Milwaukee, Wisconsin: A Festival For Everyone
By Renee Estey
Along with the clean streets, people are extremely friendly and helpful. Asking directions is so easy in Milwaukee, because people give great easy directions and they are kind about doing so. The people I encountered were never rude and always gave easy to follow directions.
A Festival For Everyone
Milwaukee is known for their summer festivals, including Pridefest, Polish Fest, Summerfest, Festa Italiana, German Fest, African World Festival, Arab World Festival, Irish Fest, Mexican Fiesta, and Indian Summer Festival. All of these festivals are held at the Henry Maier Festival Park, located right next to Lake Michigan, making it a calm, cool place to visit.
Aside from these festivals that require tickets, every Thursday night they have Jazz in the Park, which always draws in the crowds and is especially loved by the broke college students, as it is free. Lots of people bring food and wine and have a nice picnic on the green as they take in the music.
Both the Schlitz brewery and the Pabst brewery no longer exist, having been bought out by other breweries. However, you can still find both beers occasionally, sold by the brewery that took over. Miller is the current famous beer and Schlitz is considered the "beer that made Milwaukee famous."
The Pabst Mansion is a beautiful mansion, and they are currently in the process of restoration. The downstairs is complete and they are halfway through restoring the second floor, where all of the bedrooms were located. They use old photographs of all of the rooms to recreate the interior the way it was when the Pabst family lived there.
The mansion is splendid to look at, even if you are not interested in the history, because it so very ornate, with gorgeous ceilings and the decorative wood paneling.
One of the great local bars is the Milwaukee Ale House, located right on the river front in the Historic Third Ward. The Ale House is also a restaurant, with a bar located on the bottom floor -- a great place for people to go and enjoy a beer and music. They have their own brewery and are expanding to other locations near Milwaukee.
Many of the bars and pubs are very German or Irish, as these two cultures are hugely celebrated in Milwaukee.
Old World Third Street is a perfect place to feel a part of Germany in what looks like an old German Village, full of restaurants, pubs, and shops, including a cute spice shop and a famous sausage shop called Usingers with historic marble counters, tile floors, and wood beams. The greatest part is the mural on the walls, showing the elves working hard on sausages.
Milwaukee also has some great places to shop. The Historic Third Ward has the Public Market, a cute grocery that smells so good and has such fresh vegetables and fruits that you cannot leave without purchasing something.
The greatest thing about Milwaukee is the contrast that the city has between the bustling city life and the peaceful park on the lakeside. In one day, you can spend the morning running through their lakeside parks enjoying the breeze and the quiet, unless Summerfest is going on, in which case you can hear some of the music as you run, which can also be quite relaxing and good for a jog.
You can then rent some rollerblades, scooters and other boardwalk rentals or even rent a paddleboat. They also have a great place to fly kites.
At noon the wings will also flap and it is a great experience to watch them. Of course, if it is too windy, the wings will stay closed.
The Milwaukee Public Museum is a natural history museum home to the Puelicher Butterfly Wing, a planetarium, and an IMAX theatre, along with great educational exhibitions.
Then you can learn about nature through their aquarium and other natural water displays. You can even pet stingrays and other sea creatures. It is a great place that encourages creation and innovation without destroying nature, and encourages environmental preservation.
Milwaukee is a great place for this Museum as it has the bustling always innovative city, and the beautiful nature of the lakes and the parks.
Summerfest is also a huge reason people go to Milwaukee, being the largest music festival, 72 acres of concrete, sitting right by Lake Michigan, full of food and fun and eleven different stages full of varieties of music.
If there is a headlining band you desperately want to see, it is important to stand in your spot of choice early on, even if other bands you like are playing on other bandstands.
For those who are there more for socializing, it is great to walk around the different music varieties and have the live music in the background. And it is great to listen to some up-and-coming bands playing earlier in the day.
Read Max Hartshorne's Destination Guide to Milwaukee
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