If you enjoy urban art, winning restaurants, architecture, and specialty shopping, you’ll find something to appreciate in the historic ambiance of the Third Ward. This unique neighborhood is Milwaukee’s old center for warehousing and commerce, but today it has much more to offer locals and visitors. Follow this guide to know what to do in the Third Ward in Milwaukee.
Exploring the Stores in the Third Ward in Milwaukee
Milwaukee’s walkable lifestyle epicenter is home to a wealth of brand names and local gems. From fashion and accessories to home furnishings and niche shops, you can find it all in the Third Ward. Lela was one of the first clothing boutiques in the neighborhood, carrying vintage clothing for women who need something for a special occasion.
You’ll recognize some well-known brands, such as Francesca’s and Anthropologie in fashion and accessories or Restoration Hardware and West Elm in home and office furnishings. However, the specialty shops exuding local charm make the Third Ward Milwaukee shopping experience unique.
Local Specialty Shops
Moda3 is the only skater boutique in the Third Ward. They offer streetwear apparel and skateboarding or snowboarding equipment, but you don’t have to be a boarder to shop there. You’ll find plenty of fashions for everyone. Other local shops you’ll love include:
- shOO is a unique shoe-shopping experience. The owner only carries brands with an artistic approach to footwear and decorates her shop with reused tables, antiques, and her own family heirlooms.
- Third Ward Jewelry carries a wide variety of special pieces created by American and European artists.
- Authentique is a local gift shop with beautiful handmade offerings and a warm and welcoming ambiance.
If you want something to commemorate your time in the Third Ward, you’ll find plenty of gift shops and local art sellers with unique pieces you can wear on your body or hang in your home. While you enjoy all the classic stores, don’t forget to check out what’s new in the area.
New to the Neighborhood
Bring your four-legged family members to Third Ward’s “dog district” for ice cream at Salty Paws on Jefferson and Corcoran. The new shop is another addition to the area surrounding the dog park and catering to the furry population visiting the neighborhood. Foxtown Brewery is even planning a new pet-friendly taproom and restaurant in the area.
New to the specialty shops is TerraSol, a Wisconsin-based hemp dispensary with a wide array of all-natural, high-quality CBD products vetted for safety and efficacy. Our store offers everything from edibles to CBD pet treats and is open daily at 240 N Milwaukee Street, Suite 101.
Discovering the Arts in the Third Ward in Milwaukee
The most exciting part about the Third Ward could be the art scene. People travel from all over to one of the top five art districts in the U.S. The area is home to an extensive collection of galleries, museums, studios, and performing arts centers. Some favorites include:
- The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design Galleries houses the Frederick Layton Gallery and the Brooks Stevens Gallery of Industrial Design, along with exhibits showcasing work from current students and alums of the institute.
- Holly Harris Studios presents the artist’s emotionally driven work, attracting artists who want a personal experience with art.
- Milwaukee Chamber Theatre produces contemporary classics and new performances in an intimate setting with local artists at the heart of the operation.
- Gallery 218 is a staple in the neighborhood, celebrating 28 years at its location. It features photography, paintings, and printmaking from contemporary artists.
- Skylight Music Theatre brings a range of music theater to a diverse audience with interesting twists and an intimate setting to make theater-goers feel like part of the show.
Milwaukee’s strong connection to the arts mainly stems from the Third Ward’s art district, with its inspiring prominent museums and architectural history. But the streets of small, personal studios, cozy cafes, and specialty galleries make a space where local and traveling artists can feel welcome and part of the community.
Getting Around the Third Ward
Walking is the preferred mode of transportation in the Third Ward. Take a walking tour with Milwaukee City Tours. If you prefer to ride, hop on a Bublr Bike, Milwaukee’s nonprofit bike-share program with over 100 stations across the city for easy access. Once you’re finished shopping, pick up a bike from any corner and head to The Wicked Hop to start your Third Ward Milwaukee dining experience.
Finding Dining Options for Every Palette
There is no shortage of quirky cafes, such as the Donut Monster or Press Waffles Au Marche. Or you can have a drink at The Copper Turtle Brewery and Taverne, where they brew a variety of beers and serve fresh Bavarian soft pretzels and pizza. For something more formal, visit Vino Third Ward, a sophisticated wine bar with bottle-lined walls organized by flavor and body.
The Public Market
For fresh food and a place to gather, the Public Market has everything. Wedged between downtown and the Third Ward, you’ll find vendors selling artisan and ethnic products and freshly-prepared food and baked goods. On the second floor is the Palm Garden, where you can sit and enjoy your spoils. The Madame Kuony Demonstration Kitchen offers a variety of cooking classes led by nationally famous chefs and market vendors.
Some favorites include Margarita Paradise Mexican Restaurant, Kehr’s Candies, The Green Kitchen, St. Paul Fish Company, and West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe. You can even find hometown custom t-shirts at Brew City Brand Apparel.
Planning Your Trip to the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee
As you navigate the Third Ward, remember to incorporate something from every category. Grab a bite to eat at Public Market and shop at gift stores connected to local art galleries. See a show at one of the theaters and drop by TerraSol for some gummies to help you relax after a long day of walking. For a look at all TerraSol Dispensary has to offer, check out our online shop and place an order for store pickup before your trip to the Third Ward in Milwaukee.