Travel Nurse Assignments: Live Like a Local – Milwaukee, WI

Welcome to Milwaukee, WI! Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s largest city with almost 600,000 residents. Despite it’s size, the city has been named one of the most walkable large cities in the U.S. Milwaukee is a quintessential blue collar town, with manufacturing and beer brewing dominating it’s historical economy. Milwaukee is the birthplace of four major American brewing companies, including Pabst and Miller, and the city is known for their breweries and beer halls. Today, one of the largest sectors of the economy is healthcare, which makes up 27% of all jobs in the city. With plenty of outdoor activities, world-class museums and festivals, and unique architecture, it’s clear why Vogue Magazine named Milwaukee “The Coolest City in the Midwest.”

Parks and the Outdoors

Being adjacent to Lake Michigan, it’s no surprise that Milwaukee is known for their parks and outdoor recreation. The city has over 140 parks with over 15,000 acres of open space and pathways. Furthermore, there’s over 105 miles of bike paths and trails, most of which run along the rivers throughout the city, or along the shores of the lake.

A view of Lake Michigan from Lake Park

You could spend months exploring all of Milwaukee’s parks, but there are several you should definitely make a point to see. Lake Park was one of three parks designed by famous architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who famously designed New York’s Central Park. The park is on the U.S. Register of National Historic Places, and offers several vistas of Lake Michigan. The historic North Point Lighthouse, built in 1855, guards the park, and you can climb the 74-foot tour for some spectacular 360 degree views.

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Other parks worth visiting include Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, known locally as “the domes”. These domes are divided by desert, tropical, and floral show plants, and house thousands of different species from around the world. For beach activities, check out Bradford Beach. With volleyball courts, a dock, and cabanas, it’s the best place to escape the heat during the warmer months. Veterans Park is a great place for kayaking or paddle boarding, and is Milwaukee’s main venue for outdoor events.

Downtown Milwaukee

Museums and Attractions

Milwaukee has several top attractions and museums that are worth a visit. The Harley-Davidson Museum houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and artifacts in the world. The museum features more than 450 unique motorcycles ranging from 1903 to the present day. The museum is one of Milwaukee’s most popular attractions, with over 300,000 annual visitors. Even if you’re not into motorcycles, it’s a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, and something that is truly unique to Milwaukee.

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Moreover, the Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the city’s most highly regarded cultural attractions. The museum has over 31,000 works in it’s impressive collection, and features works from famous artists like Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. One thing that’s unique about this art museum is the Burke Brise Soleil, a moveable wing-like sunscreen that sits on the roof of the museum. Visitors can watch the wings rise and fall at various times throughout the day.

The Milwaukee Art Museum with the iconic Burke Brise Soleil

Other attractions include the Milwaukee County Zoo, which has one of the largest populations of Bonobos outside of Africa. Also, the Pabst Mansion is one of Milwaukee’s most prominent historic sites. Built in 1892 for Captain Frederick Pabst, the founder of Pabst Brewing Company, the mansion is now a museum. Visitors can tour the mansion and the grounds, and learn about the Pabst Family. During the holiday season, the mansion comes alive with Christmas lights and decorations.

The Third Ward is really rad. Lots of breweries, gastropubs and the public market. Plus live music on the weekends!

Anna B. – Rock Star RN

Where to Eat and Drink

Known as a cultural melting pot, Milwaukee has a diverse selection of restaurants and bars to choose from. Blue’s Egg is definitely the place to go for breakfast. They have a decadent menu, with favorites like Berry smothered French Toast and Blue’s Classic Eggs Benedict. La Merenda is a Spanish tapas bar and restaurant located in Milwaukee’s historic Walker’s Point. They have a wide selection of tapas, such as Truffled Potato Skins and Argentinian Pork Belly, not to mention, house-made Sangria. For a more laid back atmosphere, check out the Swingin’ Door Exchange. This historic pub specializes in comfort foods like their Sriracha Chicken Sandwich, and Patty Melt.

The Hoan Bridge at sunset.

If you visit a place known as The Beer City, you’re kind of obligated to try their beer. Today, Miller Brewing Company is the only macrobrewery still operating in Milwaukee, and microbreweries have begun to stake their claim. Lakefront Brewery has enjoyed great success since they opened in 1987. They’re beers have won countless awards, and they also have a full menu with German pub favorites. You can also take their famous brewery tour, with free tastings of course! If beer isn’t your thing, check out the Great Lakes Distillery, which makes an eclectic variety of spirits and cocktails.

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