By your second day in Milwaukee, you will have explored the primary tourist highlights. With more time, you should venture further afield and get to know some of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and local favorite spots. This itinerary takes you throughout the city, and having a rental car or ordering an Uber/Lyft will be the most time-efficient way to move from point to point. If you’re self-driving, download the MKE Park mobile phone app to make metered street parking quick and easy.
Return to the Historic Third Ward neighborhood this morning for brunch at one of Milwaukee’s favorite diners, Sweet Diner. True to its name, Sweet Diner specializes in decadent chocolate-drizzled waffles and indulgent coffee drinks. If you’re craving a more savory meal, The Wicked Hop, also in the Third Ward, boasts an impressive Blood Mary and a punny brunch menu, featuring items like the Benedict Cumberbatch and Eggs Benedict XVI.
Drive out to Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory
After you’ve had your fill of brunch, head to the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, which is a 10-minute drive west of downtown. For $8, you can explore all three unique biospheres at the conservatory, also called the Milwaukee Domes. If it’s a winter Saturday, visit the neighboring Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market, where you can sample and take home locally produced goods like cheese and honey.
Have lunch downtown
Head back downtown, this time to Milwaukee’s East Side, for lunch at Crossroads Collective, a contemporary food hall with a coffee shop, ice cream parlor, taqueria, raw bar, BBQ joint, and more. Nearby, Glorioso’s Italian Market is a Milwaukee staple of over 70 years, where you can try the local favorite Human Torch sandwich with hot muffuletta.
Explore the East Side neighborhood
Walk off your meal with a stroll through the East Side neighborhood, where you can get a glimpse into the heart of Milwaukee’s culture. Admire the street art at Black Cat Alley, test your Nintendo and giant Scrabble skills at Hangout MKE Cafe and Lounge, or support a good cause at Sip & Purr cat cafe, where proceeds go toward the care and adoption efforts of the resident cats.
Stroll Lake Park
Enjoy Lake Michigan views at Lake Park. Featuring several miles of trails, Lake Park immerses you in nature while still being in downtown Milwaukee. Lake Park is also home to the North Point Lighthouse, which offers guided tours and the option to climb to the top for exceptional views of the city skyline.
Enjoy dinner in the Bay View neighborhood
This evening, head south to the Bay View neighborhood. If it’s summertime and you want to channel your inner Jimmy Buffett, enjoy waterfront seafood at Barnacle Bud’s. If you’re craving something locally sourced, try Odd Duck, which is also known for having some of the best vegan and vegetarian dishes in Milwaukee.
And finish the day off with a cocktail
After dinner, it’s time for cocktails in Bay View. First, visit Twisted Path Distillery, where you can sample a flight of its in-house spirits or try a few in one of its signature cocktails. Then, walk the short distance to the Lost Whale, which serves all of your favorite mixed drinks as well as a variety of ever-changing signature craft cocktails.