Believe it or not, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been selected as the world's most up-and-coming destination, according to Airbnb, which considered bookings made for 2020 as of September 2019, and discovered that Milwaukee's year-over-year rentals had surged by 729%.
Milwaukee, which is one of the most German cities in the US, is also home to North America's largest annual German Fest as well as the world's largest music festival, the 11-day Summerfest. Roughly 850,000 people attend the lakefront festival annually. The event attracts some of the biggest names in music, and includes 800 acts on 11 stages, ranging from country to rock to pop and reggae.
According to the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee, "almost half of city of Milwaukee residents reported that they, or their parents, had been born in Germany." 2020 marked the 40th anniversary of German Fest, which took place during the last weekend in July. The event includes parades and polka, beer and sausages, and events such as a lumberjack competition and "Dachshund Derby."
The city’s German roots can be seen everywhere, from the city's breweries to the sausages and pretzels available on most bar menus. Both Pabst and Miller were founded in Milwaukee by brew masters that had immigrated from Germany. As a nod to its brewmaking history, the city's Major League baseball team is named the Milwaukee Brewers and the stadium they play in is called Miller Park Stadium. Visitors can also take a tour of the Miller Brewing Company.
In addition, Pabst Mansion, the home of the city's most famous beer baron, Captain Frederick Pabst, is now a museum. Built in 1892, the mansion has 66 rooms and 14 fireplaces. Other beer-inspired landmarks include Von Trier, a century-old, German watering hole, with stained-glass windows, a heavy wood bar, and a German menu.
Although Milwaukee with just under 600,000 residents is much smaller than Chicago, it still has 191 different neighborhoods, including restaurant-filled Walker's Point, shopping district Historic Third Ward, and nightlife hotspot East Side. In 2018, Vogue called Milwaukee "the Midwest’s coolest (and most underrated) city." According to the fashion magazine, a boom in construction and new restaurants and bars is causing "the city's diverse and highly walkable neighborhoods [to experience] a revival that's drawing visitors like never before."
The city is home to the world-renowned Santiago Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Art Museum, one of the largest museums in the United States, which includes over 20,000 works of art, by artists ranging from Georgia O'Keeffe to Andy Warhol. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who created New York City's Oculus, among other buildings, the museum is a futuristic wonder.
In terms of restaurants, Milwaukee is home to 10 James Beard-recognized chefs, working at restaurants like Braise, a farm-to-table eatery whose locally-sourced ingredients are derived from more than 40 Wisconsin farms, and Bavette La Boucherie, an artisan restaurant whose sustainably-raised meats are butchered on-site.
Other foodie favorites include the Milwaukee Public Market, which features more than 20 local vendors that sell everything from fresh seafood to small-batch coffee. Another local favorite is the Fish Fry at Wicked Hop. a traditional fish fry that includes perch, potato pancakes, coleslaw, rye bread, and corn.