Milwaukee: Why Go?

Milwaukee initially brings to mind images of beer, brats, and nice Midwestern people.  While those stereotypes are real, the city has evolved remarkably. Today you’ll find a revitalized downtown, rich culture, and diversity that make it an excellent destination for a mother-daughter getaway.

What to See and Do

Start your day exploring the Milwaukee Riverwalk downtown.  With walkways along 20 blocks of the Milwaukee River, it is an excellent way to acclimate yourself to the city and enjoy some exercise.  The Riverwalk connects three downtown neighborhoods and is easily accessible from many starting points downtown, the Historic Third Ward to the south, or the Beerline ‘B’ to the north.

To learn more about the city and its heritage, the History and Architecture Tour with Milwaukee Boat Lines provides historical insights and panoramic views while cruising the Milwaukee River, Harbor, and Lake Michigan.  This  90-minute excursion can be conveniently worked into daily activities as it starts and ends on the Riverwalk at the intersection of downtown and the Historic Third Ward.

Milwaukee River (c) MKE Boat Line.

Transitioning back to land, Milwaukee Food & City Tours hosts a wide spectrum of cultural and culinary tours highlighting the character of the city.  Choose from the Churches and Chocolates, Brady Street Lunch Walking Tour, or Bloody Mary Brunch Tour to name just a few.  For a broader perspective of neighborhoods and sites of interest, opt for the Explore Milwaukee Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing BusRide the full loop once with a guided narrative to absorb the city views, history, and local background, and then prioritize your Hop On/Hop Off agenda for art, shopping, cocktails, and dining. Our mother-daughter itinerary included stops at the Public Market, Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Third Ward.

Thief Wine Shop & Bar (c) Milwaukee Public Market.

Milwaukee Public Market features an assortment of locally owned businesses featuring regional arts, specialty foods, and wine venues. Highlights include Kehr’s Candies, West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe, and Thief Wine Shop & Bar.  Gourmands may also enjoy cooking classes in The Madame Kuony Demonstration Kitchen taught by a variety of local chefs and nationally acclaimed cookbook authors.

Patio Milwaukee Public Market (c) Milwaukee Public Market.

Home to 30,000 pieces of artwork, the Milwaukee Art Museum welcomes over 400,000 visitors annually.  The 341,000-square foot property encompasses the War Memorial Center, the Kahler Building, and the Quadracci Pavilion.  Created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the museum’s extraordinary silhouette has become an icon for the city.  After enjoying the art and architecture, take in a leisurely meal overlooking Lake Michigan at Café Calatrava.

Shopping is always a favorite mother-daughter activity, and the Historic Third Ward has a unique range of shops to delight.  Recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, the Third Ward district is now home to an eclectic set of shopping, dining, and special events venues.  Check out specialty shops such as Third Ward Jewelry, Gallery MKE, and MOD GEN.  Food and wine enthusiasts also have many choices such as Milwaukee Ale House, Bavette La Boucherie, and Vino Third Ward.

Where to Eat and Drink

In addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Public Market, and Third Ward, include three local classics on your itinerary: Swingin’ Door Exchange, The Pfister Hotel, and The Lakefront Brewery.

The antique bar conveys the Prohibition Era history at the Swingin’ Door Exchange.  While the cozy interior reflects the past, the menu offers contemporary upscale tavern fare.

The Pfister Hotel is renowned for its luxurious decor, impeccable service, and sweeping city views.  Make time for ladies afternoon tea to personally experience how they earn Food Network recognition (Food Network 10 Afternoon Tea Spots Across the Country),

Visit Lakefront Brewery, on the Milwaukee River, to enjoy local craft beer and traditional Wisconsin fare.  Start with an informative and fun brewery tour and tasting.  After the tour, savor your new favorite local brew with beer-battered fried cheese curds.

Where to Stay

For luxury accommodations in Milwaukee, The Pfister is the premier choice.  This hotel is known to host celebrities and visiting dignitaries.  The new Hyatt Place Downtown is a contemporary, urban hotel conveniently situated a short distance from the Riverwalk, near Pabst Best Place, and only a five-minute drive to Historic Third Ward.

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A portion of this itinerary was made possible by Visit Milwaukee.