Milwaukee WI- Art or Harley Museum?

I confess that Milwaukee brings to mind Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days, so we arrived at the McKinley Marina with a blank slate as to what are plans would be.

8.14 PORT WASHINGTON  (30)Prior to leaving Sheboygan we had filled with fuel and did a pump out.  A few years ago, diesel would have been over $4 per gallon.  Today it is $2.09. (a few days ago it was posted at $1.99)  We use an app called ActiveCaptain to track fuel prices and found this one was recommended.  Dave had scrubbed the bugs off the boat and we were looking fine.

The distance from Port Washington to Milwaukee harbor is about 29 miles.  Since it took a while to fuel up and pump, it was almost noon before we left the harbor.   That’s ok, as it will be less than 4 hours on the water today- light wind, beautiful blue skies.  There are a few reefs to be aware of, and buoys marking the point.  Otherwise straight shot down the coast.    Of course we are entering a very busy harbor on Sunday afternoon as all the weekend sailors are entering the break wall.  Sailboats have the right of way over a power boat; so our trawler needs to maneuver so that we do not knock a sailor off their tack.   The Milwaukee outer break wall is 4 miles long and has three entrances.   Once we passed through the north entrance, the McKinley Marina is to the right  (north) through another break wall, then follow the wall 1.5 miles to the fuel dock.


The gal  on the radio was blasé about directions; so we were on our own to interpret the exact location of the fuel dock.

Hoping to meet other loopers, we post our location on the AGLCA forum, (  and leave comments for other boaters.   Today we met the crew of Jill Kristy. We hit it off right away and made plans for the guys to go to the Harley Museum via Uber; while the girls walked over to the Milwaukee Art Museum.  You can see the museum off in the distance- its the pyramid roof.

The Jill  Kristy is a 26ft Macgregor sailboat.  Richard and Jill began the loop in Florida so are close to half way done.  They were generous to give us notes and tips on the portion they completed. Made us even more excited to get to the ICW on the East Coast , but we have a long way to go to get to that portion of our trip!   If you thought the boat in the photo is missing something, you are correct.  They opted to leave the mast at home and motor the whole loop.  This eliminates the hassle of stepping the mast to fit to under low fixed bridges.

So the guys called for an Uber ride; and saw the Harley Museum.

The girls spent several hours getting cultured at the Art Museum.

Later we took the dingy over to take photos of the roof sculpture and the war museum.   As we approached the shore, the coast guard stopped us and said we were not allowed… there was a dignitary visiting.  Later found out Mr Trump was holding a photo op with vets at the war memorial.

There were no indications of this earlier when we walked through the memorial.  It was very somber and included several memorials .


Unfortunately, this was the week Milwaukee is in the news for riots and shootings.    Not near the marina, but we are cautious and were happy to have another couple to explore with.   It is just a few blocks on a walking path to Brady Street.  The brochure described it as Milwaukees Hippy district in the 70s, so not sure what to expect.  Actually very nice 6-8 blocks of mostly restaurants and bars.  In fact we did not hit any shops except for provisioning at  Walgreens !

In keeping with our adventurous spirits; the restaurant we ate at features Empanadas ..   I’m sure our readers are more urban than I, but I’ll confess none of us knew what they were, so ordered on the recommendation of the waitress.  delicious.empanada

The forums indicated that no groceries were in walking distance; we found both Walgreens and CVS had ample selection for what we needed; and just a few blocks from the boat.

We are starting to meet more loopers- either in the marinas or online.   Chatted a bit with Myron  on Miss Bailey; a Grand Banks whose home port is Milwaukee.   Everyone is getting ready to move toward Chicago at different speeds.  Hope we get there at the same time to form a flotilla as we head down the river.  We’ve been told the lockmasters prefer to have several cruising boats together to go through the locks.

Colleen wanted to get a photo of Dave with the Fonz, but it have to wait for another day.   (I’ll share a stock photo for inspiration 🙂  fonz statue



About mnsailors

Our blog will highlight our travels along America's Great Loop. We sold our sailboat on Lake Superior for a Trawler to do America's Great Loop in 2016.
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4 Responses to Milwaukee WI- Art or Harley Museum?

  1. Joyce says:

    Love your blogs sounds like a dream come true!!


  2. Deb says:

    Can’t wait to catch up with you guys!


  3. mnsailors says:

    Looks like you are hitting some great spots too. We have met a few loopers so it’s been fun!


  4. Joyce Berdie says:

    Great blog! We are seeing MANY loopers here on the eastern side of Lake Michigan. Smooth travels to you!


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