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Milwaukee Rediscovered

By Ann Hattes Photos by Neil Hattes

Milwaukee means fun and entertainment at Summerfest, “the World’s Largest Music Festival;” take me out to the ballgame at Miller Park; bygone elegance at the beer baron’s Pabst Mansion; culture and inspiration at the Art Museum with 1,500 works of art beneath 110 tons of soaring steel wings. Beyond these well known sites the city hosts many less well known treasures so visit again and rediscover Milwaukee.

Stroll this outdoor gallery pathway winding along the Milwaukee River with access to restaurants, shops and waterfront nightlife.  Along the way be photographed with The King of Cool, Arthur “The Fonz,” Fonzarelli played by Henry Winkler in the Happy Days 1974-1984 sitcom. The bronze statue with signature double thumbs up and leather jacket is found just south of Wells Street .

North Point Lighthouse
Climb to the lantern room of this urban lighthouse which was the highest on the Great Lakes when first built on the bluff in 1855. It sits in Lake Park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York ’s Central Park . Restored by volunteers to the 1912 period, this historic site with Keeper’s Quarters welcomes visitors 1 – 4 p.m. Saturdays year round except holidays. See a Fresnel lens and learn about the keepers and lighthouse history.

Villa Terrace
Walk through the intricate wrought iron entrance gates of this Italian Renaissance-style villa to view displays of fine and decorative arts dating from the 15th. to the 18th centuries, plus wrought-iron masterpieces by Cyril Colnik, “the Tiffany of wrought iron masters.” Afterwards linger awhile on a terrace or walk the 16th. Century-style Italian Garden with its dramatic “water stairway” flowing past three terraces as it sweeps down to Lake Michigan.

Lakefront Brewery
Creator of the first certified organic beer in the United States and voted Milwaukee ’s best brewery tour, this microbrewery specializes in the tradition of early Milwaukee brewers. Tours end with a chance to sample the award-winning suds or their unique maple root beer. A special Environmental Tour of the brewery is given each Friday afternoon. Weekends are welcomed with a traditional Friday night fish fry and polka party, 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the band starting at 6 p.m.

Great Lakes Distillery
This is Wisconsin ’s first producer of award winning small batch, hand-crafted spirits since prohibition. Enjoy a free 45 minute tour then for $3 taste a flight of award-winning gin and vodka. Closed Sundays.

Harley-Davidson Museum
Riders and non riders find their motor revving here where a historic procession of 450 motorcycles, including the original Serial One, tell the story of the Motor Company’s rich history and heritage. Take a virtual ride on an actual motorcycle and try your hand at “climbing” a mountain on a motorcycle!  A retail store, restaurant/café and inviting grounds complete this unique experience.

Iron Horse Hotel
This luxury boutique hotel in a renovated 100 year old warehouse offers special amenities for motorcycle enthusiasts. Business suits and biker leathers mix here for great people watching. Sample wines from around the world every Wednesday 6 – 8 p.m., and learn the recipes for classic cocktails every Tuesday 6 – 8 p.m. The Yard, an outdoor bar and lounge nestled along an active railroad, is open Memorial Day through Labor Day with Bike Nights every Thursday.

Forest Home Cemetery
By car and/or on foot, take a self-guided tour of the 200-acre Victorian Garden Cemetery with its ornate tombs, weeping willows and stone bridges. May to September free 90- minute guided tours are offered two Sundays each month. On the National Registry of Historic Places, this eternal resting place of many of the city’s notables includes majestic tributes to beer barons like Pabst, Schlitz, and Blatz, Harley-Davidson founders, Air Service hero Billy Mitchell, and entertainer Lynn Fontanne and her husband Alfred Lunt.

Milwaukee RiverWalk:
North Point Lighthouse:; 414.332.NPLH (6754)
Villa Terrace:; 414.271.3656
HarleyDavidson Museum :; 1.877.HDMUSEUM
Iron Horse Hotel:; 888.543.IRON
Great Lakes Distillery:; 414.431.8683
Lakefront Brewery:; 414.372.8800; fish fry: 414.273.8300
Forest Home Cemetery :; 414.645.2632; 800.231.0903