Milwaukee Travel Blog: Table of Contents
Milwaukee on C&C
Best Time To Visit Milwaukee
Where to Stay in Milwaukee
Let’s Go For a Drink
What to See and Do
Tipping in Milwaukee
Common Scams & What to Avoid
C&C’s Google Map of the City
Milwaukee Travel Blog: Where, How?
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, North America
Population: 599,642 (2014)
Currency: US Dollar (USD)
General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
Airport Notes: It is found on the Southeastern end of the city. It has three concourses namely C, D and E serviced by Air Canada, American Airlines, United, Volaris, Alaska Airlines, Frontier, Southwest Airlines and Delta. There are a few direct international flights from Mexico and Canada daily and some from Jamaica and Dominican Republic seasonally.
Transportation to-and-from the airport: There is the Go Airport Shuttle service as well as taxis to downtown Milwaukee. Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) buses also make frequent trips to and from the airport running roughly between 4am and 2am. You may also use coach buses or train if you are going to or around the Intermodal Station.
Milwaukee’s bus system, MCTS has a wide coverage area and very frequent service except for the suburbs in the outskirts where they work shorter hours and services are less frequent. Tourist “Trolley” is a free seasonal bus loop service sponsored by local businesses. The Oak Leaf Trail in Milwaukee has numerous separate bike lanes and a network of trails that together with the weather are conducive to cycling. The Yellow Cab is the most popular taxi service. During warmer seasons, there are additional options including Water taxis, Horse-drawn carriages and Cream City Rickshaw. Driving is also a viable option.
A Note on Taxis:
You cannot catch a taxi by flagging down except at hotels, train/bus stations and the airport. Call for one instead.
Just like anywhere, Uber is cheaper and safer. If you don’t already have an account, use this link and get 15 dollars off your first ride!
The Third Ward is the main touristic neighborhood. Marquette has a large and diverse student population. Bay View is a local art and creativity stronghold. Brady Street is an old Italian neighborhood, one of the oldest in the city. The East Side is a trendy neighborhood and a melting pot for cultures, great for dining, shopping and nightlife. East Town is home to some of Milwaukee’s popular attractions.
Navigation tips: Milwaukee is easy to navigate with its consistent block numbers all around the city. Also, remember that Lake Michigan always represents east.
More About Milwaukee on C&C
Best Time To Visit Milwaukee
Average Monthly Minimum And Maximum Temperatures
Average Monthly Hours Of Sunshine
Average Monthly Rainfall Or Snowfall
Milwaukee Travel Blog: Personal Notes
What’s This Place About?
Milwaukee is a city on the rise and a forgotten destination. It is located right on Lake Michigan, so most of the fun and interesting things to do are located right on the lake or on the Milwaukee River.
What’s Great and Fun?
Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River really help shape the city and provide lots of fun activities to take part in. Milwaukee is also a beer city, famous for breweries like Miller, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Schlitz. These breweries are not necessarily located in Milwaukee today, but these days, craft beers are very important to Milwaukee.
Another one of Milwaukee’s claims to fame is Harley Davidson, which was founded in the city. The Harley Davidson Museum is located in the city.
For art lovers, the Milwaukee Art Museum is a worthwhile destination, even just to view the spectacular architecture of the building itself.
If you are a sports fan, there are a lot of opportunities for you in Milwaukee. Baseball fans can see the Milwaukee Brewers, NBA fans will enjoy seeing the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Green Bay Packers, (though not technically located in Milwaukee), are in nearby Green Bay and are worth the trip for serious NFL fans.
I would have never been to Milwaukee if not for an invitation from VISIT Milwaukee, the city’s tourist organization. I have to admit that I was surprised by how great this city is. The most impressive thing to me was the Harley Davidson Museum. I like everything about motorcycles, from riding them to looking at them. Some people are really passionate about cars and boats, but to me, motorcycles are the most impressive machine out there. At the museum, you can see the Harley Davidson Number 1, an important piece of history for motorcycle enthusiasts. The museum itself has hundreds of motorcycles and information about the entire history of this iconic vehicle. I could have spent the entire day exploring every item in the museum.
Milwaukee Travel Blog: Things to do in Milwaukee in Winter
When considering where to stay in Milwaukee, Downtown is one place you will be happy staying at. There are a lot of options to check out especially around Water Street or Brady Street or Wisconsin Avenue.
If you are into the high-end, Pfister and The Iron Horse Hotel are both four-star hotels where to stay in Milwaukee. There are far too many options on things to do in Milwaukee in winter. All you have to do is keep eyes and ears open.
As for mid-range hotels, Brewhouse Inn and Suites, Kinn Guesthouse, Residence Inn are all located downtown at convenient locations. This is an important factor to consider when deciding where to stay in Milwaukee. If you a want quick fix to the query of things to do in Milwaukee in winter, this would be it.
There is also Aloft but if you are more of a B&B type of person, there is County Clare in the fashionable East Side, a long walk or short cab ride from downtown.
If you prefer major chain hotels, there are many to choose from: Hyatt Place Milwaukee West, InterContinental Hotel & Resort, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hyatt Regency and more. For last-minute options on things to do in Milwaukee, you may consider these.
And of course, since we were invited by Visit Milwaukee, I stayed at the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown and enjoyed every minute of it! I highly recommend it as your choice of where to stay in Milwaukee. If you want a really cool tip on things to do in Milwaukee, pick this.
Just like everywhere, Airbnb is a very interesting option. If you’re not already a member, you can use this Airbnb link to get $40 off your first reservation.
Milwaukee Travel Blog: Let’s Eat!
Famous Foods and Specialties
- Peanut butter burgers
- Fried cheese curds
- Fish fry
- Cannibal sandwich (raw ground beef and onions on rye bread)
The Best Drunk Food
Our Suggestions – Dishes And Restaurants
Since my only visit to Milwaukee was with VISIT Milwaukee, most of the restaurants I tried were pre-selected. I can tell you that I had a wonderful, wonderful time at Wolf Peach. I can add that the ramen at National Cafe is world-class. The Milwaukee Public Market is a fine place to visit. And Blues Egg is a really cool old-school diner.
Note: Wolf Peach has since closed its doors.
But since I was accompanied for this visit, I couldn’t choose where I went. So I decided to ask a friend for her best spots in town. Here’s her list: When you a make decision on things to do in Milwaukee in winter, check also about the restaurant options.
Vanguard Bar – The Comet Cafe – Fuel Cafe – Sweet Diner – Company Brewing
Milwaukee Travel Blog: Let’s Go For a Drink
What Do the Locals Drink?
Beer and cocktails
Drinking in Public
Drinking in public is illegal in Milwaukee.
Our Suggestions – Bars and Pubs
Where to drink is equally as important a question as where to eat in Milwaukee. This is because of the abundance of establishments available. There is always a corner tavern near you that you may quickly resort to but it is good to explore a bit sometimes.
Speaking of corner taverns, Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge is one you must try out. Within its historic luxurious lounge atmosphere are the most glorious cocktails for any mood.
The Third Ward is full of cool watering holes and probably the best spot for a pub crawl.
When you decide on things to do in Milwaukee, keep in mind the bar and beverage options available.
Burnhearts is a trendy hipster bar with a dynamic beer menu and a unique array of cocktails and events to boot.
As regular readers of this column know, I don’t know anything about clubs. Sorry!
Milwaukee Travel Blog: What to See and Do
Get acquainted with Milwaukee on a stroll along the Milwaukee RiverWalk. The many colorful signs will be a great help. Don’t look for things to do in Milwaukee in winter too far away from a happening tourist attraction.
Get away and get lost inside the domes of the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory.
Visit the Historic Third Ward, the city’s Arts and Fashion District and where the Third Ward Riverwalk, the Milwaukee Public Market, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), and the Broadway Theatre Center are found.
Sample what Milwaukee has to offer in terms of wildlife at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Look at exhibits and spark your imagination at the worldwide-recognized Milwaukee Public Museum.
Get a lesson on things beer as you sip on one on a guided tour at the Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery.
People-watch or stroll through the Milwaukee Public Market in the Historic Third Ward.
Take part in interesting outdoor activities at the Lakeshore State Park all in view of Milwaukee’s great skyline.
Expand your knowledge in various fields while taking part in interesting and exciting adventures at Discovery World.
Take a journey back in time to the Grohmann Museum and venture out into outer space at the Manfred Olson Planetarium.
Tipping in Milwaukee
Just like in most of the United States, it is expected to tip. You should tip 10-15% of the total cost of the bill even if service wasn’t great, and 17-20% if you’ve had good service.
Milwaukee Travel Blog: Common Scams & What to Avoid
As in most American cities, there are some neighborhoods in Milwaukee that aren’t recommendable, so you need to know where you are at all times and be informed about what neighborhoods are not okay. Most tourists will end up staying in the downtown core of Milwaukee, which is very safe. There are some suburbs and neighborhoods outside of the downtown core that are not as nice, but other than that it’s a very safe city, relatively speaking. (This still is America. There is gun violence.)
It is always a good practice to decide on things to do in Milwaukee in winter away from these places.
How to Stay Safe: Tips and Tricks
READ MORE: Travel Canada Advisory for the United States