How to Experience Milwaukee Like a Local in 2024


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

The following visitor put up 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 find it irresistible!

The largest metropolis in Wisconsin and only one.5 hours north of Chicago, it’s the excellent measurement: not too small not too huge. It gives tasty meals and drinks, nice sports activities groups, and enjoyable festivals. Plus, it’s inexpensive. 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 occasions, and when it got here time to plant roots and begin a household, we might have gone wherever. But we select to return dwelling to Milwaukee, which has a lot to supply.

If you need to know tips on how to expertise it like an area, listed below are my insider ideas:


1. Stay central

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

These are two inns I really like:


2. Take benefit of free rides

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

Insider tip: If you might be heading to a sporting occasion, many bars and eating places supply free shuttles to American Family Field for Brewer baseball video games and live shows, Summerfest Grounds for festivals and live shows, Fiserv Forum for Bucks basketball video games, and different occasions round city.

3. Eat like an area

The popular Public Market at night in bustling Milwaukee, USA
You would possibly 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 (generally quirky) meals traditions and staples, like ButterBurgers and frozen custard.

It additionally has some unbelievable markets, the place you possibly can take pleasure in a number of the metropolis’s greatest meals from many distributors, multi function place and in a enjoyable and inexpensive food-hall environment. These are two of my favorites:

  • third Street Market Hall – This is a must-visit vacation spot, because it offers a spot for vacationers and locals alike to take pleasure in Milwaukee’s numerous delicacies. Here, you will see the aforementioned frozen custard, plus pho, pizza, burgers, artisan sandwiches, tacos, sizzling canines, home-cooked meals, ramen, sushi, arepas, and a lot extra — all at inexpensive costs.
  • Milwaukee Public Market – Located within the historic Third Ward, this superior market is one of the 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 underneath one roof, and soak within the native tradition whereas purchasing or grabbing a chew.


4. Indulge in native delicacies

Feasting at Vanguard, a restaurant in Milwaukee known for its amazing house-made sausages
There are a number of meals that you might want to strive that you just (possibly for good motive) is not going to discover many different locations. They are distinctive, tasty, and general fairly inexpensive!

  • Deep-fried cheese curds – Yes, it’s a factor, and they’re wonderful — get them organized and thank us later. Lakefront Brewery is our high decide.
  • Frozen custard – It might seem like ice cream, however it’s a lot richer and creamier, with a number of further elements. Kopps is one of the best place for it (and nice burgers) — and in addition a kind of locations that, for those who don’t go, did you even go to Milwaukee?
  • Bratwursts – Another Milwaukee staple. Nobody does them at the next stage than Vanguard Restaurant within the Bayview neighborhood. It is greatest recognized for its wonderful house-made sausages, together with vegan choices, with many at an inexpensive worth of underneath $10.

In this checklist, we’ve got solely centered on the Milwaukee favorites, however foodies who need to delve deeper into the culinary scene may additionally need to take a look at our full checklist of the greatest eating places in Milwaukee.

5. Explore brewing historical past

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

Lakefront Brewery gives in all probability one of the best brewery tour within the metropolis. It’s much more enjoyable than simply taking a look at shiny tanks and sniffing a pungent jar crammed with hops. The tour guides are hilarious (some are actually comedians from an area membership), and your tour will embrace 4 beer samples. This is by far one of the best worth and our private favourite tour — plus, the beer corridor is loads of enjoyable. The excursions are tremendous in style and promote out on the weekends, so it’s suggested to buy tickets prematurely.

If you need to maintain sampling native beers, ensure that to take a look at a number of different of my favourite Milwaukee breweries:

  • MobCraft Beer – This brewery gives excursions and in addition has an incredible taproom with tasty pizzas, in addition to actually good IPAs and bitter beers.
  • Eagle Park Brewing Company – They don’t supply excursions, however they do have an enormous collection of distinctive bitter beers.
  • Good City Brewing – There are two places: the Eastside one gives excursions, and the downtown one doesn’t. But the latter is true throughout the road from Fiserv Forum and excellent spot for a beer earlier than a sport.


6. Do some inexpensive actions

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

  • Bradford Beach – This is a sandy park on the shorelines of Lake Michigan. Bring 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 – Experience the center of town, and immerse your self in its tradition. Many of the Milwaukee’s greatest retailers and eating places might be discovered alongside the three-mile route alongside each 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 Trail – Milwaukee County gives over 135 miles of trails for biking, a lot of which function scenic views of Lake Michigan. You can discover the path map right here.
  • Bronze Fonz – Stop to take an image with a bronze sculpture of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka the Fonz, from Happy Days (a sitcom a couple of Milwaukee household within the Nineteen Fifties).
  • Indoor garden video games at third Street Market Hall – Enjoy quite a lot of distinctive eating places and free indoor video games, together with big 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 you might want to fill any clean spots in your itinerary, we’ve got an in-depth checklist protecting the entire issues to do in Milwaukee.

7. Enjoy free-admission days

Some of Milwaukee’s high points of interest welcome guests free of charge on sure days. Watching the calendar can rating you free tickets that in any other case would set your group again a whole lot.


8. Chase low cost joyful hours

For higher or worse, the folks of Milwaukee take pleasure in their enjoyable occasions intertwined with a beer or three. To kick off an thrilling night time in Milwaukee, head to the place the locals go: discover a good joyful 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 House – Happy hour specials change day by day (Mon–Fri 3-6pm).


9. Explore the colourful public artwork scene

Many locations round city have large-scale public artwork shows you could go to free of charge. Most of those items are in a number of the most enjoyable and classy areas. These are a few our favorites:

  • Black Cat Alley – One of the biggest areas devoted to public murals is situated close to North Avenue, within the Eastside neighborhood. In addition to the artwork, you’ll additionally discover nice eating places, breweries, and artisanal retailers.
  • Sculpture Milwaukee – Annually, this city-funded program shows sculptures by artists from the world over on Wisconsin Avenue. Some are everlasting and a few are modified out yearly, so there are all the time 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 checklist provides you with a good suggestion of the place to start out!

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. When they aren’t touring the world, Milwaukee is the place you’ll discover them, they usually cowl their hometown in-depth on the web site Milwaukee Insider. You can comply with their adventures on Instagram and social media @gettingstamped.

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