Settled along the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee retains the off-beat character of its working-class past. It’s one of the last bastions of polka music, if you know what we mean. Beer and bowling remain lynchpins of the social scene around here, and that retro charm makes Milwaukee a loveable spot. It’s no slouch in the culture department, either, though, with world-class museums, stunning architecture, and a never-ending series of festivals all summer long.
Flights to Milwaukee
Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport (MKE) is Wisconsin's busiest and largest airports, serving almost 10 million passengers each year. It’s sometimes called “Chicago’s Third Airport” because it’s close enough to the northern suburbs of that city to be used as an alternative. Southwest is the biggest airline here, though all of the major American airlines offer regular flights to Milwaukee. The airport is made up of one big terminal split into three concourses: C, D, and E.
Getting into town from the airport is easy. There are multiple public transportation options available. Several private coach, bus, and shuttle lines offer inexpensive express service to the city, and the MCTS Metroexpress Green Line Bus runs frequently, offering downtown and North Shore routes. Amtrak operates nearby. (A free shuttle bus runs from the airport baggage claim to the station.) You can always grab a taxi or rent a car.
What to Do in Milwaukee
“Brew City” still lives up to its name. While some of the larger beer brewing operations have moved on, microbreweries are booming, and Millers-Coors still offers amazing tours of its gigantic operations. Brewpubs are also everywhere, so after your tour, pull up a barstool and treat yourself to a tasting flight.
The city is also renowned for its festivals. All through the summer you’ll run into festivals celebrating music, food, beer (of course!) and heritage. Summerfest is the biggest, attracting over 700 bands each year. The 11-day-long party grooves on into the long summer nights in the festival grounds along the lakeshore. If you’re looking for something a little high-brow, you won’t be disappointed. The Milwaukee Art Museum is an architectural masterpiece itself, with over 30,000 pieces on display.
Advice to Tourists Visiting Milwaukee
Average summer temperatures here are in the mid-70s, perfect for enjoying the outdoor festivals that run every weekend from June through August. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn can also be mild, but there’s less going on, and the weather is unpredictable.
Winter is cold, cold, cold, as you might expect from its geography. Hotel prices will be rock-bottom during the big freeze. If you’d rather join in the high-season fun, just be sure to plan your accommodation in advance. Skyscanner’s hotel price comparison tool is a free and easy way to get yourself the best deal. If you’re planning to be out and about a lot, you might also want to check out our free rental car price comparison service.