11 Overlooked Simple Pleasures to Experience in Milwaukee

A lot of Milwaukeeans take these for granted.

Wintertime on the beach

Bradford Beach is pretty deserted in the winter – and mostly with good reason. But on a spare afternoon with temps above freezing, the sounds of the waves crashing and the cool smell of the open water can be surprisingly relaxing.

Bob Uecker on the radio

Even March will sound like summertime with Mr. Baseball on the air. HD telecasts, streaming games and Statcast have made watching baseball as immersive as ever, but there’s still nothing quite like hearing it called over the radio.

Having a beer on the stoop

Nothing goes with a ball game on the radio quite like enjoying an evening beer or two on the front steps. It’s homier than any bar (cheaper, too) and can be enjoyed in any neighborhood in town.


Milwaukee has a great selection of antique stores to chose from, nearly all with a reasonably-priced and impressive stock of fun-to-browse items. Think of it as a museum where you can paw through stuff.

Rummage sales

If you’re really looking for a bargain, get yourself used to cruising the city’s rummage, garage, thrift and estate sales in the summertime. Just about any price can be haggled over, and you have a great chance at finding some true local artifacts… like an old Al’s Run t-shirt or a Pat Listach poster.

Watching the sun rise over the lake

It happens every day (sometimes behind the clouds), but how often do you take the time to actually watch the sun rise above one of the largest bodies of fresh water on the planet? And, hey, you don’t actually have to get up early to see it… you can always just stay up all night and catch it before bed.

Digging into the past

Want to know more about local history? A visit to the central library in downtown can take you way back, with a vast archive of newspapers, antique books, government documents, maps, and more. Just visit the Humanities Department on the second floor.

Biking on the Oak Leaf Trail

You don’t to be an expert to bike Milwaukee’s wonderful Oak Leaf Trail. The trail itself is an old railroad right-of-way, meaning it has a wide and flat grade that is accommodating the even the novice cyclist. And it offers an view of Milwaukee most people never see.

Check out the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame

Milwaukee has its own version of Cooperstown in downtown, with the outdoor Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. Each of the Hall’s 137 members has a plaque along the promenade outside the Milwaukee Panther Arena. Stroll past and relive some of the state’s greatest athletic achievements.

Bridge watching

It might not be something you set your day around, but getting to see one of the city’s 21 moveable bridges clear the way for a big boat gives you an appreciation for everyday engineering and the grave with which a well-seasoned captain can maneuver a vessel. This one works best if you’re not in a car… or a hurry.

Ship watching

Speaking of the waterways, did you know that about 400 freighters visit the Port of Milwaukee every year? There are numerous apps that track ships around the globe and will give you a heads-up when a big one is headed towards Milwaukee.