Great Lakes Distillery

#9 in Best Things To Do in Milwaukee
Great Lakes Distillery picture
Courtesy Visit Milwaukee

Key Info

616 W Virginia St.

Price & Hours



Tours, Wineries/Breweries, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Rum, whiskey, vodka and gin aren't just the staples of a good bartender – they're also what you'll find at Great Lakes Distillery. Located south of the Harley-Davidson Museum, just over the Menomonee River, the first distillery in Wisconsin to open since prohibition prides itself on using local ingredients. Visitors can take a tour of the distillery or take a seat in the tasting room for cocktails and Wisconsin classics like sausage and cheese curds.

Recent visitors spoke highly of the tour guides and said the tours are informative, especially regarding the history of prohibition. The food and drink offerings receive high praise, as well.

Tours are offered seven days a week at 1, 3 and 5 p.m., with additional times on Friday and Saturday. A one-hour tour of the distillery costs $12 per person and includes a flight of six samples. Feel free to bring along the family, liquor aficionados and teetotalers alike – complimentary soda is provided for anyone not drinking alcohol on the tour. Children and participants 20 and younger are also welcome, as long as they are accompanied by their parent or guardian. More information can be found on the distillery's website.

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Time to Spend
#1 Harley-Davidson Museum

Whether you're a diehard biker or someone who just happens to be in the area, many visitors say the Harley-Davidson Museum is worth exploring. Spread across 20 acres of prime Milwaukee riverfront property, the Harley-Davidson Museum continuously wows travelers with its 11 permanent exhibits and rotating special exhibits, including a recovered motorcycle from a tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011. Some permanent exhibits include a an engine room and an extensive motorcycle gallery that showcases the evolution of the company's bikes.

For those interested in the nitty-gritty of Harley bikes and history, consider paying an additional $4 per person for an audio headset. Prior visitors said the in-depth narration provided a superb detailed description of everything in the museum. (But if you don't feel like paying extra for a headset, the written explanations provided at each exhibit offer a wealth of excellent context, so you'll still learn plenty, according to previous travelers.)

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Courtesy Visit Milwaukee
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