Explore the City Using the Milwaukee RiverWalk!
Want a great, easy way to explore the city on foot? Stroll along Milwaukee’s RiverWalk through the heart of downtown and learn about the history of the city, while you check out some of our best restaurants, brewpubs, shops and waterfront nightlife.
In the early 1990’s a dedicated committee of downtown visionaries dreamed big. The newly formed Milwaukee RiverWalk District teamed up with the City of Milwaukee, and years of development and several national awards later, today’s RiverWalk winds more than 20 blocks through the heart of the city, tying together three distinct riverfront neighborhoods — the Historic Third Ward, Downtown, and Beerline B.
Who needs"SoHo" when you’ve got the Historic Third Ward? The ward has become a hub for artistic activity in Milwaukee and is currently home to more than 20 galleries and art studios, the bustling Milwaukee Public Market, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, the Broadway Theatre Center, shops and numerous restaurants featuring al fresco dining.
Past and present artfully connect along the Downtown RiverWalk. This section passes by the thumbs-up Bronze Fonz and through the main theater district including the Pabst Theater, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. On warm summer evenings you’ll see folks dancing along to free Wednesday evening concerts at the riverside Pere Marquette Park. And don’t pass up the chance to celebrate Milwaukee's German heritage along Old World Third Street.
Award-winning brewery tour anyone? Lakefront Brewery, an anchor of the Beerline B area on the RiverWalk, boasts one of the top-ranked brewery tours in the nation per Tripadvisor. Beerline B is a former industrial corridor, redeveloped into a neighborhood of modern, riverside condominiums in cutting-edge architectural designs.
While each RiverWalk segment has a distinct personality, they are unified by a unique, urban, outdoor gallery. RiverSculpture includes both permanent pieces and temporary installations by national, regional and local artists. Currently 20 sculptures, ranging from small, whimsical sculptures such as Gertie, the world's most celebrated duck, to sizeable and striking abstract works and intricate wrought-iron trellises grace the RiverWalk.
The clanging you hear will be coming from one of the sixteen bridges spanning the Milwaukee River from the northernmost point of the RiverWalk — the Humboldt Street Bridge — to the southern end — the Milwaukee Street Bridge in the Historic Third Ward. Along with the standard “fixed” bridge, these include different types of movable bridges allowing for boat traffic. The design of bridge operator houses reflects the time period in which the bridges were built, and include Neoclassical, Art Deco and Modern.
Colorful signs along the way direct you to downtown’s attractions and informative historical markers will fill you in on the infamous “Bridge Wars” and the city’s German heritage. And watch for the urban outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling and pleasure boating — right in the heart of the city. Warmer months also mean a steady stream of tour boats operating along the RiverWalk, offering everything from history and architecture tours to America's only brewery tour by boat.
So make a day of it – discover the charms of downtown Milwaukee on a leisurely stroll down our award-winning RiverWalk!