Top 12 Things Milwaukee Is Famous For - Updated 2024

things milwaukee is famous for
| 4 min read

Milwaukee, Wisconsin is a majestic place to go for a vacation. You will come across a lot of fun things to do there which can make your trip to Milwaukee the most enjoyable trip ever in your life. This place is amazing to visit all year round. Explore its remarkable architecture and enjoy the delicious beer n’ sausage - a Milwaukee tradition - with the locals. Milwaukee is a serene place, away from the buzz of the city - still, you will get to enjoy all the amenities and attractions here, not to mention amazing accommodations such as spa hotels. Those who want a more local and immersive experience can consider staying in one of its Airbnb vacation rentals. As a visitor, you can easily access the fashionable hood in the town without any worry and hang out in the more low-key neighborhoods. Enjoy Summerfest, the bombastic music festivals, beautiful parks, and many more things that Milwaukee offers. Keep scrolling for the top things Milwaukee is famous for.

1. The Pabst Theater

Pabst Theater
Source: Photo by Flickr user Paul Sableman used under CC BY 2.0

Built in 1895, The Pabst Theater is not only known for its stunning Baroque architecture but also for its role in shaping Milwaukee’s entertainment and performing arts scene. It has hosted an array of renowned performers, from vaudeville acts to world-class musicians and theater productions. So if you want some quality entertainment, catching a show in this theater must grace your list of things to do in downtown Milwaukee.

The Pabst Theater’s fame lies in its enduring commitment to providing a platform for a diverse range of artistic expressions, captivating audiences with its timeless charm, and contributing to the cultural vibrancy of Milwaukee. As a cherished cultural treasure, it continues to be a beloved institution, fostering the appreciation of the arts and maintaining its status as a symbol of Milwaukee’s rich cultural heritage.

The Pabst Theater

Address: 144 E Wells St, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States

Website: The Pabst Theater

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2. Bronze Fonz

Bronze Fonz
Source: Photo by Flickr user Michaela Pereckas used under CC BY 2.0

Created by Gerald P. Sawyer, the Bronze Fonz is a bronze likeness of Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli, the beloved character played by Henry Winkler in the popular TV show “Happy Days.” Milwaukee is famous for the Bronze Fonz because it pays homage to the city’s unique connection to the show, which was set in Milwaukee and celebrated the spirit of the 1950s and 1960s in the city.

The Bronze Fonz stands as a symbol of nostalgia, capturing the cool and charismatic character who embodied the essence of Milwaukee’s culture during that era. It has become a popular attraction, inviting people to reminisce and celebrate the city’s rich pop culture history.

Bronze Fonz

Address: N Riverwalk Way, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States

Website: Bronze Fonz

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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3. Beer

Lakefront brewery milwaukee
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Flickr used under CC BY 2.0

Beer has played a big role in the history of Milwaukee. If you have come to Milwaukee, you can’t leave the place without drinking its delicious beer because the place offers a lot of unique varieties of beer which you can taste and enjoy without even thinking twice. Milwaukee’s beer history began in 1841 when one German immigrant, Reuthlisberger, opened a brewery at Walker’s Point. As time passed, the city became renowned as the beer capital of the world. After all, it’s a home for the world’s best beers like Pabst, Miller, Schlitz, and Blatz. There are several brewery and distillery tour options available which you must take. Drink beer and pay homage to the trailblazers of Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Brewing Company

Address: 1128 N 9th St, Milwaukee, WI 53233, United States

Website: Milwaukee Brewing Company

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 12am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12pm; Sun: 11am - 7pm

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4. Summerfest, one of the world's largest music festivals

Source: Pixabay

It is such a huge Summerfest that it is almost impossible to see everything. Around 900,000 people come to this music festival to enjoy and have fun. Small and big bands participate Summerfest which runs for about 11 days. 800 bands perform at Summerfest on 11 different stages. You can imagine how spellbinding this Summerfest would be. Another interesting thing about this fest is it takes place at the shore of Lake Michigan. It was once listed as the world’s largest musical festival, and although some festivals have since overtaken it, the official website still claims it. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity of experiencing it. Artists like Lady Gaga, Johnny Cash, and Tim Mcgraw perform there. Food is a bit expensive there but it’s definitely worth it to visit Summerfest.


Address: Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Website: Summerfest

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5. Outstanding architecture

Basilica of St. Josaphat
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sulfur used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Milwaukee’s history is not limited to beer only. This city has a vibrant history that its outstanding architecture exhibits. The moment you will walk in the streets of Milwaukee, you will realize the Milwaukeeans have preserved their history really well and they are proud of it. Their historic buildings are still intact. There are several old and popular museums you can visit to know about the history of Milwaukee. If you’re a history buff then you are going to love it. You can visit the places like Allen-Bradley Clock Tower, Basilica of St. Josaphat, Frank Lloyd Wright Houses, Iron Block Building, Mackie Building, etc. Many historic buildings and churches are still in use in Milwaukee.

Basilica of Saint Josaphat

Address: 2333 S 6th St, Milwaukee, WI 53215, United States

Website: Basilica of Saint Josaphat

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat: 9am - 5:30pm; Sun: 8am - 1pm

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6. Beautiful parks

Oak Leaf Trail - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user YvesSch used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Apart from magnificent historic buildings, enthralling spots that reconnect people with nature are also among the popular places to visit in Milwaukee. If you are fond of nature parks, you can visit Milwaukee’s fascinating parks like Veteran’s Park, Henry Maier Festival Park, Oak Leaf Trail, Lake Park, Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, etc. All these parks are great destinations for any family to spend a good time amid the spectacular nature.

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7. Waterfront views

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user LittleT889 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Enjoy your day at the waterfront in Milwaukee. Take a walk on the shore and watch a compelling view of the sea and sailboats. You can also rent a kayak or paddleboat to enjoy in the water. Visiting the waterfront area is a great way to spend time and maybe enjoy a picnic with the family. Rent a bike with your partner and discover the different bike trails.

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8. Diverse street art

Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee, WI 53202, USA - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Doug Olson used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You don’t have to visit museums or art gallery to experience the artistic nature and talent of Milwaukeeans. Just walk into the streets of Milwaukee and you will experience the vibrant art of the city. Milwaukee’s street artists have embellished the streets of the city with their arts. They treat the walls of the city as their canvas and draw incredible art pieces. Every month new murals are added in the collection of street arts. So there is always something new for everyone.

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9. Lounge on the beautiful beaches

Panorama take at Klode Park overlooking the lake
Source: Photo by user brennanMKE used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Several beautiful beaches are undeniably among the top tourist attractions in Milwaukee. You can visit by your car and park anywhere alongside the shores of Lake Michigan. Go and swim in the water or enjoy the sun while having fun on the beach. Beaches like Bradford Beach, Atwater Beach, Klode Park, Big Bay Park, and more are all open to the public without any charges.

Klode Park

Address: Whitefish Bay, WI 53217, United States

Website: Klode Park

Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)

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10. Fish fry and frozen custard

Mr. Fish and Chips combo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user RightCowLeftCoast used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The food Milwaukee is known for is the simple yet tasty fish fry and frozen custard. There are several restaurants in Milwaukee that are family-friendly and serve these delicious delicacies. You can visit Murf’s Frozen Custard and Jumbo Burgers or Bubba’s Frozen Custard Jumbo to have the best frozen custard and fish fries. They make fresh custards throughout the day.

Murf's Frozen Custard & Jumbo

Address: 12505 W Burleigh Rd, Brookfield, WI 53005, United States

Website: Murf’s Frozen Custard & Jumbo

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 10:30am - 9:30pm; Fri - Sat: 10:30am - 10pm

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11. Milwaukee Public Market

Milwaukee Public Market
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jeramey Jannene used under CC BY 2.0

When you find yourself in Milwaukee City, exploring its market is a must-do. Visit the Milwaukee Public Market and check all the varieties that vendors are selling. Buy items that you find useful and take them home with you or get something delicious to eat while touring the market. From sweets to healthy and tasty seafood, you will get everything here at a nominal price. Walk around the place and explore this fun place thoroughly.

Milwaukee Public Market

Address: 400 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202, United States

Website: Milwaukee Public Market

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 8pm; Sat: 8am - 8pm: Sun: 9am - 6pm

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12. Harley-Davidson Museum and Factory

HD museum panorama
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tedder used under CC BY 3.0

Harley Davidson is not just a bike for many, its a lifestyle. If you’re also a Harley Davidson lover, then you should visit the Harley Davidson museum where you will see the rich history of the company and learn about all the models of motorcycles. Milwaukee is a place where Harley Davidson was founded and its headquarter is still functioning there proudly. Visit the museum and take its factory tour.

Harley-Davidson Museum and Factory

Address: 400 W Canal St, Milwaukee, WI 53201, United States

Website: Harley-Davidson Museum and Factory

Opening hours: Fri - Wed: 9am - 6pm; Thu: 9am - 8pm

Price: 10 USD

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Have a fun holiday at Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Source: Pixabay

With so many well-known and unique things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, your holiday will surely be memorable. More than the above-mentioned famous attractions, the city also offers other fun activities that you will come to know when you will visit the beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Frequently asked questions about things Milwaukee is famous for

  • What food is Milwaukee famous for?

    No visit to Milwaukee is complete without having a taste of the fish fry and frozen custard. As Milwaukee is also home to some of the world’s best beers, be sure to take some pints in between your bites of these delicious delicacies.

  • What popular sites in Milwaukee are idyllic for history buffs to visit??

    If sharpening your knowledge about the history of the places you visit is what interests you, then you must visit historic buildings such as Allen-Bradley Clock Tower and Basilica of St. Josaphat when you’re in Milwaukee. Famous sites including Harley-Davidson Museum and Factory as well as Bronze Fonz will also heighten your appreciation of the city’s gloried past.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Nikhil NG is a writer, brand strategic consultant, traveler and the founder of His writing inspires people to travel on a budget. Plus, he helps hospitality dealers achieve...Read more

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