Live Downtown

Dig Downtown’s Neighborhoods

Downtown Milwaukee is a collection of wonderful neighborhoods containing vibrant community clusters, each with their own unique identity. Whether it’s to work, play, live or visit, something is certain to delight you in each of these corridors.

East Town

Between the Milwaukee River and the shore of Lake Michigan, you’ll find East Town. This downtown neighborhood is home to some of the city’s most popular attractions, as well as all the lakefront fun! From beaches to museums, it’s easy to spend the day exploring with the family, with plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy in the evening. Explore Cathedral Square, Milwaukee Street, Water Street, and the Riverwalk district. Annual events like Bastille Days, Firkin Fest, a Saturday morning farmers' market, and the Lakefront Festival of Art are hugely popular with locals and visitors alike. 

The holidays are just as fun in the neighborhood, with free family fun at Community Spirit Park and Cocoa with the Clauses in Cathedral Square Park. It's easy to connect with all of East Town's attractions. Simply hop and shop, aboard The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. 

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Located west of the Milwaukee River, you'll find the city's vibrant entertainment district. Home to sports arenas, as well as popular venues like the Miller High Life Theatre, Riverside Theater, Turner Hall Ballroom, and Grand Warner Theatre, Westown caters to both day and nighttime visitors. Stand in awe of the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks, Fiserv Forum, and see more sports spectacles at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. Just a block away from the arenas is Old World Third Street, a major hub for nightlife downtown and the historic heart of Milwaukee’s German community. Around the corner, explore The Brewery District, Schlitz Park, and Riverwalk District for more dining and nightlife options.

Seasonal staples include the Westown Farmers' Market, River Rhythms, Night Market, plus the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off Extravaganza at Pere Marquette Park, an authentic German holiday market at Fiserv Forum, and one-of-a-kind holiday photo opportunities at Zeidler Union Square. 

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Historic Third Ward

Trendy shops and dining abound in this revitalized warehouse district. Block after block of former industrial space is now home to galleries, restaurants, boutique shops, and stylish national retailers like West Elm, Anthropologie, and Pendleton. The neighborhood is anchored on the north end by the Milwaukee Public Market and by the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design to the south. Along the lakefront is Henry Maier Festival Park, where Milwaukee’s lakefront comes alive every summer for the world's largest music festival, Summerfest. In addition, Henry Maier Festival Park also hosts ethnic festivals for the remaining summer weekends.

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Community Connections Built Through DNA MKE

DNA MKE is a membership organization comprised of East Town, Westown and Historic Third Ward residents. This active cohort meets regularly to effect positive change on downtown’s residential environment. The association also coordinates several social affairs such as clean ups and happy hours to foster fellowship.


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