We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. That “Midwestern Nice” Stereotype? It’s true… especially in Milwaukee.
Seriously… you won’t find a nicer bunch of people out there. The way we see it, there’s just not enough time in life to waste it being a jerk. We help out. We support each other. We want the world to be happy and fun, so we’re not going to spoil your day because it would spoil ours too. Be kind!
2. Believe it or not, we’re actually a coastal city.
Just because we’re in a midwest state doesn’t mean we’re landlocked! Milwaukee sits on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, and tons of our favorite activities involve time on the water. From boating and sailing to fishing and swimming, we take advantage of our awesome little spot on the lake!
3. It’s not just the Lake Michigan shoreline that makes us beautiful. Check out our parks!
Our unbelievable park system includes 140 parks covering more than 15,000 acres and has won dozens of awards, including top honors for “Best Urban Bike Trail,” “Best Public Park,” “Best Urban Beaches,” and even a National “Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.” We really do care about keeping a healthy amount of green space, even in the middle of a metro city.
4. The city itself is beautiful too.
With such a wide history, we are naturally home to some absolutely incredible architectural wonders. A few of the highlights: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, the Frederick C. Bogk House and several buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (which some regard as his best work!)
5. Let’s talk food. We love it.
The food scene in Milwaukee is seriously underrated. Many of our finest restaurants have gained national recognition and several of our best chefs have been given a nod by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. This city is often overlooked when people think of "foodie havens," but those of us who live (and eat) here know how seriously underrated we are. It won’t be long until the rest of the world catches on.
6. Fine dining is fun, but we also excel at good ol’ fashioned comfort food.
Anyone who has ever been to a Friday Fish Fry (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t been to a Friday Fish Fry? They are practically unavoidable!) knows that tasty traditions reign supreme.
7. If you don’t love cheese, you are wrong.
Maybe you’ve just never tasted good cheese? It’s impossible not to love this heavenly Wisconsin icon, and if we had it our way, everything we ever ate would be covered in cheese. Okay, maybe not everything, but we are NOT ashamed to admit that we dream about cheddar. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it…
8. The Dairy State’s rich cream doesn’t just go into cheese, and we’re totally okay with that… because it also makes frozen custard.
Milwaukee will ruin ice cream for you. That sounds worse than it is, because we actually replace it with something WAY better. Whether you favor Kopp’s or Leon’s, one bite of frozen custard will blow your taste buds away and set an unreasonably high bar for all other (inferior) frozen desserts.
9. Our strong German heritage means we have the best sausage in the nation.
This is another one of those unavoidable meals in Milwaukee, but why would anyone even try avoid it? Brats belong at every barbeque, potluck, and party. In fact, we love sausage so much, we hold a Sausage Race at every Brewers game. What could be better than watching grown men (and women) dressed up in sausage costumes racing around for bragging rights?
10. Speaking of the Brewers… we love them, no matter what.
Sure, our season records haven’t been the greatest lately, but you won’t find a fair weather fan in this city. We LOVE our team, and you better believe that we’ll stand up and cheer for them at every single game.
11. On the topic of “brewers,” we have a lot of those too.
We’re not called “Brew City” for nothing! Of course, there’s Schlitz and Pabst Brewery, but we also have tons of local microbreweries popping up and expanding our beer scene one delicious tap at a time.
12. Beer is a big part of life here.
Sure, milk might be Wisconsin’s official state drink, but beer is DEFINITELY the unofficial favorite, especially in Milwaukee. In fact, we have 8.5 bars for every 10,000 households, giving us the second most per capita in the country (behind New Orleans). Fun fact: Wisconsin has more bars than grocery stores: almost three times more, that is.
13. But that definitely does NOT mean we’re a bunch of drunken fools. Our education system is excellent!
Milwaukee spends more than $1,000 more per student each year than the United States national average! There are also more than two dozen colleges and universities in the Milwaukee area, and when compared to the rest of Wisconsin, we come out on top, with more than half of the state’s Top 20 schools located right here in the city. With more than 84,000 college students, we rank among the highest cities in North America in terms of the number of schools per 100 residents. Stay in school, kids!
14. All of these schools - and the talented students - attract great employers, making Milwaukee one of the best cities for young professionals!
GE Healthcare Technologies, Harley-Davidson, Northwestern Mutual, and Wisconsin Energy Corp. are among the top national and international corporations that call Milwaukee home. The high concentration of employers provide jobs for high-achieving young professionals and the low cost-of-living here make it possible for young people pursuing careers in Milwaukee to succeed while also living comfortably!
15. We support learning long after graduation, which is probably why we have so many epic museums!
There’s NO reason to lose your curiosity or stop striving for knowledge once you have a diploma in hand! The Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, and even the building itself is a work of art. We could watch those beautiful wings stretch open a million times and still be awestruck every time. Inside, you’ll find one of the most comprehensive collections in the nation, including more than 30,000 individual works that span across thousands of years and features everything from ancient artifacts to classical masterpieces to modern conceptual and multimedia pieces.
Discovery World is another super fun museum to visit! The focus here is on science and technology, especially pertaining to Great Lakes conservation. There are tons of interactive exhibits to explore, and we think the space exhibits are out-of-this-world! (No, we will not apologize for that awesome wordplay.)
16. The Milwaukee music scene can’t be beat.
We’re not exaggerating on this one: Summerfest is the world’s largest music festival. It lasts a whopping eleven days and features more than 800 different musical acts across all genres. More than 900,000 people come to get their groove on in Milwaukee every summer. Grab your dancing shoes, it’s time to celebrate!
17. Summerfest isn’t the only amazing musical event in Milwaukee.
Chill on the Hill and Jazz in the Park are two awesome, FREE concert series that take place throughout the summer, and there are dozens of amazing venues to check out, including The Rave/Eagles Club, Marcus Amphitheater, Riverside Theater, The Miramar Theater, and Shank Hall.
18. While Summerfest might be our biggest event, we’re proud to be known as the "City of Festivals" and we will use any reasonable excuse to throw a city-wide celebration.
You might think we’re over-inflating this one, too, but we’re not. Milwaukee seriously loves to party. We even designated an entire permanent lakeside venue, the Henry W. Maier Festival Park, to host the largest of our fantastic events. Summerfest is held here, as are dozens of amazing cultural festivals, including Festa Italiana, Polish Fest, German Fest, African World Festival, and PrideFest.
19. The cherry on top of Milwaukee’s awesomeness? You won’t go broke living here!
That’s right, Milwaukee is one of the most affordable cities in the nation. The cost of living here is just over 11% lower than the national average and we have an excellent public transit system that makes Milwaukee livable and accessible, even if you don’t own a car.