Historic Third Ward — Upscale and Lively

October 31, 2006 at 12:08 pm 4 comments

Though it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Milwaukee’s oldest center of commerce and warehousing, Third Ward Gatethe Third Ward is not focused on history, but on renaissance. You’ll find unusual shops, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, theatre and dance companies mixed with a prominent art school, an advertising museum, graphic artists’ studios and upscale condos. It’s a terrific blend of creativity and vitality that is indicative of how Milwaukee has evolved.

One of my favorite stops is Broadway Paper, an eclectic source of decorative papers and packaging that has grown along with the Third Ward. Typical Third Ward stretLoads of artsy shops dot the area, where you can find contemporary and eclectic traditional furniture, accessories and clothing as well as original art and antiques.

My getaway friend, Ginny, and I were absolutely amazed when we stepped into the Artasia Gallery. It is a treasure of museum-like furniture, antiques, architectural items, masks, puppets and more from China, Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia. Some genuine antiques, some exquisite reproductions — but who can tell?! Massive chests, ornate wooden chairs, unbelieveable ancestral statues. Pieces from old family collections, jewelry, fabric, garments, musical instruments — and the prices were very reasonable. Even if you’re not a fan of oriental design, you’ll enjoy this shop.

For contemporary, absolutely elegant home accessories, stop in Cranston . The Katie Gingrass Gallery was a delightful find, filled with exceptional Katie Gingrass Gallery and Shooart work and very fine craft items. We were warmly greeted by Katie herself. It’s also home to Shoo, probably Milwaukee’s most unique shoe boutique. (See 10% OFF Coupon in sidebar.) More than 20 restaurants, cafes, bakeries and bistros serve up French, Mediterranean, Japanese and contemporary cuisine. Ginny and I had a terrific lunch at the Palms Bistro sidewalk cafe on Broadway.

The Third Ward is just a few blocks south of Free Summer Trolley downtown and borders Lake Michigan and the Meier Festival Grounds (home of Summerfest). Milwaukee’s free trolley service makes several stops in the Ward.

Download a great directory and map for the Third Ward to help you plan your trip.
2) 10% Savings. Visit the Katie Gingrass Gallery, bring in the coupon and Katie will give you 10% off your purchase.

What Are Your Favorite Places in the Third Ward? Recommend a restaurant, shop, spa treatment or other Third Ward delight that impressed you. Has anyone tried the Segway tour? Leave a comment with your favorites.

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Entry filed under: Milwaukee.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Erin  |  November 10, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    My husband (then fiance!) and I did the Segway tour a few months ago and it was AWESOME!!!

    You can read all about our experience here: http://playinthecity.blogs.com/milwaukee_outdoors_erins_/2006/09/segwayin_in_the.html

    I highly recommend it!

    As for salon/spa – I’ve been very impressed with Neroli on Buffalo Street.

  • 2. Pat Pomahac  |  December 7, 2006 at 8:56 am

    Visited the restaurant, Sauce, 217 N. Broadway this past Saturday before a performance of South Pacific at the Skylight Theatre (right down the block). Small, comfy, trendy decor with a nice range of menu selections. I liked it so much, I bought a gift certificate for my sister and brother-in-law for a Christmas present!

  • 3. jen  |  March 20, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Nothing will beat their Grouper
    Incredible atmosphere too!
    If you don’t like seafood-cross the street for some amazing Middle Eastern food at Casablancas!

  • 4. casey  |  June 25, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    We had a great time at Sauce as well. Check out The Palms Bar & Bistro next door for chocolate-banana martinis. They are to-die-for!


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