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What's new in Milwaukee in 2018

Winter may be quickly approaching but now is the time to plan your visit to Milwaukee, best known for its Riverwalk, breweries and professional sports teams. Spring and Summer is a delightful time to visit this Wisconsin city. Here are some things you can expect to see in 2018.

New Attractions

  • Milwaukee’s streetcar begins operation in the fall of 2018. The streetcar’s initial 2.5-mile route connects 80,000 downtown workers, 25,000 downtown residents, and millions of annual visitors. ­

  • The Milwaukee Bucks, the city’s NBA team, is building a new arena, the Wisconsin Sports and Entertainment Center. The $524-million arena is scheduled to open in time for the season to start in October 2018. The arena will also host national touring acts like Maroon 5 and will be the home court for Marquette University’s men’s basketball team. But it’s not just an arena – surrounding it will be a “live block” with a music venue, restaurants, and bars.

  • Two blocks from the new arena project will be Milwaukee Brewing Company’s brand new brewery operations located in a former Pabst Brewing Company distribution building. MBC, which opened in 1997, is the third oldest craft brewer in Milwaukee.

  • Summerfest will debut a new stage in time for the 2018 festival. The stage will provide a Lake Michigan view and feature a 25-foot LED screen – the largest screen on the grounds.

  • An area called the Harbor District, just south of the Historic Third Ward, is being revitalized in many ways, including a proposed four-mile extension of the award-winning RiverWalk. Construction on a new waterfront park, dubbed Slosh Park, will begin in spring 2018.


  • A new 150-room Hyatt Place in the former Pabst Brewery complex is opening in July.

  • Homewood Suites on Water Street in the heart of downtown opens in late 2017 in a converted historic building.

  • Hotel Metro, a stylish art deco boutique lodging option, will be converted to a Marriott Autograph hotel in 2018.


  • After a 6-year hiatus, restaurant Osteria returns in downtown Milwaukee.

  • Milwaukee’s first cat café, Sip & Purr, opens in early 2018.

  • Glorioso’s, the famous Italian grocery, is working on a major expansion that is planned to be completed in 2018. It will offer cooking classes, demonstrations, food and beverage experiences, and event space.


  • In early January 2018, the Pettit National Ice Center will host the Olympic long-track speed skating trials in advance of the Winter Olympics in February 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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