Milwaukee Wisconsin is located on the shore of Lake Michigan. Travel up the Wisconsin coast, and you’d reach the Michigan Upper Peninsula.
Milwaukee spreads out along the shore, with Highway 43 hugging the coast north to south. Highway 94 and route 18 go east and west.
Cedarburg, Mequon, Germantown and Port Washington are to the north. Waukesha is to the west. Cities like Sturtevant, Burlington, Waterford, Racine, North Bay and South Milwaukee are to the south.
Milwaukee itself covers almost 100 square miles, most of which is land.
Several small rivers flow through Milwaukee on their way to Lake Michigan. Milwaukee itself was built where the Menomonee, Milwaukee River and Kinnickinnic meet.
Milwaukee gets cold in the winters. It competes with St. Paul, Minnesota for the coldest annual average temperature. Because it is on the shore of a Great Lake, winters see heavy snowfall.
The Great Lakes act as a thermal reservoir, always colder than the land. This results in temperatures being several degrees cooler by the lake than a few miles inland.
Milwaukee is home to roughly 600,000 people. This makes it the largest city in Wisconsin and puts it in the top forty cities in the U.S. for population. It is also the center of a metropolitan area of around two million people, which makes it around the 30th largest metropolitan area in the country.
Milwaukee is the county seat of Milwaukee County. The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is a major employer.
Milwaukee is home to six Fortune 500 companies, including Harley-Davidson, Rockwell Automation and Manpower. Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the home of the Harley-Davidson museum. It is home to several other museums and a zoo. The city hosts a number of financial firms, Northwestern Mutual and MGIC Investments being the largest. Briggs and Stratton, the American Society for Quality and other notable organizations are based in Milwaukee.
Beer was once a dominant industry, where Milwaukee was once the greatest beer producer in the world. Today, Miller Brewing remains a major employer though it has only one brewery in the city. There are several microbreweries in the city.
The area was originally home to Algonquian and Algic peoples. Milwaukee was settled at first by French-Canadian explorer Solomon Juneau. Large numbers of German settlers came to the area. (This is why it is sometimes called Deutsch-Athen or the German Athens.) The city incorporated in 1846. Throughout the 1800s, Milwaukee continued to receive German immigrants until they were around a third of the population in 1900. Polish immigrants started arriving after the U.S. Civil War until the city became one of the largest Polish immigrant communities in the U.S. By 1915, there were 100,000 Poles in the city.
Milwaukee and Chicago competed to be the transportation hub for the Great Lakes region. While Milwaukee had a good port, Chicago won out because it became the hub of several major railroads.
Milwaukee is famous for its breweries. This is why it is sometimes called Brew City, Beer City, Beertown and Cream City.
The Milwaukee Park Horticultural Conservatory is locally known as “The Domes” for all the glass domes it uses to protect plants from the cold, humid climate.
Milwaukee has a number of teams, including the Brewers (baseball), Bucks (basketball), Admirals (hockey) and other sports teams.
Five different ships in the U.S. Navy have been named after Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In the early 1900s, Milwaukee tied with New York City for having the greatest percentage of foreign born residents in the nation.
The origin of the name Milwaukee is unclear. It may come from a Potawatomi word or Ojibwe word for gathering place by the water.
There is a Milwaukie, Oregon, named after Milwaukee, Wisconsin but using the old spelling of the Wisconsin city.