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Here’s the thing about Milwaukee: it’s cool, but for some reason it slips under the radar. The city’s reputation as a working man's town of brewskis, bowling alleys and polka halls persists. But attractions like the Calatrava-designed art museum, the badass Harley-Davidson Museum and stylish eating and shopping enclaves have turned Wisconsin's largest city into an unassumingly groovy place.

Milwaukee's enduring relationship with beer is no accident. The city was settled by Germans in the 1840s and many started breweries. A few decades later, the introduction of bulk brewing technology turned beer production into a major industry. Milwaukee earned its 'Brew City' nickname in the 1880s when Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, Miller and 80 other breweries made suds here. Today, only Miller remains of the national brands, though smaller brewers have made a big comeback and bars around town feature the best microbrews from Wisconsin and the region.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Milwaukee.


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