Top Recommended Layover Activities:
1. Veterans Park
1010 North Lincoln Memorial Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202 · 414-277-0860
This beautiful park is adjacent to Lake Michigan and downtown Milwaukee. Great green space and a stretch of beach bordering the lake provide natural space for picnics or an afternoon stroll. Watch passing boats and roller-bladers.
2. Whitnall Park
5879 South 92nd St, Franklin, WI 53130 · 414-425-7303
This 600-acre municipal park is listed as one of the largest in the United States. On-site golf course, archery range, picnic areas and flowering botanical gardens. Perfect for a nice lunch or relaxing afternoon walk.
3. Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion
2000 West Wisconsin Ave, between 19th and 21st North, Milwaukee, WI 53233 · 414-931-0808
This 1892 Flemish Renaissance mansion, constructed for beer baron Captain Frederick Pabst, was saved from demolition in 1975 by a group of concerned local citizens. Faithfully restored and furnished, the mansion is now an amazing example of Milwaukee's wealthy history. Considered the crown jewel of Grand Avenue when it was built, the mansion has 37 rooms, 12 bathrooms, and 14 fireplaces. It was wired for electricity, had full indoor plumbing, and cutting edge central heating, complete with 16 thermostats. Originally there were several outbuildings, including a stable designed as a miniature version of the mansion, a glass conservatory, and servant’s quarters.
4. Milwaukee County Zoo
10001 West Bluemound Rd, off Interstate 94, Milwaukee, WI 53226 · 414-771-3040
With over 2000 animals, the Milwaukee County Zoo attracts over a million visitors each year. The zoo is divided into five continental areas, each with animals native to that region. Some of the critters you'll see include koalas, grizzly bears, red pandas, snow leopards, African elephants, giant octopus, and Siberian tigers. There are fun indoor exhibits, like the "Small Mammal Building" which has two sides - diurnal (lemurs, tamarins, river otters, meerkats), and nocturnal (fruit bats, vampire bats, fennec fox, bush babies, Kinkajou). The "Primates of the World" building features spider monkeys, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and siamangs; kids love the Aquatic & Reptile Center.
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit
N1765 Highway G, Forest Headquarters, Campbellsport, WI 53010 · 262-626-2116
Situated about 45 minutes from Milwaukee, Kettle Moraine is nationally known and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the country. The Northern Unit encompasses about 30,000 acres of forests, hills, lakes, and interesting glacial formations. Start your visit at the at the Henry S. Reuss Ice Age Visitor Center, where you can learn about the geology and topography of the park, pick up maps and trail guides, and find out about any current restrictions. Then you're free to enjoy a wealth of activities: hiking and bicycling on over 130 miles of trails, camping, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Wisconsin State vehicle sticker and Trails Pass required for all visitors 16 and older, and are available at state park and forest offices.
2. Friday Night Fish Fries
This popular, year-round event serves up great dining choices on Friday nights at restaurants and bars all over Milwaukee. Varieties of fish include cod, perch, shrimp and walleye. Full bar, kids' area, all-you-can-eat dinners and early-bird discounts draw Wisconsinites to the city from miles around.
3. Greater Milwaukee Open
7835 North Green Bay Rd, Brown Deer Golf Course, Milwaukee, WI 53209 · 414-540-3804
Golfers' paradise right here! Spot your favorite famous golfer at this annual PGA Tour stop at Brown Deer Golf Course. Events are held throughout the week to celebrate this July sports event.
4. Jazz In the Park
Cathedral Square Park, Milwaukee, WI · 414-271-1416
This local favorite is billed "A Milwaukee Summer Tradition" and hosts some of the best regional and national jazz acts every Thursday evening throughout the summer. Sponsored by the East Town Association, the concerts take place in lovely Cathedral Square, and draw an eclectic crowd. Many people bring picnics, and in fact some folks go as far as fully setting a table, with centerpiece and candles. Of course, if you'd rather not bother with all of that, there are plenty of food and beverage vendors.
Marcus Amphitheater, Milwaukee, WI · 800-273-3378
Milwaukee’s now famous huge summer concert series features big name performers from all genres. Over the course of the 11-day series, you could see sets by such diverse artists as Bob Dylan, India.Arie, Buckwheat Zydeco, Lita Ford, Sarah Vaughan, Depeche Mode, Buddy Guy, Morris Day and the Time, Arturo Sandoval, Everclear, John Hiatt, Shania Twain, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Willie Nelson, all of whom have played Summerfest at one time or another. Thirteen stages, and the Marcus Amphitheater are spread out over a 75-acre site on the shores of Lake Michigan, there’s enough to hear, see, do, eat, and drink to satisfy everybody, including young kids and grandparents!
6. Lakefront Festival of Arts
700 N Art Museum Dr, in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI 53202 · 414-224-3220
Held in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum, this annual juried art show features the work of regional and national talents. Over 200 artists compete in 12 different categories. Check out up-and-coming artists in the college art tent. Live entertainment, food and drinks. Paid parking is available along Lagoon Drive, and there is a shuttle to take you to the gates.
7. Edelweiss Cruise Dining
1110 Old World 3rd St, Riverfront Plaza Building, Milwaukee, WI 53203 · 414-272-3625
A fun way to get in a little sightseeing over lunch or dinner, Edelweiss Cruises travel the Milwaukee River and out into Lake Michigan. Glass enclosed boats ensure unobstructed views, plus there are deck areas for taking in the fresh air. Lunch and dinner cruises last about two hours, with food catered by the popular Third Street Pier restaurant. 24-hour advance reservations required.
8. Iroquois Boat Line
445 W Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207 · 414-294-9450
Exciting cruises that highlight some of the best sights along the river. View the shipping docks, breakwater and lighthouse on this fun and educational cruise. Docks on the river at Clybourn Street Bridge.
9. Havenwoods State Forest
6141 North Hopkins St, off North Sherman, Milwaukee, WI 53209 · 414-527-0232
The 237-acre Havenwoods state forest has an interesting, albeit brief, history. The land has hosted everything from a prison to a missile site to a landfill, but you'd never know it today. At the Environmental Awareness Center, pick up a guide to the 1 _ mile trail that covers these details plus many more. Hikers and bicyclists enjoy over six miles of trails that meander through woods, wetlands, and grasslands. In the winter, 2.5 miles are open to cross country skiers. Loads of special programs and workshops are offered throughout the year, for children, adults, and families.
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