This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea: My 3 Favorite Things to Do in Milwaukee – Summer 2013 Edition

September 17, 2013

My 3 Favorite Things to Do in Milwaukee – Summer 2013 Edition

Wish You Were Here Wisconsin (Milwaukee) by XO-LP

Today marks 3 months since we made the move to Milwaukee. It’s crazy to think about how long ago that seems but similarly, as if it was yesterday. Summer here has been good to us. I knew even before we set foot in Milwaukee, that we were moving here at the perfect time. Milwaukee is a busy place in the summer, there’s always something to do. With only a few days of summer left, I figured it was a good time to share with you a roundup of some of my summer favorites.


1. Festivals


Did you know Milwaukee has a festival for everything? I mean, SERIOUSLY everything. Not only do they have Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, but they have Italian Festa, Brew Fest, Summer Solstice Fest, Arts Festival, German Fest, Irish Fest, Harley Fest, Polish Fest and that’s just the start. Oh, and every neighborhood and nook has a festival, too! Seriously, this city is festival crazy but I love it. I love the enthusiasm that comes with these festivals. While one might think that so many festivals would burn a city out, Milwaukeeans actually thrive off of always having something to celebrate. And, did I mention that almost every festival usually has some type of fireworks show, too! Yep, not only can we gorge ourselves on local festival fare and drink ourselves silly on microbrews, but we also get to watch a spectacular fireworks extravaganza at the end! Could it possibly get any better?! Because, if you know anything about me, you know I’m a sucker for fireworks because any good party has a little sparkle. It's like I was meant to live in Milwaukee. While I would like to say we attended all of the festivals, it simply didn’t fit into our schedules this summer, so hopefully next year we are able to take in a few more.


2. Jazz in the Park


Did you jazz is my favorite kind of music? Well, it is. And this city loves it, too. Every Thursday night from sometime in June to early September, Milwaukeeans bring all of their favorite noshes and crowd into the Cathedral Square Park to enjoy the amazing weather, fabulous jazz and one another’s company. This was the first ‘Milwaukee-esque’ thing I did when we moved here. Jazz in the Park is just so cool. We pack up our quilted blanket, some hummus and pretzels and a cardigan in case it gets chilly and walk down to the park to enjoy a Thursday night under the stars. Some people are super hardcore about it with mini tables, and chairs and banquets of food. It sort of reminds me of this Portlandia clip about Outdoor Movies. But really, Jazz in the park is the perfect way to celebrate summer in Milwaukee. Listening to great music, getting to know new friends, and sharing inexpensive ($12) but delicious Jazz in the Park wine. I am already missing it and can’t wait for next year.



Those of you already from Milwaukee who are reading this may cringe when you see this but I adore Bradford Beach. For those of you reading this who are not from Milwaukee, I encourage you to look at Bradford Beach with open arms. I have never lived anywhere that had a beach nearby, so the thought of being able to jump on my bike and be at the beach in less than 10 minutes is pretty unreal. I love being near the water, and every chance I had this summer to be there, I was.

Bradford Beach is definitely not a quaint or quiet. It’s a busy public beach, that on days like the Fourth of July can often look like something out of a Spring Break but when I didn’t know anyone in Milwaukee and I wanted to be near the water, this is where I went. Bradford Beach, unless you get there in the wee hours of the morning or on a Sunday in August when it’s unseasonably 68° on a Sunday afternoon, is usually quite busy. But I like it, I like the hustle and bustle of the people, constant volleyball matches and the smell of sunscreen and beer that floats through the air. It’s a fun place, and honestly, it’s family friendly, too. So, if you’re new to Milwaukee, or even if you’re not give Bradford Beach a chance next summer.



This list isn’t too long but it’s just right for the amount of time we’ve been in Milwaukee. We’ve visited and done lots of other things this like rooftop party’s, Brewer’s games, runs by the river, farmer’s markets and patio dinning this summer but these were my absolute favorites. Thank you for the wonderful summer Milwaukee, I feel lucky to have spent it in such an amazing and thriving city. Can’t wait for next year!

9 comments:

  1. Just curious: Where are you originally from? I see that you lived in Des Moines for a while prior to landing in Milwaukee, but was wondering where you're from, and how you came to end up in DSM and MKE.

    I'm originally from Milwaukee (grew up in the area, and even went to college there), but now live near Boston, MA, with extended stays in Cincinnati, OH and Memphis, TN along the way.

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    1. I'm originally from Boise, Idaho and my husband's job brought us to Milwaukee. 3 states in less than 5 years, it's been a fun adventure.

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  2. And yes, Milwaukeeans take their festivals SERIOUSLY. :)

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  3. Just found your blog! Interestingly enough, my husband and I just moved back here from Denver. I grew up in MKE, he is from Oregon. We spent 13 years in Colorado, but Milwaukee has always been home in my heart. I loved reading your entries and seeing you "discover" the city. :) I am loving rediscovering everything I have always loved. Welcome!

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  4. I am so happy that you love my hometown. I love it, too, and there are many little secret nooks and crannies to discover. Contact me anytime--I can be your tour guide. :)
    antonijamitt@Yahoo.com

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    1. Milwaukee is a pretty great place and I am having so much fun exploring it. Thanks for the offer for the tour, I may take you up on it!

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  5. As a lifetime resident of Milwaukee, I have enjoyed seeing the recent developments in the downtown area and Third Ward, East Town and more. I also relish the old time-honored places and traditions, like Bradford Beach. I have been considering starting a business, showing new residents around. Your blog has me thinking about it again! I enjoyed reading this so much; let me know if you would like some helpful hints about what to do in Milwaukee in autumn. I always love sharing my favorite spots and activities!

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  6. Shaia, I saw that you owned Astor Street Dance Studio. I run past it almost everyday when I'm out jogging. I have been meaning to stop in and see about classes.

    I am so glad you enjoyed reading this and I would LOVE any suggestions you have about fun things to do in Milwaukee in the fall.

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