Top Milwaukee Attractions to Check Out
It doesn’t take long to realize that Milwaukee has many landmarks and historical attractions. Try to visit everything on this list to make the most out of your trip.
For an industrial hub, Milwaukee surprisingly has a lot to offer. It seems like a bland location for a vacation from the outside. But once you start exploring the city, it becomes obvious that it can provide a plethora of fun and educational experiences.
The museums, landmarks, breweries, and outdoor attractions can keep you busy and buzzed for days. Whether traveling alone, as a couple, or with friends or family, Milwaukee can’t disappoint.
Check out some of the best sights to see during your stay.
Harley Davidson Museum
Mass production of Harley Davidson motorcycles started in Milwaukee in 1903. It’s now one of the city’s most prominent industries and passions besides brewing.
The Harley Davidson Museum is easily one of the top Milwaukee attractions that you shouldn’t miss seeing. Here, you can check out the oldest Harley model as well as some of the most significant designs of the iconic motorcycle company through the years.
But, it also offers more than memorabilia displays. You can also dine at a themed restaurant and even catch a bike night when Harley owners contribute their prized possessions to the museum’s display.
For an ample dose of brewing history, the Pabst Mansion is a must-see attraction. It’s easily accessible as it’s close to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus.
Although a beautiful building itself, the mansion also tells the story of the wealthy Pabst family. In particular, its beginnings and involvement with the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
Milwaukee Art Museum
Almost every big city has an impressive museum or two. However, the Milwaukee Art Museum is awe-inspiring because of both its location and collections.
You can see over 20,000 works of art in this museum. Some of them date back to ancient times, while others are more modern.
Even the building looks spectacular on the Milwaukee Lakefront. The museum looks like a retractable structure with wings, something of a mix between an aircraft and a ship.
Mitchell Park Conservatory
The Domes within the Mitchell Park Conservatory are among the top Milwaukee attractions. The gigantic glass structures house a variety of exotic tropical and desert plants.
While the interior gardens look amazing, the domes’ sheer size is enough to impress visitors, too. Each dome is 85-feet tall and 140-feet in diameter. They’re also the oldest ever built, dating back to 1959.
Discovery World Museum
One of the best things to see in Milwaukee is the Discovery World Museum. It offers a wide range of interactive exhibits that can captivate the imagination of any visitors.
Also located on the lakeshore, Discovery World houses an impressive array of artifacts. It also displays research of the Great Lakes and various methods of nature conservation.
Traveling exhibits also make stops at the museum. That’s why you can witness science, economics, and technology displays throughout the year.
For an even more entertaining afternoon, don’t forget to catch an adventure movie on Discovery World’s big screen.
Boerner Botanical Gardens
Anyone who loves flowers, nature, and colors can enjoy a walk through the Boerner Botanical Gardens. It’s one of the most relaxing sights in the city and is recognized as one the top Milwaukee attractions.
It opened in the 1930s and the initial five formal gardens still exist today. They include the rose, annual, perennial, peony, and rock gardens. But over the years, the Boerner Botanical Garden acquired large varieties of shrubs, herbs, and flowers.
Milwaukee County Zoo
A zoo trip can always be one of the best things to do in Milwaukee, especially if traveling with kids. The Milwaukee County Zoo will captivate your kids as it’s one of the largest in the country and spans an area of 200-acres.
Different seasonal events run throughout the year, each providing a unique educational experience. The zoo houses over 1,800 animals and many of them were born right there in the zoo.
If you want to see a satisfying combination of rare, unique, exotic, and native animals, the Milwaukee County Zoo is worth a few hours of your time.
It’s worth knowing that certain seasonal events come with free admissions, so make sure to check in advance.
The Oriental Theatre
Milwaukee’s Oriental Theatre is not an attraction per se. But it is a city landmark and a place teeming with people on the East Side.
The theatre opened in 1927 and you’ll find that most of the original ornate interior since then is perfectly preserved. It even has its old pipe organ, which gets played on certain occasions.
While not as glamorous as an IMAX, the Oriental Theatre can offer a different movie-going experience. It also features a full bar with wine, beer, and even cocktails.
The Miller Brewery
Whether a fan of Miller or not, you can’t pass on the opportunity to see a part of American history.
The Miller Brewery is the last of the “big breweries” still operating in Milwaukee. The facility perfectly encapsulates the city’s deep-rooted passion for brewing.
To top it all off, the tour lasts a good 80 minutes so you’re sure to get an immersive and detailed experience. When you leave, you will be able to sample some Miller beers and take a souvenir glass with you.
Visit the North Point Lighthouse
The North Point Lighthouse sits in one of the most picturesque locations in the city. Talk about Milwaukee sights to see.
Initially, it helped guide boats into the Milwaukee harbor. It now acts as a maritime museum with displays focused on the Great Lakes. There’s also a unique twist. To celebrate Milwaukee’s brewing history, the Lighthouse Museum also holds beer tasting events throughout the year.
Fun for All Ages
Granted, adults can have way more fun in Milwaukee due to its passion for brewing beer and riding motorcycles. But while it may not have the theme parks that other big cities offer, it does provide a ton of interactive experiences.
Known for being an industrial hub, Milwaukee knows how to pleasantly surprise tourists with the conspicuous downplaying of an industrial city vibe.