The list of cities we love is growing rapidly and we’re happy to add Milwaukee, Wisconsin to that list. First, since there are so many things to do in Milwaukee, we didn’t even begin to scratch the surface during our one week visit. Second, we found the city to be very dog friendly and lastly, everyone is genuinely nice. Now, keep in mind we visited Milwaukee in the summer and the weather couldn’t have been any better. Our Siberian Husky may love it here in the winter, but we are going to take a raincheck. We hope you enjoy our list of things to do in Milwaukee and feel free to share your favorite things.
Things to Do in Milwaukee
Go for a Stroll on the Riverwalk
3 miles of walking paths stretch along the Milwaukee River. The sights are breathtaking and there are places so stop along the way for a bite to eat or drink by the river. The Bronze Fonz can be found where W Wells Street crosses the river and we’ve been told that The Harp Irish Pub is a popular riverfront destination.
Experience Milwaukee from the River
Kayak the Milwaukee River and experience the city from a different vantage point. The city is known for its architecture and rich history which you get a taste of from a different perspective on the river. There are public boat docks along the river to take a break, run to the bathroom and grab a bite to eat. The river was fairly calm during our excursion and four hours was enough time to explore the channels and pop over to the harbor to see Lake Michigan.
Drink Good Beer
Take the Riverwalk or kayak your way to Lakefront Brewery and learn about its unique history on the brewery tour. The hour long tour starts off with a beer sampler of your choice followed by an educational and entertaining tour. Although the tour is not dog friendly, the outdoor patio along the river is dog friendly, complete with water bowls for the pups. My favorite beer is the Organic Fuel Cafe Coffee Stout and Joe’s favorite is the IPA. Gluten free beers are also available, but we didn’t try any. Golden Maple Root Beer is available for those who want a non-alcoholic beverage.
Beer Battered Friday Fish Fry
If you find yourself at Lakefront Brewery on a Friday, check out their fish fry. The outdoor fish fry starts at 3pm with a limited menu of items and the beer hall fish fry starts at 4 with music and the full menu. Outdoor seating fills up quickly so arrive early and snag a good spot overlooking the river. Our favorite items on the combo platter were the beer battered cod and potato pancakes. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Lakefront, there is no shortage of fish fry places on Fridays in Milwaukee.
Get Local at the Public Market
The Milwaukee Public Market is small, but it’s packed with local food options. Enjoy a lobster dinner or have an espresso by one of the city’s favorite local coffee shops. We grabbed a Milwaukee Brat from Nehring’s Family Market along with a sample of their bbq brisket mac n cheese. If you’re looking for healthier options, there are juices to get you started on a cleanse and made to order salads.
Try Garlic Cream Pizza
Transfer yourself into garlic pizza heaven at Transfer Pizzeria Cafe. Previously a pharmacy, this place now dishes out some of the best pizza in the city. From garlic cream pizza to traditional red sauce pizza loaded with fresh quality ingredients there is something for everyone including gluten free crust. We thoroughly enjoyed their large garlic lovers pizza topped with sausage and pepperoni.
Spice Up Your Cupboard
The most unexpectedly fun thing to do in Milwaukee has to be The Spice House. This place is heaven for those who love to cook. You can sample every spice they sell and taste the difference in the cinnamon varieties. We discovered this gem on the Milwaukee Food Tour.
Spend a Day at the Museums
Harley Davidson Museum and the Museum of Art are two of the most popular museums in Milwaukee. We didn’t get a chance to visit the Museum of Art, but we enjoyed our fun afternoon at the Harley Davidson Museum. You don’t have to be a motorcycle fan to enjoy the museum. Learn about the history of Harley Davidson, its roll in WWII and check out bikes that appeared in movies such Easy Rider, Terminator 2 and Captain America.
Taste Real Frozen Custard
The locals consider Milwaukee to be the unofficial frozen custard capital of the United States. Two favorites are Leon’s and Kopp’s and depending on who you ask, one is better than the other. Before you leave Milwaukee, be sure to try a frozen custard. The eggs in the mixture add a smooth creamy richness to the cold treat that could turn an ice cream lover into a frozen custard fanatic. We went to Kopp’s on our last day and shared a pint of their creamy vanilla frozen custard. It’s a good thing we were heading out otherwise we would find ourselves at there every evening.
Brunch Any Day of the Week
You don’t have to wait for the weekend to enjoy brunch in Milwaukee. Blue’s Egg offers house made baked goods and favorite brunch items everyday of the week. Snag a seat at the bar to avoid the long wait for tables. My favorite item was their house made english muffin served with whipped butter and house made strawberry jam. Although not a brunch item, Joe loved his five cheese burger with fries and claimed it was the best burger he’s eaten this year.
Where to Stay: We camped at Cliffside Park in Racine, WI.