Stretched along a bluff overlooking one of Lake Michigan's most beautiful bays, Milwaukee is said to have the perfect balance of big-city attractions and small-town values. With a population of over 600,000 people, Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and the 17th largest in the nation. Yet, it is known for its safety and cleanliness.
The Grand Avenue Mall, a four block, multi level, totally enclosed marketplace of over 130 shops and restaurants, has newly revitalized Milwaukee's historic shopping district. It is a perfect example of the blending of old and new. Milwaukee is a family friendly city with interactive museums, a spectacular zoo, theaters ranging from Imax to opera, world-class sporting events, and spectacular waterways offering fishing and water sports.
There are many beautiful churches and architecturally noteworthy buildings and homes. Each summer there is an authentic reenactment of an old time circus parade complete with bands, animals and horse drawn wagons in the downtown area. Summerfest brings to the city's waterfront eleven different music stages, along with food and fun.
Milwaukee hosts lively ethnic festivals throughout the year. Among these are: Oktoberfest, Bavarian Folk Fest, Festa Italiana, German Fest, Greek Festival, Polish Fest, Holiday Folk Fair, Indian Summer Fest, Irish Fest, Mexican Fiesta, African World Festival, Asian Moon Festival, and Bastille Days. The influence of each of these cultures is also apparent in the wide variety of local restaurants featuring mouth watering ethnic cuisine.
In the 1600's and 1700's Milwaukee served as a French trading post and a campsite between Chicago and Green Bay. As waves of other European settlers began arriving in the 1820's, they rejoiced in the combination of fertile land and abundant water that would insure their prosperity. The French were followed by the English, then by Scandanavian, Irish, Dutch, Austrian and Polish settlers. Reminders of these early immigrants are still evident as the community holds on to some of the traditions introduced over 150 years ago. The immigrants contributed their strong work ethic, evident everywhere from small family businesses to industrial giants like the Allen-Bradley Co. and the breweries.
A feeling of warmth and hospitality is evident throughout the region. Milwaukeeans are proud of their city and its many "one of a kind" attractions, and they welcome the opportunity to share these with visitors. The Milwaukee Public Museum ranks number one in exhibits nationwide. This museum pioneered the idea of walk-through exhibit designs, and it has featured these since 1882. The Milwaukee Art Museum is Wisconsin's premier visual arts museum. Brewery tours and samplings are popular with visitors and local residents alike.
Professional sports abound in Milwaukee. No matter what the season, Milwaukee has it covered! Top pro teams such as the Bucks, the Brewers, and the Admirals provide year round excitement. The Milwaukee Mustangs, a recent addition to the local sports scene, bring the thrill of fast paced football to the indoor arena.
Milwaukeeans do more than watch sports action from the sidelines -- they fully participate. Biking, swimming, skiing, football, baseball, tennis, golf and running are just a few of the recreational activities available in Greater Milwaukee. There are 15,000 acres of parkland in Milwaukee County and numerous private facilities. Competitive cycling brings national and international competitors to Milwaukee each summer. 76 miles of area bike trails are available to the public and waiting to be explored!
Milwaukee is a city of beauty and vitality that attracts visitors seeking to discover and enjoy this gateway to the Midwest. A few years ago, the Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau adopted a new and most appropriate slogan for the city: "Genuine American."