 1964 it was presented by the next owners to Marquette university for its next, & final deconstruction/reconstruction.

    Joan of Arc Chapel
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    Pabst Mansion decorated for the holidays

    by Dabs Updated Apr 7, 2005

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    One of the docents at the mansion said everyone should visit at least twice, once to get the guided tour and once at the holidays. I have yet to do the guided tour but I totally agree about visiting to see the decorations.

    Each room is decorated uniquely based on the color scheme and general decor of the room. There are several Christmas trees throughout the house, a wonderful table setting in the dining room and little touches throughout. My favorite room was the music room which had splendid pines swags hanging from the chandelier to the four corners of the rooms and a tree topped with peacock feathers, a sign of wealth.

    There are no guided tours at the holidays because of the volume of people but there is a brochure they give you describing each of the room and the general history of the mansion. Docents are placed throughout the mansion, eager to answer questions or talk about the history of the house.

    According to one of the docents, 98% of the furnishings are original and because Captain Pabst took lots of pictures, many of the rooms are restored to their former glory.

    The third floor is not open to visitors unless you get a behind the scenes tour as there are issues with fire code.

    Pabst Mansion at the holidays

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    Hogs

    by blaird Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

    Family & Harley
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    Mitchell Conservatory

    by Dabs Updated Sep 26, 2004

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    Unlike a botanic garden, this is a great place to visit even if the weather outside is frightful. We opted to go here instead of the Botanic Gardens because large grey clouds were covering Milwaukee (they miraculously disappeared while we were inside).

    The conservatory consists of three glass domes, one for tropical plants, one for arid plants and the third is the show dome which currently housed seasonal fall plants such as mums and is used for many bridal photo ops.

    We took our time wandering through the domes and spent about 1 1/2 hours there. There's a self guided tour leaflet you can pick up near the entrance that tells you the special things to look for, they are also marked with letters.

    Admission is $4.50 for adults.

    See my travelogue for some more photos

    Mitchell Conservatory

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    Riverwalk

    by Bwana_Brown Written Sep 6, 2003

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    The most impressive thing that I found about the city was their effective use of the Milwaukee River as a tourist draw. Because it flows through the centre of downtown, an amazing amount of work has gone into making this a great area to stroll, view, eat and relax in. My buddies and I ended up here on the Saturday night of our arrival. It was really great to sit outside at the Rock Bottom Brewery patio and watch all the activity taking place. The river is alive with boats of all sizes motoring up and down the waterway and pulling in to dock at the various restaurants - some with big engines blurbling away! As evening fell, the strings of lights along the river combined with lights highlighting the tops of nearby buildings such as the stately City Hall gave the area a real festive atmosphere. Of course, I had to celebrate with a couple of Raccoon Red beers from the brewery as we sat at our table beside the river! Photo taken looking south along the river from the Wells St. bridge, with the Rock Bottom area to the right where several boats are moored.

    Riverwalk Area from East Wells St. Bridge
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    Impressive City Hall

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Nov 8, 2004

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    Milwaukee's fine-looking City Hall building was built in 1895 in the Flemish Renaissance style. This photo shows its narrow view looking at the bell tower, but it looks more impressive when its long narrow length is viewed from the side (I just could not get a good photo of its tower that way because of other buildings in the way). Recent renovations have restored its ability to chime out the time at the top of each hour. Since City Hall is only a block away from the Riverwalk area, it is an eye-catching sight during the evening when viewed from the many outdoor restaurants. The tower and rooftop of the building is well highlighted by lighting.

    City Hall - 1895
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