Historiska tredje avdelningen
Historiska tredje avdelningen

Historiska tredje avdelningen

Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53202

The basics

The city’s oldest center of commerce, Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward dates back to 1875 (keep an eye out for Late Victorian architecture). These 10 square blocks have seen a lot—the city’s biggest fire, the crux of its civil rights movement, and the Rust Belt’s manufacturing decline. But today, it’s all about art, culture, food, and music—including Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival.

No matter when you arrive, the list of places to scope out in this revitalized district will be long. If nothing else, note the Third Ward Riverwalk on the Milwaukee River (which you can kayak!), Lakeshore State Park and the nationally recognized Milwaukee Public Market offer both global provisions and, yes, Wisconsin cheese.

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Things to know before you go

  • The Historic Third Ward is located along the Milwaukee Streetcar line, The Hop. It’s free to ride.

  • There are two parking garages in this ‘hood—one on Milwaukee St. and one on Chicago St.

  • The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel’s rooftop bar, the Outsider, offers some of the best views of the city’s skyline.

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How to get there

The Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport is the state’s largest, only about 15 minutes from the Historic Third Ward. That said, many visitors come in on their own wheels, which is a good idea if you want to explore beyond this district. (Street parking is free after 6pm Monday through Friday and free on weekends.) Public bike programs, rideshare services, and the Milwaukee Streetcar are also available to get around this ‘hood.

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When to get there

When to visit Milwaukee and the Historic Third Ward depends on your interests and what you’re looking to experience. Is Summerfest on your list? Well, then… summer, which is typically quite warm (though the breezes off Lake Michigan help). Spring and fall are lovely times to visit, with typically smaller crowds, nice weather, and either springtime blooms or fall colors.

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Those Hamburg vibes

At one point, Milwaukee boasted the highest concentration of immigrants in any US city—and they were mostly German. If walking around the city’s Historic Third Ward reminds you of Hamburg and the Speicherstadt (Hamburg’s own warehouse district), you’re not alone—or mistaken. Like the Speicherstadt, you’ll find trendy pubs, cafes, and boutiques filling those massive, old-school warehouse walls.

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