Our neighbors to the East are anticipating an exciting year for many reasons. Harley-Davidson is celebrating its 115th Anniversary, the Milwaukee Bucks are building a new arena, and millions of dollars are being invested in new developments throughout the city. Read on to see why Milwaukee should be a destination to explore in 2018.
Summerfest will debut a new stage in time for the 2018 festival, complete with views of Lake Michigan and a 25-foot LED screen (the largest on the grounds). The Milwaukee Streetcar will begin operation in the fall, connecting millions of annual visitors with downtown workers and residents on its 2.5-mile route. The city’s NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks, will start the season in the new Wisconsin Sports and Entertainment Center, a $524-million arena set to open in October, which will not only host national touring acts, but also boast a surrounding area complete with a music venue, and multiple restaurants and bars. A highlight of the new, cosmopolitan area is Milwaukee Brewing Company’s brand-new brewery, located in a former Pabst Brewing Company building. Following suit, the Harbor District (just south of the historic Third Ward) is currently going through a revitalization and will now include a four-mile extension of the RiverWalk as well as a new waterfront park.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Harley-Davidson are both celebrating major anniversaries in 2018. The Bucks are turning 50 and Harley is celebrating their 115th anniversary this year. They will be celebrating over Labor Day weekend with parties at the H-D Museum, dealerships, and across the city. Destination Harley rides, a Harley parade throughout the city, and many more activities will also make up the celebrations.
Milwaukee’s dining scene is experiencing an upgrade with the opening of the state’s first Shake Shack as well as a cat café and the return of Osteria (the new incarnation of Osteria del Mondo — a formal, traditional Italian restaurant) to downtown after a six-year hiatus. Additionally, Glorioso’s, the Italian grocery store, is expanding and will now offer cooking classes, demonstrations, food and beverage experience and event space.
Other exciting new developments include a 10,000-square-foot expansion at Discovery World, an expanded elephant exhibit at the Milwaukee County Zoo, a new Oktoberfest celebration, the Milwaukee Film Festival and an Olympic speed skating long-track in advance of the Winter Olympics.
With so many new happenings to check out, visitors are going to need a place to stay. Multiple hotels are set to open in the coming year including a 150-room Hyatt Place, the Homewood Suites on Water Street, and a second hotel tower at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. The Hotel Metro will be converted to a Marriott Autograph hotel and a former Milwaukee Public School will be converted into a hotel, with plans to open as the Ambassador Suites in 2019.
For more information and to stay up-to-date on Milwaukee’s new offerings, check out VISIT Milwaukee’s brand-new website.