5 Best Places to Shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Bayshore Town Center

Once a rundown mall, this retail space reopened in 2006 as a trendy open-air shopping center. There's something for everyone here, including an H&M clothing store, Trader Joe's grocery, and a Discovery Channel Store. Dining options range from Potbelly Sandwich Works to Devon Seafood Grill. When the weather's nice, it's a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon browsing.

Clock Shadow Creamery

Sharing an address and a passion for milky goodness with Purple Door Ice Cream, local cheesemonger Bob Wills uses hormone–free milk from cows just outside Milwaukee to produce his delectable curds, mozzarella, ricotta and other cheeses. The name stems from its location just a few blocks from the landmark Allen-Bradley Clock Tower. Large windows to the street give a peek into the production process, but you'll really want to go inside to get a taste (or two).

Historic Third Ward

This arts district, in what was a turn-of-the-20th-century wholesale and manufacturing district (now listed on the National Register of Historic Places), is south of downtown proper. It's home to a growing number of art-supply stores, galleries, and home-accessories importers.

Recommended Fodor's Video

Purple Door Ice Cream

Walker's Point

Ice cream dreams come true at this local small-batch scoop shop in the carbon-neutral Fix Building. Owner Lauren Schultz and her husband Steve run the business, making silky, rich artisan ice cream by hand, using local ingredients whenever possible. They create mouthwatering flavors such as salted caramel, green tea and bacon. Feel less guilty about the creamy calories knowing that the milk comes from Wisconsin cows, and a portion of profits helps provide milk to Milwaukee homeless shelters.

The Shops of Grand Avenue

Although Milwaukee's downtown shopping center has declined from its heyday, it still packs an impressive amount of shopping into a few city blocks. Shops here include Boston Store (a Milwaukee institution) and Brew City Beer Gear—a necessary stop for all things beer and Milwaukee.