9 Cities That Retirees Love In South Dakota

Retirees are flocking to South Dakota. The state is known for being tax-friendly and has a diversified economy. The state sales tax remains lower than most states at 4 percent. Combine this with local sales tax rates; the average South Dakota sales tax after local surtaxes are under 6 percent. Median home prices in South Dakota are $235,500, making this appealing to retirees. Affordable housing, combined with a low local tax rate, makes South Dakota attractive from a monetary standpoint. The outdoor amenities are the icing on the cake, making this a friendly state for all retirees. Here are nine cities in South Dakota that retirees love.

Sioux Falls of Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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1. Sioux Falls

With a population of 171,00 and growing, Sioux Falls offers housing that retirees have grown to appreciate. Apartments, condos, twin homes, and houses are all priced right for your budget. Family life, healthcare, and four seasons make this South Dakota city one of the most livable places in the nation for retirees. The unlimited educational opportunities through Lifelong Learning programs help keep retirees in tune with what is going on in our world today. Sculpture walks, the Museum of Virtual Materials, award-winning Falls Park, and 80 parks make up Sioux Falls. With so many outdoor activities, this makes this town attractive to all retirees. If you wish to remain active and enjoy retirement, Sioux Falls will become your home of choice in southeastern South Dakota.

Pro Tip: The Sioux Falls Airport offers daily flights to Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Dallas, making it convenient to travel from home.

The motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

2. Sturgis

When you hear the town of Sturgis, you often think of Harley Davidson Motorcycles. The annual motorcycle rally is held in August of each year. Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts swarm upon this charming town in the Black Hills of South Dakota. If you visit, there’s a good chance that you will fall in love with this town. Retirees enjoy the small-town charm, with a little feel of suburbia. The upscale coffee shops and bars are places to relax and gather with your friends. Fewer than 7,000 people reside in Sturgis, this town is attractive to retirees that want a smaller community with four seasons. You can expect to pay nearly $162,000 for a home in Sturgis, with an average monthly rental price of $530.

Pro Tip: Plan your vacation for the first week of August, to avoid the crowds in Sturgis.

Downtown Rapid City, South Dakota
James Gabbert / Shutterstock.com

3. Rapid City

Rapid City sits on the eastern side of the well-known Black Hills in western South Dakota. Nearly 75,000 people call Rapid City home, making it attractive to retirees that want the feel of a big city, within small-town America. The proximity to the Black Hills makes this an attractive place to call home. The Black Hills offers activities all year long, with an opportunity to experience the four seasons. A sense of community is strong in Rapid City with retirees, as card games, pickleball, and pool are popular among the residents. Another bonus is that your grandkids will want to come to visit you, as the Black Hills offers a playground for kids of all ages. 

Pro Tip: Mount Rushmore is one hour from Rapid City.

The World's Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota
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4. Mitchell

Mitchell is known best for being home to the Corn Palace, the only one in the world. Each year this palace is redecorated in a different theme featuring the 12 different colors of corn. Concerts, trade shows, special exhibits, and other events are held in this venue. With a population near 15,500, this is the 6th-largest city in South Dakota. Mitchell is affordable for retirees, with home values hovering around $147,000. Outdoor enthusiasts appreciate fishing, swimming, hiking, paddle boarding, and canoeing. Small town charm is what you will experience if you retire in Mitchell, South Dakota. As you travel I-90, the exit to Mitchell is at Exit 332.

Pro Tip: You and your dog can exercise at the Mitchell Dog Park, featuring 2.3 acres for large dogs, and 0.85 acres for smaller dogs.

Aerial shot of Vermillion, South Dakota
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

5. Vermillion

Vermillion is home to the University of South Dakota and the community pride runs high. Retirees enjoy this community in southeastern South Dakota since there is much to explore. The National Music Museum houses more than 15,000 non-western instruments and is an incredible place. Retirees may realize that their college days are long gone, but their love for college life still remains high. In Vermillion, residents of all ages feel young and have embraced an affordable lifestyle in this college town. Volunteer opportunities are abundant and help provide meaning to the life of retirees. Vermillion has more than 90 acres of parks for people to enjoy. From relaxing at a picnic table to hosting a family reunion, these parks offer a fantastic place to gather up your family. Frisbee golf, pickleball courts, and a lot of open green space make these parks extra inviting.

Pro Tip: Grab a sandwich from Mister Smith’s Bakery. In 2002, Oprah Magazine said this bakery is the home of “the best bread in the world.”

The yellow brick road at Storybook Land
The yellow brick road at Storybook Land (Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock.com)

6. Aberdeen

Art is strong in Aberdeen, through music, shows, concerts, recitals, theatrical shows, and Storybook Land. With close to 17 percent of the population being 65 and over, Aberdeen welcomes retirees. Housing is affordable, with an average home priced at $161,800. With a population hovering around 26,000, retirees can find large city amenities with quieter surroundings. Northern State University and Presentation College are in town, adding to opportunities for volunteerism and education. With two hospitals to serve the community, medical care is also easy to come by. Several parks offer hiking, birding, camping, and biking opportunities. You and your dog can exercise at three off-leash dog parks that are located throughout Aberdeen.

Pro Tip: Storybook Land is for people of all ages.

Downtown Watertown, South Dakota
Sabrina Janelle Gordon / Shutterstock.com

7. Watertown

Watertown is located off of I-29 at Exit 177 in South Dakota. Art and business are strong in this charming community that welcomes retirees. The Terry Redlin Art Center features more than 150 paintings of this artist’s work. Sushi, steak, burgers, pizza, and Mexican restaurants offer a nice variety of food choices for the food critic. The median value of a home in Watertown is $170,500. This small town of fewer than 25,000 offers direct flights to Chicago and Denver. This progressive town in South Dakota recently renovated the Goss Opera House in Downtown Watertown. Can you imagine hosting your family, for a family gathering, in a room in this historic opera house? You can call Watertown home and be anywhere in the world within a few hours. Retirees love the four seasons, ease of travel, and wide-open spaces.

State Capitol Building in Pierre, South Dakota
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

8. Pierre

Pierre is the state capital of South Dakota and the 8th largest town in the state. If you want to be in the middle of South Dakota, Pierre is where you want to call home. Retirees can easily find themselves traveling any direction and be in another state in a few hours. Outdoor lovers enjoy the Missouri River and Lake Oahe, one of the largest manmade lakes in the world. Fishing, hiking, camping, biking, and paddle boarding are popular summer activities. Winter brings cross-country skiing and snowmobiling into the spotlight. History buffs enjoy the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center and research opportunities in the State Archives research room.

Pro Tip: Book a dinner cruise aboard the last authentic paddle wheeler on the Missouri River.

The agricultural museum of Brookings, South Dakota
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

9. Brookings

Brookings sits near Watertown, giving these two towns an extra dose of fun when it comes to living here as a retiree. The State Agricultural Heritage Museum is in Brookings, showcasing tractors and farm equipment that seem to go on for miles. This agriculture museum has an incredible volunteer program, including training and an opportunity to volunteer as often or as little as you like. Homes are valued at near $181,000, and close to 9.5 percent of the population is over 65 years of age. With three hospitals, Brookings offers high-quality medical care and choices when it comes to your care. Dakota Nature Park is popular for fishing, kayaking, and biking. With plenty of nature trails to explore, birding and hiking will be available all year long. Once the snow flies, grab your snowshoes and head for the trails. 

These nine towns offer incredible opportunities for retirees and something a little different. The location, proximity to other states, logistics, and historical sites are unique to each area. If you have ever stopped at the Corn Palace while traveling along I-90, it may have never crossed your mind that you may want to live there someday. Oftentimes, the places that we visit while traveling, become our home at some point in our lives. 

The people we meet when we travel often have an impact on where we live throughout our lives. South Dakota offers the opportunity to enjoy winter, spring, summer, and fall. Let’s face it, the fall foliage can be stunning in the Midwest. There’s a nice balance with a change of activities in South Dakota. Retirees can enjoy the season and know that there are new opportunities around the corner, as the seasons change. There’s something to be said about the change of seasons, as you never have time to be bored.

Read all about TravelAwaits‘ retirement information here, including these articles:

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9 Fantastic Things To Do In Gorgeous Florence, Italy

The capital of the Tuscany region of Italy, home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art, architecture, and Michelangelo’s David, Florence — Firenze in Italian — should definitely be on your must-visit list when you come to the beautiful European country of Italy. A mere wander around the city will leave you gaping with awe, and possibly a sore neck from looking up. 

The airport in Florence is small, so it’s best to fly into the larger city of Bologna, or Italy’s capital — Rome. From both cities, excellent high speed trains connect to Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station in excellent time, plus Train Italia — the main train provider — has an excellent app to book tickets and check train times. 

I was lucky to be hosted in both Bologna and Florence and I share some of the fantastic things to do in gorgeous Florence and also some not so obvious tourist activities.

Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy.
Rebecca Hall

Palazzo Vecchio

Art, statues, history — it’s all here in Florence, and where better to start your exploration than the town hall, also known as the Palazzo della Signoria due to its proximity to the Piazza della Signoria. Palazzo Vecchio is a striking palace where art and history combine magnificently with Roman ruins, a medieval fortress, and Renaissance chambers and paintings. It’s also an archaeological site as it sits on top of the ancient theater of the Roman colony of Florentia, dating back to the A.D. 1st century. 

This is certainly one to enjoy if art and history is your thing, or even if not — just stand outside and admire the 14th-century architecture.

Statues in Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, Italy.
Statues in Piazza Della Signoria (Photo Credit: Rebecca Hall)

Piazza Della Signoria

Piazza – meaning “square,” della Signoria is L-shaped and directly outside of the Palazzo Vecchio and showcases many statues of historical importance to Florence, as well as being a great spot to sit in one of the many cafes that line it and to people watch. Both locals and tourists flock here to gape at the Palazzo Vecchio and are en route to Florence’s, and indeed Italy’s, most important art galleries — the Uffizi. 

Pro Tip: It gets very busy in the middle of the day, so to avoid being pushed in all directions, keep your possessions in a money belt under your T-shirt just in case.

Statues in the hallway of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
katuka / Shutterstock.com


Adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria is unarguably the most famous art gallery in Italy. Italians are proud of the Uffizi, constructed in the 1500s and housing many ancient sculptures and paintings dating as far back as the Middle Ages to masterpieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Raffaello, among many more and also Dutch, Flemish, and German painters. 

If you just want to appreciate the building and not spend a lot of time on the art, or leave your companion to it, then head to the cafeteria on the second floor that has magnificent views across Piazza della Signoria and meet each other later. 

Pro Tip: Open Tuesday-Sunday 8:15 a.m.-6:50 p.m., last entry 5:30 p.m. Busiest times of the day are 10 a.m.-12 p.m., so either go early or later in the afternoon.

Michelangelo's "David" in the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze.
Lelia Braida Mures / Shutterstock.com

Also known as the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, although smaller than the Uffizi, it’s famous as it houses Michelangelo’s David, a 17-foot marble statue of a standing nude male representing the biblical hero from David and Goliath, who has also been considered something of a political figure in Florence.

Art connoisseurs will love the gallery in general for its large collection of paintings by local artists from the 1300s to the 1600s. You’re sure to marvel at the building’s design too, meaning you don’t necessarily have to be a fan of art in order to appreciate this masterpiece.

Pro Tip: Due to its popularity, it’s best to get to the gallery pretty early to avoid lines. It opens from 8:15 a.m. until 7:15 p.m. with the best times to visit early morning or after 5 p.m.

The historic Ponte Vecchio over the Arno in Florence, Italy.
The historic Ponte Vecchio over the Arno (Photo Credit: Rebecca Hall)

Walk Along The Arno River To Ponte Vecchio Bridge

If for some reason you’re tired of art galleries and museums, then a stroll in the glorious spring and fall weather along the promenade of the River Arno — the river that cuts through Florence and flows eventually into the Mediterranean on the west coast of the country — is a pleasant way to spend a morning or afternoon.

There are 12 bridges crossing the river, five main ones in the city center and the most famous being the Ponte Vecchio — built at the Arno’s narrowest point, the only bridge to have escaped destruction in World War II and with the wooden construction dating back to Roman times, Florence’s oldest bridge. Rebuilt with stone in 1345 after a flood in 1333 destroyed the original, the bridge was initially lined with butcher shops for about 150 years in the 1400-1500s but were replaced with gold merchants in the 1600s by ​​Ferdinando I de Medici because the butchers would throw their waste into the river, creating an awful smell.

Today, you can wander over the bridge and still see the remnants of the original merchants, and buy gold jewelry from the shops there.

Food Courts Of Mercato Centrale in Florence, Italy.
Rebecca Hall

Visit The Food Courts Of Mercato Centrale

Rather than always choosing a restaurant, grab a bite to eat at the Mercato Centrale — the Central Market where there are artisan food stalls on two levels selling Tuscan cuisine. Order your food and eat at one of the many tables scattered around. If you have a particular dish you wish to try after consulting its website, it might be best to reserve a table, especially over weekends and public holidays. But the whole concept of the Mercato Centrale is to pitch up and see what you’d like to eat. 

You’ll also find local Tuscan meats and cheeses to take home with you, or in the northern corner, a seafood area where vendors sell fish and shellfish from around Italy. 

Before or after filling your stomach, pop outside and wander around the outdoor San Lorenzo market where you can purchase leather goods. 

Food tour of Florence, Italy.
Tomas Marek / Shutterstock.com

Food Tour Of Florence

On the subject of food, you shouldn’t leave Florence without taking a food tour of the city. I lucked out by joining Eating Europe’s Florence sunset tour in the original working-class neighborhood of Oltrarno — across the river Arno where our gregarious and passionate guide not only took us to various spots to sample different cheeses, including with rare truffle, appetizers such as stuffed calamari and savory cheesecake, wine tasting accompanied by a traditional Italian delicacy that I won’t ruin the surprise and Tuscan beef peppery stew. We also had the opportunity to learn about the history of our gastronomical delights.

One of our stops allowed us to mix our own Negroni cocktail, reportedly originating from Florence in 1919 when, after having traveled to London and tasted gin, Count Camillo Negroni asked the barman at his favorite Cafe Casoni to replace the soda in an Americano cocktail with gin, and voila, the Negroni was born.

Samples of Tuscan delicacies are what you’ll come away with on an Eating Florence tour… it’s well worth it for a brief and interesting history lesson, too.

The Companion Bar at the 25 Hours Hotel, Florence, Italy.
The Companion Bar at the 25 Hours Hotel (Photo Credit: Dario Garofalo)

Drink A Negroni At The 25 Hours Hotel Companion Bar

A stone’s throw away from the regenerated area of Santa Maria Novella, a lesser-known and more authentic Florentine neighborhood and minutes from the train station, taking up a whole block is the new 25 Hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino.

Once a convent in the 13th century, and then a pawnshop until as late as the 1990s, this epic conversion project designed to rejuvenate a community area, has a total of 171 rooms, 66 in the original monastery building next to the delightful San Paolino church, a small apartment with private garden and pool and, more importantly for non-guests, the traditionally Italian with an international twist, Companion Bar.

Open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., enjoy your Negroni or specially mixed cocktail of your choice in these unique surroundings and take in the architectural marvel of the building. Enjoy your drink in the historical Florentine way; standing on the pavement in front of the bar as your drink is passed through the buchetta del vino — literally “little wine holes.”

Pro Tip: It’s a good choice of hotel for a base on your Florentine adventure as it’s a traditional district, about a 7-minute stroll to the river, and has taken the theme of Florence to heart with cleverly designed Dantesque Heaven and Hell rooms and suites. 

Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, Italy.
Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, Italy (Photo Credit: Yasonya / Shutterstock.com)

A Day Trip To Bologna 

As it’s only 28 minutes by high speed train to Tuscany’s second-largest city, Bologna, a day trip if you’re spending a few days in the region.

Yet more culture, art, and museums await — the difference with Bologna, though, is its vibe. As a student city, it has a more bohemian feel to it, where locals and students alike intermingle well in the community together. There are 400,000 citizens, 87,000 of those are students!

Bologna is most famous, however, for its UNESCO-designated porticos, or arches. In the city center alone — spanning from the main square of Piazza Maggiore, there are 24 miles of these stone arches that can be explored with a good guide. 

Bologna Welcome can organize a Portico tour and I was lucky to have a lovely guide show me around, explaining the history. Porticos were originally designed in the 11th century to help create more surface area and room for the private buildings as the city expanded its trading activities and the arrival of more professors and students of the university. They are a meeting point, and as you wander around the city, you’ll see lots of cafes and pavement tables where people congregate to drink their coffee and enjoy life and good conversation. In the past, as Bologna was popular for trading fabrics such as silk since the 1300s, several markets opened under them. It’s no wonder they’ve been designated World Heritage importance as they help preserve the cultural and social fabric of this unique city.

There’s so much to be explored in Florence and Bologna. Hopefully, this article will whet your appetite to spend time in this region of Tuscany during your Italian vacation.

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9 Tips to Stay Healthy on Track This Holiday from Keri Glassman

Keri Glassman, RD, is a well-known dietitian and nutrition coach and founder of Nutritious Life, as well as an all-around helpful, upbeat presence who has your back when it comes to how to eat healthily and loving it. If you’re wondering: How are we going to enjoy a healthy holiday this Thanksgiving without going off the rails? There is no one better to give us advice than Glassman. Her take: You can have your pie and eat it too, without sacrificing your wellbeing goals. Here are her 9 helpful tips for staying on track while still enjoying the feast this Thanksgiving.

Glassman believes that special occasions are wonderful times to celebrate life, and you can do it and also stay true to your overall health and wellbeing goals – and still indulge – appropriately. Her philosophy is to eat foods that nourish you without depriving yourself of the enjoyment that the holidays have to offer. That’s especially true now, this Thanksgiving.

We caught up with the busy Glassman as the Thanksgiving holiday was fast approaching and our grocery shopping lists were ready, our recipes all planned out, and our anticipation of gathering with loved-ones building. There’s nothing like Thanksgiving after a pandemic (when both travel and get-togethers have been put on hold) to dial up the anticipation of traditions resumed. This Thanksgiving, we want to celebrate our gratitude and feast on favorite foods that connect us – but do all that without totally losing our way along the path to a happy, fit healthy lifestyle

Here are 9 tips to a healthy Thanksgiving and still indulge

Glassman offers these tips, including her special Thanksgiving mantra, which is essentially a 10th tip. Follow her advice and have a very happy, healthy holiday with friends and family and you will feel great through the holidays!

1. Cruise through the holiday  

What I mean is don’t try to accelerate your health or weight loss goals right now, but just hold steady.  It helps take off the added pressure. There are a few things I’ve told people over the years: Instead of thinking about trying to make more progress at this moment with your health goals, think about cruising from now until the New Year.

Think about staying in the zone with whatever you have accomplished up until now. It takes off this pressure and what normally happens is you’ll maintain and stay where you are and then you can move forward again in January or you can actually continue making progress. If you try to go hardcore you’ll end up indulging at the holiday party, feel bad, and continue to do it. Take off the added pressure.

2. Have a snack before you go to a holiday party

Don’t show up to the party starving – you’ll want to eat everything. Cut your hunger before you show up to the party. Have a coconut yogurt, or a handful of nuts, and you’ll feel in control of your hunger. Don’t go in starving.

3. Avoid unhealthy foods you would avoid the rest of the year

There’s no difference between the holiday season and the foods we should avoid all year long. Avoid fried foods, highly packaged foods, foods with lots of added sugar, since we don’t want those foods in our dietsin general. The holidays are a time to enjoy a special treat but not go totally off track. If you stick to being mostly healthy you can indulge in that pie.

4. Enjoy your indulgence

When you do choose to indulge, make it a conscious indulgence. Indulge in something that you’re truly craving – and know that you’re eating it from an empowered place. Enjoy every bite. Indulge in a conscious way, and you’re not going to overconsume. Have that piece of pie. And do it mindfully. Eat slower. Talk to your loved ones, as opposed to looking at your screen. Go ahead and slow down and spend more time eating.

5. Drink lots of water

Stay hydrated throughout the holidays. So often we mistake hunger. Stay hydrated and your energy will be up you’re not going to want to eat as much. Add in a cup of tea in the evening. I always like people to have some kind of bubbly water in between each drink.

6. Eat more foods that are high in fiber

Having more fiber in your diet is going to help control your blood sugar. Also, having a cup of soup at the beginning of your meal will help slow down your eating. Adding a side salad with your meal will help you feel fuller because of its fiber and water volume.

7. Say yes to more veggies

Having more vegetables will never be a wrong decision. Have two vegetables at your meal. If they are serving Brussels sprouts, string beans, and a salad, have all three. Whatever you choose for your main course is fine – but don’t forget to take all the vegetables offered. When people eat a more decadent meal, they often forget the vegetables, almost as if they forgot that the vegetables were even there! But, don’t skimp on the vegetables – ever!

8. Just because it’s a holiday, don’t lose track of your healthy habits

Stick with as many healthy habits as you do during the year during the holidays. As in, get your daily exercise. Drink your water throughout the day. Eat a healthy breakfast, and get as much sleep as you can. These will be incredibly important for your health, including managing your stress.

9. Bring a healthy dish to the party

Depending upon the situation, bring a healthy dish to the party. I recently brought a healthier seven-layer dip to my Halloween party, with vegetables for dipping. Of course, that’s just an example. Bring a crudité platter with dips so you know you can eat lots of veggies. if your host is open to it, always bring vegetables!

10. What’s your mantra?

I have many. But for this time of year: Do you! What that means is this: People go to lots of gatherings now, and inevitably, family members will ask, “Oh, you don’t want to eat that?” And when you choose to ‘Do you,’ you’ll feel good about making the healthier choice.

For more great advice on how to be healthier during the holidays, read Dr. Michael Greger’s advice on How to Stay Healthy and Plant-Based Over the Thanksgiving Holiday.

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Traveling with kids during covid: 9 questions, answered

Many families this year are choosing vacation options similar to last year’s, said Rainer Jenss, founder of the Family Travel Association: beach vacation rentals, dude ranches or camping. He said that while issues like mask-wearing for small children add “another stress point in an already stressful process,” many vaccinated adults are making the decision to travel with their children to see loved ones.

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9 Incredible Things To Do In Milwaukee

Milwaukee surprised me with its arts, outdoor adventures, dozens of tours, and eclectic food scene. No matter if you’re into arts or food or history or shopping, Milwaukee has it all and in a much more manageable way than its big brother, Chicago. Not knowing much about this city, I was overwhelmed and pleasantly surprised by all there is to see and do in “The Cream City,” named after the creamy yellow bricks many of the buildings are made from.

In late September, I bundled up against the cold breeze as I walked from the art-filled luxury of the Saint Kate Arts Hotel to the nationally acclaimed Milwaukee Public Market in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward

Too many people had recommended this new central marketplace filled with artisan goods and freshly prepared foods by local merchants, and I was starving already for some good, creative Wisconsin fare.

My head pounding from enjoying too many craft beers at numerous local breweries the night before, I wandered through this two-story public market that mixed local goods and groceries with dozens of food vendors whipping up everything from traditional brats to Mediterranean gyros and Indian tandooris.

This public market hosts a convenient second floor to hang out and enjoy your meal. Armed with a bag of famous Wisconsin cheese curds, I stuffed my stomach, grabbed a local beer for a little hair of the dog recovery, and walked back to the St. Kate along the famous Milwaukee Riverwalk.

I still had the entire day of exploring ahead of me, and frankly, I was stymied on which adventure to choose.

Even walking the RiverWalk — which weaves through the heart of the city and different historic neighborhoods along the Milwaukee River — brings you face to face with German heritage, artistic exhibitions, and more brewpubs You could take an entire day just exploring the city by foot.

Without further ado, here are nine incredible things to do in magnificent Milwaukee!

The RiverWalk of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Chris LaBasco / Shutterstock.com

1. Tour The City By The River

As noted above, the Milwaukee RiverWalk is one of the best ways to explore the different parts of this city that grew from the bones of the foundry, machinery, and metal-working industries, as well as brewing and grain.

Today’s RiverWalk winds more than 20 blocks from north to south through three distinct neighborhoods — The Historic Third Ward, the downtown district, and the Beerline B.

Throughout the entire walk, which is roughly 3 miles, you can enjoy the RiverSculpture Initiative, which includes both permanent pieces and temporary installations, while watching kayakers, tour boats, and barges go by.

The Historic Third Ward has been named Wisconsin’s “SoHo” for its artistic atmosphere. Home to more than 20 galleries and art studios, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD), and boutique stores and restaurants, the Third Ward is home to the famed Milwaukee Public Market and Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival.

The RiverWalk continues into the Downtown RiverWalk, which includes the city’s largest theater district and Old World Third Street, a three-block historic German heritage neighborhood just north of downtown. 

Being of German descent, I loved the Old World Third Street, which looks as if it stepped right out of turn-of-the-century Milwaukee. Home to Usinger Sausage, The Spice House, the Old German Beer Hall, and The Brat House, this cobblestone-lined street contains European-style buildings that make you feel like you’re in a small village in Germany instead of the heart of one of Wisconsin’s biggest cities.

The RiverWalk continues down into the Beerline B district, a former industrial rail line that is now a charming mix of residential and commercial. Mostly, unless you love looking at redeveloped neighborhoods and condos, you’ll likely find yourself at Lakefront Brewery, housed in a 1908 coal-burning power plant and made into a fun, neighborhood hangout with great beer, food, and a view of the river.

Pro Tip: Though 3 miles doesn’t sound like much, it’s a long walk to do the entire RiverWalk. Be sure to bring good, sturdy walking shoes, and don’t be afraid to call a cab or rideshare if it gets too much. I carry a foldable backpack on walks like these to carry back all the food, items, and beer that I end up buying!

If your timing is right, you can watch all the bridges over the river lift to allow the boats to go under.

Historic Third Ward District of Milwaukee, Wisonsin
Historic Third Ward District (Sam Wagner / Shutterstock.com)

2. Tour Around History And Architecture

Milwaukee is known as the “Cream City” for the creamy yellow clay that was used for the foundations of many of Milwaukee’s famed buildings and theaters. Luckily, you can tour all the stunning architecture in and around Milwaukee through a variety of guided and self-guided tours.

If you want to see the downtown area by the air, you can scroll the Skywaukee skywalk system to learn about historic downtown landmarks.

An easy way to see all the city’s landmarks is with the Milwaukee Historic Streetcar Tour which includes in-depth guided information on various neighborhoods. 

Historic Milwaukee offers a wide variety of tours ranging from walking tours of the historic German Old World Third Street to private guided tours of the North Point mansions.

In fact, there are more historic architectural tours than you could possibly squeeze into one visit, but some not-to-miss sites include a tour of the Basilica of St. Josaphat, which was built in 1901 as the largest church in Milwaukee; the historic Oriental Theatre, which is Milwaukee’s only operating movie palace; and The Pfister Hotel, home to the world’s largest hotel collection of Victorian art.

Other fun tours in the city include haunted gothic tours, seven-seat bike tours, and interactive tours of the city in an open-air MKE Cruiser. 

The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisonsin
Pabst Theater (Tony Savino / Shutterstock.com)

3. Speaking Of Theater

If you love live concerts, plays, comedies, and performances, Milwaukee has plenty to offer. Milwaukee has some of the oldest and largest performing arts companies in the state, as well as a big live music scene in historic venues.

On any given day, you’ll find big Broadway hits, eclectic small independent theater offerings, ballet, major philharmonic productions, and small, local singers/songwriters.

Some of the most historic theaters and performing arts spaces in Milwaukee to check out include the Pabst Theater, the Skylight Music Theatre, the Milwaukee Opera Theatre, The Miller High Life Theater, the Marcus Center for Performing Arts, and the brand new Bradley Symphony Center, the new home for the Milwaukee Symphony, just to name a few.

4. Become A Cheesehead!

If you’re a Green Bay Packers fan, or you just like the “cheesehead” hats sports fans wear, then don’t miss out on a tour of the Original Cheesehead Factory, which makes the big yellow cheesy hats.

The Original Cheesehead Factory celebrates the history of the famous foam hats, revels in cheesy puns, and allows you to make your very own Cheesehead creation.

Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee
Heide Brandes

5. Museums, Museums, And More Museums

History and art lovers rejoice! Milwaukee is home to dozens of museums ranging from the Milwaukee Art Museum to the Harley Davidson Museum, home to the original Harley Davidson factory.

The Milwaukee Public Museum is Milwaukee’s museum of natural history while the Jewish Museum Milwaukee explores the history of the Jewish community in southeastern Wisconsin. Other notable museums to explore include the Pabst Mansion — originally the home of the Pabst family and then the archbishop’s residence and the center of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee for more than 67 years — the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University, and the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum.

America’s Black Holocaust Museum will re-open in Milwaukee in February 2022 and is a testament to the Black experience in America. The Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum also documents and preserves the historical heritage of African Americans in the state.

Of course, no trip to Milwaukee is complete without a visit to the Museum of Beer and Brewing!

Square donuts in Milwaukee
Heide Brandes

6. Taste Milwaukee

From German favorites like brats and schnitzel to a sampling of Milwaukee’s vast ethnic cuisine, a food tour will give you a thorough “taste” of this city and its history.

Visit Milwaukee’s food tours offer unique looks at the food of each of the city’s neighborhoods as well as the history of delicacies found in the city.

Even better, mix up a food tour with a brewery and pub tour, and eat and drink your way through the city!

Grounds of Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
James Meyer / Shutterstock.com

7. Get Festive

Milwaukee may be home to the largest music festival in the U.S. — Summerfest — but it excels with other festivals ranging from musical to cultural celebrations. 

From Juneteenth celebrations, The Polish Fest, the Lakefront Festival of Art, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Art in Bloom, the Locust Street Festival, Croatia Fest, and the Dragonboat Festival, Milwaukee has earned its reputation as “The City of Festivals.”

For a calendar of events, click here.

The "Bronze Fonz" in Milwaukee, Wisonsin
Big Joe / Shutterstock.com

8. Say Hi To The Bronze Fonz

For all you fans of the sitcom Happy Days, be sure to stop by The Bronze Fonz on Milwaukee’s RiverWalk for a quick selfie! After all, the popular sitcom took place in 1950s Milwaukee, and the statue — installed in 2008 — immortalizes Arthur Fonzarelli, aka “Fonzie,” who was the king of cool from Happy Days

Pro Tip: The Bronze Fonz is located just south of Wells Street on the RiverWalk.

Brewery complex of Miller Brewing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

9. Drink Das Bier!

Milwaukee is known for its breweries and no trip to the city is complete without at least one brewery stop. From the historic breweries like the Miller Brewing giant to the Pabst Brewing Company to dozens of smaller craft breweries, Milwaukee earns its nickname of “Brew City.”

One cool way to drink up the malty fun is to get a Brew City Beer Pass through Visit Milwaukee. With this free digital beer pass, you can score buy one, get one beers from many of the best breweries in the Greater Milwaukee area. 

No matter what your interest is, Milwaukee has something incredible for you.

Read more about the uniqueness of Wisconsin:

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Trail Blazers vs. Clippers – Game Recap – November 9, 2021

LOS ANGELES — — Paul George scored 24 points, Reggie Jackson added 23 and the Los Angeles Clippers extended their winning streak to five Tuesday night, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 117-109.

Nicolas Batum added a season-high 22 points for the Clippers, who are 6-4 after losing four of their first five to start the season.

George, the reigning Western Conference player of the week, played only 33 minutes after getting into foul trouble midway through the third quarter. Despite the decreased playing time, he was near a triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 27 points and Norman Powell scored 23. Jusuf Nurkic had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who are winless in their first five road games.

The Clippers had an 83-79 lead going into the fourth quarter before going on a 13-6 run to take control. They would extend the lead to 12 in the final minute.

The third meeting between the teams was close compared to the first two. The Clippers won by 30 (116-86) on Oct. 25 before the Trail Blazers countered with a 111-92 victory four nights later.


The Clippers jumped out to a 13-3 lead less than three minutes into the game on the strength of three 3-pointers. The Trail Blazers would rally though and go up by 26-20 on Cody Zeller‘s dunk with 3:44 remaining in the period.

LA would score the last 13 points in the period to have a 33-26 advantage after 12 minutes.


Trail Blazers: The 33 points by LA in the first quarter is the most Portland has allowed in the first 12 minutes this season.

Clippers: Isaiah Hartenstein came off the bench and scored a season-high 14 points in 17 minutes.


Trail Blazers: Travel to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Portland won the first meeting 134-105 on Oct. 23.

Clippers: Host the Miami Heat on Thursday. LA has won the last five meetings.


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Man detained for 9 days in China for sending meme deemed ‘insulting’ to police

The man, identified only by his surname Li, allegedly sent the meme on the Chinese social media platform WeChat, in a group exchange complaining about the local Covid-19 prevention and control measures late last month, according to authorities and state media.

Police in Qingtongxia city, in Ningxia region, posted a screenshot of Li’s text exchange on Chinese social media, but later removed the post.

State-run outlet The Paper published further details of the incident that has provoked consternation in China, with a related hashtag garnering 170 million views. Many protested Li’s punishment, arguing that use of an internet joke was hardly grounds for being detained by police.

According to The Paper, Li sent a meme showing a dog in a police hat, holding a police badge and pointing at the camera. It’s a common image that has been used widely online before, with different variations sometimes including a cat or cartoon character in the police hat.

On Saturday evening, local police received a tip from a member of the public, alleging that Li had sent an image “insulting the image of police,” according to The Paper.

China insists its zero-Covid strategy is correct. Challenging it can be dangerous

The police launched an investigation into the chat group, which had more than 330 members, according to The Paper. After finding that Li was “dissatisfied with the community prevention measures,” police summoned Li to the station, where he was questioned and eventually “confessed to the illegal fact of insulting the police.”

Police said his actions had constituted the offense of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” and gave him nine days’ detention as punishment.

The Paper praised local authorities’ efforts in containing the virus. The police are “on the front line of epidemic prevention and control to build a safety barrier for people’s lives and health,” said the article.

China grows more isolated as Asia Pacific neighbors start living with Covid-19

“However, there are some people dissatisfied with the epidemic prevention measures, and even openly insulting the police,” the article added. “For such illegal acts, Qingtongxia Police Department always insists on ‘zero tolerance’ policy and resolutely punishes them according to the law to defend the authority of law enforcement and legal dignity of the police.”

China has some of the world’s strictest Covid-19 measures, including travel restrictions, snap lockdowns and mass testing. This is in contrast to other countries in Asia, which are learning to live with the virus after rolling out mass vaccinations.

These measures, though broadly popular inside of China, have also prompted rare signs of public resistance in recent weeks as virus case numbers increase.

Two residents were detained in October for trying to climb over the fences of their locked-down gated community. And on social media, some residents have begun complaining about the toll of being locked down for extended periods of time, and the damage it has caused to local economies.

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9 Tips For Keeping Your Mind And Body Sharp After You Retire

You work hard all your life and the day you say goodbye to the 9-5 finally arrives. Exhale. Let the next chapter begin. One thing that surely should top your agenda is keeping your mind and body in tip-top shape.

My resident health guru, also known as my retired husband, has a philosophy he lives by, “KEEP,” — Keep it moving, exercise your brain, eat little and healthy, and pray often. After talking to experts, he’s on point. In our house, he is the maker of green juice and Bush Tea (a combination of cerasee, lemongrass, vervine, and other plants, Jamaican in origin, but now in health food stores everywhere). I’m not retired, far from it, but I’m learning a lot watching him rise early, walk 5 miles three times a week, tend to the yard, fix this and that, cook meals that are heavy on fish, light on meat, include heaps of veggies or fruits and find fun daily, be it a chat with a neighbor, or a dip in the ocean.

But, while he’s a guru to me, I consulted those with credentials for their thoughts on what you should do to stay healthy in retirement.

Pencil and crossword puzzle
Julia Sudnitskaya / Shutterstock.com

1. Stimulate Your Brain 

When you have a skill, like playing the piano, you can do it from muscle memory. You don’t have to think about it much, if at all. However, if you teach someone, then you have to be able to explain the concept and each step in the process in order for your student to be successful. “Teaching someone a new skill is one of the best ways to expand your cognitive abilities and keep your mind sharp,” says Peter Ross, CEO of Senior Helpers, an in-home senior care provider.

He’s also big on word games. They improve mental capacity. Word searches can easily be found in newspapers and online. They activate multiple parts of the brain as a word’s length and position in the puzzle has to be considered. Jigsaw puzzles improve memory and concentration, help hand-eye coordination and critical thinking skills, and then there’s the satisfaction of completing it.

A variety of healthy foods
margouillat photo / Shutterstock.com

2. Eat Well 

At any age, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains is good for you, but especially as you age, maintaining a balanced diet is critical. “Eat foods like fish, eggs, salmon, nuts, green tea, and red wine to stimulate your brain, says Victoria Glass, a doctor with the Farr Institute, a provider of medical research and information.

Furthermore, Liana Casusi, MD, recommends eating smaller, more frequent meals, to improve digestion and prevent stomach problems. “A balanced meal rich in fiber with enough protein, carbohydrates, and fat provides the body and mind with a high-quality energy source to function properly. Equally important is drinking at least eight glasses of water a day unless your doctor advises otherwise,” she says.

Stones on a beach at sunset
Black_Cherry_Spb / Shutterstock.com

3. Stay Centered

“Engaging in meditation at least once a day is well-known for benefits such as relieving anxiety and stress. Allowing your body and brain to rest will also help improve your overall memory and increase the ability of your brain to process information,” says Ross.

Regularly practicing yoga is not only great for balance and mobility but can reduce stress. “Stress has been shown to be very damaging to the brain, shrinking the areas responsible for memory and emotional control,” says Brett Larkin, founder and CEO of Uplifted Yoga, an online yoga school.

In fact, Jeanine Duval, a certified Kaivalya yoga teacher says you might find yoga improves your sleeping too.

A line at a soup kitchen
addkm / Shutterstock.com

4. Volunteer 

You have a lifetime of experience, share it. “Volunteering is one of the best things you can do in retirement because it not only gives you the opportunity to continue to interact with others, but it also gives you a sense of purpose which is another thing we tend to lose once we stop working,” says psychotherapist Christina Steinorth-Powell.

Studies show that volunteering, especially after retirement, improves memory and combats cognitive decline, she says.

Coffee mugs with smiley faces
Maglara / Shutterstock.com

5. Maintain Connections 

“It’s not easy staying connected with others as we get older, family members are busy with their own lives, and we lose contact with long-time friends, but maintaining a healthy social life is essential for your mental and physical wellbeing,” says Zachary Okhah, founder and chief surgeon at PH-1 Miami. He says studies show that loneliness has been linked to depression, cognitive decline, blood pressure, and heart disease. 

Research indicates that regular social activities can benefit our wellbeing by strengthening immunity, lowering blood pressure, and improving memory recall, he says.

Look for ways to meet people. Join a fitness class, go to the library, or attend events at your place of worship.

Man cycling on quiet road
Vandathai / Shutterstock.com

6. Exercise 

You don’t have to make like you’re training for the marathon. Walking, biking, and swimming are activities that can get your heart rate up, causing more oxygen to be pumped into your brain. Those endorphins released during exercise do wonders for your mood, memory, and thought process. Exercise can also help ward off diseases like diabetes, tamp down stress and anxiety, points out John Gardner, the CEO and co-founder of Kickoff, which offers personal training and nutrition coaching services.

To up your success factor, add variety to your routine. If you get bored, you might be tempted to not exercise. “Variety becomes more effortful as we get older and can be harder to accomplish both in movement and other activities,” says Alyssa Kuhn, a doctor of physical therapy and founder of Keep the Adventure Alive.

The payoff, staying psyched to keep moving, is worth it.

Travel bags at train station
GP PIXSTOCK / Shutterstock.com

7. Embrace The Unknown

In the past, the clock may have been an enemy of sorts. You never had enough time. Now, you set the pace. Explore new things, whether it’s traveling or getting involved with a non-profit. “Ticking off the things on your bucket list or learning something can be a great way to find a new purpose,” says Brian Wind, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University.

What activities fell by the wayside when you were worried about establishing and sustaining your career and raising a family? “Bring those things back into your life. Resurrect that happy feeling and make that mind work,” says life coach Leah Veazey.

Neat bed with stacks of towels
Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock.com

8. Get Enough Rest And Sleep

Just because you have the luxury of sleeping in, doesn’t mean you’ll sleep as much as you like. “Surprisingly, many retired patients find difficulty in getting adequate rest and sleep. A lot of them complain of restlessness and insomnia,” says Casusi.

It is not too late to establish a healthy sleep-wake cycle. “Studies have demonstrated that the natural body clock involves waking up early in the morning at sunrise, and likewise, sleeping early. Adapting a predictable sleep-wake routine helps you feel well-rested,” she says.

Capitalize on sleep’s benefits such as regulating body functions like digestion and immune response. Make getting a good night’s sleep, 8 hours or your magic number, a priority. Treat yourself to comfy, quality bedding products. You deserve it.

Stone with smiling face
Skoles / Shutterstock.com

9. Avoid Mistakes 

Maybe when you were younger you could get away with eating anything. Now, discipline matters. Diet is essential to physical and mental health. “If you eat unhealthy there can be consequences like weight gain, which can raise cholesterol levels and create health problems,” says Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW, who specializes in aging and caregiving for seniors.

Be vigilant about drowning out negativity. “Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do,” says James Owens, author of Just Move! A New Approach to Fitness After 50. Don’t internalize the cultural narrative that paints older adults as being weak, slow, and vulnerable once they reach a certain age.

“When it gets harder to climb those stairs than it used to be, it’s easy to fixate on what you’ve lost. But don’t let yourself get stuck in the past. Maybe your joints are telling you you can’t run anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hike or walk. Staying positive and thinking about all the activities still open to you, will help fuel your mental and physical energy,” says Owens.

Another huge mistake is not reaching out to others. Social isolation poses serious physical and mental health risks for older adults. Says Owens, “Researchers have found that loneliness can be more damaging than smoking. So don’t wait passively for your family or friends to call. You can be the one to suggest an activity, invite someone to lunch or have a long-distance chat with an old friend. I promise the energy you put out will come back to you many times over.”

For more ideas and information about retirement, check out our retirement hub.

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9 Tips to Save Money on Travel So You Can Afford More Trips

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