Many people rightly associate Wisconsin's biggest metropolis with its food and drink scene. In a town where you can hop from brewery to brewery, savor some of North America's finest cheeses and sausages, and grab lunch or dinner from the ever-expanding range of food trucks, Milwaukee's certainly earned its moniker. After taking a survey with your taste buds, you might find yourself smiling as widely as the Bronze Fonz, a statue near Wells Street that celebrates the beloved character from the TV series Happy Days. Don't forget to swing by a baseball game at Miller Park or take a ride on one of the city's famed Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
When you visit the 20-acre Harley-Davidson Museum in downtown Milwaukee, you might find it hard to fight the urge to feel the wind in your face. The exhibit halls show off hundreds of motorcycles, including the first Harley ever built. The on-site bar and restaurant is a great place for a hamburger or some barbecue fare, but you don't have to purchase museum admission to eat there.
Step onto Old World Third Street, and you might feel as though you've traveled back to the 1800s. This avenue is paved with cobblestones, and the building exteriors decked out in a Colonial-style frame renowned establishments like The Spice House and Usinger's Famous Sausage. There may be no better bratwurst selection in America than on this road, and the beer halls are full of treats, whether you want to learn how to pair cheese with ales or dance on top of the bar!
Discovery World represents an innovative combination of science museum, aquarium and cultural fair. Explore the Denis Sullivan, a beautiful schooner, and take in a host of interactive exhibits and three-dimensional virtual displays. Reiman Aquarium lets you meet the residents firsthand in the touch tank. Many of Discovery World's presentations encourage visitors to take action to help the environment.
At the end of June and the beginning of July, Summerfest rocks Milwaukee for 11 days. This enormous music festival on the banks of Lake Michigan showcases the likes of everyone from the Arctic Monkeys to Motley Crue, and can bring in as many as one million attendees. The performances take place at 11 different venues, with all of the headlining acts playing the 23,000-seat Marcus Amphitheater. Summerfest also spotlights comedians and stages fireworks displays.
Each February, the Milwaukee Public Museum hosts the Food and Froth Fest. Attendees sample international brews, take their pick from appetizers and pastries representing the local eateries, and listen to live music, including authentic regional polka.
The Milwaukee Pug Fest attracts dog owners from across America and Canada. At this May bash, pugs take part in a talent competition and a costume contest. Leading veterinarians discuss issues related to pug health, and a Catholic priest blesses everyone assembled, both canine and human. Proceeds from Pug Fest benefit Pug Hugs, Inc., a nonprofit organization that rescues the animals.
Come to Milwaukee during December, January or February, for dog-sledding and snowtubing to make the most of the average annual snowfall of 47 inches, and take advantage of lower prices for Milwaukee hotels. Summer is just as fun in Milwaukee; festivals and concerts are routine between June and August, and temperatures typically hover between 70 and 80 degrees.