|Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee
is a unique visitor destination filled with entertainment, history,
tradition and culture. Well known as America’s brewing capital, Milwaukee is
also home to electric guitar pioneer Les Paul and motorcycle manufacturer
Harley-Davidson... as well as the fictitious home of Richie, Fonzie and the
"Happy Days" gang and Laverne and Shirley. All of that rich heritage is
well-preserved on the city’s streets and within its many museums. Milwaukee
loves to celebrate. The non-stop summer waterfront festivals celebrate the
city’s German, Italian, Irish, Polish, Arab and Mexican heritage.
The downtown area is compact and very walkable. There are enough museums, shops restaurants and attractions to fill several days of sightseeing.
The RiverWalk is a scenic 10-block stretch along the Milwaukee River providing access to some of downtown Milwaukee’s best restaurants, brewpubs, shops and waterfront nightlife. Just a block from RiverWalk, Old World Third Street preserves the city’s German heritage in its architecture, shops and restaurants. Usinger’s Famous Sausage is recognized as America’s finest sausage...One of the country’s most famous German restaurants, Mader’s Restaurant , is located here as is the Old German Beer Hall.
The Historic Third Ward is a six square block area is located directly south of downtown along the Milwaukee River. It contains the city’s highest concentration of art galleries, as well as theaters, boutiques, specialty stores and antique shops. Home to a thriving restaurant and nightlife scene, this revitalized warehouse and manufacturing area has been compared to New York’s trendy SoHo neighborhood. The bustling Milwaukee Public Market in the Historic Third Ward. Featuring Wisconsin-produced cheeses, meats and other local products, this large market offers countless diverse and unique dining and shopping opportunities.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is home to over 25,000 well-displayed works of art highlighted by Old Masters, 19th and 20th Century artworks, German expressionism and modern American art... as well as several pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe. Although the museum’s history dates back well over a century, the 2001 opening of the Quadracci Pavilion. Designed by internationally renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, this beautiful white structure’s lines and curves are reminiscent of a tall sailing ship. The cavernous 90-foot-high glass-lined atrium provides a view over Lake Michigan and is enclosed by a "wing-like" sunscreen that is raised and retracted daily creating a unique moving sculpture. When extended, the wings are as wide as a 747. The structure has quickly become Milwaukee’s predominant iconic symbol.
Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin is a museum of science and technology on the Lake Michigan shore, popular with both children and adults. The widely diverse range of exhibits and programs includes aquariums, virtual reality experiences, TV and audio studios and an exhibit dedicated to ingenious machines. The ongoing exhibit, "Les Paul House of Sound" features dozens of electric guitars, including the prototypes of the modern electric guitar.
Opened in the summer of 2008, the Harley-Davidson Museum chronicles the history of this unique American company. Beginning with a bike named "Serial Number One" built in 1903, the museum displays a model from each production year in chronological order... illustrating the evolution of the legendary motorcycle. The collection of over 400 motorcycles includes Elvis Presley’s 1956 Harley as well as "King Kong", a wildly-customized 13 foot long beast with two engines. The Harley-Davidson Museum includes helmets, clothing, advertisements and other interesting items like a Harley-Davidson mini bike, snowmobile and golf cart. The Harley-Davidson museum is a must for Harley enthusiasts and a fascinating stop for the curious.
Operating since 1884, the Milwaukee Public Museum is a diverse museum featuring walk-through exhibits like a re-creation of the Streets of Old Milwaukee (an exhibit especially interesting for the city’s German heritage), a rainforest and a year-round live butterfly garden. The museum features many dioramas where mounted animals are displayed within artistic re-creations of their natural environments.
Recognized as one of the nation’s best zoos, the Milwaukee County Zoo is situated on 200 scenic acres in suburban Milwaukee. Signature exhibits include the primate exhibits, big cats, a Humboldt penguin exhibit and an aviary. Zoo train and zoomobile tours make the zoo easy to navigate and see in a variety of ways.
Milwaukee’s title as America’s beer capital goes hand-in-hand with the city’s German heritage. Adept at breweing beer, German immigrants established breweries upon their arrival in Milwaukee. By 1856, over two dozen breweries were established in the area, most of them German owned... and Milwaukee went on to become the world’s leading beer producer. Although many of the breweries no longer remain, much of the local economy is still based on beer, and the city’s brewing heritage has been well preserved. Milwaukee’s sole remaining major brewery, MillerCoors offers free daily tours of their historic facility in Miller Valley. Some of the smaller breweries, including the Lakefront Brewery and Sprecher Brewery provide tours and provide samples.
Milwaukee is home to Major League Baseball’s Brewers and the NBA’s Bucks. Although the Chicago Bears are geographically closer, Milwaukee’s NFL fans are decidedly loyal to their in-state Green Bay Packers. The Brewers ballpark, Miller Park opened in 2001, replacing Milwaukee County Stadium. Named for the nearby Miller Brewing Company (now MillerCoors), Miller Park’s unique fan-shaped retractable roof gives this ballpark a distinct appearance, both interior and exterior. Several decks of stands closely surrounding the field give this ballpark a very cozy and intimate feels. Large windowpanes beyond the outfield combined with the retracted roof allow natural grass to be maintained. Each game, Miller Park hosts the famous Sausage Race at the bottom of the sixth inning. The costume-clad sausages, the hot dog, bratwurst, Italian, Polish and chorizo race for one lap around the field’s perimeter to the delight of cheering fans. Bernie Brewer, the team mascot, has his own clubhouse above the left field seats. Following a Brewers home run, Bernie will slide from his clubhouse down a curved sliding board into the Kalahari Splash Zone, sending water into the air. Home run celebrations also include a small fireworks display, even when the roof is closed.
Milwaukee is home to many historical and modern lodging facilities. The Hilton Milwaukee City Center is ideal for families and sightseers. It’s inexpensive for a downtown hotel and it’s central location is within reasonable walking distance of all the downtown attractions. The staff is friendly and the rooms are larger than those of most historic hotels. It’s easily accessible from the freeway and the parking garage is attached to the hotel. Hilton Milwaukee City Center’s most unique feature is the Paradise Landing Indoor Waterpark, a 20,000 square foot urban waterpark featuring a lily pad walk, water cannons, lots of slides and a 30 person hydro-therapy spa.
Milwaukee’s historic districts and cultural centers are lined with blue water and beautiful green spaces. This lively, yet easy-going city is a great destination for family and friends.
MILWAUKEE PHOTOS - CLICK ON THUMBNAIL IMAGES FOR FULL-SIZE IMAGES...
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