When you think of the world’s most “breathtaking places and experiences,” which places and experiences do you think of? If you’re the venerable National Geographic—a publication that knows a thing or two about the world—you think of the classics: the Dodecanese Islands of Greece. The Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. The Upper Mekong River of Laos. The vibrancy of Ghana, West Africa.

The cheese curds and okay bike lanes of Milwaukee.

Yes, National Geographic has included Milwaukee—Milwaukee!—in its new list of the “25 breathtaking places and experiences for 2023.” Our fair city shows up in the “Community” category, and shares that category with, yes, Greece, Alberta, Laos, and Ghana. A picture of the world-map dartboard National Geographic used to come up with these breathtaking places and experiences is not included.

But hey, we’ll take it! We love Milwaukee, and the views are indeed breathtaking!

Anyway, here’s some of National Geographic‘s writeup. Beer and cheese? Check. Laverne and Shirley? Check!

Wisconsin’s biggest and liveliest city combines a blue-collar, back-thumping energy with a close-knit creative community that’s turning heads beyond the Great Lakes. (Having a winning NBA team, the Bucks, doesn’t hurt either.)


Follow the locals and kayak down one of the rivers before disembarking to explore the Historic Third Ward, a former industrial neighborhood laced with bike lanes. At the Milwaukee Public Market, you can score a bag of cheese curds, as beloved as the local bratwursts; then follow the shore of Lake Michigan to the Milwaukee Art Museum’s sculptural pavilion designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Beer was the drink that made Milwaukee famous. Hit up a brewery—the city has dozens—to see how they’ve evolved. The stylish taprooms pouring crafted IPAs and porters are light-years removed from the clinky-clanky bottling plants where TV characters Laverne and Shirley toiled.

Click HERE for the whole thing. And seriously: Great job, Milwaukee!

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About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.