Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Milwaukee Museums Walking Tour (Self Guided), Milwaukee

Milwaukee is home to some of the greatest museums in America. Here you will be able to visit the city's famous art museum and the Harley Davidson Museum. The exhibits are diverse and there are many interesting things to see and experience. Take this tour to have an exciting time at the Milwaukee museums.
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Milwaukee Museums Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Milwaukee Museums Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Milwaukee (See other walking tours in Milwaukee)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 Km or 4.8 Miles
Author: StaceyP
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • The Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Discovery World
  • Betty Brinn Children's Museum
  • Grohmann Museum
  • Milwaukee Public Museum
  • Harley-Davidson Museum
  • Haggerty Museum of Art
  • Pabst Mansion
The Milwaukee Art Museum

1) The Milwaukee Art Museum (must see)

The museum's history began in 1882 when the Milwaukee Museum of Fine Arts was founded. The museum dissolved six years later. In 1888, the Milwaukee Art Association was created by a group of German panorama artists and local businessmen; its first home was the Layton Art Gallery. In 1911, the Milwaukee Art Institute, another building constructed to hold other exhibitions and collections, was completed. The Milwaukee Art Center (now the Milwaukee Art Museum) was formed when the Milwaukee Art Institute and Layton Art Gallery merged their collections in 1957 and moved into a three-story building underneath the Eero Saarinen-designed Milwaukee County War Memorial.

The museum is home to over 25,000 works of art. Its permanent holdings contain an important collection of Old Masters and 19th-century and 20th-century artwork, as well as some of the nation's best collections of German Expressionism, folk and Haitian art, American decorative arts, and post-1960 American art.

The Milwaukee Art Museum recently gained international recognition with the construction of the white concrete Quadracci Pavilion, designed by Santiago Calatrava, which opened on May 4, 2001. The Quadracci Pavilion was prominently featured in the 2011 blockbuster film Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Operation hours: daily from: 10 am – 5 pm; Thursday till 8 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Discovery World

2) Discovery World (must see)

Discovery World is a museum located at 500 N. Harbor Drive. When the museum moved to Milwaukee's lakefront in 2006, it changed its name to Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin. It formerly was located at 815 N. James Lovell Street.

The museum focuses on innovation and technology, as well as Great Lakes education and conservation. Its building is filled with interactive exhibits, theaters, the Reiman Family Aquarium and Wisconsin's official flagship, the Denis Sullivan, a fully functional sailing vessel modeled after a 19th-century Great Lakes schooner. The museum is operated by Discovery World, Ltd. which was formed after a merger with Pier Wisconsin, Ltd.

Discovery World was founded by Robert Powrie Harland Senior and was initially known as the Science, Economics and Technology Center, and plans for it appeared in the Milwaukee Journal in 1981. Articles mentioning Discovery World date back to 1986 in the Milwaukee Sentinel and suggest that the museum's early location was the Milwaukee Public library. Paul Krajniak was director of exhibit development at the time. This location was inside the Wisconsin Ave. entrance of the library but had its doors before the inner doors to the library area, allowing visitors to go to the museum without entering the library area or passing through the book scanners on the way out. The museum featured hands-on exhibits, computerized simulations, and science shows. Admission was $1.50 for adults and $1 for children.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday: 9 am - 4 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Betty Brinn Children's Museum

3) Betty Brinn Children's Museum (must see)

Betty Brinn Children's Museum has the aim to develop children's skills and provide educational experiences. The museum features interactive exhibits and various educational resources. Betty Brinn Children's Museum is a non-profit museum that was established in 1995. The museum was named after a well-known business woman who gave much of her time and life to children from orphanages and helping underprivileged women.
Grohmann Museum

4) Grohmann Museum (must see)

The Grohmann Museum, at Milwaukee School of Engineering, is home to the world's most comprehensive art collection dedicated to the evolution of human work. The museum opened on October 27, 2007 and is located at 1000 N. Broadway.

The museum has three floors of galleries where a core collection is displayed along with feature exhibitions. The museum also has a rooftop sculpture garden, a vending cafe and museum store. It is named in honor of Dr Eckhart Grohmann, an Milwaukee School of Engineering Regent, Milwaukee businessman and avid art collector, who donated the Man at Work collection to Milwaukee School of Engineering in 2001 and subsequently the funds to purchase, renovate and operate the museum that bears his name.

German artist Hans Dieter Tylle created stained glass, a mosaic atrium floor, a ceiling mural and rooftop mural for the museum. With nearly 900 European and American paintings, sculptures and works on paper that depict various forms of work, the Grohmann Museum Collection is the world's most comprehensive collection of its kind. The collection spans over 400 years of history (17-20th centuries). Most of the works in the Grohmann Museum collection are by German and Dutch artists, although others were created by American, Austrian, Belgian, Bohemian, Danish, Dutch, English, Hungarian, Flemish, French and Spanish artists.

Operation hours: Monday to Friday: 9 am - 5 pm; Saturday: 12 am - 6 pm; Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Milwaukee Public Museum

5) Milwaukee Public Museum (must see)

The Milwaukee Public Museum was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884; it is a non-profit organization operated by the Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc. Milwaukee Public Museum has three floors of exhibits and the first IMAX Theater in Wisconsin. Admission is free to residents of Milwaukee County on Mondays and to Milwaukee County jurors at all times. The current museum president is Jay Williams. The museum hosts about one million visitors each year.

Although it was officially chartered in 1882, its existence reaches back to 1851, to the founding of the German-English Academy in Milwaukee. The Academy's principal, Peter Engelmann encouraged student field trips, many of which collected various specimens - organic, geological and archaeological in nature - which were kept at the Academy. Construction on the building currently housing the museum was begun in 1960 and completed in 1962. The new site was a block north of the old Museum-Library building, which continued to house exhibits until 1966.

In 2006, charges were filed against former museum chief financial officer Terry Gaouette, following the revelation that the museum was several million dollars in the red, a fact that allegedly had been hidden for years via illegal money transfers. Gaouette pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of falsifying a financial report, and his CPA license was restored in 2010. The Milwaukee Public Museum houses both permanent and traveling exhibits. In 2010 the Milwaukee Public Museum hosted Mummies of the World. The exhibit was the largest temporary exhibit and housed over 150 human mummies.

Operation hours: Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Harley-Davidson Museum

6) Harley-Davidson Museum (must see)

The Harley-Davidson Museum is a North American museum near downtown, celebrating more than 100 year history of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The 130,000 square-foot three building complex on 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 106 year history. The museum attracts an estimated 300,000 visitors annually.

Harley-Davidson Museum opened to the public on July 12, 2008, on a site in the Menomonee Valley. In late February 2006, designs for the museum were unveiled. The designs were created by James Biber, a partner at Pentagram, his team, and Michael Zweck-Bonner, an associate at Pentagram. On June 1, 2006, Harley-Davidson began the construction of the $75 million complex with a groundbreaking ceremony that included legendary Harley-Davidson dirt track motorcycle racer, Scott Parker, breaking ground by doing a burnout with a Harley-Davidson XL883R Sportster.

Along the east side of the upstairs galleries, a series of interconnected galleries exhibit the Harley-Davidson's chronological history. The museum's second floor galleries begin with the Engine Room. A Knucklehead engine is displayed disassembled into several pieces. The Engine Room also features several interactive touch screen elements that show how Harley motors, including Panhead and Shovelhead motors work. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company's corporate archives are also housed on the museum's grounds. The archives supplied more than 85% of the items on display in the museum. Since 1915, the company's founders decided to pull one bike from the production line to be preserved in an archive.

Operation hours: Friday to Wednesday: 9 am - 6 pm; Thursday: 9 am - 8 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Haggerty Museum of Art

7) Haggerty Museum of Art

The Partick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art, or Haggerty Museum of Art, is located at 13th and Clybourn Streets on the campus of Marquette University. The museum was opened in 1984, and the construction site was decorated by a mural called On the Fence by American artist and social activist, Keith Haring. The construction of the museum was made possible by a donation from alumnus and co-founder of Texas Instruments, Inc., Patrick E. Haggerty, and his wife, Beatrice, for whom the museum is named. Haggerty and his wife donated an art collection to the university. Another important benefactor of the museum is David E. Straz, Jr., a Marquette alumnus and philanthropist. The current director of the Haggerty is Wally Mason.

The Haggerty Museum of Art has a permanent collection of over 4,500 paintings, sculptures, photographs and other visual art pieces. The Milwaukee High School of the Arts and Pius XI High School, two local high schools with programs in visual arts, have a strong relationship with the Haggerty Museum. The museum hosts the week-long Pius Annual Fine Art Festival. The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, a nearby arts college unaffiliated with Marquette, often hosts discussions on-site at the Haggerty. Art discussions and poetry readings sponsored by Marquette University are held regularly.

Operation hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 am - 4.30 pm; Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm; Sunday: 12 pm - 5 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Pabst Mansion

8) Pabst Mansion (must see)

The Pabst Mansion is located at 2000 W. Wisconsin Avenue, and was once the home to Captain Frederick Pabst, founder of the Pabst Brewing Company. Captain Pabst commissioned Milwaukee architect George Bowman Ferry to design a mansion in the Flemish Renaissance Revival style. The Pabst family lived at the mansion from 1892 until 1908, when the Archdiocese of Milwaukee purchased the mansion. For the next 67 years, five Archbishops as well as many priests and sisters lived at the Pabst mansion.

In 1978, Wisconsin Heritages, Inc., purchased the mansion, opening it to the public in May of that year. Until the purchase, the mansion had been slated to be demolished to make way for a parking structure. In 1998, Wisconsin Heritages, Inc., was renamed Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion, Inc. The mansion is open to the public, with daily tours. The mansion was the set for a series of 1980 Boston Store holiday commercials. The mansion was also briefly pictured during season 4 of the television sitcom How I Met Your Mother as the childhood home of the character Robin Scherbatsky in the 2008 episode "Happily Ever After".

The first restored room of the Pabst Mansion was the main Dining Room. The ceiling, cove, walls, and paintings above the doors were all painted white by the archdiocese. Recent historic preservation efforts are focusing on the Master Suite. In February and March 2011 paint analysis was performed on the ceilings of the Master Bedroom and Sitting Room.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Create Your Own Walk in Milwaukee

Create Your Own Walk in Milwaukee

Creating your own self-guided walk in Milwaukee is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Milwaukee Introduction Walk

Milwaukee Introduction Walk

Milwaukee, a city in Wisconsin sitting on the western shore of Lake Michigan, is known primarily for its breweries. However, if you're not beer thirsty, you'll find much other delectable stuff there fit to satisfy your culture and curiosity buds. The Grohmann Museum, hosting the world's most comprehensive art collection depicting the evolution of human work, is one such place. If...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 Km or 3 Miles
Architecture Walk in Milwaukee

Architecture Walk in Milwaukee

Milwaukee is home to buildings with impressive beauty and rare architectural styles. Many buildings were designed in the German style and others in French. There are some grand skyscrapers in Milwaukee's downtown that are a must-see for any tourist. Take this walking tour to admire the architectural gems of Milwaukee.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Monuments and Statues Tour in Milwaukee

Monuments and Statues Tour in Milwaukee

Milwaukee is home to a variety of statues and monuments of different grades of importance, from entertaining ones to memorials commemorating war and its victims. There are also very unusual statues such as a monument to a duck and its ducklings. Take this walking tour to explore Milwaukee's monuments and statues.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Religious Tour in Milwaukee

Religious Tour in Milwaukee

Milwaukee boasts a number of beautiful historic churches, the majority of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Generally the city's religious make-up is diverse, from Catholic to Jesuit, though there are a number of Catholic churches and cathedrals. Take this walking tour to admire the religious masterpieces of Milwaukee.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles