100 things to do in Milwaukee
Podcast: Andy, Dave and Carole take listeners' ideas for "100 things to do in Milwaukee"
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Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on March 16, 2010 at 1:14 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Way back in 1999, we published "100 things to do in Milwaukee," and this iconic list became the most popular article in the history of OnMilwaukee.com.
A lot has changed since then, and this guide spawned several other "100 things" lists. Over the years, we've updated the article here and there, but this marks the first complete overhaul in more than a decade.
We've kept a few of the original favorites and added a bunch, too. Now, everything in this article can be accomplished in and around Milwaukee -- nothing is more than a 30-minute drive from Downtown. How much of this list have you tried?
- Cheer on the Brewers at Miller Park ...
- ... and be sure to tailgate before the game
- Check out the lights and live music at the Domes
- Explore Milwaukee's spy bar, The Safe House
- Pull up a boat to a slip at Barnacle Bud's or Water Buffalo
- Eat (and request a song) at Organ Piper Pizza
- Wind your way along Grant Park's Seven Bridges Trail
- Get up early and watch soccer at the Highbury Pub
- Climb Holy Hill in Hubertus
- Close Wolski's and get a bumper sticker to prove it
- Bike the Oak Leaf Trail as far as you can muster
- Buy a wax Samson at the Milwaukee County Zoo and tell the kids about the famous gorilla
- Visit the Milwaukee County Historical Society, where scenes from "Public Enemies" were filmed
- Commiserate with the butterflies at the Milwaukee Public Museum
- Buy a brat at the Usinger's store
- Take the Lakefront, Sprecher and MillerCoors brewery tours in one day
- Experience Jim's Time Out, the Downtown "towny" bar
- Enjoy family-friendly live music at Bayshore Town Center
- Marvel at the beauty of the Milwaukee Art Museum
- Take a Milwaukee Ghosts tour and learn local haunted history
- Smell the flowers at Boerner Botanical Gardens
- Find the Streetza Pizza truck and buy a late-night slice
- Skate a few laps on the Olympic Oval at the Pettit National Ice Center
- Eat a corned beef sandwich at Jake's Delicatessen
- Shop for vintage clothes on Brady Street
- Take a booze cruise
- Catch the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on Monday nights at Alterra (now Colectivo) on the Lake
- Buy farm-fresh produce all winter long at the State Fair Park's winter farmers market
- Fall in love over a Tiki Love Bowl at At Random
- Have a drink in The Yard at the Iron Horse Hotel
- Eat like a king at 4th Base
- Tour Palermo's Pizza in the Menomonee Valley
- Interact with nature at the Schlitz Audubon Center
- Make a difference at the Volunteer Center
- Pet the animals at the Wisconsin Humane Society
- Tour the Pabst Mansion
- See an indie band at the Cactus Club
- Cheer like a maniac with the Bucks
- Experience intimate theater at Boulevard Theatre
- Bowl a few lines on America's oldest lanes at Holler House
- Tour the Harley-Davidson Museum
- Crack up at ComedySportz
- Say "Ayy" to the Bronze Fonz
- Sunbathe at Bradford Beach or South Shore Beach
- Swim in the Brown Deer Pond
- Wander around the Bong Recreation Area
- Marvel at the Mars Cheese Castle
- Eat a bowl of Real Chili
- See an Admirals game
- Sled down the North Avenue hill
- Watch kids playing soccer at Uihlein Park
- Visit the Beulah Brinton House in Bay View
- Star gaze at UWM's Planetarium on Friday night for $1
- Stroll back in time on the Streets of Old Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Public Museum
- Step back in time at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford
- Bask in the beauty of the Basilica of St. Josaphat on 6th & Lincoln
- Buy a kite at Gift of Wings and fly it at the lakefront
- Join the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center
- Get saucy at a Brew City Burlesque show
- Find the city's Frank Lloyd Wright architecture
- Visit the North Point Lighthouse
- Take the kids to the Betty Brinn Museum
- Hike the Hank Aaron State Trail
- Visit the birthplace of the American League (now a Downtown parking lot)
- Hop aboard the Lake Express ferry
- Grab a meal at Friday's Front Row Grill to enjoy Miller Park in winter
- Experience a real Milwaukee Friday night fish fry at Lakefront Brewery
- Rent a kayak and take a ride down the Milwaukee River
- Enjoy a beer in a smoke-free Von Trier (or have a smoke out on the patio)
- Eat a butter burger at Kopp's
- Have breakfast at the Plaza Hotel on Cass Street
- Order a Brainbuster at Bryant's
- Find Milwaukee's smallest park, Kaszube's Park, on Jones Island
- Visit Professor Stein (Grand Avenue's "tightrope bear") at the Milwaukee Public Market
- Get a doughnut at the National Bakery & Deli
- Watch people play lawn bowling at Lake Park
- Take a picture at the intersection of "Keefe" and "Richards"
- Ride the mechanical chili pepper at La Perla (or have a margarita on the roof)
- See the statues in Doctor's Park
- Bowl with tiny balls at Koz's Mini Bowl
- Shop for a vintage LP at Bull's Eye Records
- Sing along at Lucille's Rockin' Pianos
- Take a Milwaukee Food Tour
- Tour St. Joan of Arc Chapel on Marquette's campus
- Find Gertie the Duck along Wisconsin Avenue Downtown
- Admire the Carl von Marr collection at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend
- Get hot ham and rolls on a Sunday morning
- Tour the city's longest thoroughfare, 27th Street
- Enjoy outdoor movies in summer at Discovery World, Pere Marquette Park, Miller Park and State Fair
- Buy locally produced food at Outpost Natural Foods
- See if the security guard at the Wisconsin Center is real
- Take a photo of the boat house on Cambridge & Hampshire
- Quickly order a drink at the world's shortest happy hour at The Nomad World Pub
- Window shop the boutiques and the mod furniture at Rubin's in the Historic Third Ward
- Grab a dog from "the hot dog guy" on Water & Wisconsin
- Tour Growing Power, Milwaukee's urban farm
- Tour Bolzano Meats in Riverwest (closed)
- Eat thin crust pizza at Zaffiro's
- Cheer on the all-girl roller derby, the Brew City Bruisers
- Sample Great Lakes Distillery's Milwaukee-made spirits
This article gave an insight to some of us here on what we could see and do in Milwaukee. Thanks to the 100 things to do here; I can now go to some of these places for the same thing. And I am definitely going to take a dive in the Brown Deer Pond.
Wow, our Milwaukee ghost tours made it on the OnMilwaukee.com list! #20 - What an honor! Our local ghost walks run on Fridays & Saturdays at 7 p.m., May-Nov. Our Third Ward Haunted History Walking Tours officially begin Saturday, May 1st at 7 p.m. You can make your reservations now at http://www.milwaukeeghosts.com or by calling 414-807-7862. We can't wait to celebrate Milwaukee's heritage, folklore, and weirdness! In the meantime, please keep sending us your reports of paranormal activity. We love to help you research the history of local tales and use our network to expedite reputable paranormal investigations. Thanks for your support Milwaukee!
There are bike racks on the city buses?!?!?
Did I miss it, or is this list lacking "have frozen custard at... (I prefer Gille's)???
101. Be the first person to actually use the bike racks we installed on our buses.
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