Introduction to Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of the 25 largest cities in the United States with a population of nearly 600,000 people. It is also the largest city in Wisconsin as well as an international seaport. Milwaukee is located in southeast Wisconsin, on the western bank of Lake Michigan, and an hour and thirty minutes west of the state capital, Madison. The Milwaukee metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1.7 million people.
Milwaukee is home to ten Fortune 1000 company headquarters, including such household names as Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual, and Harley-Davidson.
Milwaukee is ranked as the 14th "Most Fun U.S. City" in a survey conducted in 2003 by Cranium Inc. Factors taken into account in the ranking include: the number of sports teams, restaurants, dance performances, toy stores, the amount of a city's budget that is spent on recreation, and other factors.
Milwaukee experiences all four seasons and rapidly changing weather. July is the warmest month of the year with an average temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. January is the coldest month, with average temperatures remaining below freezing at 26 degrees Fahrenheit. The "lake effect" of Lake Michigan makes for cooler summers, warmer winters (than surrounding areas further from the lake), and plenty of snow.
The Milwaukee area was originally inhabited by several native American tribes. The first white settler to the area was a French Canadian fur trader who established a trading post in 1795. What was to become Milwaukee was originally three towns founded by three different men in 1833 and 1834. In 1846 the towns were combined and incorporated as the City of Milwaukee.
The name Milwaukee is derived from the Indian word Millioke, which, depending on interpretation, means "the good land", or "gathering place by the water", or "beautiful or pleasant lands".
Milwaukee Arts and Culture
Milwaukee is a center for the arts and culture, including conservatories, museums, the performing arts, and more. Some of Milwaukee's more notable museums include:
- The Betty Brinn Children's Museum
- The Charles Allis Art Museum
- The James Lovell Museum of Science, Economics, and Technology
- The Milwaukee Art Museum
- The Milwaukee County Zoo
- The Milwaukee Public Museum
- The Mitchell Park Conservatory
- The Schlitz Audubon Center
- The Villa Terrace Decorative Art Museum
- The William F. Eisner Museum of Advertising & Design
For patrons of the performing arts, Milwaukee offers the following:
- The City Ballet Theatre
- The Festival City Symphony
- The Florentine Opera Company
- The Milwaukee Repertory Theater
- The Pabst Theater
- The Skylight Opera Theatre
- The Milwaukee Ballet
- The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
- The Milwaukee Theatre
- Milwaukee Shakespeare
Milwaukee is known as the "city of festivals" because of its numerous festivals throughout the year. Milwaukee's many festivals include: Bastille Days, CajunFest, Festa Italiana, German Fest, the Great Circus Parade, the Holiday Folk Fair, Irish Fest, Mexican Fiesta, Polish Fest, Summerfest, and the Wisconsin State Fair.
Milwaukee Sports and Leisure
Milwaukee offers enough professional sports to keep most sports fans very happy. Milwaukee's professional sports teams include:
- Baseball - The Major League Baseball (MLB) Milwaukee Brewers. For individuals who like Minor League Baseball (MiLB) action, the Beloit Snappers play an hour and twenty minutes southwest in Beloit, Wisconsin. The Snappers are a Class A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.
- Basketball - The National Basketball League (NBA) Milwaukee Bucks.
- Football - The National Football League (NFL) Green Bay Packers play two hours north in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
- Hockey - The American Hockey League (AHL) Milwaukee Admirals.
Of course, as one might expect of a city on one of the Great Lakes, Milwaukee also offers a tremendous number of water-related activities.
Milwaukee "Must See" Attractions
Milwaukee has attractions too numerous to do justice in a simple list. Some of Milwaukee's more unique attractions include:
- The Allen-Bradley Company Clock
- The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
- Bradford Beach, a long strip of beach along Lake Michigan
- The Harley-Davidson factory tour
- The Iron Block Building
- The Third Ward District
- The Wisconsin State Fair
Milwaukee at Night
Milwaukee is well known for its diverse cuisine, including American, English, German, Greek, Indian, Mexican, and more. Good sources for information on the latest events, happenings, night clubs, performances, and restaurants can be found in the entertainment section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Magazine, or online at OnMilwaukee.com.=