Disclaimer: I received assistance with accommodations and attractions during my stay in Milwaukee in exchange for writing about my experience there. This assistance in no way affects the opinions expressed in my posts about the city. All opinions are my own.
I’d be lying if I said I’ve ever been curious about Milwaukee at any point in my life because truthfully, I never was. All I really knew about it was that it’s home to the Bucks, and I didn’t really care about anything else because it was hardly a name that came up in any discussion.
In fact, I don’t know anyone who’s got Milwaukee up high on their travel bucket list, nor do I know anyone who’s dying to travel to Wisconsin.
But I’m honestly glad I got to go, and I think others should consider checking it out, too!
Cave at Miller Brewery
BMO Harris Bradley Center, home of the Milwaukee BucksBest Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery
Somewhere along the river
There’s so much beauty in Milwaukee that isn’t given enough credit, as is the case with cities you don’t always hear about. Probably the highlight of it is the fact that it’s right on the lakefront. While Chicago’s lakefront gets a lot of attention, it’s easy to ignore the fact that less than two hours away from it by car is Milwaukee’s very own gorgeous lakefront.
Other features that make Milwaukee a great place to take a trip are its museums (particularly the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World), its food scene (I didn’t eat out a ton, but on the several occasions I did, I had zero complaints because everything was delicious!) and its history.
The Historic Third Ward, a historic and now mixed-use neighborhood, is an interesting place with quality restaurants, specialty stores, condos, art studios, galleries, and more. It’s the city’s oldest center of commerce and warehousing, and was the site of Milwaukee’s most catastrophic fire and its most notable rebuilding efforts.
There’s also the Milwaukee Public Market. If you’re interested in traveling, chances are you’re very well aware of and/or have visited Pike Place in Seattle, Washington. But did you know that the developers of Pike Place drew inspiration from the popular Seattle market to create Milwaukee Public Market? (If you did, you’re way ahead of me! Lol.)
In the back of my mind, I think about how every place I visit is someone’s backyard. And people who live in Milwaukee have an amazing place to call home.
The one aspect of the city I really think could use improvement, though, is its public transit system because it isn’t the most convenient out there. I have to mention this because public transit is my preferred way of getting around while traveling. There are no trains, and depending on where you’re located, there can be a good amount of walking involved before you reach a bus stop. On the way to one attraction, I had to take two buses and then walk 1.5 miles – a huge chunk of which was on grass because there was no sidewalk – before arriving after 1+ hours.
Sitting at the back of the bus
Walked 1+ miles, much of which was on grass because there were no sidewalks
There was a little space on the side of the road to walk on, but I didn’t feel safe being so close to cars cruising so fast
With that said, if you’re not too concerned about public transit and just want to get between Point A to Point B, Uber is a reliable option in the city and I had no problem using that: my max wait time was about 5-7 minutes and I never felt unsafe. There’s also Bublr Bikes, the city’s bike share program where you can rent a bike at one station and drop it off at another. I didn’t use it while I was there, but the stations are located in spots close to a number of attractions.
Despite the city’s more limited public transit, I would absolutely love to visit again! I’d just have a better game plan for getting around the city, including using Bublr Bikes.
Depending on your cup of tea, Milwaukee can be a fascinating and enjoyable backyard destination. If, like me, you’re open to experiencing new places without preset expectations, and/or if you prefer/don’t mind less hustle and bustle, then it’s a city that’s 100% worth traveling to.
Find out more about things to do and see in Milwaukee here.