Looking for a change of scenery? Check out Milwaukee! This city is full of things to do, and it’s just a short drive away from Watertown. In this article, we will give you a rundown of the top 15 things to do in Milwaukee. We’ll also tell you about some great housing options in the Wauwatosa area, as well as how to get from Watertown to Milwaukee. Why not check out this city on the shores of Lake Michigan for yourself? We suspect you will come to love the area as much as we do!
From Watertown to Milwaukee: Top 15 Things to Do
Top 15 Things to Do in Milwaukee
We love all things Milwaukee—just check out our recent article on things to do in Wauwatosa! But if you ever feel like venturing deeper into Milwaukee, there’s no shortage of fun things to occupy you or delicious foods to eat. Here are some of the top 10 things to do in Milwaukee:
1. Milwaukee Art Museum: With approximately 20,000 pieces of artwork collected from renowned artists like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, and Georgia O’Keeffe, this world-class museum is open from Tuesdays-Sundays with extended hours on Thursdays. Want to scope them out before you commit to buying a ticket? Check out their virtual exhibitions here!
2. Milwaukee County Zoo: Looking for some fun that’s perfect for the whole family? Check out the Milwaukee County Zoo, which is home to over 2,000 animals across 330 species. From aquatic animals and reptiles to primates and small mammals, there is always fun to be had observing the critters at the Milwaukee County Zoo!
3. Lakefront Brewery: If you love brews and breweries, you’ll have to check Lakefront out. Known for its entertaining brewery tours, Lakefront Brewery was also the first certified organic brewery in the United States, the first to create a certified gluten-free beer, and also the first to craft an “indigenous” beer using local, Wisconsin-based ingredients. Their cutting-edge brewing techniques have garnered international recognition, with their beer sold as far away as Ukraine, Japan, Korea, Australia, Sweden, and Canada. With constantly rotating taps, this is one trip you’ll want to take again and again!
4. Milwaukee Public Museum: Containing over 4 million artifacts, the natural and human history museum in Milwaukee (MPM for short) is great family entertainment. With exhibits spanning everything from anthropology to botany to geology, there’s something to interest everyone at Milwaukee Public Museum. Military members, college students, and seniors get a discount, while members and children under the age are always free!
5. Milwaukee Public Market: Love food? So do we. That’s why we love strolling through the Milwaukee Public Market. A great place to snag lunch or local artisan wares, you’re likely to find something unique, hand-crafted, and tantalizing from each vendor!
6. Pabst Mansion: Once home to the beer baron and seaman Captain Frederick Pabst, this gorgeous, extensive mansion features nearly 40 rooms, 14 fireplaces, and 12 baths. Built in the Flemish Renaissance style in a historic district of Milwaukee, visitors will love the wide array of tours available, from family tours to mimosa tours!
7. Basilica of St Josaphat: Built by Polish immigrants back in the early 1900s, this ornate Basilica is home to Conventual Franciscans and their ministry. Currently, a non-profit organization works to maintain and preserve the Basilica, though visitors are welcome Monday-Saturday, or Sundays for Mass. Built out of salvaged materials from the fallen Custom House federal building and U.S. Post Office in Chicago, the architecture will inspire with its depiction of human resilience, historical significance, and beauty.
8. Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (The Domes): If you are a plant-lover, this is one you can’t miss. The Domes at Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory are open year-round for folks to visit their floral dome, tropical dome, and desert dome, complete with the appropriate flourishing plants. Michell Park is open from Wednesday-Sunday.
9. Grohmann Museum: Certainly the only museum of its kind and perhaps even across the world, the Grohmann Museum is a standing monument to the history and development of human labor. With rotating exhibits featuring an ever-expanding collection of relevant art, the Grohmann Museum is a must for any history enthusiast interested in labor, class, and intersectionality.
10. Great Lakes Distillery: We couldn’t mention Milwaukee without their first distillery since the Prohibition! Great Lakes Distillery is a small-batch distillery creating everything from gin and vodka to rum and whiskey. Stop on by for great conversation about the process of craft distilling and complimentary soda water for those in your party who don’t drink!
11. Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear: Are you interested in what life would have been like for the average American in Milwaukee between World War I and World War II? This nonprofit offers ADA-compliant tours featuring artifacts, clothing, vehicles, and more!
12. North Point Lighthouse: Come visit this lighthouse if you are at all interested in history, particularly maritime history. With an accompanying museum complete with artifacts and stories, this lighthouse notably was placed in the care of Georgia Stebbins during the turn of the 20th century—unusual for a woman at that time. On a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan with sweeping views of Milwaukee, it’s worth the climb to the top of the tower!
13. Harley Davidson Museum: Fans of motorcycles, mechanics, and wild-hearted rebellion will love the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Complete with a Motor Bar and Restaurant, Shop, and plenty of outdoor space to enjoy, this museum captures the spirit of Harley as well as the trials and tribulations of this iconic American business.
14. Discovery World: This science and technology center is fun for the whole family! Between their aquarium, the Les Paul house of sound, the physics lab, and more, there is something to interest kids and parents alike at Discovery World!
15. Milwaukee River Walk: Looking for something to enjoy that is absolutely free? Take a stroll or a bike ride down the notorious Milwaukee River Walk. On a sunny day, you will have glorious views of the surrounding city and the nearby Milwaukee River. This is a great date idea, a fun place to exercise with friends, or a scenic place to walk the dog!
Why You Should Look for Housing in Wauwatosa
We could carry on singing Milwaukee’s praises, but the list above should at least give you an idea of the sorts of fun things you can expect from this Wisconsin gem. However, living within the city limits of Milwaukee can be costly, noisy, and crowded—even if it is great to visit occasionally. If you want all of the access to what Milwaukee has to offer without the headache and financial drain of living in the city itself, consider living in one of Milwaukee’s suburbs, like Wauwatosa. Named for the Potawatomi word for “firefly,” Wauwatosa enjoys the relative quiet and cheaper cost of living associated with the suburbs with all the entertainment of the big city. (For more things to do in Wauwatosa, check out our recent article on the topic!)
How to Get From Watertown to Milwaukee, WI
Watertown Apartments are some of the most affordable modern apartments in Wauwatosa, just a short walk from the Medical College of Wisconsin campus. If you’re looking for a night out or simply want a change of scenery, fortunately for you, Milwaukee is just a short drive away—around 20 minutes or so. (By bicycle, this will take around 45 minutes!)
To get to from Watertown to Milwaukee by car, you’ll want to take I-41South towards Milwaukee, taking exit 38A to merge onto I-94 East. You’ll travel on I-94 East for about five miles before taking exit 310B on I-43 North towards Green Bay. From there, you will keep right on West Kilbourne Ave and promptly turn right onto North Water St. This puts you at the center of Milwaukee at City Hall.
To bike from Watertown to Milwaukee, consider using safer, less-traveled roads that have bike paths built into the roadway. Starting on West Watertown Plank Road, you will mount your bike and take a right onto North 92nd Street. From there, you will turn left onto West Watertown Plank Road, where there is a bike lane. In 0.6 miles, turn right onto Robertson Street, then left onto Portland Avenue. After 0.2 miles, turn left onto North Honey Creek Parkway, then left again onto North 70th Street. In 350 feet, you will turn right onto the bike path, which you will follow for roughly 1,000 feet before turning left on North 68th Street. Turn right onto West State Street and after 3.7 miles, turn right onto North Sixth Street. Turn left onto West Kilbourn Ave and after 0.3 miles, turn right onto North Water Street. This brings you to City Hall, which is just several blocks away from attractions like parks, the Art Museum, and Lake Michigan.
Modern Apartment Rentals With Watertown Apartments
Over the course of this article, you’ve likely gotten just a taste of all that Milwaukee has to offer—from family-oriented experiences to pioneering brew pubs. While these fun activities have their allure, you may consider living just 20 minutes outside of Milwaukee in Wauwatosa, where prices are lower and things are quieter. Whether you bike, drive, or taxi from Wauwatosa to Milwaukee, one thing is certain: there is plenty to keep you entertained at the other end of your journey!