20 Best Things to Do in Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, WI

Living in Milwaukee, I have come to appreciate the unique charm this city holds.

From the vibrant energy that dances along the shores of Lake Michigan to the rich cultural heritage embedded in the city's cobblestone streets, Milwaukee always has a surprise around every corner.

The brew city may be known for its beer, but the diverse range of attractions, serene parks, spirited festivals, and thriving art scene makes Milwaukee a place worth exploring.

But don't just take my word for it; continue reading to discover the best things to do in Milwaukee.

Pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and prepare to fall in love with this midwestern gem.

Let's dive right into the best things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Marvel at the Majestic Basilica of Saint Josaphat

Top part of the Majestic Basilica of Saint Josaphat
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Every time I walk into the Basilica of Saint Josaphat, I'm hit with an overwhelming sense of awe.

The stature of this Roman Catholic church is beyond words.

The first thing that captures your attention is the towering copper-domed rooftop.

Then, as you enter the basilica, your eyes are drawn to the vibrant murals that decorate the interior.

Being in the presence of such grandeur and history is humbling.

The self-guided tours made more informative with the recorded information provided, are a great way to learn about the Basilica's artistry and history.

On special occasions, I've booked a docent-led tour, which provides a more in-depth understanding of the Basilica's past and its significance.

It's not just an attraction; it's a centerpiece of our community here in Milwaukee.

I've often found myself recommending the Basilica of Saint Josaphat to visitors, and they always come back amazed.

But the Basilica of Saint Josaphat isn't just a place to visit; it's also a place to celebrate.

Exterior of the Majestic Basilica of Saint Josaphat
The original uploader was Sulfur at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I've attended several weddings there, and each time, I'm struck by the beauty of the venue.

The nave, which can accommodate up to 1,500 guests, provides a stunning backdrop for the ceremony.

The Saint Joseph Chapel is equally beautiful, perfect for those seeking a more intimate setting.

I can't forget the receptions that followed hosted in a spacious area complete with beautiful chandeliers and a stage.

The staff at the Basilica go above and beyond to make sure everything is perfect - from the catering, floral arrangements, and decorations to the entertainment.

The tranquility of the surroundings only adds to the charm, making it a perfect place to celebrate a union.

Strolls through Lakeshore State Park

Trail at Lakeshore State Park
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Living here, I've found that just when you think you've seen all there is to see in Milwaukee, you stumble across a hidden gem like Lakeshore State Park.

Trust me; there's nothing like a brisk walk on a 1.7-mile paved trail around this 22-acre urban park.

It's right by the marina, and the fishing pier is a dream for anglers. One time, I even caught a big drum using a meps. It's such a thrill!

It's not just a place for nature lovers but also for music enthusiasts.

You see, the Summerfest grounds are right here, always bustling with energetic crowds and local bands that make the atmosphere electrifying.

There's nothing like chilling on a bench, watching the serene views of Lake Michigan, and jamming to live music in the background.

However, if you're a boater, there's something you need to know.

The transient slips here are frequent targets for theft attempts.

The waters of Lakeshore State Park
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, there's no security system in place except for the police patrolling now and then.

So if you're planning to dock your boat and go grab a bite, it might be a good idea to set up cameras and build a rapport with fellow boaters.

It's always better to be safe than sorry!

Despite being one of the smaller state parks, Lakeshore State Park has its own charm that never fails to delight.

Whether you're going for a short stroll, fishing in the lagoon area, or just enjoying the views, this place has got you covered.

And let's not forget the geese – they seem to love this place as much as I do!

Get Inspired at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Exterior of the unique Milwaukee Art Museum
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My city is home to some incredible sights, but perhaps none as remarkable as the Milwaukee Art Museum.

This architectural marvel, perched majestically on the lakefront, houses a rich collection of art pieces - a cornucopia of paintings, sculptures, pottery, furniture, carvings, and posters.

From the vast Georgia O’Keeffe collection to other A-list artworks, it's a visual feast that never tires.

What sets this place apart from other museums is the stunning view it offers.

The building itself is an artwork with wings that open and close every morning and evening.

It's a sight that never fails to impress - as the sun rises, the wings unfurl, welcoming in the day, and at night, they fold back in, bidding the day goodbye.

It's a performance of sorts, an art piece in motion.

Gorgeous interior of the Milwaukee Art Museum
Helioscribe / Shutterstock.com

Inside, the exhibits are diverse and engaging.

Milwaukee Art Museum. tastefully curates an array of art from different periods of human history.

I remember one visit where I found myself captivated by a collection of historical items - it was like stepping back in time.

The experience was both educational and thought-provoking and a reminder of the transcendent power of art.

The lakeside view offered by the museum is another draw.

Sunset over the Milwaukee Art Museum
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ARide Through History at the Harley-Davidson Museum

Exterior of the Harley Davidson Museum
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Oh, how I love starting my weekends off with a visit to my favorite spot in town, the Harley-Davidson Museum.

It's always fascinating to walk through the hall of bikes, each carrying a unique story from a different era.

The museum is an homage to America's legendary motorcycle brand.

Every bike on display, from the old postmaster bikes to the World War I and II sidecar models, seems to tell a tale of its own.

As someone who has always been fascinated by engines and machinery, I can spend hours in the room dedicated solely to Harley engines, each one representing a milestone in the evolution of motorcycle technology.

The museum is not only about motorcycles, though.

There's a wall showcasing an array of Harley Davidson tanks, each with its distinct design and color scheme.

And for those interested in the brand's history, informative video documentaries provide a deeper insight into the company's journey from humble beginnings to becoming a global icon.

Interior of the Harley Davidson Museum
Paulo Nabas / Shutterstock.com

And let's not forget about the Harley-Davidson festival!

During this time, the museum is abuzz with enthusiasts and fans from around the world.

It's a sight to behold, the air filled with the revving of engines and the excitement of the visitors.

Harley-Davidson Museum also houses a restaurant and bar, perfect for grabbing a bite after hours of exploration.

And if you ever dreamt of a biker-themed wedding, you're in luck.

They even have a wedding venue on-site. I've watched couples tie the knot amidst the historical bikes, making their special day even more memorable.

Exhibit in the Harley Davidson Museum
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Learn Local History at the Milwaukee Public Museum

Exterior of the Milwaukee Public Museum
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There's something truly magical about wandering through the Milwaukee Public Museum.

An afternoon in this vast space feels like a journey back in time or even around the world.

Along the three floors of exhibits, I often find myself lost in intrigue and curiosity.

My trips to the museum usually start with a visit to the streets of old Milwaukee.

It's a fascinating, immersive exhibit that transports me to another era.

The townhouses, cobblestone streets, and vintage vehicles are incredibly detailed and lifelike.

It's a favorite among locals and visitors alike, often buzzing with excited chatter and the delighted gasps of children.

After a stroll through the past, I usually head straight to the butterfly garden.

It's like stepping into another world filled with fluttering wings and vibrant colors.

Cars passing by the Milwaukee Public Museum
The original uploader was Sulfur at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I could spend hours watching the delicate creatures flit from flower to flower, completely lost in their beauty.

Over time, I've developed a great appreciation for the natural history exhibits.

The triceratops standing fossil is truly a sight to behold, and the rainforest area is a lush, green haven that never fails to amaze me.

There's also the T-rex and the lightning combo exhibit that's an instant crowd-pleaser.

One feature that sets the Milwaukee Public Museum apart is its ability to cater to a wide range of interests.

Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or even just looking for a family-friendly outing, there's something here for everyone.

I've seen families from Green Bay and beyond leave the museum with smiles on their faces, promising to return soon.

I must warn you, though, if you're planning a visit, make sure to set aside plenty of time.

With so many nooks and crannies to explore, you're bound to lose track of time.

But trust me; it's well worth the adventure.

Catch a Baseball Game at American Family Field

Aerial view of American Family Field
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There's something electric about walking through the gates of American Family Field, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The modern baseball stadium, complete with a retractable roof, is a sight to behold.

The place is massive, providing a lot of ground to cover, which adds to the excitement of exploring the stadium.

Although the number of unique eating places could be more, the overall ambiance of the stadium makes up for it.

Maybe they can take a leaf out of the Minnesota Twins' book when it comes to cheese curds, but the food here - especially the cheese curds and sausages - is pretty good.

Sure, it's a tad pricey, but that's part of the package!

Exterior of American Family Field
Aaron of L.A. Photography / Shutterstock.com

The American Family Field stadium is kept spotlessly clean, and the seating is comfortable.

What I love most, though, is the on-field experience. Watching the Brewers play from the seats behind home plate is an experience like no other.

The sight lines are perfect, and it's a thrill to watch the game unfold.

As for parking, it's better than expected. There's a good amount of space, and it's not as chaotic as one might think.

And let's not forget about Bernie sliding down the slide - that's a sight to keep you smiling!

Interior of American Family Field
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Explore the Blooming Wonders at Mitchell Park Domes

Aerial view of the Mitchell Park Domes
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If you're ever in Wisconsin, the Mitchell Park Domes should not be missed.

These three gorgeous horticultural domes that I’ve been frequenting since my childhood are a sight for the botanical enthusiast or just those seeking a beautiful, calm place to unwind.

I adore the varying themes of each dome.

It’s delightful how each dome has a different atmosphere, almost like stepping into another world.

The desert dome with various cacti, agave, and saguaro is a personal favorite.

The floral dome, which changes its theme five times a year, is always a treat, and it’s like a new experience every visit.

Then you have the tropical dome, which takes you straight into a rainforest with its lush greenery.

One of the highlights of my visits to Mitchell Park Domes is the seasonal shows they put on.

I remember being particularly enchanted by the dinosaur exhibit they had a while back.

The kids loved it too!

A garden inside a Mitchell Park Dome
Carrie A Hanrahan / Shutterstock.com

And, of course, the smell of the jasmine flowers is something that stays with you long after you've left the domes.

It's nothing short of heavenly.

One of the things I appreciate most is its accessibility.

The domes are wheelchair friendly, making it easy for everyone to enjoy the beauty they offer.

And don’t forget to stop by the small souvenir store on your way out.

You can find some lovely trinkets to remember your visit by.

Gorgeous flora inside a Mitchell Park Dome
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Step Back in Time at the Pabst Mansion

Exterior of the Pabst Mansion
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Every city has its hidden gems, and Milwaukee is no exception.

One of my favorite places to explore is the Pabst Mansion.

This grand old home is a time portal to the Gilded Age, captivating visitors with its stunning architecture and preserved artifacts.

It's a house museum that whispers tales of a bygone era when beer barons ruled Milwaukee.

Not just a house, the mansion is a treasure trove of art and history.

Almost all the artifacts on the first floor are original, and the art collection is simply breathtaking.

I've always been interested in history, and the Pabst Mansion brings it to life in a way no book or documentary ever could.

Every visit is fascinating, and I always learn something new.

One of the best things about the Pabst Mansion is the tours. I've been on a couple of them, and they're always wonderfully insightful.

The tour guides are knowledgeable and friendly, and they know the house and its history like the back of their hand.

The behind-the-scenes tour is particularly intriguing; it takes you through servant pathways, the basement, and the attic, providing a unique perspective on the mansion and its past.

Front porch of the Pabst Mansion
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The Pabst Mansion isn't just a museum, it's an experience.

It's a chance to step back in time, to explore a world that's both familiar and alien at the same time.

It's definitely worth a visit, whether you're a history buff or just looking for something different to do.

And if you're early for your tour, you can watch a short documentary on life in the era of the Beer Barons at the visitor center next door.

Afterwards, you can check out the Pabst-themed gifts at the gift shop where you initially checked in.

Immerse in Local Culture at the Milwaukee Public Market

Exterior of Milwaukee Public Market
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Ah, the Milwaukee Public Market, my favorite place to grab a bite and soak in the local culture.

It's this industrial-chic marketplace packed with local offerings, from baked goods and meats to cheeses and fresh produce.

And oh, the variety of prepared eats – there's something for every preference and palette here.

Whenever I have a break from the bustle of city life, I love to pop over for a quick lunch.

My go-to is the Gumbo from one of the stalls, followed by some MacNCheese Bites if I'm feeling indulgent.

But there's so much more to explore, like the Chicken tenders with fries, Nachos, and even your classic Ham/Cheese sandwich.

The place is always buzzing, the restrooms are kept sparkling clean, and staff are constantly working to maintain the cleanliness of the market.

You can also expect surprising treats here, like the Bloody Mary – fully loaded and served with a Miller light chaser.

It's food hall style but with a unique twist that brings the warmth of local produce and flavors to life.

Shoppers inside Milwaukee Public Market
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Of course, Milwaukee Public Market wouldn't be a local market without a good coffee outlet, a wine vendor, and some home-grown Wisconsin collectibles.

The highlights here, in my opinion, are the cheeses and chocolates. But the real gem of the market is St. Paul's Fish Market with its Tiki Bar.

It's got a fun atmosphere and excellent seafood entrees.

If you're lucky like me, you might find a seat at their bar during off-times and relish their Lobster rolls and grilled shrimp tacos.

They are as fresh and tasty as they come!

The seating might be limited, but that doesn't keep us locals away.

We find our way, grabbing our orders and enjoying them at the marketplace's upstairs tables as availability permits.

Interior of Milwaukee Public Market
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Take a Self-Guided Tour of Milwaukee's Vibrant Riverwalk District

Paved pathway of Milwaukee Riverwalk District
Chris LaBasco / Shutterstock.com

I have to admit one of my favorite pastimes is taking a leisurely stroll down the Milwaukee Riverwalk District.

It's truly one of our city's gems, a riverside promenade that stretches across three distinct neighborhoods.

A fascinating mix of historic buildings, shops, bars, and outdoor art has become a part of my daily scenery.

Every walk feels like an adventure as I start from one end that’s lined with charming apartments and condos, punctuating the Milwaukee skyline.

As I move further, things get even more interesting. I stumble upon lively beer gardens and breweries, the air lingering with the faint smell of hops and barley.

There's no denying the magnetic pull of these places, drawing locals and tourists alike.

And let's not forget the parks! They're little green oases where I often catch myself losing track of time.

Just a stone's throw away from the river, you'll find an array of restaurants and bars.

Trust me; it's hard to resist the tantalizing aromas wafting from these eateries.

Bronze statue of the Fonz at Milwaukee Riverwalk District
Kelly Ermis / Shutterstock.com

The whole area is spotless, its cleanliness only rivaled by its vibrancy.

Walking here is easy, as the entire stretch is paved and well maintained.

Although there are a few stairs here and there, the district is working tirelessly to fix the elevators, thus making every corner wheelchair accessible.

I can't emphasize enough the convenience of parking around Milwaukee Riverwalk District.

It's not only accessible but also reasonably priced. And then, there's the scenery!

The view of boats gently sailing along the river, and the sight of pelicans dipping into the water, it's nothing short of picture-perfect.

The bronze statue of the Fonz, a beloved character from a classic American sitcom, is also here, offering a fun backdrop for family photos.

People eating at a restaurant at Milwaukee Riverwalk District
(vincent desjardins) from Paris, France, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Climb Towards the Top of North Point Lighthouse

Welcome sign of the North Point Lighthouse
Aaron of L.A. Photography / Shutterstock.com

The North Point Lighthouse is my favorite weekend spot in Milwaukee.

The beauty of this place is that it's not just a lighthouse but a trip into our maritime history.

The 19th-century lighthouse is beautifully restored, and the maritime museum is fascinating.

The museum showcases well-curated displays that reflect the history and the story of our city and its relationship with the lake.

Trust me; you'll be amazed at the level of detail and the rich information each display carries.

What I love most about the North Point Lighthouse is the chance to climb to the top. Imagine standing there, overlooking the city and the magnificent lake.

The view is simply breathtaking.

And guess what? There's a ladder to the top, which makes the climb even more exciting! Remember to sign a waiver before you start the climb, though.

Exterior of the North Point Lighthouse
Robert R French / Shutterstock.com

What's more, the lighthouse offers an opportunity to go for a walk on the trails behind it.

It's an ideal route for an afternoon stroll when the weather is nice. It typically takes me about 1.5 hours to walk the area and peruse the museum.

If I decide to walk up North, the total time is roughly 2 hours.

Excitingly, they also have a lighthouse passport program, where you can get your passport stamped.

This is a fun activity that keeps bringing me back.

Remember, this unique attraction is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 pm to 4 pm. So, plan your visit accordingly.

Parking? Not a problem at all. You can park your car for free and tickets for adults are just $9.

It's well worth the cost for the experience you get.

As a regular visitor, I can vouch for the fact that North Point Lighthouse is truly an asset to our city. It's a must-visit for both locals and tourists alike.

Observation deck of the North Point Lighthouse
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Walk Your Fido through Lake Park

Daytime view of Lake Park
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Every time I lace up my walking boots, I know I'm in for a treat at Lake Park.

The first thing you'll notice is the beautiful 1855 lighthouse that stands tall and proud, overlooking the vast expanse of Lake Michigan.

I've lost count of how many times I've followed the nature paths that weave through the park, but each walk feels as fresh and invigorating as the first.

The park is home to a golf course and ball fields that keep sports enthusiasts busy.

And the park isn't just about greenery and sports; the rich history makes me feel like I'm walking through a living museum.

One of my favorite things to do in Lake Park is to pack a picnic and find a shaded spot under the towering trees.

These moments of solitude amidst nature are truly special.

On weekends, the park is bustling with families, dog walkers, and cyclists, showing off the community spirit of Milwaukee.

For those looking for a bit of exercise, the wide concrete paths are perfect for a nice 3-mile walk. And the best part?

The park is dog-friendly!

I've made countless memories here with my canine companion, exploring trails and meeting fellow dog lovers.

Learn about the City's Black History at America's Black Holocaust Museum

Exterior of America's Black Holocaust Museum
BottlewoodMKE, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It was a typical Saturday in Milwaukee when I decided to stroll a few blocks down the road to America's Black Holocaust Museum.

Upon entering the beautiful building, I was greeted by the friendly staff who, I've since learned, are always ready with a warm welcome.

The museum's exhibits were well-organized and incredibly informative. It was an amazing tribute to black history and the black community.

I spent about an hour there, immersed in the sobering yet hopeful journey the museum took me on.

Some parts were familiar - the Marion lynching, for instance, a story brought to my school once by Dr. James Cameron himself. It was incredibly touching to see his legacy alive at the ABHM.

But there were also many new things that I learned during my visit.

Despite having a fair knowledge of black history, the wealth of information at America's Black Holocaust Museum had me discovering new facets, giving me a deeper understanding of racial injustice in America.

The museum also hosts small events and gatherings, which I'm eager to attend in the future.

The experience is worth far more than the $7 admission fee, which goes towards supporting the museum's important work within our community and beyond.

Meet and Greet the Residents of Milwaukee County Zoo

Signage of the Milwaukee County Zoo
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The whisper of adventure is always in the air when I visit the Milwaukee County Zoo.

The zoo nestles across 190 acres, creating a pleasantly woodsy feel as you wander through the various exhibits.

It's an absolute gem, a place that has offered me countless wonderful experiences over the years.

Each visit becomes a new voyage of discovery.

The enclosures, always immaculate and well-maintained, offer an intimate look into the world of the animals housed within.

It feels like stepping into a wildlife documentary! The zoo's design allows you to get as close as possible to the animals without causing any disturbance.

One particular favorite of mine is the train ride; it's a joyous journey that offers a unique perspective of the zoo and never fails to delight.

One of the best things about the Milwaukee County Zoo is the variety of animals it houses.

From penguins to big cats, from apes to giraffes, it's a veritable Noah's Ark.

A polar bear at Milwaukee County Zoo
Kingfishcafe / Shutterstock.com

There's something for everyone, no matter what their favorite creature is.

For the little ones, the petting zoo is an absolute must.

Feeding the goats is always a highlight, and it's a joy to see the kids' faces light up with delight.

But the zoo is more than just a collection of animals. It’s a place that fosters learning and discovery.

The frequent special events, like the annual 'boo at the zoo', are incredibly well-organized and offer fun, educational experiences for children and adults alike.

It always amazes me how much effort goes into making these occasions memorable and enjoyable for everyone.

A pretty bird at Milwaukee County Zoo
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Enjoy a Night Out at Lakefront Brewery

Entrance to Lakefront Brewery
Gina Leonard / Shutterstock.com

Every now and then, you stumble upon a place that feels like a secret you'd love to keep, but it's just too good not to share. For me, that's Lakefront Brewery.

Nestled against the river in Milwaukee, this spacious brewpub has become my go-to spot, whether it's for a casual dinner, a weekend hangout, or a fun evening out with friends.

Stepping into LakLakefront Brewery is like stepping into a beer lover's paradise.

The variety is astounding - from the classic lagers and ales to organic and gluten-free brews, there's something for every palate.

But the experience doesn't stop at the beer.

The food menu is equally impressive, with a wide array of bar bites.

I personally love their fried pickles and cheese fries - they're the perfect comfort food after a long day.

And although their Mac and cheese could use a bit more cheese, it's still a hearty dish that pairs well with any of their beers.

What makes Lakefront truly special, though, is its atmosphere.

Beer flight in Lakefront Brewery
Raymond Maiden / Shutterstock.com

The brewpub is spacious, yet it still manages to feel cozy and inviting - the kind of place where you can lose track of time.

The outdoor seating area along the river is a personal favorite. It’s a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the scenic views.

Even during the busiest times, the staff at Lakefront are always friendly and welcoming, making it feel like a home away from home.

Another highlight of Lakefront Brewery is their entertaining and informative brewery tour.

It's not just a peek behind the scenes of beer-making but also a wonderful way to learn about the rich history and passion that goes into each brew.

People in Lakefront Brewery
Gina Leonard / Shutterstock.com

Bring Your Kids for an Immersive Fun Day at Discovery World

Aerial view of Discovery World
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Anyone who knows me knows that I often spend hours at Discovery World, a unique blend of a museum and aquarium situated on the Lakefront.

And be warned – the sheer variety and interactivity of exhibits at this place will have you spending more time than you initially planned.

It’s not uncommon for me to get lost in the displays showcasing innovation and technology.

The Great Lakes conservation exhibit has always been a standout for me.

The model of the Great Lakes is so meticulously designed that you'd feel like you're standing right there, lakeside.

And for all you music aficionados, the Les Paul exhibit is not to be missed.

It's a fascinating peek into the history and evolution of the electric guitar.

But it’s not only about the museum and science – Discovery World is also home to a delightful aquarium.

Front entrance to Discovery World
Aaron of L.A. Photography / Shutterstock.com

Although it might be smaller compared to other aquariums, its charm more than makes up for its size.

I've spent countless hours admiring the variety of fish and aquatic life it houses.

My personal favorite? The axolotl, a unique type of salamander that's both bizarre and endearing.

The best part? The annual membership. It's a wonderful value for money as it lets you gain free access to other museums.

But for me, it's the recurring joy of experiencing Discovery World over and over again that makes the membership all the more worthwhile.

And finally, let's not forget the location. Directly linked to Lake Michigan and Wisconsin Pier, the views are just breathtaking.

You can bet you'll find me there, with a coffee in hand, lost in thought, enjoying the serene views after a day of exploration and learning.

Replica of a ship displayed in Discovery World
self, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Revel at a Renaissance Experience at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Exterior of Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ever got the feeling like you've stepped into a different era? Well, that's exactly how I feel every time I visit the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

This historic lakefront villa is like a time capsule, preserving the charm of an Italian renaissance style villa right here in Milwaukee.

Its beauty truly is a sight to behold, with rooms full of character and a kaleidoscope of natural light bouncing off the walls.

In the summer, the scent of citrus wafts through the air from the lime trees, adding a touch of Mediterranean ambiance.

Of course, the true treasure of this place is its fine and decorative arts collection from the 15th to the 18th centuries, which truly elevates the experience.

The Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum isn't just a museum; it's a sneak peek into the history of the families who once lived in this grand mansion.

While the exhibits often change, the permanent items tell captivating stories of a bygone era.

And do not get me started on the grounds - overlooking the lake, they are a sight for sore eyes.

What's more? This hidden gem often hosts weddings and other large gatherings.

Soak Up the Sun at Bradford Beach

Scenic view of Bradford Beach
AMCImagery / Shutterstock.com

If you're looking for a place to unwind, you can't do any better than Bradford Beach, right here in our very own Milwaukee.

You wouldn't believe the transformation it's undergone in the past few years. The once-neglected patch of sand and water is now a bustling hub of activity.

Imagine this - a beautiful day, pristine sand under your feet, and the blue expanse of Lake Michigan ahead.

You take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, picking up pieces of beach glass as you go. Bradford Beach is always clean, and it's been a joy watching the place change from a regular beach to a trendy hotspot.

Kids, adults, everyone finds something to love. For the sporty ones, there's volleyball.

The nets are always up, so you can just walk in and start playing.

If you're more into lounging around, grab a drink at one of the tiki bars.

There's something special about sipping a cold one with the sand under your feet.

What's more, there's no shortage of places to sit.

Benches dot the beach area, and there are always grassy areas with plenty of shade.

And let's not forget, the beach makes for a great day out with family.

There's a custard stand that's always a hit with the little ones, and the prices are on the friendlier side.

The bathrooms are clean, which is a big plus, especially if you plan to spend the whole day.

Have a Family Day Out at Betty Brinn Children's Museum

Exterior of Betty Brinn Children's Museum
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One of my favorite ways to spend a family day out in this city is at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum.

It's a treasure trove of interactive exhibits and events specifically designed for kids aged 10 and under.

It's the ideal spot to take your kids or grandkids for a day filled with learning and fun.

From the moment you walk in, you're transported into a world of exploration.

You can either go left or right after checking in, and you'll find it a treat to stop in each area to discover the wide assortment of display exhibits.

There's enough to keep you hopping from one exhibit to another for about 2-3 hours, although my 4-year-old grandson and his friends would happily stay there the whole day if they could.

What I love most about Betty Brinn Children's Museum is that it goes beyond just being a place to play.

It introduces real-life experiences to children in a manner that's appropriate for their age.

It's a place where kids can learn as they play, and as an educator myself, I find this fascinating!

See Local Masterpieces at the Haggerty Museum of Art

Exterior of Haggerty Museum of Art
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I've always been a bit of an art enthusiast, so when I had some spare time, I decided to pay a visit to the Haggerty Museum of Art.

Nestled away on the campus of Marquette University, this little gem is truly a treasure for anyone who appreciates art in all its forms.

Walking through the museum, I discovered everything from 16th-century woodcuts to modern decorative art.

Some pieces had me scratching my head, questioning the boundaries of what I considered "art," but I suppose that's what art is supposed to do - make you think.

One of the highlights of my visit was the religious piece by Dali and Marc Chagall's religious works.

There was also this captivating piece called "The Great Lakes Cycle" by Alexis Rosman.

The museum may seem small at first glance, but it certainly packs a punch with its diverse collection.

It was refreshing to see someone so invested in their work and eager to share their knowledge with visitors.

What I found most impressive about the Haggerty Museum was its interactive elements.

It's not often you come across a museum that engages its visitors beyond just viewing the exhibits.

I believe this makes the museum a fantastic spot for school field trips or even for someone starting to dip their toes into the world of art.

Final Thoughts

After years of exploring every nook and cranny of Milwaukee, I can confidently say that this city never ceases to amaze me.

Each location, from the breathtaking Basilica of Saint Josaphat to the lively Lakeshore State Park, has its own unique charm.

Perusing this list of the best things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is an opportunity to discover the city's endless treasures of this remarkable place I call my home.

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