Milwaukee might be famous for beer, but there’s actually a lot more to discover about this underrated gem. Influenced by German immigrants, as well as Irish, Polish and Italian folks, modern-day Milwaukee has retained a strong streak of European charm. There’s also a coastal vibe you might not expect here in the Midwest, with beaches, sailing and endless activities to enjoy on the water. Often overlooked as Chicago’s “little brother,” Milwaukee actually packs a ton of culture. The city boasts Summerfest–the “World’s Largest Music Festival”–tons of green space and one of the most important industries in the world.
Milwaukee’s diverse ethnic heritage is celebrated with major ethnic festivals each summer, including Festa Italiana, German Fest, Irish Fest, Mexican Fiesta, Black Arts Fest MKE, Polish Fest, Indian Summer and Bastille Days. Each of these three-day events attracts tens of thousands of revelers who come to celebrate the unique music, foods and cultures of the people who call the Milwaukee Region home.
Below are four things you need to know about living and working in Milwaukee.
- With one historic and six operating breweries open for tours, it’s no wonder Milwaukee is known as the Brew City. Tour Historic Pabst Brewery, MillerCoors and many other smaller brewers while enjoying flight samples of the Brew City’s best. Miller’s iconic tour is not to be missed. Be sure to take a Lakefront Brewery tour (yes, you can arrive via kayak), cash in that free drink token at Wolski’s and consider yourself cultured.
- Historic Milwaukee Incorporated offers five separate walking tours focusing on the history, architecture and culture of each area. Experience the bohemian vibes of the sixties, be blown away by Frank Lloyd Wright and Tudor style mansions or beat the elements and experience the city in a whole new way with the Skywaukee tour through Milwaukee’s skywalk.
- Milwaukee is known for its prolific wheat growers. All this wheat served as a starting point for age-old breweries like Miller. In fact, one large reason families relocate to Milwaukee is for a job. Many people move because they were recruited, possibly for one of the seven Fortune 500 companies that call Milwaukee home. Some of the best companies to work for in Milwaukee include Aurora Health Care, Harley Davidson, Boucher Automotive Group, Sargento Foods, and Baird.
- The East Side, Historic Third Ward, Walker’s Point and Bay View could go up against any districts in any other US city. Milwaukee has a great quality of life, easy access to entertainment, and not to mention some of the friendliest neighbors this side of the Kinnickinnic River. Milwaukeeans are so friendly it’s going to make you uncomfortable. People ask, “How are you doing?” rather than, “Where do you work?” And they mean it!