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 Travel Article Travel Article Archive  
June 2009 Email this to a friend

Where good times are brewing

By Staff reports

Midtowne Spa, Milwaukee
John John is a cute one at Midtowne Spa

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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Milwaukee article click DailyXtraTravel

Milwaukee is a city where a variety of cultures come together; from quaint neighborhoods rich with ethnic heritage, to restaurants that tantalize the taste buds, to diverse lake-front attractions. Wisconsin's largest city is the meeting place of three rivers: the Milwaukee, the Kinnickinnic, and the Juneau. There are things to do all day long as well as through the night. Spend a day on the beaches of Lake Michigan or a night on the town.

Milwaukee celebrates its cultural diversity throughout the year with a procession of festivals. International Arts Festival, Asian Moon Festival, Cajun Fest, Polish Fest, Bastille Days, Festa Italiana, Mexican Fest, Indian Summer, and Oktoberfest are just a few of these tributes.

When is comes to arts and entertainment, Milwaukee offers up many options.
The Marcus Center for Performing Arts, the Riverside Theater, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and the historic Pabst Theater offer symphony, ballet, opera, Broadway shows, and theater.

The city has a number of art museums, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Charles Allis Museum, and the Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum.
And don't forget America's Black Holocaust Museum and the Milwaukee Public Museum.


In the heart of downtown and one block from the Midwest Express Center Best Western Inn Towne Hotel (710 N. Old World Third St; 414-224-8400) is a 667,000 square-foot hotel with rainbow flags flying on the lampposts at the corner. Parking is available and you can tour downtown through the skywalk located across the street from the hotel.


The Boulevard Inn (925 E. Wells) offers fine dining for both lunch and dinner, great lakefront views seafood, chops, steaks, and German fare.
Pasta Tree (1503 North Farwell) with garden patio has been serving Milwaukee for over 26 years with fine Italian cuisine.
City Lights Chill & Grill (111 W Howard Ave) is a new south side gay-frequented spot with good sandwiches on the menu.

Health clubs and bathhouse

Milwaukee's Midtowne Spa (315 S. Water St) Milwaukee's premiere gay men's health and recreational facility has regular party events with Squirt, Manhunt and BoyzParty. They offer lockers, private rooms, sauna and whirlpool, steam room patio, exercise and weight equipment, a tanning deck, and hot music. Open 24 hours a day.

Bars and Clubs
With many gay clubs in the Walker's Point and Third Ward area, Milwaukee has more gay bars, per capita, than San Francisco. Most of them mix right in with the city's finer straight clubs. Pride flags fly high on lampposts in the club district as well as in downtown Milwaukee, making this city very friendly and comfortable to visit. You can park your car and walk to most of them.

Fluid (819 S. 2nd St) at the heart of Walker's Point, is known for the largest selection of martinis and signature drinks in the area. People fill the place early to see and be seen.

La Cage (801 S. 2nd) video multi-bar club with a young mixed crowd who come for the dancing and drag cabaret shows.
Club Boom (625 S. 2nd St) has regular underwear parties. Wearing your underwear gets you $1 off of drinks that night, and they have visting porn star appearances here too.

The Harbor Room (117 E. Greenfield), is Milwaukee's premiere leather club. With one of the city's largest outdoor patios they lay claim to being the friendliest bar in the Midwest. Weekend nights are wall-to-wall men and their drink prices are some of the cheapest around. Shirtless men always drink for half-price on rail and domestic drinks. On Tuesdays, wear a nipple ring and let the bartender give it a gentle tug for a second drink on the house.

Other clubs include Ballgame (196 S 2nd St) a quiet neighborhood bar;
Boot Camp (209 East National Ave) a very male establishment for leather and fetish guys;
Jack (200 E Washington), a new mixed dance club;
Kruz (354 E National Ave) a new locals' favorite mixed bar;
M's (1101 S Second St), piano bar;
Tracks Tavern (1020 E Locust) a neighborhood sports bar with big screen TVs, sand volleyball courts and summertime patio;
the Triangle (135 East National Ave) video bar;
and Woody's (1579 2nd) sports bar with big screen TV, softball teams, bowling and dart leagues, pool games and beer busts.

This is It! (418 East Wells) is in downtown Milwaukee, minutes from Lake Michigan. Milwaukee's oldest existing gay bar still has an entrance in the back as they did years ago, when people were afraid to be seen walking into a gay bar. Many locals stop here after work for happy hour.

Purr Night Club (3945 N 35th St) is a Milwaukee dance club favorite for gay African-American women.
Pump! Sundays @ Decibel (1905 E North Ave) is a one gay night a week dance event with top quality DJs, music and lights.

Art Bar (722 E Burleigh St) is a new gallery and bar in Riverwest with spoken word and live music events. Nearby Two (718 E Burleigh St) is a non-smoker's "make-out bar" from the same folks.
After 9 years serving the gay community, Switch closed this year.


Covering all of Wisconsin. Quest, based in Green Bay, features information on all Wisconsin bars and events. Download a pdf copy of their latest issue from their website.


Pridefest Milwaukee
Took place this year in Henry Maier Festival Park in mid-June.

Gay Softball World Series
Coming to Milwaukee. August 31 through September 5th with the participation of 37 cities and over three thousand players. Opening ceremonies are at Henry Maier Park and the bars will have lots of parties too.

Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival
Takes place October 15-25 2009. Click the hot- link for schedules and venues.

Places to See

Fond of motorcycling? One of Milwaukee's attractions is the Harley- Davidson Museum, in this company's home town, with exhibits that tell the story of the people, products, history and culture of the iconic motorcycle maker.

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