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Courtesy Visit Milwaukee

Key Info

2000 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Details

Historic Homes/Mansions Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Pabst Mansion – the former home of captain Frederick Pabst (of beer fame) – was just one of a few dozen lavish estates that lined what was then Grand Avenue (so named for its wealthy residents and their impressive homes). Built in 1892, the home became a bastion for the luxe life. Costing a little more than $254,000 (in 1892 dollars) to construct, the elaborate mansion includes a carriage house, a pavilion, a greenhouse and a main residence – which boasts 37 rooms, 14 fireplaces and more than a dozen hidden compartments.

And while touring the century-old mansion today, tourists learn all about the Pabst Mansion's construction, as well as the history of the Pabst family and their iconic brewery, Pabst Brewing Company. In fact, the brewery's impact on the family can even be felt within their former residence, where decorative elements like hops bud finials adorn the exquisite grand staircase.

Previous visitors appreciated the restoration completed on the lower floors by the property (the third floor is currently being restored) to bring it to its original splendor, as well as the informative docents. And many recommend visiting during the winter months when the mansion is beautifully decorated for Christmas.

To find Pabst Mansion, make your way to Wisconsin Avenue near Milwaukee's Marquette University. Open daily, the house can be toured from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Admission costs $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, students and military, and $8 for kids ages 6 through 15 (free for children younger than 6). For more information, visit the mansion's official 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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