MILWAUKEE: AMERICA'S BEST KEPT SECRET
Milwaukee is referred to often as “America's best-kept secret.” With its outgoing residents and year-round calendar of events, the city enjoys a growing reputation as a destination that will never disappoint. “Having a good time in Milwaukee, wish you were here” is now being reported by millions of visitors a year.
The city is unique in the way it continues to blend the old and the new. Along the Lake Michigan shoreline each summer, festivals celebrate the sounds, sights and scents of the city's diverse ethnic heritage. Once known as “the most German city in America,” Milwaukee today boasts a summer ethnic festival season that is second to none. Many, like Irish Fest in August, are the largest ethnic gatherings outside the home countries. Some, like Indian Summer Festival presented by the state's many Native American tribes each September, are the largest cultural gatherings of their type in the country. And in November, all ethnic backgrounds are celebrated at Milwaukee's International Folk Festival, the largest indoor ethnic festival in the nation.
With the ethnic heritage has come a love for the arts. For many years, the centerpiece of the summer festival season has been Summerfest, known as the world's largest music festival. Summerfest attracts the best of the world's popular entertainers each year. Those that don't play the “Big Gig” frequently appear at the outdoor Marcus Amphitheatre on the Summerfest grounds, at the Wisconsin State Fair or indoors at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Riverside Theatre or the new Milwaukee Theatre.
Milwaukee's arts community is exceptionally strong and diverse. The city boasts its own ballet company, symphony orchestra and several acting companies with national reputations.
Standing at the top of the city's arts community is the internationally acclaimed addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the $100-million museum addition was named by Time Magazine as the top architectural achievement of 2001.
Long supported through public-private partnerships, Milwaukee's museums are fascinating and accessible. The Museum Center downtown includes the Milwaukee Public Museum, with natural history exhibits which can be seen nowhere else, and the IMAX domed theater, which doubles as a state-of-the-art digital planetarium. Also downtown is the Betty Brinn Children's Museum, which has achieved national recognition for attractions for children from one to ten. Beside the Milwaukee Art Museum is the new Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin, a lakefront facility containing interactive exhibits from some of the city's leading corporations and fresh and salt-water aquariums. Pier Wisconsin also is the summer base of the the Denis Sullivan, a re-creation of an 1880s-era three-masted Great Lakes schooner.
Milwaukee’s newest museum is the Harley-Davidson Museum, a mecca for riders of Milwaukee Iron and others who want to know the history and highlights of this historic product and brand. The museum is located at the east end of Canal Street. To the west along Canal Street is Potawatomi Bingo Casino and Miller Park, home of the Brewers.
Just outside the downtown area, where room is available for the buffalo and plenty of other animals to roam, is the Milwaukee County Zoo. An early developer of natural outside habitats, the zoo is recognized as one of the finest zoological parks in the world.
As you travel throughout the metropolitan area, you will see the city's ethnic heritage reflected in its commercial activity. Popular tours of Miller Brewing Company, one of the country's largest beer producers, give you an overview of the city's brewing history. While specialty brewers and brew pubs have replaced some of the old labels, the industry continues to be an important part of the area's economy.
Manufacturing remains dynamic through world-class companies like Briggs & Stratton, Harley-Davidson and numerous and specialty manufacturers. The metropolitan area also is one of the country's printing centers, anchored by Quad Graphics which prints many leading publications.
As technology has changed, so has the makeup of the city's economy. The strength of the Milwaukee area economy is buoyed by service providers and technologically advanced companies that call the area home. Johnson Controls, FIserv, Manpower International, Sensient Technologies, Rockwell International and General Electric Medical Systems are a few of the area's new economy corporate citizens.
The city's financial community includes the fifth-largest life insurer in the nation, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, and widely known mutual fund groups like Nicholas, Artisan and Heartland funds.
For sports fans, the games never end in Milwaukee. The National League Milwaukee Brewers play in Miller Park, a state-of -the-art ballpark with a fan-shaped, retractable roof that ensures no rainouts.
Milwaukee also is home for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association, the Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer club and the Milwaukee Admirals hockey franchise. The Bucks and the Admirals play in the Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee, while the Wave plays nearby in the U.S. Cellular Arena. Professional soccer also is played outdoors, primarily at Uihlein Field on the north side of the metropolitan area and in Franklin on the south side.
For those who want to play, rather than watch, golf courses and tennis facilities are located in all parts of the metropolitan area. Milwaukee County's golf courses are widely known and include Brown Deer, the only public course on which a major PGA tournament is played. Softball leagues abound in the parks, as well as volleyball, which has become a major activity at many neighborhood taverns.
The city is home to two major universities -- Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- as well as several well-known smaller schools. Marquette and UWM field teams in many NCAA sports and all of the universities offer diverse cultural and artistic programs throughout the year.
KEY Milwaukee Magazine and KEY Milwaukee Online give you the most up-to-date information on the city each month. Our maps, which are available in print and on line, are designed to help you navigate through the city and to make your way to popular outlying attractions such as Historic Cedarburg, bustling Brookfield, quaint Port Washington and the distinctive cities of Kenosha, Racine, Waukesha and West Bend. We provide telephone listings to enable you to obtain additional information. When available, we also provide Internet addresses and, with KEY Online, convenient links to other Web sites.
KEY Milwaukee has served tourists and convention visitors to Milwaukee since 1965. We recognize the need for continuous improvement and welcome your suggestions or comments. You can call us at (414) 732-7320 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy your visit and come again!
KEY MILWAUKEE... The Travelers' Guide to Milwaukee & Southeastern Wisconsin
No part may be reproduced without written permission.
KEY Milwaukee is distributed monthly in hotels, motels, visitor's centers, corporations and retail stores in Southeastern Wisconsin and on the Internet at www.keymilwaukee.com. It is a KEY Magazine, licensed by KEY Magazines, Inc.
KEY Milwaukee makes every effort to maintain the accuracy of the information provided in the monthly magazine and website, but assumes no responsibility for errors, changes and omissions.