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Milwaukee, WI

IntroductionDespite being Wisconsin's biggest city, Milwaukee has a decidedly small-town feel—it's more like a series of neighborhoods linked together as opposed to a typical booming metropolis. While the 19th century brought an influx of immigrants from some 30 European countries, Germans were in the majority, and you'll notice their heritage reflected in cozy cafes and beer gardens. But, you can grab some Italian, Polish and Irish specialties along with the bratwurst and sauerbraten, experiencing a wonderful array of cuisines.

Wash down all that fabulous food with the suds that made Milwaukee famous—names like Pabst, Miller and Schlitz were instrumental in the city's industrial development. To experience a first-hand look, take a guided tour of the Miller Brewery Tour & Visitor Center and visit the Pabst Mansion, a testament to the Gilded Age. During your trip to Milwaukee, there are several must-see attractions for your sightseeing itinerary. Explore the Milwaukee Art Museum, with collections ranging from the Old Masters and German Expressionists to folk and Haitian art. If your interests lean toward the world's human and natural history, check out the Milwaukee Public Museum, where the wonders range from exotic butterflies to a life-size replica of Tyrannosaurus rex. Flora and fauna are the stars at the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, where natural wonders abound.

For a taste of nostalgia and a hint of German heritage, head to Old World 3rd Street, where specialty stores in 19th-century buildings include such favorites as Usinger's Famous Sausage, Mader's and the Wisconsin Cheese Mart.

Getting There

By CarFrom the north, I-43 provides controlled access into downtown Milwaukee. I-94 affords direct access to the downtown area from Chicago and other southern points. From the west, I-94 is the controlled-access highway into the city. Bypassing the metropolitan area to the south and west, I-894 provides the best connection for the I-94 through corridor. Lake Express offers 2.5-hour car-ferry trips from Muskegon, Mich., to Milwaukee; phone (866) 914-1010 for rates and schedule.

Getting Around

Street SystemLake Michigan flanks the city on the east, and Wisconsin Avenue is the main downtown east-west thoroughfare. The Milwaukee River divides the downtown area into approximately equal east and west sections; I-94 is the approximate dividing line between north and south street addresses. Streets are numbered in ascending order west of the Milwaukee River and continue well into the suburbs to the Milwaukee County line.

The official, unposted speed limit is 25 mph; other limits are posted. Rush hours are 7-9 a.m. and 3:30-6 p.m. Right turns are permitted on red unless otherwise posted.

ParkingPrivate commercial lots are scattered throughout the downtown area and near the airport. Lot rates are $3-$5 per hour and $7-$15 for all-day parking. Private lots within four blocks of the Wisconsin Center and BMO Harris Bradley Center provide parking for functions at the centers.

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Milwaukee, WI

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.

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DoubleTree by Hilton Milwaukee Downtown

611 W Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53203

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Saint Kate - The Arts Hotel

139 E Kilbourn Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202

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DoubleTree by Hilton Milwaukee-Brookfield

18155 W Bluemound Rd. Brookfield, WI 53045

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Best Western Plus Milwaukee Airport Hotel & Conference Center

5105 S Howell Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207

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Travel Information

City Population



740 ft.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Milwaukee is 5.6 percent. In addition there is a 9.5 percent tax on hotel rooms, a 3 percent tax on car rentals and a .5 percent tax on food and beverage purchases.



Police (non-emergency)

(414) 933-4444


Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, (414) 649-6000; Aurora Sinai Medical Center, (414) 219-2000; Columbia St. Mary's Hospital, (414) 585-1000; Froedtert Hospital, (414) 805-3666; and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-St. Francis Hospital, (414) 647-5000.

Visitor Information

648 N. Plankinton Ave. Suite 425 Milwaukee, WI 53203-2501. Phone:(414)273-3950 or (800)231-0903

Air Travel

General Mitchell International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, at the airport, (414) 747-5200 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

Amtrak, 433 W. St. Paul Ave. at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, provides railroad passenger service to the city; phone (414) 271-9037 or (800) 872-7245 for reservations.


The Greyhound Lines Inc. terminal is at 433 W. St. Paul Ave. at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station; phone (414) 272-2156 or (800) 231-2222.


All taxis in Milwaukee use the meter system. The fare is $5 for the first mile, $2.50 for each additional mile and $1 for each additional person. Taxis can be ordered by phone or hired at taxi stands at most major hotels. American United is the city's major taxi service; phone (414) 220-5000.

Public Transportation

The Milwaukee County Transit System, 1942 N. 17th St., operates 22-hour service throughout Milwaukee County and eastern Waukesha County. The fare is $2.25; $1.10 (ages 6-11, ages 65+ and disabled persons with ID). Exact fare is required. For schedule and route information, phone (414) 344-6711 daily Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 8-4:30 or TTY (414) 937-3299 Mon.-Fri. 8-4.

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