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Barbara J. Miner loves Milwaukee's growing bicycling culture, gorgeous lakefront and cheap beer (and cheese).

We asked writer and January 2018 issue contributor Barbara J. Miner to share with us the reasons she loves Milwaukee. Here are her picks: 

Alice’s Garden

In every neighborhood, there is a community treasure – from the Oriental Theater on the East Side to Conejito’s on the South Side. But make sure to visit Alice’s Garden off North and Fond du Lac Avenues. Part community garden, part healing center, Alice’s Garden pays homage to all that is good about Milwaukee.

Beer is cheap. So is cheese.

Every time we travel to New York City to visit our daughters, my husband is appalled at the price of beer: $8-10 at most restaurants. And the price of good cheese? If you don’t want a heart attack, wait until you return to Milwaukee to buy more than 3 ounces.

Photo by Getty Images

Neighborhoods to explore

Because of Milwaukee’s segregation, we often stay within known neighborhoods. As a result, there are endless places to learn more about your fellow Milwaukeeans. Live in Whitefish Bay? Take a walk along Windlake Avenue on the South Side. Your home is in Wauwatosa? Head east and stroll down North Avenue. You live in Brookfield? Have lunch (and buy some great avocados) at El Rey on Cesar Chavez Drive. And even most people who live in Milwaukee have rarely walked through “Pigsville” below the Wisconsin Avenue Viaduct west of 35th Street. The possibilities are endless.

You’re already halfway there…

Yes, Milwaukee is great, but you appreciate the city more after you travel. Milwaukee, conveniently located in the heartland, is a great jumping off point for traveling east, west, north or south. Whether you want to fly or drive to Los Angeles, New York, Disney World or New Orleans, you’re already halfway there.

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Bicycling heaven

Sure, the hills of San Francisco are beautiful. But on a bicycle, flat is good. What’s more, Milwaukee has a number of good bicycle paths, a growing network of bicycle lanes and a plethora of great bicycle shops. If you want hills, Kettle Moraine is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

And, of course, the Lakefront

Any list about Milwaukee has to include the Lakefront. Without it, Milwaukee would just be another Midwestern City down on its luck. But when one walks along the Lakefront and gazes on the horizon, everything is better, and everything is possible.


Barbara Miner is a contributor to our January 2018 issue, writing “Unequal From Birth.”

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