1. Experience Every Music Genre In 11 Days
Boasted as the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest showcases more than 800 acts, ranging from local favorites to well-known artists like Led Zepplin and Tina Turner. Usually held in late June and early July, the annual festival lasts 11 days and is made up of 11 different stages spanning the 75-acre site, located on the shores of Lake Michigan.
2. Split Bread With Secret Agents
Located at 779 N. Front St., International Exports LTD (Safe House) restaurant has been offering secret refuge for spies engaging in covert operations since 1966. The hidden entrance, secret exits and a booth doubling as an entrance to the nightclub next door are just a fraction of the reasons why this restaurant has been featured on the Travel Channel, Food Network and in Time magazine. But shh! Don’t tell them I told you.
3. Milwaukee Has Bio-Domes But No Pauly Shore
Source: Flickr user William Thomas
Though you won’t find Pauly Shore and company at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, you will find three horticultural domes dedicated to three climates. Visit a tropical jungle, a desert oasis and a special floral garden in the afternoon; in the evening, enjoy the buildings’ amazing light shows.
4. Drink Up--After All, The Brew City Is Full Of Breweries
Source: Flickr user Alyson Hurt
With one historic and six operating breweries open for tours, it’s no wonder we’re known as the Brew City. Tour Historic Pabst Brewery, MillerCoors and many other smaller brewers while enjoying flight samples of the Brew City’s best.
5. We Created “Sewer Socialism”
Source: Wikimedia user Emx
Milawuakee is the only city to have elected three separate socialist mayors and subsequently form a political party, known as “Sewer Socialism.” Named after their reformed sewer systems, Sewer Socialists sought to improve public health through new sanitation systems, city-owned water and power systems, and improved education.
6. We Challenge You To Be Fresh And Local
Source: Eat Local Milwaukee via Facebook
The Eat Local Resource Fair is an annual fair which introduces the community to CSA members and helps people prepare for the Eat Local Challenge, which encourages participants to implement local foods into their diets. The event offers resources about buying and eating local foods, multitudes of recipes and workshops on everything from eating on a budget to urban beekeeping.
7. We Teach Our Veterans To Serve (Super Tasty Meals)
Source: Troop Café via Facebook
Troop Café is a not-for-profit restaurant that serves delicious and healthy meals to the public while providing foodservice and hospitality training to United States Veterans. The unique vocational school offers a variety of food options and is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 AM to 3 PM.
8. Forget The Freezer Section! Purple Door Has Liquor Flavored Ice Cream!
Source: Purple Door Ice Cream via Facebook
Purple Door Ice Cream has created a cult following with their delectable ever-changing flavors of ice cream. This socially and environmentally responsible parlor offers eight flavors daily, rotating through more than 40 original flavors. From the enticing whiskey bacon to a piquant absinthe sourced from the nearby Great Lakes Distillery, its no wonder “The New York Times” mentions Purple Door Ice Cream on their list “36 Hours In Milwaukee.”
9. Love NBC’s “Community”? You’re welcome.
Source: Wikimedia user Gage Skidmore
Dan Harmon, the creator of NBC’s “Community” was born and raised in Milwaukee. He also helped to create “The Sarah Silverman Program” and wrote for the movie “Monster House.” With blue-collar roots, it’s only natural that Milwaukee has a funny bone as well.
10. Milwaukee’s Kids Act Well
Source: First Stage via Facebook
Founded in 1987, First Stage is one of the nation’s most acclaimed children’s theaters and is the second largest theatre in Milwaukee. Making it their mission to engage minds and transform lives through extraordinary theatre experiences, First Stage is the nation’s largest high impact theatre training program, serving students ages 3 through 18.
11. It’s A Coastal City
Source: Flickr user Ron Reiring
Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee offers a variety of coastal activities. Enjoy maritime pastimes like kayaking, sailing, fishing or jet skiing. If you prefer to stay dry, visit award-winning Lake Park along the shoreline and get in on a game of golf or beach volleyball, bike the paved multi-use trail or simply fly a kite.
12. Milwaukee Has So Much Green Space You’ll Forget You’re In A City
Source: Flickr user Josue Goge
With more than 140 parks spanning over 15,000 acres, this is not your average concrete jungle. Take a stroll on a Saturday to the nearest neighborhood park farmers’ market to find local produce, coffee, jams and more or stop by Cathedral Park on a Thursday and experience a locals’ favorite, “Jazz in the Park.”
13. Take A Cruise--19th Century Style
Source: Flickr user yooperann
Curious about maritime life on the Great Lakes in the 19th century? The Sailing Vessel Denis Sullivan, built and located in Milwaukee, is the world’s only re-creation of a 19th century three-mast Great Lakes schooner. A floating classroom, the S/V Denis Sullivan is Wisconsin’s official flagship and offers a variety of educational programs for all ages. Feeling particularly brave? Ask to climb the mast.
14. Tour The Milky Way
Source: Flickr user Timothy Vollmer
Discovery World is home to many interactive exhibits and experiences that focus on technology, science and Great Lakes conservation. Immerse yourself in the Milky Way with virtual 3-D environments, make beautiful music without touching a string on a Theramin and explore one of the largest interactive models of the Great Lakes.
15. Rev Up Your Knowledge Of Motorcycle History
Source: Harley-Davidson Museum via Facebook
Located in downtown Milwaukee, the Harley-Davidson Museum is one of a kind. This unique museum showcases the rebellion and freedom associated with motorcycle culture through stories of the products, people and history of Harley-Davidson. A major tourist attraction, it houses more than 450 artifacts and models from every era, including Evel Knievel’s Wembley bike.
16. It’s Where Children Explore The Great Outdoors
Source: Urban Ecology Center via Facebook
The Urban Ecology Center has three locations in Milwaukee all with one goal--to get people to go outside and explore while restoring and protecting urban green spaces. Open daily with year-round educational programs, the Urban Ecology Center provides a safe, educational opportunity for children and families to explore the environment around them.
17. Eat The Best Pork Buns Ever…On A Bowling Lane
Source: Braise via Facebook
Braise is a restaurant, culinary school and RSA (restaurant supported agriculture) that reconnects people with their food. The restaurant uses local, seasonal food for their menu, which is written daily. Experience deliciously interesting dishes--and the best pork buns and cocktails--on repurposed bowling alley lanes used as tables.
18. Milwaukee Knows Art Is Best After Dark
Source: Milwaukee Art Museum via Facebook
The Milwaukee Art Museum hosts the monthly event, MAM After Dark, which offers a different program and theme each month, after-hours access to the galleries, music and mingling that are not to be missed. The Milwaukee Art Museum itself hosts over forty galleries on over four floors with regularly rotated art and is free for Milwaukee residents the first Thursday of every month.
19. Explore City Cuisine At The Year-Long Market
Source: Flickr user Ken Fager
The Milwaukee Public Market is a unique food destination that features twenty specialty food vendors with products ranging from artisanal cheese to cupcakes. Located in the historic Third Ward, this bustling market is a fun stop for lunch or an easy way to sample the flavors of the city.
20. History, Arcade Bars And Antiques--All In The Same Neighborhood
Source: Bay View Neighborhood Association via Facebook
People flock to Bay View for local favorites like Honey Pies (think serious comfort food) and Blackbird Bar (think a cabin up north with more than 70 Wisconsin beers on tap). Rich in history and registered as a National Historic Place, this hip neighborhood has everything from arcades to antique and record shops to green space in the form of Humboldt Park and the Oak Leaf Trail.
21. Drink In The Best Coffee And The Best View
A local favorite since ’93, Colectivo Coffee is roasted and owned locally. With over 13 locations, Colectivo Coffee knows a great cup of coffee and has flourished at sharing that knowledge. Stop by the Humboldt Boulevard location and see the beans roasted on spot or enjoy your coffee with the picturesque view of Lake Michigan at the Lakefront café.
22. Stroll Through Milwaukee History On A Walking Tour
Source: Historic Milwaukee, Inc. via Facebook
Historic Milwaukee Incorporated offers five separate walking tours focusing on the history, architecture and culture of each area. Experience the bohemian vibes of the sixties, be blown away by Frank Lloyd Wright and Tudor style mansions or beat the elements and experience the city in a whole new way with the Skywaukee tour through Milwaukee’s skywalk.
23. Get Happy With The Hippos
Source: Flickr user Dave
The Milwaukee Zoo is home to over 2,000 mammals, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles in habitats expanding over 200 acres. Home to one of the largest group of bonobos outside of their native habitat, this zoo also saw the second birth of siamangs and polar bears in captivity.
24. Say Cheese And Explore Milwaukee’s Local Creamery
Source: Clock Shadow Creamery via Facebook
The first urban cheese factory in Wisconsin and the only in Milwaukee to offer tours, Clock Shadow Creamery is located a few blocks north of the world famous Allen-Bradley landmark. Dedicated to producing the freshest and best cheese, Clock Shadow Creamery creates fresh batches daily that compliment local seasons and tastes.
25. These Bruises Are Worth Bragging About
Source: Flickr user William Thomas
The Brewcity Bruisers, formed in October 2005, are Milwaukee’s official roller derby girls and have four home teams. Hosts to last year’s championships, the Brewcity Bruisers regularly bring in over 1000 people to their events.
26. Hike Or Kayak The River Trails
Milwaukee has both water trails and river trails for recreational activities. Hike through natural surfaced hiking trails in the heart of Milwaukee or canoe the urban water trail of the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers.
27. Oh, And It’s Also A College Town
Source: Wikipedia Commons user Libjbr
Milwaukee is home to seven colleges and universities that vary from small, specialized colleges to the second largest university in the state.
28. It Is Home To Some Of America’s Greatest Architect’s Work
Source: Wikipedia Commons use Nomadseifer
From the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church to the Frederick C. Bogk house to four separate American System-Built Home, experience first hand the highly regarded architectural works of Frank Lloyd Wright.
29. You’re In Good Hands In Our Hospitals
Source: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin via Facebook
Five of the 33 hospitals in the Milwaukee metropolitan area were ranked among U.S. News top 10 in Wisconsin.