Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Brewers Game

15 Awesome Urban Adventures in Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the five great lakes in the northern United States. It has a fantastic culture, and you will find lots of beer, cheese, meats, motorcycles, and more. It is also filled with many fantastic urban adventures! Last summer, I had a chance to spend several adventure filled days exploring the city, and I participated in everything from biking adventures, sailing, kayaking, a festival, giant bounce houses, sporting events, museums and even a food tour.

Here are 15 of my favorite adventures in the city of Milwaukee and we definitely suggest adding at least a few of them to your itinerary when you visit!

1. Kayak the Milwaukee River

The Milwaukee River runs right through the heart of downtown Milwaukee, and exploring the river on a kayak is a great way to get a new perspective of the city. Milwaukee Kayak Company offers kayak rentals that launch on the banks of the urban water trail—from their docks you can head out on the Milwaukee River and paddle towards downtown, or you can make your way over to the Menomonee and Kinnickinnic Rivers.

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kayaking

2. Ride on the Milwaukee Pedal Tavern

Imagine peddling down the road on a bike that happens to also be a bar–that’s exactly what you get when you ride on Milwaukee’s Pedal Tavern. You can go with your own crew of friends or hop on a group tour. Bring your own beer and bar hop your way through the city while your driver takes the wheel.

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pedal Tavern

3. Bike with Bublr Bikes

Milwaukee has a large network of ride share bikes called, Bublr Bikes, and they are a great way to explore the city on two wheels. The city offers a wide range of bicycle friendly trails that take you through the city, parks and along the water. Check out a bike from one of the over 50 stations and drop it off at any Bublr Bike location when you are done!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Bubblr BIkes

4. Join a Food Tour with Milwaukee Food & City Tours

I love being able to spend a couple of hours sampling the local cuisine while learning about a city—it’s a great way to taste some of the iconic dishes without going overboard on every meal! We hopped on a tour with Milwaukee Food and City Tours and in addition to learning a bit of history about Milwaukee, we sampled plenty of Bloody Mary’s, smoked meats, breakfast burritos, chocolates and more! They offer several tours ranging from a Bloody Mary Brunch Tour, to a Cedarburg “Sweets & Treats” Tour to a Historic Third Ward Tour among others. I’d love to check another tour on our next visit!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Food Tour

5. Take a Spin Class at Spire Fitness

If you want to get your sweat on in a fun environment, Spire Fitness is the place to be. The spin class I attended was so much more than just a fitness class—the lights were down low, black lights were glowing and the music was pumping! Even though I’m not a morning person, the 6 a.m. class definitely got us to start our day on a high note with energy, excitement and great tunes.

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Spire Fitness

6. Explore the Milwaukee Public Market

The Milwaukee Public Market is an iconic site that just can’t be missed. Shop at local vendors, grab a coffee, or order food at some of the delicious eateries. You can find anything from chocolate to cheese curds to t-shirts and even kitchen gadgets. Wandering around and exploring the stands will leave your mouth watering, so be sure to arrive hungry!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Market

7. Hike at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

To get a dose of nature, make your way just north of the city to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, where you can find wildlife such as a variety of rehabilitated birds including owls, eagles and raptors. In addition to the wildlife, the nature center is also home to 6 miles of hiking trails and beautiful views of Lake Michigan from a lookout tower. The trails offer gorgeous views of the property and surrounding area and take you through forests, prairies, wetlands, ravines, shoreline and bluffs.

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Nature Center

8. Tailgate at a Milwaukee Brewers Game

Milwaukee is famous for its tailgating, so heading to a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game is a must. Arrive early and set up your tailgate with food, drinks and yard games, then kick back and mingle with your friends and neighbors. Once the game starts, head inside the stadium for some baseball and don’t forget to watch for the Famous Racing Sausages!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Brewers Game

9. Be a Spy and have a Drink at the Safe House

For an evening of espionage and spy training, head to the bar called Safe House. In order to get inside, you’ll need a secret password or a good sense of humor. Those without the password will have to pass a test by following silly instructions at the door, all while being broadcast on TV’s placed inside for everyone to see! We had to touch a nose that wasn’t ours and spin around in a circle…awkward and slightly entertaining all in one. Once you get inside, you can order spy themed drinks and explore a range of puzzles and interactive exhibits throughout the bar. Oh, and don’t forget to head into the ladies’ room for a peek at Burt Reynolds—move the heart and your friends won’t be disappointed, trust me!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Safe House

10. Act Like a Kid at Bounce Milwaukee

Giant bounce houses, laser tag and arcade games aren’t just for children anymore! Make you way over to Bounce Milwaukee after 9:00 p.m. for some adult only fun and act like a kid again. Not only will you have free range of the bounce houses, rock wall, laser tag, arcade games, and massage chairs, you will also find a full bar and some seriously delicious food. The menu is made up of fresh, healthy and locally sourced food, and you can order salads, pizza, tots, wraps and more!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Bounce Milwaukee

11. Sail on Lake Michigan

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes, Milwaukee offers plenty of ways to enjoy the water. Hopping on a sailboat with Sea Dog Sailing is a great way to spend time out on the lake. We went for an afternoon sail and were rewarded with sunny skies, a cool breeze, calm waters and a fantastic view of the city!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sailing

12. Take a Brewery Tour: Lakefront Brewery

A brewery tour is a must when you visit Milwaukee, and the Lakefront Brewery is the place to go. With each tour, you get several samples of beer that you can sip on before, during or after the tour. And this isn’t just any old brewery tour. All the tours are run by comedians, so the experience is filled with jokes and funny commentary all while learning about the company and their brewing process.

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Brewery Tour

13. Run the Sky Trail Explorer Ropes Course & Zip Line at the Milwaukee County Zoo

To explore Milwaukee at new heights, head over to the Milwaukee County Zoo and jump in a harness for the Sky Trail Explorer Ropes Course and Zip Line. In addition to the typical zoo activities, you can shimmy your way across rope obstacles and across zip lines—just don’t look down because the top of the course reaches heights of 45 feet!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ropes Course

14. Visit a Museum or Three

There are plenty of museums in Milwaukee, and during my two visits, I made it to three of them: MAM (Milwaukee Art Museum), Discovery World and the Harley Davidson Museum. Each of the museums had something interesting to offer and I enjoyed all of them in different ways. The MAM showcases a wide range art from ancient to modern, and some of the items you will find on display are paintings, artifacts, sculptures and photographs. Discovery World is more of a science and technology museum, but it does offer plenty of fun for all ages; I had a blast testing out the nail bed, checking out the infrared sensors and playing with all the interactive exhibits. Last but not least, the Harley Davidson Museum isn’t just for motorcycle lovers. We are not passionate about bikes, but the history, stories and exhibits we saw at the museum were fantastic and definitely worth exploring!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Museum

15. Attend a Festival: Summerfest

Milwaukee is called the “City of Festivals”, and it is home to a large variety of events each year. One of the most popular is Summerfest, and it also happens to be the one I attended last summer! Summerfest is the world’s largest music festival—it spans over 11 days and over 800 performers take the stage each year. It was a treat to attend and the firework show was top notch!

Urban Adventure in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Summerfest


Special thanks to Visit Milwaukee for organizing and hosting me on all of these amazing adventures in Milwaukee. As always, all opinions are our own.

  • Suze
    Posted at 08:30h, 05 May Reply

    The Safe House sounds like great fun but I think that Bounce is my favourite activity – wish we had one of those for adults in London! Great round up and it looks like there are so many different attractions in Milwaukee
    Suze recently posted…48 Hours in Lugano, Switzerland – How to Get the Best from Your TripMy Profile

  • Megan Indoe
    Posted at 21:38h, 06 May Reply

    I have never been to Milwaukee but since I’m from the midwest my husband and I want to do some roadtripping next time we visit my family and it’s very likey Wisconsin will be on the route! I would be all over that brewery and those museums!

  • Ben
    Posted at 00:08h, 07 May Reply

    The Bloody Mary looks deadly haha I have never been to Milwaukee but it looks like there are a lot of awesome things to do there.
    Ben recently posted…10 Best Hotels in Paris, FranceMy Profile

  • Christina Pfeiffer
    Posted at 06:18h, 07 May Reply

    Looks like there are plenty of things to see in Milwaukee. I must say I’ve never considered spending time there but after reading this I wouldn’t hesitate to visit. I didn’t realise it’s known as the city of festivals either.

  • melody pittman
    Posted at 16:24h, 07 May Reply

    Looks like a blast! I was just in Milwaukee for the first time during the WITS conference but I didn’t have much time to explore anything. I should have added on an extra day or two. Would love to have gone kayaking down the river between those cool buildings! I did see the Bronz Fonz in that nearby area. 😉 The food tour owner was one of the speakers at WITS and she was fantastic!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:38h, 13 May Reply

      Yes! The Bronz Fonz, haha! Can’t miss that 😉 We saw that on a separate trip–he’s quite the sight! That’s cool that you saw the food tour owner at WITS–would have loved to make it to that conference. Looked like a great time!!
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  • Megan Jerrard
    Posted at 22:16h, 07 May Reply

    Sounds like a blast! I’m a fan of any city who doesn’t age discriminate with their bounce house 😀 Kayaking the Milwaukee River sounds like a great way to see the city from a different perspective, and I would love to join a food tour too – I usually find these area a great way to combine awesome eats with somewhat of a historic walking tour because the guides always give you city info as you walk from one place to the next. Some great stuff going on in Milwaukee!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:40h, 13 May Reply

      Haha, totally agree–no age discrimination on bounce houses is a must, lol! 🙂 I love that aspect about food tours too–they are great for combining food, history and information about the city!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Chicago, Illinois My Profile

  • Rhonda Albom
    Posted at 00:45h, 08 May Reply

    Growing up in Chicago, I think I was pre-disposed not to visit Milwaukee. There seems to be a lot more here than I realised. That zip line photo is really cool. Love the perspective.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…Sarah’s Snapshots – 13 Photos of Argentinian SweetsMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:41h, 13 May Reply

      Haha, yeah, I feel like the same thing happened to us growing up in Minnesota! Glad we finally had a chance to visit though–it’s a great city with lots of fun things to do!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Chicago, Illinois My Profile

  • Jen Joslin
    Posted at 11:07h, 08 May Reply

    First off, I love your video. So well done! I had no idea there were so many adventurous activities to do in Milwaukee, and so much good food to eat! I would love to check out a Brewers game and do that zip lining/sky trail at the zoo!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:43h, 13 May Reply

      Thanks so much, Jen! Appreciate it! I didn’t realize there was so much to do in Milwaukee either–I’m so glad I had the chance to check it all out! It’s a great city that’s for sure!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Chicago, Illinois My Profile

  • Penny Sadler
    Posted at 21:40h, 08 May Reply

    I was just in Milwaukee for the women in travel summit. I did manage to get out and walk around the public market, the 3rd ward and had a couple of great meals. But I really didn’t experience Milwaukee like this. I’ll just have to go back!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:46h, 13 May Reply

      It’s always so hard to see a city when you are there for a conference, but glad you were able to see a few things! Wish I could have made it to WITS–looked like a great time!
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…A Photo Essay: Chicago, Illinois My Profile

  • Carol Colborn
    Posted at 07:01h, 09 May Reply

    I would include: Eat at the German restaurant Mader!

  • Rosemary
    Posted at 21:48h, 09 May Reply

    So much more to do in Milwaukee than I ever imagined. Kayaking along the Milwaukee River looks like a great time. I’d love to do that and then end up at the Public Market!! Great highlights. A visit is needed next 🙂

  • Carmen Edelson
    Posted at 08:05h, 10 May Reply

    Lately I’ve been hearing great things about Wisconsin! Your post has definitely convinced me to add Milwaukee to my travel list. Love your photos, looks like you had such a great time. Thanks for sharing and happy travels 🙂
    Carmen Edelson recently posted…Cannes Film Festival to the Monaco Grand Prix: The Best of Both WorldsMy Profile

  • Sue Reddel
    Posted at 10:27h, 10 May Reply

    I just love Milwaukee. We learn more every time we visit. We’ll have to try that sail boat cruise on our visit looks like fun.

  • Agness of eTramping
    Posted at 16:20h, 29 May Reply

    I would love to experience these adventures. Milwaukee seems like so much fun, Jenna!
    Agness of eTramping recently posted…Made it to the Maldives – Adventures in ParadiseMy Profile

  • Adam
    Posted at 09:40h, 19 February Reply

    Milwaukee is so underrated! We have still never done the kayaking in the river, maybe this summer. If you make it back checkout MKE brewing’s tour – also a lot of fun. This is a solid list but if there is anything missing it would have to be more cheese!

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