You’re heading to Milwaukee for WITS 2017. You’re familiar with the city’s “Laverne & Shirley” reputation. But you’d like to become more intimate with the modern MKE.
Allow us to help you round out your Brew City experience with these fine attractions. The best part? You can visit all of them with the help of your VIP Passport provided in your VISIT Milwaukee welcome bag.
The craft brewery adjacent to the Milwaukee River offers the city’s funniest craft brewery tour – and its longest running – and was rated as the fourth best tour in the nation by Trip Advisor. Since the beginning of the craft beer revolution, this tour has offered suds-filled storytelling that isn’t for the faint of heart (with some R-rated content to boot) and delights out-of-towners as much as it generates belly laughs from locals who keep coming back. The beer, some of which is named after the brewery workers and is respected by beer geeks around the country, can be found all over the Midwest.
A must-see (and photograph) for anyone in the area, the Milwaukee Art Museum is the city’s cultural and architectural crown jewel thanks to its stunning white wings – the Burke Brise Soleil – designed by world renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. On view during WITS 2017 is an exhibition pulled from locals’ living rooms. Really. Dubbed “Milwaukee Collects,” the special exhibition showcases the wide-ranging works found in Milwaukeeans’ collections, and reflects the city’s German heritage and diverse tastes. It also highlights part of the museum’s new Jules Cheret French poster collection – the largest outside of Paris – that was recently gifted by a local family. More of a modern art fan? That’s in there too – in sometimes shocking incarnations. The museum’s permanent collection features over 30,000 works, including substantial collections of folk art, Haitian art, works of German Expressionism, early and contemporary photography, and many works by Georgia O’Keefe.
This adult-friendly science museum is full of completely interactive – and awesome – experiences. Ever wanted to touch a stingray? You can do it here. How about seeing what it’s like to lie on a bed of nails? Yes, it can be done (safely, we might add). Want to gaze upon a rare Les Paul guitar? Also here. It’s truly an all-ages, hands-on explorium for lovers science, marine life, music and more.
Milwaukee’s original beer baron built himself an architectural wonder in the heart of the city, and it has been meticulously restored by its devoted caretakers to showcase Captain Frederick Pabst’s interpretation of eclectic grandeur. It’s the perfect tour for history buffs, interior design lovers, or, perhaps, ghost hunters.
This beautiful, formal garden located within an extensive park/arboretum offers picnic areas, a nature center, hiking trails, a lake and a golf course. Think of it as a slice of London’s Hyde Park without the exchange rate.
If you’re a part of the international cocktail lovers club – and who among us isn’t – you’ll want to check out Great Lakes Distillery. It’s Wisconsin’s first distillery to open since prohibition, and produces award-winning Rehorst Vodka, Gin, Citrus Honey Vodka, Roaring Dan’s Rum, Kinnickinnic Whiskey, Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte & Absinthe Rouge, plus a host of seasonal spirits.
We bet not many public museums have as many secret buttons as this one. No spoilers here, but we recommend trying to find them all as you make your way through the permanent exhibits on world cultures (and Milwaukee culture), as well as the current special exhibit “Global Kitchen,” where you can get a better understanding of the food that connects us all.