Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a city that cherishes its roots. When visiting, you’ll see revitalized architecture throughout downtown and witness a parade of summer festivals that celebrate the diverse cultures that make the city what it is today. But Milwaukee is also a city that’s growing and changing. There are major construction projects like the newly opened Bradley Symphony Center, Marriot’s new Autograph Collection hotel The Trade, and a revival of historic streets and neighborhoods around the city that are contributing to a new energy in the air.
Milwaukee has become the second-largest cruise port city on the Great Lakes because of its natural beauty, world-class dining scene, and many attractions. The waterways, which have helped make Milwaukee the water technology capital of the world, also offer plenty of opportunities for group recreation like river cruises, fishing excursions, and more. Here’s a guide to some of Milwaukee’s top attractions to add to your group itineraries.
America’s Black Holocaust Museum
America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) was founded in 1988 in a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, storefront by Dr. James Cameron, the only known survivor of a lynching. In 1992, Cameron acquired a spacious freestanding building, which he renovated and opened on Juneteenth in 1994. The museum attracted local, national, and international visitors until Cameron’s passing in 2006 combined with the country’s economic downturn, forcing the museum to give up its building in 2008. In 2011, a small group of community volunteers began working to reestablish ABHM as a physical facility, and today the museum’s new galleries are in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville neighborhood on the ground floor of the new Griot Building. The galleries take visitors on a chronological journey through the Black Holocaust, from 1619 to the present.
National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum
Bobble into the only museum in the world dedicated to bobbleheads. Featuring over 10,000 bobbleheads, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is fun for everyone! Not just for sports fans, the museum also features bobbleheads from movies, TV, pop culture, politics, and more.
North Point Lighthouse Museum
Groups adore Milwaukee’s beautifully restored North Point Lighthouse Museum, an enduring symbol of the region’s Great Lakes maritime heritage. Groups can climb the tower for a spectacular view, enjoy a tour of the museum, visit the gift shop, and enjoy Frederick Law Olmsted’s Lake Park.
When Captain Frederick Pabst, founder of the modern-day Pabst Brewing Company, and his wife Maria Pabst completed construction of their family mansion in 1892, they could not have anticipated that it would survive into the 21st century, serving as a testament to their enduring impact on the Milwaukee region. As leading figures in Milwaukee society, the Pabsts became consummate art collectors, filling their Flemish Renaissance Revival-style mansion with priceless treasures.
After the Pabst descendants sold the house in 1908, it became the archbishop’s residence and the center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee for almost 70 years. The mansion was nearly torn down to make way for a parking lot in the early ‘70s but was spared demolition and went on to become an award-winning house museum and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The museum opened to the public in 1978. Since that time, Pabst Mansion, Inc. has been at work to return the historic Pabst Mansion to its 1892 glory and welcome visitors to observe, learn, and engage with its rich history and ornate architecture. The museum offers a variety of tours, easy parking, wheelchair access, and a new gift shop at street level.
3rd Street Market Hall
The 3rd Street Market Hall is a hospitality-driven food hall housing diverse local cuisine, exceptional drinks, and engaging games. Groups can peruse the 17 vendors selling everything from Venezuelan arepas to sushi, acai bowls, wings, pizza, inventive salads, and everything in between. Groups can also stretch their legs after a meal by checking out the food hall’s golf simulator, and the shuffleboard and cornhole areas.
Credit: VISIT Milwaukee