Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Published: March 6, 2007
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Milwaukee, The Heart of Things
Milwaukee is the 18th largest city in the nation and borders the beautiful western shores of Lake Michigan. This vibrant city of 1.5 million people (2000 census) is large enough to offer something for everyone - without feeling overcrowded. Milwaukee neighborhoods range from close-knit residential districts with tree-lined streets, to new high-rise condominiums downtown and along the Milwaukee River. Traffic is rarely a problem, with the average commute under 30 minutes. The Milwaukee County Parks system, with more 140 parks and parkways totaling nearly 15,000 acres, has long been a source of pride for city residents. And the Milwaukee Public Schools system, one of the best urban public school systems in the country, serves more than 105,000 students at 229 facilities throughout the metro area.

Milwaukee is best known for Summerfest, the 11-day music festival held at the lakeshore in late June and early July. Top local, regional, and national acts turn out for this sprawling, spirited celebration of music that starts early each day and lasts well into each night. Summer weekends find the lakeshore crowded with festivals and ethnic celebrations, including Festa Italiana, Asian Moon Festival, Indian Summer, and the world-renowned Irish Fest. Each of these festivals culminates in a fireworks display, so that every summer weekend is punctuated by lights over Lake Michigan.

But the fun doesn't stop when the leaves start changing. Wisconsin residents are as dedicated to winter fun as they are to enjoying the mild summers. Many facilities surrounding Milwaukee offer snow bunnies plenty of opportunities for indoor and outdoor ice skating, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, and snow tubing, a family favorite. Hardy Wisconsinites enjoy ice fishing in Milwaukee's surrounding lakes; the hardiest among us hit the beach on January 1 for the annual Polar Bears' swim in Lake Michigan.

Wisconsin residents take their sports very seriously. In college sports, the Wisconsin Badgers, UW-Milwaukee Panthers, and Marquette Golden Eagles enjoy dedicated followings. Milwaukee's Major League Baseball team, the Brewers, plays its home games in Miller Park, a beautiful place to spend a summer night - with a retractable roof for those early-season games. Milwaukee boasts the Bucks NBA team, Admirals hockey, and two championship-caliber soccer teams, the Wave (NPSL) and the Wave United (outdoor A-League). And of course for the NFL fan, Milwaukee is just a three-hour drive from Lambeau Field, home of the legendary Green Bay Packers.

If you love fine arts, Milwaukee will not disappoint you. The city is proud of its Symphony Orchestra, well-known Art Museum including the new Calatrava wing, Ballet Company, Skylight Opera Theatre, Repertory Theatre, and downtown theatre district. Milwaukee is just a three-hour drive from Spring Green, home of the American Players' Theatre, a nationally-known and respected outdoor Shakespearean company. For families, the Milwaukee Public Museum features an IMAX theater, numerous popular permanent and traveling exhibitions, and Discovery World, an in-house science museum. The Betty Brinn Children's Museum and Milwaukee County Zoo provide plenty of hands-on activities for children of all ages.

From Kalmbach's corporate facility, you are just minutes away from downtown Milwaukee and 90 minutes from downtown Chicago.

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For more information about Milwaukee, please visit these Web sites:

Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau — Information on music, dining, art and the community.

Wisconsin Online — Find out what's happening in Wisconsin, Listing of Festivals, camps, attractions and maps.

OnMilwaukee.com — Information about movies, entertainment, music, and theater

Apartment Showcase — Search apartments for rent in the Milwaukee area

The Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce — A comprehensive list of links about the city of Milwaukee

Milwaukee County Parks

Milwaukee Public Schools

Summerfest