The best way to Expertise Milwaukee Like a Native in 2024

The skyline of downtown Milwaukee during the evening
Posted: 3/15/2024 | March fifteenth, 2024

The next visitor publish is by my buddies Adam from the web site Getting Stamped. He and his spouse are very long time residents of Milwaukee and, since I’ve by no means been, I’ve invited him on to share some tips on visiting town.

Milwaukee is underrated, for my part. I adore it!

The biggest metropolis in Wisconsin and just one.5 hours north of Chicago, it’s the good measurement: not too small not too massive. It presents tasty meals and drinks, nice sports activities groups, and enjoyable festivals. Plus, it’s reasonably priced. And don’t overlook the pleasant locals!

I’ve lived right here my complete life, and my spouse has lived right here for 20 years. We’ve traveled world wide many instances, and when it got here time to plant roots and begin a household, we may have gone wherever. However we select to come back house to Milwaukee, which has a lot to supply.

If you wish to know methods to expertise it like a neighborhood, listed here are my insider suggestions:


1. Keep central

I extremely advocate staying downtown or the Third Ward. That is the place many of the widespread points of interest are positioned. The accommodations may be barely costlier than elsewhere, however you’ll save on transportation prices since every thing is walkable.

These are two accommodations I really like:


2. Benefit from free rides

Milwaukee doesn’t have a subway system, but it surely does have a tremendous free streetcar service known as the Hop, with quite a few stops downtown and across the Third Ward space. Merely hop on and off — no tickets or reservations are wanted! The Hop runs each quarter-hour throughout peak instances and each 20 minutes off-peak and weekends. Click on right here for the map and schedule.

Insider tip: In case you are heading to a sporting occasion, many bars and eating places provide free shuttles to American Household Discipline for Brewer baseball video games and live shows, Summerfest Grounds for festivals and live shows, Fiserv Discussion board for Bucks basketball video games, and different occasions round city.

3. Eat like a neighborhood

The popular Public Market at night in bustling Milwaukee, USAThe popular Public Market at night in bustling Milwaukee, USA
You may suppose Milwaukee’s all beer and cheese (and there’s no scarcity of these), however the meals scene has much more to supply. Milwaukee has its personal (typically quirky) meals traditions and staples, like ButterBurgers and frozen custard.

It additionally has some unimaginable markets, the place you possibly can get pleasure from a few of the metropolis’s greatest meals from many distributors, multi functional place and in a enjoyable and reasonably priced food-hall environment. These are two of my favorites:

  • third Avenue Market Corridor – It is a must-visit vacation spot, because it offers a spot for vacationers and locals alike to get pleasure from Milwaukee’s various delicacies. Right here, you will discover the aforementioned frozen custard, plus pho, pizza, burgers, artisan sandwiches, tacos, scorching canine, home-cooked meals, ramen, sushi, arepas, and a lot extra — all at reasonably priced costs.
  • Milwaukee Public Market – Positioned within the historic Third Ward, this superior market is the very best place to patronize all kinds of distributors with distinctive merchandise, meals choices, and drink pairings. It’s a novel spot to expertise the flavors of Milwaukee’s culinary scene, all below one roof, and soak within the native tradition whereas procuring or grabbing a chew.


4. Take pleasure in native delicacies

Feasting at Vanguard, a restaurant in Milwaukee known for its amazing house-made sausagesFeasting at Vanguard, a restaurant in Milwaukee known for its amazing house-made sausages
There are just a few meals that it’s essential to strive that you just (perhaps for good cause) is not going to discover many different locations. They’re distinctive, tasty, and general fairly reasonably priced!

  • Deep-fried cheese curds – Sure, it’s a factor, and they’re wonderful — get them organized and thank us later. Lakefront Brewery is our high choose.
  • Frozen custard – It could appear to be ice cream, but it surely’s a lot richer and creamier, with just a few additional substances. Kopps is the very best place for it (and nice burgers) — and likewise a kind of locations that, in the event you don’t go, did you even go to Milwaukee?
  • Bratwursts – One other Milwaukee staple. No one does them at the next degree than Vanguard Restaurant within the Bayview neighborhood. It’s best recognized for its wonderful house-made sausages, together with vegan choices, with many at an reasonably priced worth of below $10.

On this record, we’ve solely targeted on the Milwaukee favorites, however foodies who need to delve deeper into the culinary scene may need to try our full record of the greatest eating places in Milwaukee.

5. Discover brewing historical past

Whereas microbreweries aren’t precisely a brand new development, Milwaukee has been brewing since earlier than it was cool. At one time, it brewed extra beer than any metropolis on the earth. That historical past is clear throughout city in breweries, eating places, and pubs.

Lakefront Brewery presents in all probability the very best brewery tour within the metropolis. It’s much more enjoyable than simply shiny tanks and sniffing a pungent jar crammed with hops. The tour guides are hilarious (some are actually comedians from a neighborhood membership), and your tour will embody 4 beer samples. That is by far the very best worth and our private favourite tour — plus, the beer corridor is a whole lot of enjoyable. The excursions are tremendous widespread and promote out on the weekends, so it’s suggested to buy tickets prematurely.

If you wish to preserve sampling native beers, make sure that to take a look at just a few different of my favourite Milwaukee breweries:

  • MobCraft Beer – This brewery presents excursions and likewise has an awesome taproom with tasty pizzas, in addition to actually good IPAs and bitter beers.
  • Eagle Park Brewing Firm – They don’t provide excursions, however they do have an enormous choice of distinctive bitter beers.
  • Good Metropolis Brewing – There are two places: the Eastside one presents excursions, and the downtown one doesn’t. However the latter is true throughout the road from Fiserv Discussion board and excellent spot for a beer earlier than a sport.


6. Do some reasonably priced actions

The relaxing Riverwalk along the river in Milwaukee, USAThe relaxing Riverwalk along the river in Milwaukee, USA
Milwaukee has far more to do than we may squeeze onto this web page, however we’ve narrowed it down, specializing in must-do and budget-friendly choices (some are even free!):

  • Bradford Seashore – It is a sandy park on the shorelines of Lake Michigan. Convey a towel and go for a swim, take part a sport of seaside volleyball, or seize custard at MooSa’s or lunch at The Dock Waterfront Bar & Grill.
  • Stroll the Milwaukee Riverwalk – Expertise the center of town, and immerse your self in its tradition. Lots of the Milwaukee’s greatest retailers and eating places could be discovered alongside the three-mile route alongside either side of the Milwaukee River.
  • Disc-golf at Milwaukee County Parks – Milwaukee has 11 disc-golf programs — six full ones ($5) and 5 short-practice ones (free).
  • Bike the Oak Leaf Path – Milwaukee County presents over 135 miles of trails for biking, lots of which characteristic scenic views of Lake Michigan. You’ll find the path map right here.
  • Bronze Fonz – Cease to take an image with a bronze sculpture of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka the Fonz, from Pleased Days (a sitcom a few Milwaukee household within the Nineteen Fifties).
  • Indoor garden video games at third Avenue Market Corridor – Take pleasure in quite a lot of distinctive eating places and free indoor video games, together with large Jenga, cornhole, shuffleboard, and golf simulators. It’s a enjoyable place, particularly when the climate isn’t nice!

After you’ve scoured this information, if it’s essential to fill any clean spots in your itinerary, we’ve an in-depth record overlaying all the issues to do in Milwaukee.

7. Take pleasure in free-admission days

A few of Milwaukee’s high points of interest welcome guests without spending a dime on sure days. Watching the calendar can rating you free tickets that in any other case would set your group again a whole bunch.


8. Chase low cost comfortable hours

For higher or worse, the individuals of Milwaukee get pleasure from their enjoyable instances intertwined with a beer or three. To kick off an thrilling evening in Milwaukee, head to the place the locals go: discover a good comfortable hour, or go to a budget-friendly dive bar.

  • McGillycuddy’s – $1 faucets, $2 craft beers, $4 rails and mixers, and $5 appetizers (Tuesday–Friday, 3–7pm).
  • Mo’s Irish Pub – $2.72 drafts, $5 wines (Tues–Thurs 4–6pm, Fridays 3–6pm); additionally free brewery shuttles.
  • Milwaukee Brat Home – Pleased hour specials change each day (Mon–Fri 3-6pm).


9. Discover the colourful public artwork scene

Many locations round city have large-scale public artwork shows that you may go to without spending a dime. Most of those items are in a few of the most enjoyable and stylish areas. These are a few our favorites:

  • Black Cat Alley – One of many largest areas devoted to public murals is positioned close to North Avenue, within the Eastside neighborhood. Along with the artwork, you’ll additionally discover nice eating places, breweries, and artisanal retailers.
  • Sculpture Milwaukee – Yearly, this city-funded program shows sculptures by artists from internationally on Wisconsin Avenue. Some are everlasting and a few are modified out yearly, so there are at all times new issues to see.


From meals to free days and bratwurst to beer, Milwaukee has a ton of issues to do and see on a finances. Hopefully this record gives you a good suggestion of the place to begin!

Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz are full-time journey writers and run the journey web site Getting Stamped, which is devoted to firsthand guides to their favourite locations world wide. After they aren’t touring the world, Milwaukee is the place you’ll discover them, and so they cowl their hometown in-depth on the web site Milwaukee Insider. You may comply with their adventures on Instagram and social media @gettingstamped.

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