Tours in Milwaukee

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Completed in 1892 as the private home of the Pabst family, Pabst Mansion stands as the last bastion of more than 80 mansions built for Milwaukee’s elite during a booming, bygone era. Since its construction, the estate has housed archbishops, priests, and sisters and was saved from near-demolition during the 1970s. The Flemish-Renaissance-Revival home has since been awarded a place on the National Register of Historic Places for its bounty of architectural intricacies.

Today, on-staff docents conduct a range of tours for public groups, private parties, school groups, and well-behaved rugby teams through the fortress of halls, opulent rooms, and verdant grounds, each restored to their original condition.

The Pabst Mansion’s impressive art collection includes works from the 1640s through the 1900s by artists such as William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gaetano Trentanove, and Eugene Joseph Verboeckhoven. The emporium of excess also features Pabst Beer Pavilion, the pavilion built for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the glass-covered conservatory where tropical plants and beer trees continue to flourish.

The mansion gift shop holds classic Pabst drinkware and memorabilia as well as antique photos, books, and former employees' original finger paintings.

2000 W Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Passengers on the Iroquois, Vista King, and Voyageur cruise ships have passed under century-old raising bridges and laid eyes on history-rich chunks of Milwaukee skyline. However, they've also sat under squadrons of F-18s performing barrel rolls over Lake Michigan. Licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to perform tours and charters on the lake, Jake Chianelli and his captains offer their passengers a unique perspective on the city's waterside events. They also partner with the nonprofit organization Historic Milwaukee by using their trained docents to lead history tours, which include facts and anecdotes from the arrival of the first fur traders up to modern day.

With kitchen facilities and a full bar on board, each of the three double-decked ships are equipped for tours as well as a range of corporate events, wedding-rehearsal dinners, and Moby Dick-themed improv shows. Climate-controlled lower decks give passengers shelter in all weather, and open upper decks house a stage space where local indie-rock bands play during a summer concert series.

101 W Michigan St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Each Pedal Tavern has room for up to 16 people to rock out with their calves out. As your crew moves from pub to pub, your crawling conductor will happily spin your favorite CDs on the on-board stereo system (bring your own CDs). Like a socially acceptable human centipede, you and your pedaling mates will wheel your way through town, sipping brews and snacking on pub grub. Per the request of staff and local policemen, guests are asked to refrain from riding and drinking simultaneously, because it is entirely illegal; while at pubby pit-stops though, feel free to consume plentiful amounts of fermented ales and spirited liquids.

338 S 1st St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Dogs may be man's best friend, but having a horse show up at your wedding is more likely to impress. Milwaukee Coach and Carriage arranges such romantic gestures with its fleet of well-mannered equines and spacious coaches. Its custom wagon rides wend to and from marriage ceremonies as well as birthday parties, grand openings, and other special events, imbuing passengers’ evenings with timeless flair and romance.

For a more casual trot around the city, Milwaukee Coach and Carriage also leads 30- or 60-minute tours of downtown, rolling past popular landmarks to create a memorable date without getting involved in a high-speed chase. Each wagon holds up to four adults and two children total, though 12-person wagons are available for larger groups.

228 E National Ave
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Bumper, Slick, Makaia, and Diego may sound like a team of superheroes, but at Oceans of Fun, they are the names of just 4 of the 11 sea lions and seals that inhabit the center's waters. Nestled in the Milwaukee County Zoo, the educational center focuses specifically on marine animals, educating visitors on their traits, their favorite places to play, and conservation strategies. Kids can feed the seals and sea lions buckets of fresh fish or build their animal-training repertoire during interactive programs; the animals also perform in shows four times daily throughout most of the year.

10001 W Bluemound Rd
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Located inside a brick-hewn building reminiscent of a grand castle, the Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery recounts the history of the company’s former brewery, which dates back to 1844. Visitors tour Pabst’s corporate offices, take photos with a statue of Captain Frederick Pabst, and drink tall pints of the brewery’s concoctions. The gift shop stocks vintage Pabst memorabilia, including steins, shirts, and artwork. Best Place’s halls and courtyards can also be rented for banquets, weddings, and other events.

901 W Juneau Ave
Milwaukee,
WI
US