Things to Do in Southeast Wisconsin

The southeast area of Wisconsin is known as a cosmopolitan and inspiring destination, offering world-class dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Here you’ll find a concentration of some of the Wisconsin’s best art museums, natural science and history museums, and zoos. Visitors will enjoy a summer season filled with lakeshore festivals, accompanied by a winter of remarkable performing arts.

For a little added fun, Lake Geneva, located along the southern border of Wisconsin, provides wonderful sightseeing opportunities of the summer mansions of wealthy Chicagoans. Climb aboard a scheduled cruise or walk the 21-mile path around the lake and take in the views of this resort community.

If you want to explore the history of this region, take a trip to Cedarburg. With over 100 registered historic buildings in the downtown area, a thriving arts community, and eclectic mix of architecture, Cedarburg is consistently ranked as a favorite small-town getaway by visitors.

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Top Things to Do

Milwaukee City Hall

Historic Sites

When visiting southeast Wisconsin, you will find plenty of history and lore. Travel to Milwaukee and you will find a unique place, beginning from its early Native roots to its Polish and German integrations.

Plan a tour of the Milwaukee and explore the Historic Third Ward. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Third Ward is home to the Broadway Theatre Center, trendy retail stores, and fine dining restaurants.

Lion in a Wisconsin Zoo

Wildlife & Zoos

When traveling through cities like Brookfield or Pewaukee, the Milwaukee County Zoo is just a short drive away. There’s no doubt the kids will tucker themselves out with an all-day animal adventure.

More than 2,200 animals call the Milwaukee County Zoo home, and with a year-round schedule that features rotating events like the Family Farm Weekend, and the Halloween Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular, it’s virtually a must-see on your itinerary.

girl in a Wisconsin museum

Museums & Theaters

You will find a variety of compelling and exciting sights to see with the family while traveling through southeast Wisconsin. Among the must-see attractions is the Discovery World Museum. This family-friendly museum offers over 120,000 square feet of space dedicated to hands on learning exhibits perfect for the kids. Another fascinating museum is the Milwaukee Art Museum on Lake Michigan. Also known as MAM, this museum features over 35,000 works of art.

Lighthouse in Kenosha, WI

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor recreation is easy to find in Wisconsin’s southeast region. Head out to North beach, located along Lake Michigan, and enjoy over 50 acres of beautiful sand along 2,500 feet of shoreline with volleyball courts, a snack bar and the Kids Cove playground. Head inland and you will find the Lake Geneva area - filled with world class golf courses and a 21-mile Shore Path surrounding the lake.

Brewery in Wisconsin


The southeast region of Wisconsin is so ingrained with breweries and beer that when the professional baseball team move to Milwaukee, it was named the Milwaukee Brewers. When traveling through this region, you will find numerous finely crafted ales that are produced at the breweries coating the landscape.

Situated along the Milwaukee River, Lakefront Brewery has been crafting ales and lagers since 1987. Lakefront Brewery features daily tours and tastings. Head to the north side of downtown to Big Bay Brewing where you will find delicious Kolsch style ales.

Head a bit farther north and check out a classic Milwaukee icon – the Historic Pabst Brewery. Although not having served as an actual brewery since 1996, the facility has been preserved and offers guided tours, along with showcasing the finest of its brews – Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schlitz at the in-house Best Place Tavern.

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