Travel Tips

The Quirky Side of Milwaukee

Filed Under: Wisconsin

Adam Richman and the Man v. Food Nation crew headed to Milwaukee for beer, sausage and the ultimate 23-minute challenge: a giant burger stuffed with a chicken breast and spicy wings. Along with eating, there is plenty to see in Milwaukee such as the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Historic Third Ward and Lake Park. Travel Channel uncovered a quirky, fun side to the city. Here are 10 must-see places and events to check out.

Adam Norwood on Flickr
1) The Fonz Statue
In 2007, a local group raised $85,000 to create a statue of Arthur, aka "The Fonz," Fonzarelli from the TV show Happy Days, which was set in Milwaukee. Today he stands along the Milwaukee River, giving his famous thumbs-up ("Ayyy!"). Head to the Milwaukee River walk, just south of Wells Street, say hello to The Fonz.
dizznan on Flickr
2) The Witch of Fox Point
Known as "The Witch's House", this lakefront home once belonged to folk artist Mary Nohl. The reclusive artist created concrete sculptures, which she displayed around her house. The looming statues -- more than 60 in all -- are cool, a few rankled neighbors notwithstanding. Nohl never married and rumors began to circulate that she killed her family and entombed them in the statues' bases, hence the "witch" nickname.
b0jangles on Flickr
3) Jelly Belly Tour
A flying Mr. Jelly Belly. Giant Jelly Belly beans. And an Elvis made entirely of jelly beans. These are just some of the creations you will see at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Hop aboard the Jelly Belly Express Train for a warehouse facility tour to learn more about how the candy is made. It also includes plenty of tasting opportunities and a store to further your sugar high.
Getty Images
4) The Famous Racing Sausages
Head to Miller Park to catch a Milwaukee Brewers game. Prior to the seventh inning, look for the sausage mascots -- Brett Wurst (bratwurst), Stosh (Polish sausage), Guido (Italian sausage), Frankie Furter (hot dog) and Cinco (chorizo) --  to take to the field and race. In 2000, they went from a virtual race done on a giant scoreboard, to the 6-foot plus characters that race live today. And yes, one was taken out by a Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman.
Claire Ruzicka
5) Des Vaches: Mo, Ni, Que
Des Vaches: Mo, Ni, Que by Samuel Buri or, as we like to call them, the polka-dotted cows, are on display at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee. Head here to visit them, along with 50 other sculptures, set in 40 acres of park, lake and woodland.
Boon Lee on Flickr
6) Engine Room at the Harley-Davidson Museum
Visit the Harley-Davidson Museum's Engine Room where you will find a wall of engines. The gallery includes a "family tree" which showcases the evolution of Harley-Davidson motorcycle engines.
East Town Association
7) 43-Foot Eiffel Tower at Bastille Days
Bastille Days, the largest outdoor French-themed festival in the US, is held every year in Cathedral Square Park in downtown Milwaukee. A signature fixture of the event is a 43-foot Eiffel Tower replica, which makes you feel like you are really in Paris!
Caffeine Communications
8) Polar Bear Plunge
Each year on New Year's Day, folks gather at Milwaukee's Bradford Beach to jump into Lake Michigan. (Yes, they strip off their warm winter clothes, in the freezing temperatures, to take a dip ... crazy! ) The proceeds go to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
9) Milwaukee Public Museum Overnights
The museum offers a program for families and groups, which includes a flashlight tour of the museum, a show in the planetarium (Wisconsin's largest), and a sleepover in one of the exhibits. What kid wouldn't want to sleep among the dinosaurs? Awesome.
10) American Science & Surplus
Only word that comes to mind for this store is random. Items include NATO gas masks, squirrel cage blowers, tuning forks and polyethylene gowns. A trip here will be entertaining, if nothing else, with plenty of quirky finds to tumble upon.

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