Welcome to Paul's Guide to Milwaukee!


I loved the six years I lived in Milwaukee. Here are a few places that I will never forget, recommend, or plan on visiting when I return.

DISCLAIMER: this page is nowhere near complete. I will do my best to update it as I remember/visit more.

Table of Contents

Classic Milwaukee Events
Fabulous Destinations
Just for fun
Magnificent Music
Get your dance on!
Mmm, beer...
Terrific Tacos
Cheese Curds
Movies, theatre, and more...
Bike Milwaukee
Finding friends
Things I still need to do in Milwaukee


Classic Milwaukee Events


Doors Open Milwaukee is every September. This is a terrific event where hundreds of museums, historic places, and other destinations "open their doors" to the public in ways they don't the rest of the year. You can visit the highest point in Milwaukee at the U.S. Bank building, go in the dome at the Central Library, and visit Jones Island. I usually either just remember to look it up in September or see signs around the city as it gets closer, but I also get emails from the Historic Milwaukee email list. Historic Milwaukee also does walking tours of the city. I've not yet been, but a friend used to work for them.

88.9 Radio Milwaukee has lots of events posted. They do a great tour for Doors Open and it every Thursday. They also have music in their studio on Thursday evenings. These are almost always free for the public, and they have a coffee shop (also sells beer) connected so you can eat and drink good stuff during the shows.

Summerfest is not the only great festival at the Henry Maier grounds. See also list of events here. I have been to most of them, and all of the ones I've participated in, I can speak highly of. For other festivals around the city, see this link. Notable are Bastille Days and the Brady Street Festival. I can speak very highly for the International Women's Day celebration. There was beautiful music and dancers, as well as speakers and snacks.

One of my favorite events in Milwaukee is the annual Food and Froth Fest at the Public Museum. You must be 21+ to enter, and you can sample tons of local brews, wines, and delicious snacks (including Joey Buona's heavenly chocolate cake and Maders' brats). This event supports the museum... while we're here, memberships are cheap and on museum swap day, you can check out many other great local museums.

Milwaukee After Dark is a fabulous montly event at the art museum. Highlights often include dancing, crafts, and touring the museum. Highly recommended.

Story SLAMs are a lot of fun. Who knew storytelling was competitive?!

Downtown Dining Week is typically the first week in June, and lets you visit many of the more expensive restaurants at a cheaper price.

Fabulous Destinations


The Milwaukee Public Library does free tours on Saturdays at 1:30 PM. In the Spring/Summer, they also do tours of their green roof (it's nice, though not as large as Rockwell Automation's!). They also have tours of their rare books room, and plenty of other events. (While on the subject of rare books, did you know the Marquette library has some neat stuff including original J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts?!) The Milwaukee library is also a great place to explore (did you know they have a coffee shop that sells used books?). If you don't have a library card, get one. They're free; you just need a utility bill to prove you live here.

If you like books, Downtown Books sells used books. It's an awesome place to explore (great place to take a date, in my opinion). They have lots of shelves, and a couple of cats.

The Milwaukee Public Market is fabulous. Lots of good food, drink, and art vendors. It's a fun place to walk around, get some produce and cheese/meat, and grab a bite to eat.

One of the museums I wish I had visited earlier is the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear, about two blocks north of Marquette's campus. Did you know that boxing ice cream so you could take it home originated in Milwaukee?

Just for fun


CMP Tactical Laser Tag is a blast with friends.

Evolution (formerly Spin) is a bar that has a ton of ping pong tables.

There are so many great 5K and longer runs. My favorites were the Summerfest Rock and Sole Run, Storm the Bastille, and Glo Run.

Magnificent Music


In addition to Summerfest, there is a plethora of venues and great local bands.

For music, check out the schedules at The Rave, The Pabst/Riverside/Turner Hall Ballroom, and Free Music Milwaukee.

For bands, I highly recommend Willy Porter, Beef Tea, Eagle Trace, The Mania (Milwaukee's premier Beatles tribute band), I'm Not a Pilot, and The Love Monkeys.

Get your dance on!


I've had many terrific nights dancing and watching drag shows at La Cage.

Weekly Retro Dance Party on Fridays at Mad Planet.

Mmm, beer...


Brewery tours: my favories are Milwaukee Brewing Company and Lakefront; I also really like Sprecher's for their sodas.

Old German Beer Hall. This one speaks for itself. They have free lunch on weekdays (with beer purchase) and an Octoberfest/Germanfest. They're right across from another great place, the Uber Tap Room and Cheese Bar. Yes, Milwaukee has a cheese bar.

I only got to Tornado Brewery once, but I would definitely go back. They have a beer that tastes line lemon meringue pie, and a habaƱero beer, among more "normal" types.

Stubby's has 53 beers on tap at their circular bar. Some of them are nitro taps.

Terrific Tacos


Yes, I have a category for tacos.

Conejitos will always have a special place in my heart. There are so many great places in Walker's Point, though. I really like Botanas and La Fuente. La Perla is classic, too.

Bel-Air and Vagabond (formerly Rudy's) are on the pricier side, but have more variety.

Cheese Curds


My current ranking is:

1. 42 Ale House (also a great nerd/gamer bar!)

2. Miss Katie's (also great brunch and fun karaoke on Thursday nights)

3. Port of Call (also delicious seafood along the river)

Movies, theatre, and more...


Go on a time warp at the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which is played every month at the beautiful Oriental theatre!

Point Fish Fry and a Flick is fun, right by Discovery World. See also Outdoor Family Flicks.

New Belgium's Clips Beer and Film Tour is always a fun time by the lake

There are great shows at Comedy Sportz, as well as various theatres.

Bike Milwaukee


If your bike needs a tune-up, check out the community-run Vulture Space. They'll help you fix your bike for free! (Though you have to pay if you need parts.)

Milwaukee has a ton of great bike paths that will never leave you bored. You can also rent bikes (including those cool four-person ones) and kayaks/paddle boats by the lake.

Finding friends


If participating in the above doesn't help you find friends, check out FUEL Milwaukee and NEWaukee. They are both terrific groups that organize fun social and networking events in Cream City.

Things I still need to do in Milwaukee


Go on a Historic Milwaukee walking tour


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