21 Things Milwaukee Is Known And Famous For

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Milwaukee is known for its famous breweries, sports teams AND GERMAN HERITAGE

Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s most-populated city and its cultural hub. As the most vibrant city in the state, Milwaukee is known for its famous breweries, historical and cultural attractions, and major sports teams. However, there are plenty more things to uncover in this bustling city of Wisconsin that makes it so interesting.

What Is Milwaukee Known For?

Milwaukee is famous for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Brewers, some of the United States’ largest breweries, and several historic and stunning landmarks. Among these include the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Public Market, Mitchell Park Domes, and the Pabst Mansion.

Milwaukee is also known for its vibrant German culture, hosting a variety of festivals throughout the year celebrating everything from beer to bratwurst.

History, Culture, And Traditions

Beer And Brewing

If you were wondering why Milwaukee is called ‘Brew City’, it is because of its rich beer brewing heritage. Milwaukee’s long history of brewing beer dates back to the mid-19th century when European immigrants first introduced it and opened the first brewery named Milwaukee Brewery.

Since then, Milwaukee has been home to some of the world’s largest breweries, including Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst, and Miller. The long history of breweries is one of the foremost cultural heritage Milwaukee is famous for and is a huge tourist attraction for visitors who can explore breweries and sample local beers.

African American History

Milwaukee is known for its large black community and the city’s key role in the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for housing. Milwaukee’s civil rights efforts included protests, organized boycotts, and legislative battles. The struggle is said to have lasted two decades before their demands were met. 

Milwaukee is home to historic places where African American culture is celebrated, like the Bronzeville neighborhood. The Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum is a great place to start learning about the rich history of African Americans in Milwaukee. 


Sport is an important part of Milwaukee’s culture and the residents are some of the most passionate sports fans in the US. The city is home to several notable professional sports teams, such as the Bucks(basketball), the Admirals(hockey), and the Brewers(baseball). 

You can visit the city during the regular season of the NBA to catch the Milwaukee Bucks playing their home games at Fiserv Forum or join the excited and vocal Brewers supporters to experience the intensity of a baseball game. The passion of the fans is one thing Milwaukee is famous for, and you will see why when you catch a live home game.

German Heritage

Milwaukee is known for its German heritage, which is shown in its architecture, cuisine, festivals, and most of the famed breweries in the city. Some German influences in Milwaukee include the beer-dominated Wisconsin Oktoberfest, the German Fest, and several other events and cultures in the city.

Some of the historic German-style buildings belong to residents with German ancestry, and they are open to tours by visitors interested in the fascinating German roots Milwaukee is known for. Other examples of vital German history include the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, a hotel established in a former brewery.

Art Culture

Milwaukee boasts a lively art scene, which has become an important part of the city’s culture. From murals to paintings and drawings, there is plenty to discover for every visiting art lover.

One of the city’s prominent historic sites and landmarks, the Milwaukee Art Museum is home to large collections of works by Pablo Picasso, Jean HonorĂ© Fragonard, Winslow Homer, and Warhol.

Milwaukee’s vibrant music scene is also a popular aspect of the city’s art culture. You can attend concerts at several locations in downtown Milwaukee or catch some folk artists performing at beer gardens. There are just so many diverse, rich art events and experiences for visitors.

Areas And Districts

Historic Third Ward

Historic Third Ward is a popular neighborhood in downtown Milwaukee, known for its vibrancy and its trendy shops, art galleries, and restaurants.

The area was an industrial district before a heavy decline prompted an ongoing revitalization that has seen artists, designers, and entrepreneurs open up boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

The neighborhood is home to the Milwaukee Public Market, an indoor market where visitors can sample local food. It also features theaters where visitors can catch a variety of shows, and a range of shops and art studios worth browsing.

Milwaukee Riverwalk

One of the most beautiful outdoor areas Milwaukee is for is the Riverwalk located Downtown. The winding three-mile-long riverwalk runs along the Milwaukee River, offering a delightful walking tour of the area’s public and access to some of the city’s best attractions.

The riverwalk offers so many fun activities like watching a live performance at the Peck Pavilion, hopping a boat for a skyline cruise or dinner trip, or even sampling the fresh brew served up at the Lakefront Brewery.

This beloved promenade is popular among locals and is a must-visit for tourists seeking spontaneity in their exploration.


Downtown Milwaukee holds the pulse of Brew City. It is not just the city’s central business district but its vibrant center and cultural hub, offering a wide range of attractions, from restaurants to historic buildings, shopping centers, and many popular places.

You can enjoy the shopping, dining, and entertainment activities in the city, like exploring the historic Milwaukee Art Museum and what was once one of the largest breweries in Wisconsin, Pabst Brewery.

Downtown also hosts some of the most packed events and festivals Milwaukee is famous for, including Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. This is also one of the exciting facts about Wisconsin for both residents and visitors.

It doesn’t matter the time of the year, Downtown Milwaukee has plenty of activities and attractions for anyone in the city.

Architecture And Landmarks

Milwaukee City Hall

This imposing historic building is one of Milwaukee’s prominent national historic places. Upon the completion of Milwaukee City Hall in 1895, it was the tallest building in Wisconsin and it remained so until 1973.

For most of its existence, the skyscraper was the marketing symbol of Milwaukee, which gave it a huge cultural significance and an interesting tourist destination. It is also a symbol of the city’s commitment and innovation.

The building is famous for its distinctive Flemish Renaissance Revival architecture and a 353-foot clock tower that oversees the surrounding area. 

Basilica Of St. Josaphat

This basilica is a spectacular building in Milwaukee, famous for its architecture. Originally built as a church in 1901, St. Josaphat was designated as a minor basilica, becoming just the third one in the United States.

The building wears a Polish Cathedral style of architecture and is modeled after Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica. Its copper dome is one of the largest in the world. Visitors are welcome to tour the building and attend masses held in the church every day. The basilica is one of the most outstanding landmarks in Wisconsin.

Pabst Mansion

The Pabst Mansion is another outstanding historic building Milwaukee is known for. The house was built for Captain Frederick Pabst, founder of the historic Pabst Brewing Company. Designed by architect George Bowman Ferry, the building’s Flemish Renaissance Revival-style architecture is one of its best features.

Now a historic museum house, the Pabst mansion draws a variety of people interested in knowing how the Pabst family lived in the house, as well as members of Milwaukee’s Archdiocese who lived at the mansion for over 67 years. The interior features several Renaissance-style properties, including a variety of chairs.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum is a magnificent building and one of the United States’ largest museums that houses over 25,000 works of art, comprising collections by some of the most notable artists in the world.

The building features several sections that serve different purposes. The exhibition space displays the artworks of artists, such as Pablo Picasso, George O’Keeffe, and Edgar Degas. There is also an auditorium for special events and shopping stores, where visitors can buy souvenirs.

The museum even provides visitors with pedestrian access across the lakeshore to downtown Milwaukee through the Reiman Bridge. 

North Point Water Tower

North Point Water Tower is one of Milwaukee’s most iconic structures. The tower, overlooking North Avenue from the east end of Lake Michigan, was built in 1874 as part of Milwaukee.

The tower was one of the key projects of the initial water supply scheme for Milwaukee. It was built with the Hiram and Horace Story cut limestone and wears a Victorian Gothic styling.

Since its designation as a National Historic Place in 1973, it has become popular among tourists and visitors, who can walk around the tower’s center.

Sports In Milwaukee

Milwaukee Bucks

Basketball team Milwaukee Bucks is the most famous sports team based in Milwaukee. The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association(NBA), where they have been a solid and outstanding side in the Eastern Conference Central Division in recent years.

The franchise was founded in 1968 and has since won at least two championships, three conference titles, and eighteen division titles.

The Bucks’ famous green jersey has been worn by some of the most prominent players in the history of the NBA, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Michael Redd, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

During the NBA regular season, fans pack the Fiserv Forum to watch the Bucks play their home games almost every week.

Milwaukee Brewers

Another sports team Milwaukee is famous for are the Brewers. The Milwaukee Brewers are a baseball team that competes in Major League Baseball(MLB).

The team’s famous ‘Brewers’ name was given to the club in honor of the city’s long brewing history.

Established in 1969, the team has played its home games at the 41,900-capacity American Family Field since 1970. Since their introduction to the national league in 1998, the Brewers have won three Central Division titles and claimed three Wild Card berths.

Milwaukee Admirals

The Milwaukee Admirals make up the list of the three most popular sports teams in Milwaukee. The Admirals are an ice hockey team that competes in the American Hockey League(AHL).

The franchise was founded as an amateur team in 1970 and has since become a beloved team of Milwaukee residents. You can feel the love of the locals whenever the Admirals play their home games at the packed UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

The Admirals trophy cabinet includes two AHL championship titles, one USHL title, two conference titles, one Calder Cup, and many others.

Famous Food In Milwaukee

Dairy Products And Cheese Curds

Dubbed ‘America’s Dairyland’, Wisconsin is famous for its cheese and dairy, and Brew City is no exception. Milwaukee is home to several cheese factories and dairy farms, which easily make cheese and dairy two staple ingredients in many local dishes in the city.

Cheese curds, cream puffs, custard, and fish fries are some of the local delicacies you must try during your visit to Milwaukee.

Fish Fry

Fish fry is an iconic Milwaukee tradition, and a plate of fish fry served with french fries, coleslaw, and rye bread can be found in almost every restaurant. These are battered and deep-fried fish (often cod) that are just crispy on the outside and steamy soft inside.

These fried and snackable treats go incredibly well with the craft brews that Milwaukee is known for. Some Milwaukeeans even consider it the city’s unofficial dish. At The Packing House restaurant in Bay View, you can dig into some of the tastiest fish fry dishes around town.


Famous People From Milwaukee

Rachel Brosnahan

Rachel is one of the most famous people from Milwaukee, thanks to her outstanding roles in various notable TV shows. She was born in Milwaukee before her family moved to Illinois, where she attended high school.

Rachel made her movie debut in 2009 when she appeared in the horror film The Unborn. Her recurring roles in TV shows like The Blacklist and Black Box pushed her further into the limelight.

Rachel, however, earned critical acclaim with her roles in House of Cards and The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, for which she received both the Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations.

David Giuntoli

Grimm star, David Giuntoli was born in Milwaukee to a father of Italian descent and a mother of German and Polish ascent. Raised in Huntleigh, Giuntoli attended St. Louis University High School and graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a degree in International Business and Finance.

After he graduated from university, David became a part-time actor for a short time before moving to Los Angeles to start a full-time career in acting.  He landed his most prominent role in 2011 when he led the cast of Grimm

Colin Kaepernick

Colin is a professional football player who gained global acclaim for his activism and demonstrations on and off the pitch. Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee and lived in Wisconsin until his family moved to California when he was four.

He played six seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, catching global attention during the latter part of his stint. He became a civil rights icon for kneeling during the rendition of the US anthem before an NFL game.

Colin’s career achievements include the WAC Offensive Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2010; and the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a postseason.

Discovering More Things Milwaukee Is Known For

It is important to know that breweries, sports teams, and landmarks are only part of what made  Milwaukee famous. The city is rich in attractions and activities that make for a great adventure.

Milwaukee is known for many other things and events that are best discovered by visiting and exploring all that the city has to offer.



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Travel Insurance

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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