Welcome to Milwaukee, WI!
Welcome to Milwaukee, better known as Brew City. Often lost behind the bustling buzz of Chicago, Milwaukee doesn’t immediately come to mind as the perfect vacation spot. But in a city where beer flows like water, beaches abut city proper, and there is a dozen places to go to a proper fish fry every Friday year round, there is a lot to see and do. Besides the beer (did we mention they have a lot of that here?), there is incredible nature, great museums, fascinating architecture - with everything from the worlds only colloidal glass houses to a row of Frank Lloyd Wright originals - tons of great coffee, fantastic sporting events, and oh did we mention beer? Sure, the Fonz may have helped to put Milwaukee on the cool map but its Midwestern charm, its cheese curds, and its incredibly welcoming nature to people from all walks of life has kept it there. Don’t be a schlemiel or a schlimazel, what are you waiting for? Milwaukee awaits!
Here is a playlist to help you get into the spirit of your destination!
One last thing...
Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee is a small city with a big heart and a lot of passion - mainly about beer. About other stuff too, don’t get us wrong, but beer definitely holds the top spot. But no matter who you are or what you celebrate, Milwaukee prides itself on welcoming you - with an ice cold beer. The extraordinary culture of “Brew City” has great sports, fun art, cool festivals, great down home food, and a few breweries here and there just to keep things interesting.
Finding Your Way
Milwaukee is a compact city with a very walkable downtown, making it easy to explore. The Hop Streetcar connects some of the most popular neighborhoods and attractions on its 2-mile radius - you can see all you need to know about it on the Hop App. Because of how compact the city is, Milwaukee is a great town to explore by bike! Bublr is the popular bike share program in town and you’ll find stations all over the city. And because you’re in the midwest, if you happen to get lost, just look for someone in the blue shirt or jacket worn by the Public Service Ambassadors, Milwaukee’s walking concierges.
Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, MKE, is located just 8 miles from downtown. The easiest way into downtown proper is by a Lyft or a cab. It should only take about 10-15 minutes and a Lyft usually costs about $20-25.
Named by the Native Americans who were drawn here by the rich vegetation and the intersection of three rivers and Lake Michigan, the name Milwaukee comes from “good land” and “gathering place by the water.” In the mid-1800s, it became a mecca for German, Irish, English, Italian, and Polish immigrants who each settled their own neighborhoods and began to build out their own little cultural touchstones. Today is it a melting pot of all those nationalities and more coming together to live, work and play.
Why Am I Here?
Sure, Wisconsin isn’t everyones first thought of a vacation destination, but that is just because they haven’t been yet. This town has been cool since Laverne mixed her milk with Pepsi. Affordable, centrally located, & painfully Midwestern nice, Milwaukee has way more going for it than you knew. With dozens of breweries, great food, fun sports, tons of local festivals, tons of art, fantastic beachfronts right in town, and so much more, theres’s more to do in this town than we can possibly cram in in just a few days.
Milwaukee is a town on a lake and you get the good and the bad from that. The summers are warm but muggy, with temperatures usually ranging from about 70-80°. The winters are freezing, snowy, & windy thanks to the lake effect, usually ranging from from 18-38°. The best time to visit is definitely the summer, with cool nights, hot days, and lots of festivals.
You have to have cheese curds in the land of cheesemakers! They say if you want to ensure they’re fresh, rub two of the knobby cheeses together and see if they squeak. And hey, you’re actually in a town that won’t look twice if you do just that. The varieties of cheese is endless, we dare you to try them all. Fruit dumplings and cream puffs are staple desserts here, not to mention the fact that the most frozen custard shops in the world reside here. By the way, did we mention that Milwaukee is good at beer? Like REALLY good at it - but they’re also uniquely good at pop (this is the midwest, it’s called pop here).
Brewing is a religion here, so local brewery shirts, mugs, etc. are always in vogue. Head to the Public Market or the Grand Avenue Mall and grab some Brew City Brand merch. If you’re checking a bag, bring home some of your favorite brews you tried along the way. We also love coming home with a bag or two of cheese curds, and if you’re into it, one of the plethora of Harley-Davidson collectibles you’ll see around town!
Milwaukee isn’t known for being a fashion capital and that’s ok. Comfort is the name of the game here. Casual and cool in the summer months, heavily bundled with coats, hats gloves and all in the winter. If you want to visit the famous Basilica of St. Josaphat, plan to wear more modest clothing like trousers or a skirt and a long sleeve shirt or blouse or a dress.
Milwaukee is located just 90 miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. Think of them as Chicago’s little sister. The water that they’re located on is what helps to make for truly excellent brewing conditions. And whatever you do, don’t leave before you get a picture with the famous Bronze Fonz!