Interesting facts about Milwaukee


Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin.

It is situated along the shores and bluffs of Lake Michigan at the confluence of three rivers: the Menomonee, the Kinnickinnic, and the Milwaukee.

As of December 2019, the population of Milwaukee is about 600,000 people. It is the 5th largest city in the Midwestern United States the 31st most populous city in the United States.

The city covers a total area of 250 square kilometers (97 square miles).

Milwaukee has an average elevation of 188 meters (617 feet) above sea level.


The Milwaukee region was once home to several Native American peoples, including the Potawatomi, Menominee, Fox, Sauk, and Ho-Chunk Nation (Winnebago).

The first Europeans to pass through the area were French Catholic Jesuit missionaries, who were ministering to Native Americans, and fur traders.

In 1818, the French Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau settled in the area, and in 1846, Juneau’s town combined with two neighboring towns to incorporate as the city of Milwaukee.

solomon juneau

Milwaukee grew as a manufacturing and distribution centre in the second half of the 19th century. Flour milling, leather tanning, and iron founding were all major industries.

Milwaukee became best known for beer production, which began in 1840. German immigrants subsequently opened several large breweries and made Milwaukee a national centre of the industry.

For a time the city was the region’s primary lake port for eastbound shipments, particularly wheat. With the arrival of the railroad and the growth of Chicago as a national rail hub, Milwaukee’s importance as a shipping point declined in the late 19th century.

Milwaukee history

After the American Civil War the city found itself involved with labour unions, disputes, and strikes, which lasted until the turn of the 20th century.

Growth was slowed by the Great Depression of the 1930s, but armament production during World War II brought new prosperity.

The city’s population, which had grown steadily for decades, reached a peak of some 750,000 in the mid-1960s, after which it gradually began to decline.


Beginning in the early 21st century, the city has been undergoing its largest construction boom since the 1960s.

Milwaukee’s Lakefront area is one of the prettiest downtown areas of any American city. Whether your interest is shopping in boutique stores and galleries; dining al fresco on the shores of Lake Michigan; or simply exploring the city’s many pleasant walking trails, parks, and attractions.

milwaukee lakefront

The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) is an art museum in Milwaukee. The museum houses nearly 25,000 works of art housed on four floors, with works from antiquity to the present. Included in the collection are 15th- to 20th-century European and 17th- to 20th-century American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, decorative arts, photographs, and folk and self-taught art. It is one of the largest museums in the United States.

milwaukee art museum

The Harley-Davidson Museum is a museum near downtown, Milwaukee. The museum celebrating the more than 100-year history of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The 12,000 square-meter (130,000-square-foot) three building complex on 8 hectares (20 acres) along the Menomonee River bank contains more than 450 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s 110-year history. The museum attracts an estimated 300,000 visitors annually.

harley-davidson museum

The Basilica of St. Josaphat, located in the Lincoln Village neighborhood of Milwaukee is a basilica. In its grandeur and opulence it is an excellent example of the so-called Polish Cathedral style of church architecture found in the Great Lakes region of North America. Modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, it features one of the largest copper domes in the world. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Milwaukee Landmark.

Basilic of St. Josaphat

The Milwaukee County Zoo is a zoo in Milwaukee, operated by the Milwaukee County Parks Commission. It is one of the top zoos in the nation and home to approximately 3,100 specimens representing more than 350 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates. The zoo covers an area of 77 hectares (190 acres).

milwaukee county zoo

The Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) is a natural and human history museum located in downtown Milwaukee. The museum was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884; it is a not-for-profit organization operated by the Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc.

milwaukee public museum

Discovery World is a science and technology center located in Milwaukee. It focuses on innovation and technology, as well as Great Lakes education and conservation. It contains interactive exhibits, the Reiman Aquarium, and two theaters, and is home to Wisconsin’s official flagship, the Denis Sullivan, a fully functional sailing vessel modeled after a 19th-century Great Lakes schooner. Many of the exhibits have to do with Milwaukee or the Great Lakes.

discovery world

The name “Milwaukee” comes from an Algonquian word millioke, meaning “good”, “beautiful” and “pleasant land”.

Milwaukee is a popular venue for Lake Michigan sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, ethnic dining, and cultural festivals.

Often referred to as the City of Festivals, Milwaukee has various cultural events which take place throughout the summer at Henry Maier Festival Park, on the lake.

Summerfest is an annual music festival held in downtown Milwaukee. It attracts between 800,000 and 900,000 people each year, promoting itself as “The World’s Largest Music Festival”, a title certified by the Guinness World Records since 1999.