Top 12 Romantic Things to do in Milwaukee

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Known for its beer, festivals, and rich history, Milwaukee offers a surprisingly romantic side as well. While attractions like the Milwaukee Art Museum and Lakefront Brewery provide perfect date options, look beyond the obvious to uncover Milwaukee’s hidden romantic gems.

Lakeshore State ParkScenic walks with downtown views
Lake ParkPicnic with lake views
Pontoon Boat CruisePrivate boat tours
Cooking Class DateCouples cooking experience
Brady Street DinnerIntimate dining in “Little Italy”
Milwaukee Food & City TourCulinary walking tour
Miller Brewery TourBrewery visit and tastings
Milwaukee Art MuseumArtistic date venue
Jazz EstateLive jazz in a cozy setting
Safe HouseSpy-themed dining adventure
Pedal Tavern ToursBike bar tour for two
Great Lakes DistilleryTasting room experience

From pontoon boat cruises to riverside picnics, Milwaukee sets the stage for romance with beautiful parks, candlelit restaurants, and stunning lake and city views around every corner.

Stroll Lakeshore State Park

Name and Location: Lakeshore State Park hugs the Lake Michigan shoreline in downtown Milwaukee. Its paths and green spaces offer beautiful waterside walking.

History and Significance: Created in the 1990s from former industrial land, Lakeshore State Park connects city dwellers and visitors to natural serenity with its 21 acres of prairie, secluded spots and views across the vast Great Lake waters just steps from attractions.

What to Expect: Couples hand-in-hand amble along curving paved paths through tall grasses and native planting, resting on benches to appreciate lake breezes kissing the shore. Migrating birds, boats in the marina and the peaceful atmosphere enhance romance.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily 6am-11pm year-round with free admission. Parking available at meters off Lincoln Memorial Drive or nearby garage. Ideal times are sunrise/sunset or moonlit nights.

For picture-perfect views of downtown Milwaukee’s skyline, head to Lakeshore State Park for a relaxing waterside stroll. Walk hand-in-hand along paved paths through 21 acres of green space bordering stunning Lake Michigan shoreline as waves gently lap the rocky coast. The park connects to Milwaukee’s Riverwalk downtown, allowing you to take in sights like the Santiago Calatrava–designed Milwaukee Art Museum. Find a lakeside bench to cuddle up on while admiring sailboats bobbing on blue waters backed by Milwaukee’s urban canyon of glass high-rises sparkling in the sunlight.

Picnic at Lake Park

Name and Location: Lake Park sits along Lake Michigan just north of downtown Milwaukee, containing green spaces perfect for an intimate, romantic picnic together.

History and Significance: Land for Lake Park was set aside in the late 1800s. Today its gardens and trails leading down wooded slopes to the lakefront create an escape into nature in the midst of the city, ideal for couples to bond.

What to Expect: Sweethearts select an intimate, picturesque spot within the park’s 250 acres to spread out a blanket and meal “al fresco” style – either near flower gardens, overlooking the lake or tucked into a sheltered grove – to leisurely dine amid beauty.

Visitor Information: Free, open daily 4am-midnight. On-site restaurant available 11am-9pm for last minute picnic meal additions. Rent a secluded surrey bike built for two to explore the expansive grounds.

Pack a picnic basket and blanket to soak up stunning panoramas at Lake Park. Sitting on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, these 138 acres invite couples to find a grassy, secluded spot to share some wine and cheese. The parks’ Ravine Road offers an especially romantic setting, with dense trees and views of North Point Lighthouse down below. Or ascend North Point Tower for observation deck views stretching all the way to downtown Milwaukee in one direction and up the lakefront in the other. Wherever you uncork your bottle in Lake Park, breathtaking vistas pair perfectly with quality time picnicking with your sweetheart.

Pontoon Boat Cruise

Name and Location: Pontoon boat cruises depart from McKinley Marina downtown taking couples out onto lovely Lake Michigan with stunning views of the Milwaukee skyline and inland waterway from the unique vantage only open water offers.

History and Significance: Public and private pontoon vessels have been an integral part of Great Lakes culture for over 50 years, continuing to connect residents and visitors to regional history and natural bounty through sailing tours perfect for maritime romance whether joining a group or going solo captaining your own boat.

What to Expect: Imagine drifting with your special someone watching the sun sink into Lake Michigan’s glassy horizon, toasting champagne as the sky ignites in fiery shades with Milwaukee’s architecture gleaming to the east – magical shared memories made on the water!

Visitor Information: Boats accommodate 2-12 passengers plus captain. Multi-hour cruises or personal rentals available at seasonal rates, advance reservation strongly recommended. Year-round operation weather permitting – call ahead for details.

For romance on the water, book a private pontoon boat cruise along Milwaukee’s rivers and Lake Michigan shoreline. Many companies offer narrated tours gliding past Downtown and Historic Third Ward architecture with uninterrupted water views. Or opt for aBring Your Own Beverage cruise to truly personalize your time on the water, sipping champagne while cuddling close. Sunset tours amp up the romance even further, with operators providing cheese and chocolate pairings to enjoy as amber hues paint Downtown building fronts. Whether you pick a daytime cruise or evening lakefront tour, Milwaukee’s waterways offer a blissful boating escape.

Cooking Class Date

Name and Location: Hands-on cooking classes in Milwaukee like those at Sur La Table offer lively date night diversions preparing gourmet meals as couples learn new culinary skills together.

History and Significance: Sur La Table opened their Milwaukee location in 2015, joining other national chains bringing recreational cooking class trends to the area for friends or lovers seeking fresh date ideas centering food preparation under expert guidance in welcoming environments well-suited for novices.

What to Expect: Aproned partners laugh bonding over the shared hands-on creation of dishes like pasta or dessert guided by a talented chef instructor. The night ends by couples raising forks to taste their kitchen collaboration over a bottle of wine during an unforgettable dining experience.

Visitor Information: Book online or call store the at (414) 220-0050. Classes held several nights weekly at the Shorewood location with varying themes, fees per person. Arrive early for wine. Parking available in adjacent lot.

Instead of the typical fancy dinner out, get hands-on by taking a couples cooking class in Milwaukee. Venues like Milwaukee Food & City Tours’ state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen overlooking the Third Ward neighborhood provide intimate, unique date settings. Under guidance from a professional chef, learn to prepare either casual American fare or multi-course gourmet meals while bonding over food and glasses of wine. Most classes culminate by sitting down to enjoy the Michelin-level meal you’ve prepped alongside your date. An interactive cooking class makes for a tasty twist on date night.

Brady Street Romantic Dinner

Name and Location: Often called Milwaukee’s hippest area, Brady Street offers block after block of romantic restaurants, perfect for couples seeking intimate dining on a date night in the city.

History and Significance: Just steps from downtown with origins dating to the mid-1800s, today Brady Street packs a punch fusing culinary variety spanning Middle Eastern eats to high end continental spots alongside spirited nightlife centering Milwaukee’s LGBTQ community among creative locales showcasing local artists.

What to Expect: Hands intertwined, sweethearts stroll down sidewalks under twinkling lights taking in vibrant street art before settling into a cozy cafe booth for dinner together. Later, share dessert continuing conversations over coffee at a corner bistro.

Visitor Information: This pedestrian-friendly area stays lively into the night daily. Meters offer available street parking or try side lots/structures just off main drag. Check meter times to avoid tickets.

For intimate ambience, book a table along Brady Street—dubbed Milwaukee’s “Little Italy.” The historic neighborhood brims with romantic restaurants perfect for an evening of hand-holding over candlelit dinners. Cucina Italian restaurant impresses with rustic Tuscan fare served fireside or on the enclosed patio. Honeypie cafe entices couples with comfort dishes like pot pies and mac ‘n’ cheese in a cozy, quirky setting. And if the weather cooperates, grab sidewalk seating at Three Brothers Restaurant to people watch while sharing Serbian cuisine. Wherever your appetites lead on Brady Street, Old World charm sets the mood for amore.

Milwaukee Food & City Tour

Name and Location: Milwaukee Food & City Tours lead guests by foot around town to sample which cuisine the city does best – beer, cheese and sausage – with insider neighborhood knowledge. Tours meet downtown at General Mitchell statue.

History and Significance: Operating since 2008, experienced guides share Milwaukee’s rich history between stops at award-winning microbreweries, cheese factories and butcher shops revealing hidden local gems off typical tourist paths so visitors taste the culture in America’s undisputed beer and sausage capitol.

What to Expect: This three hour midday walking tour over a 1.5-mile casual loop fills bellies with local Sprecher sodas, Usinger’s sausages, Lakefront IPA, brick cheese samples and more among behind-the-scenes visits to craft brewers and markets highlighting neighborhood revitalization stories en route.

Visitor Information: Runs 1-2 times most days except Sundays. Rates $68+ per person. Advance reservations required, book online or call (414) 255-0534. Guests must be ages 21+ with valid photo ID for alcohol tastings.

Weave through Milwaukee’s hip Historic Third Ward district hand-in-hand on an afternoon or evening culinary walking tour. Companies like Wisconsin Foodie Tours lead the way to trendy cafes, top-rated restaurants, sweet shops and gourmet grocers to sample an assortment of cheeses, chocolates, cupcakes and more. Customize your walking tour by dietary preferences, or opt for a totally surprise itinerary. As you feed each other bites of gelato, donuts, and other edible delights, learn insider neighborhood history and visit hidden local gems most tourists overlook. Milwaukee Food & City Tours transform sightseeing into an intimate, moveable feast.

Miller Brewery Tour & Tasting

Name and Location: Miller Brewery’s Milwaukee beer-making home offers fascinating complimentary tours explaining the entire brewing process inside their historic 1940s facility just west of downtown, culminating with free samples for visitors 21+.

History and Significance: Founded 1855, Miller has incredible brewing pedigree as the second largest American beer company. Their “Miller Caves” dug in the 1850s maintain perfect temperatures for aging beer naturally. Today they create 10 million barrels annually!

What to Expect: Guides lead guests through interactive exhibits covering ingredients and brewing steps before viewing packaging lines whirring away. The tour finale taps the legendary Miller hospitality spirit with a complimentary tasting session to toast everyone’s beloved beer brands.

Visitor Information: Free 1-hour tours run daily 10:30am-3:30pm every 30 minutes. Advance booking online is highly recommended as tours fill completely. Photo ID required for beer sampling minimum age 21. Miller gift shop sells logo apparel onsite.

Get to know the iconic Milwaukee beer scene up close by touring historic Miller Valley Brewery together. Miller Brewery’s “Behind the Beer” experience leads couples on an intimate journey through underground caverns storing barrel reserve stock followed by the Steep Tank Structure housing 6-story tall stainless steel brewing tanks. Throughout the walking tour, sample from 6 half-pints of Miller product while learning 130+ years of brewery history. Cap off the beerducation day by sipping reserve stock only available in the Miller Caves tasting room. With 90-minutes focused just on your two palates, it makes for an elevated brewery tour ideal for duos.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Name and Location: The Milwaukee Art Museum sits lakeside just north of the city’s downtown, recognizable by its winged architectural additions glittering day/night. Sprawling exhibits inside cover eras from antiquity to emerging artists.

History and Significance: Beginning public art education efforts in the late 1800s, today’s museum contains over 25,000 precious pieces. Changing shows join core collections offering glimpses of creative spirit across time. The space itself inspires with iconic architecture and scenic position.

What to Expect: Lovebirds explore sweeping & intimate galleries hand-in-hand appreciating abundant beauty distilled into sculptures, textiles, paintings & photographs made over centuries, sparking meaningful conversations about intent and impact of such works on the individual & within culture.

Visitor Information: Open daily 10am-5pm, closed Mon/major holidays. Admission fees apply. Parking options include lakefront lot beneath museum or 7th St structure. Museum store/cafe located inside. Lovely event rental venue.

Spend an afternoon absorbing world-class artworks while stealing kisses between galleries at Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM). The visually stunning collection features nearly 25,000 pieces spanning antiquities to contemporary works. Stand beneath the majestic glass-ceiling Burke Brise Soleil Wingspan and tease each other about meeting there after closing one night for truly private viewing. See if you can spot the romantically inspired pieces as you explore special exhibits and galleries focused on folk art to Haitian, outsider and visionary collections Unlike crowded mega museums, MAM offers an intimate art date celebrating creativity and passion.

Jazz Estate

Name and Location: The Jazz Estate on Milwaukee’s lower east side hosts live music nightly with no cover charge in a classy vintage basement setting perfect for a date.

History and Significance: Opened in 1977 by jazz pianist Mike Boyle in a converted townhouse basement, today the Estate continues bringing top musical talent to an intimate 78-seat venue with excellent acoustics that makes visitors feel part of the performance.

What to Expect: Lovebirds cozy into curved leather booths or small candlelit tables to soak in soulful sets from jazz trios, blues belters and crooners delivering American standards just feet away. The romantic speakeasy atmosphere sets hearts fluttering as couples sway clasping cocktails.

Visitor Information: Free shows nightly 6pm-2am, closed Sundays. Reservations accepted for tables, otherwise first come seating. Valid ID required with two drink minimum purchase per set. Street parking available, Uber recommended.

Descend into Milwaukee’s most sultry cellar bar—The Jazz Estate—for wavering candlelight setting the mood alongside smooth beats. Touting itself as the city’s “home for cool cats and loose chicks,” the intimate subterranean speakeasy channels Old World refinement with tufted leather chairs and antique lamps warming the moody brick walls. Nightly live jazz ranging from swing to soul, bossa nova to samba sets an alluring audio ambiance for huddling in vintage hideaway booths. With top-notch cocktails shaking up beside the crooning piano keys, the charmingly dark Jazz Estate seduces couples for an intoxicatingly cozy night out.

Safe House

Name and Location: Part spy-themed restaurant/part immersive theater, eccentric Milwaukee staple Safe House delivers interactive dining adventures with secret passages perfect for couples seeking thrills downtown.

History and Significance: Creator Dave Baldwin opened the clandestine Safe House in 1966, one of the first such theme restaurants with guests cleverly finding the disguised alley entry to be interrogated by costumed spies. Today’s beloved location adds character to Milwaukee nightlife.

What to Expect: Lovebirds follow cryptic clues down twisting corridors into dimly-lit booths and concealed rooms to share their meal, laughing as “agents” initiate diners beside them into secrecy rites, igniting playful intimacy through kitschy mystery unfoldings.

Visitor Information: Open Wednesday-Saturday 4pm-10:30pm with extended hours Thursdays. Admission granted post “entry phrase” test. Reservations advised via website. Street parking available, validate ticket inside for discount.

For couples who relish excitement, make reservations for an interactive dining experience at Safe House. Enter this spy-themed Milwaukee landmark by passphrase only to leave reality behind. Under theatrical surveillance, you’ll slip through false walls and bookcases into several eclectically decorated rooms while following a dramatic espionage-laced script. While show elements rotate, the tongue-in-cheek spy story remains constant—you may need to crack codes together or even endure interrogation over dinner. With drinks and global comfort food dishes continuing the cloak-and-dagger atmosphere, Safe House lets you bring out your secret agent alter egos for an adventure-fueled date night.

Milwaukee Pedal Tavern Tours

Name and Location: See Milwaukee by Pedal Tavern bike – a 16-person squadbike perfect for group dates! Tours depart from downtown walking streets by reservation.

History and Significance: Milwaukee Pedal Tavern pioneered local “quadcycling” tours in 2015, letting friends or couples enjoy city sights and bar stops together aboard their signature extra-long tandem bicycles modeled after German beer garden transport bikes with built-in bench seating and sound system.

What to Expect: Imaginations spark watching Milwaukee neighborhoods roll past seated beside your sweetheart as the group bikes to the next pub. Laugh over witnessed city quirks then make your own fun later reenacting favorite bar sing-alongs coasting downhill by lakefront moonlightpost-tour.

Visitor Information: 90-minutes tours offered Thursday-Saturday plus Sunday daytime. Pricing packages available for 12-16 riders, reservations required. Minimum ages 21+ or 18+ with guardian to participate. Valid ID needed for alcohol wristband.

Take romance for a spin by booking your own bike bar built for two. Pedal Tavern Tours offers intimate quadcycles (think tandem bike meets quadracycle golf cart) available to privately reserve for 2-4 riders. Feel the lakefront breeze in your hair as you self-power the quadcycle along Milwaukee’s scenic Riverwalk, stopping when and wherever you fancy to snap selfies against city skyline backdrops. Add on services like catered picnic meals or craft beer coolers as you pedal past attractions like the Harley Davidson Museum. However you choose to chart your course, a quadcycle built for two makes for an unforgettable outing filled with laughs and beautiful views.

Great Lakes Distillery Tasting Room

Name and Location: Great Lakes Distillery crafts small batch spirits featured within their tasting room bar in downtown Milwaukee, perfect for cocktail date nights.

History and Significance: Using local grains in traditional copper pots, Great Lakes Distillery founded in 2004 helped launch Milwaukee’s modern craft distillery scene. Today their Walker’s Point facility contains the tasting room offering full bar service and bottled product purchases.

What to Expect: Couples belly up to the sleek bar to sample award-winning whiskey beside chatty locals, then move to lounge seating sharing GSL’s creative cocktails featuring spirits infused in-house like the Damn Fine Coffee Brandy Old-Fashioned or seasonal Cherry Vodka Lemonade.

Visitor Information: Open for tastings Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-7pm. Free self-parking lot adjacent, metered street parking available. Enjoy weekly specials like free tours (registration required) or deals on featured bottles to take home.

Sidle up to the tasting room bar at Great Lakes Distillery to sip award-winning whiskey with your partner in crime. In a landmark building dating back to 1886, the craft distillery emanates historic charm while shaking up progressive concoctions. Try a flight of their six core spirits produced on-site – like vodka, gin or rum – before treating yourselves to full pours of favorite tipples. Pull up a pair of stools at the wooden bar to munch pub snacks alongside your flight while grooving to the vintage vinyl record collection playing overhead. Great Lakes Distillery delivers date nights filled with smooth sipping spirits soaked in Milwaukee history.

That covers over a dozen romantic options for spending quality time with your special someone in Milwaukee and making heartfelt memories together. Beyond dimly lit restaurants and moonlit waterside strolls, this Midwestern city’s creative arts, cultural attractions, romantic tours and hidden gems all help set the mood for romance. So spark the flame with your flame over a craft cocktail, pamper your palate at an intimate eatery, and lean into all the sweet sensations Milwaukee has in store.

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