Milwaukee is a city located in the southeastern corner of Wisconsin. To the east of Milwaukee lies Lake Michigan and to the west, the capital city of Madison. Milwaukee is a unique city to visit, home to several well-known breweries, museums, and lots to do.
In this article, you will learn a bit about the history of Milwaukee as well as a few kooky laws it still has on the books. You will also discover some awesome places to visit in Milwaukee such as unique museums, one of a kind landmarks, and the perfect attractions for those who love nature.
What is the History of Milwaukee?
Milwaukee was the territory of several Native American tribes, most notably the Algonquian peoples who named the area. The word Milwaukee in Algonquian means pleasant or beautiful place.
Milwaukee was first explored by European settlers in the early 1800s and mostly gained the attraction of French and German settlers. The area today is still heavily populated by people of German and Polish descent.
What Weird Laws Does Milwaukee Have?
Of all the cities that have strange laws, some of Milwaukee’s definitely take the cake. For example, it is against the law to serve margarine and all cheese is required to be highly pleasing. Though what the penalty for less than desirable cheese is, we’re not really sure.
Animal lovers will be pleased with these two laws: animals cannot be shot if you are in an airplane and livestock always has the right of way over cars.
Perhaps the most mind boggling law though is one about trains. If two trains meet on a track, neither can go forward until the other one proceeds.
What Museums Are There to Visit in Milwaukee?
Let’s take a look at a few of the interesting museums Milwaukee has to offer. The Milwaukee Public Museum is an awesome place to start. With exhibits highlighting human and natural history, there is something for everyone here. A couple of its most notable features are prehistoric mammoths and an entire room of seashells.
The Grohmann Museum is perfect for an art lover with masterpiece sculptures and paintings from the last five centuries. Most of the collection highlights the evolution of human work with subjects such as farmers, blacksmiths, and miners.
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is great for the kids with interactive exhibits and learning experiences at different stations. This landmark museum is not only an educational place but also a super fun attraction to visit.
The Harley Davidson Museum is the perfect place to be if you are a motorcycle enthusiast. Take a trip back in time to the origins of the famous company. Hop on a bike for a virtual ride on a Harley. You can even see famous Harley Davidson motorcycles like the one owned by Elvis Presley.
Are There Any Interesting Landmarks in Milwaukee?
Milwaukee has some unique landmarks to visit for those who are looking for something outside the typical tourist attractions. Visit the Pabst Mansion, the Flemish Renaissance style home of Captain Frederick Pabst. A beer baron and sea captain, Pabst owned a beautiful three floor mansion that boasts more fireplaces than bathrooms.
The Basilica of St. Josaphat is a gorgeous Catholic church founded and built by Conventual Franciscans. It is over a century old and contains pieces of Chicago’s old Post Office. The architecture, stained glass, and intricate artistry within the basilica are absolutely breathtaking.
The Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear provides a window to the past with a look at life between World Wars I and II. The museum displays authentic items from everyday life in Milwaukee in the 1930s.
The North Point Lighthouse and Museum overlooking Lake Michigan is another great place to visit. This historic treasure has a unique story you can witness for yourself. Discover what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper, climbing those stairs multiple times a day.
If you’re a Happy Days fan, you cannot leave Milwaukee before you take a selfie with the Bronze Fonz. Located along the riverwalk through the city, this life-sized statue gives two thumbs for Milwaukee and everyone who lives and visits here.
What Are Some Good Milwaukee Attractions for Nature Lovers?
The Milwaukee County Zoo is the perfect place for any animal lover. They boast a whole variety of species including peacocks, giraffes, sea lions, snow leopards, and much more. There is a zoo tram to take around the park as well as camel and pony rides available.
The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory is an amazing place to visit for the plant lover in you. It features three domes that are set up as two different biomes – desert and tropical – and a show dome. With well over a thousand species of plants, you will leave with a whole new appreciation for all things green.
The Manfred Olson Planetarium reaches up to the stars for a look beyond our own world. It opened in the mid-1960s and has remained a staple attraction for inspiring children and adults alike to cultivate their love of astronomy. The Planetarium has plenty of telescopes for use and hosts stargazing events.
Does Milwaukee Have Anything to Acknowledge Its Beer History?
Milwaukee is home to two major national breweries which you can tour. The Miller Brewery tour takes you over 150 years back to the beginning of the brewery in a Bavarian style inn. Experience the way the beer is brewed, packaged, and prepared for shipping throughout the country.
The Pabst Brewery tour is another historic adventure you can take in Milwaukee. Learn about the history of the company that rose to claim the largest brewery in America in 1874. A free beer for those of age accompanies the tour itself and if you want more history, stop at the Pabst Mansion to check out Captain Frederick’s Pabst’s enormous house.
Milwaukee is also home to some smaller craft breweries such as MobCraft, Milwaukee Brewing Company, and Lakefront Brewery.