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Courtesy Visit Milwaukee

Key Info

800 W Wells St.


Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend


  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 3.0Atmosphere

If you're looking for ancient creatures, human history, and live butterflies all in the same place, the Milwaukee Public Museum has you covered. Permanent exhibits range from a 14,000-year-old mammoth skeleton to a life-size diorama of early-1900s Milwaukee. Enjoy a walk through a re-created century-old village, inspired by 33 different European cultures. Then stop by the Puelicher Butterfly Wing, where you can watch butterflies flit around their two-story garden. And in the Native Games exhibit, visitors can learn about the history and significance of games played by indigenous tribes throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

Previous visitors sang the praises of the butterfly exhibit and recommended a visit to the museum's candy store. They also point out that there's no coat check, so you'll have to either carry your jacket or rent a locker for a small fee.

You can find the museum on West Wells Street, just a few blocks west of the convention center. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit on the first Thursday of the month for a few extra hours of exploring when the museum is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets start at $18 for adults, $12 for children ages 4 to 13, and $14 for seniors, students, and the military. For more information about new exhibits and special events, visit the museum's website.

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#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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