Milwaukee is the home of many historic homes, museums, and sports venues. Travel back in time as you walk down the streets in the Third Ward. This Wisconsin city is known for its beer and brats, and there is no better place to enjoy them than at the Lakefront Brewery. You will not want to miss a second of the fun in this Badger State town. Here are a few spots to visit on your next Wisconsin trip.
#1 Pabst Brewing Company
Milwaukee is world-famous for its beer production, and one important name around town is the Pabst Brewing Company. You can take a more in-depth look into the history of this beer empire at the Pabst Mansion. Built in 1882, this mansion was the former home of Captain Frederick Pabst and his family. This mansion is one of several estates that once lined the luxurious Grand Avenue (now known as Wisconsin Street). At the time, it was one of the most expensive estates in the city. When the mansion completed its construction, it was estimated to cost $32 million in today’s dollars.
The Pabst Mansion features a covered pavilion, carriage house, greenhouse with over 66 rooms and 14 fireplaces. In the 1970s, the estate was slated for demolition, but a historical preservation group saved the structure. Today, you can take a guided tour of this historic mansion. While on tour, you will learn about the members of the Pabst family, the construction of the lavish mansion, and the history of the brewery. The Pabst family made sure to pay homage to their beer empire. As you pass by the grand staircase, make sure to keep an eye out for the hops bud finials on the railings.
#2 Lakefront Brewery
Now that you know about Milwaukee’s first family of brewing, you will want to grab a brew in town. The city is home to several smaller craft breweries, and many of these facilities offer tours with samples. You will definitely want to make a stop at the Lakefront Brewery. Many people consider this to be the best brewery tour in Milwaukee. The guided tour will take you through the brewing process from a scoop of hops into a refreshing beer. At the end of the tour, you will get to try a few of the brewery’s offerings. Throughout the seasons, you might have a chance to try an India Pale Ale, chocolate stout, or barley wine. When you have finished the tour, you can take home a souvenir pint glass with a free coupon for a beer at one of the local restaurants.
A beer hall is also attached to the brewery, and it can be a popular place to visit in Milwaukee. You can sample some of the best Wisconsin delicacies, including Bavarian pretzels, cheese curds, and Usinger brats. Friday night really gets hopping in the hall as a polka band entertains the crowds during the fish fry.
#3 Historic Third Ward
The Third Ward is a historic neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was a warehouse district in the early 1900s. Today, it is the home to over 450 businesses, including art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, theater groups, and condos. The Third Ward is also close to the grounds of Summerfest, and it can get crowded towards the end of June through July.
#4 Basilica of St. Josaphat
For those wanting to get a glimpse of some impressive architecture, you will not want to miss the Basilica of St. Josaphat. This structure was modeled after the famous Roman church, St. Peter’s Basilica in Italy. Just like St. Peter’s, this building also features a cross-shaped floor plan with a copper dome. All visitors are welcomed to take a self-guided tour of the property, While you are there, make sure to grab a free walking tour brochure. You can also explore the lower-level museum and learn about the history of the building.
#5 Miller Park
While you are in Milwaukee, you will want to explore some other iconic sites. The Brewers may not always have the best record in the league, but they have a loyal following throughout the city. You can head over to Miller Park to watch a professional baseball game. If you are looking for an exciting experience, you will want to catch a game with the Brewers’ rivals, including the Chicago Cubs or the St. Louis Cardinals. Miller Park is a unique ballpark in North America since it features the only fan-shaped retractable roof. With this roof, you can watch a game in any weather. While you are inside, make sure to try out a tasty Usinger brat or one of the craft beers on tap. If you get there on a non-game day, you can still take a guided tour to learn more about the home field of the Brewers.
#6 The Harley Davidson Museum
Are you interested in the history of an American classic? The Harley Davidson Museum is only a few minutes from Miller Park. The home of Harley Davidson spreads out across 20 acres of lakefront property in Milwaukee. If you aren’t a die-hard motorcycle enthusiast, you can still enjoy your time at the museum. Twelve permanent exhibits take visitors through the beginnings of the company to its dominance as a motorcycle king. Throughout the year, you can even catch a few rotating exhibits, including a recovered motorcycle from the 2011 Japanese tsunami. If you are looking for a more in-depth look at the displays, visitors can pay a small fee to take the audio tour.
#7 Milwaukee County Zoo
This zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from all over the world. You can see these magnificent animals in their enclosures or take a ride on the safari train. There is even a carousel located on the grounds, along with a play area for the little ones. Throughout the year, the zoo holds special events, including Elephant Appreciation Day and the annual Breakfast with Santa. The zoo’s evening hours are very popular, and it is a unique opportunity to see the animals in the evening, while you listen to live entertainment.
From a brewery magnate’s estate to an American classic, there are plenty of things to see and do in Milwaukee. You will definitely want to make a visit to these fascinating Wisconsin spots.