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Milwaukee

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Wisconsin Milwaukee

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Introduction

Milwaukee

Milwaukee

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Milwaukee is the big city in Wisconsin. It is the major urban center for the state and is also the economic center for the state. Although many people forget about Milwaukee because of its big neighbor to the south Chicago this is an amazing city in its own right. There are several great museums, restaurants and a very good night life. During the summer months the lake front is lit up with summer festivals that even put Chicago to shame. Just remember this is a Miller town so don't ask for a Budweiser.

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Events and Festivals

  • Summerfest, also known as the Big Gig and Beerfest, is a large music festival held every year on the lake front at Henry Maier Festival Park. Live music is offered on 11 stages across the park ranging in size and interest. The festival features smaller and bigger bands and usually has a major superstar every night in the main concert venue. Over the 10 day period of the festival attracts between 800,000 to 1 million people! It runs from noon to midnight.

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Weather

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-3.3 °C-1.1 °C4.7 °C11.6 °C17.9 °C23.8 °C26.6 °C25.4 °C21.4 °C14.8 °C7.1 °C-0.4 °C
Avg Min-11.3 °C-8.9 °C-3.2 °C2.1 °C7.1 °C12.8 °C16.7 °C16 °C11.6 °C5.4 °C-0.7 °C-8.1 °C
Rainfall40.6 mm36.8 mm67.8 mm88.9 mm72.1 mm82.3 mm88.1 mm89.7 mm85.9 mm61.2 mm63.8 mm59.2 mm
Rain Days76.18.89.58.78.17.37.67.27.27.58.3

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Getting There

By Plane

General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) is located about 5 miles (8 kilometres) from the central business district of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. It mainly serves other US cities, though there are international flights to Toronto and seasonal flights to Cancun.

To/from the airport
Badger Coach has frequent trips between Mitchell Airport, Downtown Milwaukee, Madison, Johnson Creek, and Goerkes Corners. Milwaukee County Transit System Route 80 serves the Airport with a $2.25 fare to anywhere in the county. Amtrak has a station platform 3/4 of a mile from the airport and uses the Wisconsin Coach Lines operates frequently to the two Chicago Airports: O'Hare Airport (ORD), Midway Airport (MDW) and to Waukesha, Milwaukee (Downtown Amtrak/Greyhound Station), Racine, and Kenosha.

By Train

Two trains, operated by Amtrak travel to and from Milwaukee:

  • The Empire Builder, operated by Amtrak, travels between Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington, stopping en route in a number of places in Wisconsin, including Milwaukee.
  • The Hiawatha travels between Chicago and Milwaukee, also stopping on the international airport of Milwaukee.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Motel 6-Milwaukee West20300 w bluemound rd Brookfield, WI, 53045HOTEL-
Econo Lodge Hotel Milwaukee Airport6541 s 13th streetHOTEL89

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 43.038903
  • Longitude: -87.906474

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This is version 15. Last edited at 12:45 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 15 articles link to this page.

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