MilwaukeeStreetcarMKE Streetcar Destination Guide

Edited by John December / Edition: 2018-04-19 / Updates/More Info: johndecember.com/mke Bookmark and Share

The streetcar, named "The Hop," is expected to start operating later in 2018. It is NOT operational as of the last revision date of this guide.
This is my guide to destinations that are expected to be served by the Milwaukee Streetcar later in 2018. More sites will be added when the Lakefront Line is built. You can use this guide1 along with the Google map of the streetcar that I prepared at tiny.cc/mkesc to familiarize yourself with what the route offers. Comments? You can send a suggestion to john@december.com.

Preface: I've lived in the area served by the streetcar for more than 20 years and have gone on many thousands of walks in the area.2 This guide lists my picks for useful and fun destinations close to the streetcar stops for visitors and residents.

Criteria: I've picked destinations that are about 1-2 blocks (and in a few cases just a bit more)3 from the streetcar stops. There is much more to discover beyond that, but this guide will help you make the most of the streetcar as a base for exploring Milwaukee along its route through the city. The "Explore Further" section includes links to places further from the route.

Note: As in any large city, you should use due caution with your valuables, security, encountering people on the street4, and navigating the crosswalks (use extra caution at all intersections and cross only in designated crosswalks and obey walk signals). You need not be afraid, but be safe and enjoy your trip.

Philosophy: Milwaukee is more than just a set of destinations, but a truly special, walkable, urban place, and the streetcar route gives you a "slice of life" journey through several very interesting areas of the city. The experience of living in Milwaukee embraces a confluence of the natural setting--among rivers and by the lake--and the people, businesses, and institutions who have built, work in, and live in the historic, contemporary, and yet-to-be-built destinations. The result is more than the sum of its parts, and I hope that with this guide, you might gain some insight into this. As a motivating statement, read this overview of where The Milwaukee Streetcar takes you.

My Top Picks
Highlights of the Route
Overview of Areas
Footnotes
  1. This guide is designed so that it can be read on mobile devices, or you can print this guide and have it for reference as you go about. You may print and use it for personal use. For commercial redistribution or publication of this guide, please contact me. This independent guide is not an official publication of nor is it endorsed by The Milwaukee Streetcar.
  2. I've lived in the area the whole time without owning a car. Milwaukee has some great Walk Scores approaching 100 on the East Side. Indeed, it is possible to live car-free in Milwaukee (and many people do out of economic necessity.)
  3. I'm using the distance of 400 meters as guideline for how far from a streetcar stop to a destination I list. This would be about a 5-minute walk. This corresponds to a commonly-used distance to define the "walk shed" for transit (see for example Ped Shed: walkable urban design and sustainable placemaking and Introduction to the MBTA Walksheds Atlas ).
  4. As you go about taking transit, you may be asked for money by people. A good option is to donate directly to resources such as KeytoChangeMKE.com or the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative to help people of our community permanently change their lives. I politely decline to give money to people in the street, but I give to the above two organizations. If you want to show you care as you are going about, you can put your spare change in the Key to Change MKE meters that are at various downtown sites.
Dining/Drinks
Local Flavor
Local Coffeeshops
Quick/Chain Dining
To Do
Shopping
Live Performance These are west of Water St and a bit more than 2 blocks from the streetcar stop at N Broadway and E Wells St, but worth the extra walk: Also, just near Burns Commons is a live music space:
Museums
Lodging/Events/Space If you are visiting Milwaukee, you can stay just a couple of blocks from a streetcar stop

In addition to hotels, there are event venues:

In addition, there are co-working/meeting spaces:

Parks/Open Space/Greenspace
Services
Tips
Explore Further
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