This would be a great year to join Historic Milwaukee, Inc so you can join in on the fantastic walking tours they have planned for this summer through fall. Walks are free to members and will get you out in some new neighborhoods. Non-members pay $10 per walk. Kids ages 7-17 are $2, and under 6 are free. Membership starts at $25. You'll find more information about costs and benefits at their website. This is also the organization that hosts Doors Open Milwaukee in September.
Regular Tours include:
Downtown M,W,F, Sa at 10 AM. Tu,Th at 3 PM. May 15-Oct 3
Riverwalk W at 6 PM. May 17-Oct 25
Historic Third Ward Sa at 1 PM. May 20-Oct 14
Brady Street Sa at 1 PM, Tu at 6 PM. May 16-Oct 24
Bay View Su at 1 PM, Th at 6 PM. May 21-Oct 29
North Point Mansions Su at 1 PM. May 21-Oct 29
Then starting June 4, there's a new downtown sculpture tour on Sundays along Wisconsin Avenue. You will also hear about the history and architecture of downtown. This is a partnership with new Sculpture Milwaukee, an outdoor urban sculpture experience which will be in our downtown June-October. This features the art of 21 artists in 22 sculptures. The pieces will be positioned along Wisconsin Avenue from 6th St. to O'Donnell Park. Some of the artists are local. Others are internationally known. Expect both large and small- maybe as tall as 40 feet!
Gothic Milwaukee does Haunted Tours. Anna, your tour guide, a native Milwaukeean and avid collector of local folklore and legend, is delighted to introduce you to the spook-tacular side of Milwaukee. Gothic Milwaukee is one of Milwaukee’s most fun historical attractions and we are thrilled to share with you the folklore, legends and macabre tales that lurk on nearly every block of the city.
If you're looking for some new food joints, join Milwaukee Food Tours for one of their walking tours. Go hungry because you'll visit several places on the route.
Historic Forest Home Cemetery does tours throughout the summer on weekends. Every year they kick it up a notch adding more diversity through the use of volunteers and sometimes costumes. You'll do a lot of walking as you visit graves and hear about past Milwaukee legends. Never disappointing. I always learn something new.
If you're more inclined to do your own walking, here are some downtown tours you can do solo or with friends.
Artwalk- Milwaukee's RiverWalk is home to an outdoor art gallery called RiverSculpture! that includes both permanent pieces and temporary installations that change periodically.
As you stroll along the RiverWalk you'll enjoy making new discoveries, from small, whimsical sculptures such as Gertie, the world's most celebrated duck, to sizable and striking abstract works. There are currently 20 sculptures on display representing national, regional and local artists.
Buy a set of 10 cards with featured walks in either downtown Milwaukee or in Wauwatosa through Gothic Milwaukee or at a local shop like Barcelona or Waxwing. You'll learn more about the history and architecture of our communities as you get some exercise.
Download four self-guided tours of Forest Home Cemetery and go anytime the weather is nice. Be sure to visit the Hall of History. The unique museum level of the Halls of History features permanent and changing displays honoring the memories and accomplishments of more than 100 people who built Milwaukee and chose Forest Home as their final resting place.
With the App GPS MY CITY, you can do a portion of statues located in downtown Milwaukee. I wrote more about that here.
There's another app that can be used to guide you through the Milwaukee Soldiers Home on the grounds of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, west of Miller Park. You'll walk past historic buildings used in the Civil War era. Then you can walk through the cemetery if you wish.