The Milwaukee Art Museum as seen from the harbor.

Milwaukee by boat

Milwaukee is one of the many beautiful cities along North America’s freshwater coast. But despite the relatively narrow passages compared with, say, an ocean, the Great Lakes can be dangerous and unpredictable to navigate, and commercial passenger vessels are rare and increasingly cost prohibitive where they do exist. As a result, we’ve rarely entered the waters of Lake Michigan any further than we can swim. That is, until earlier this month. Some friends of ours moved back to Milwaukee and to welcome them home, we took a Milwaukee Duffy Boat out beyond the harbor and puttered around inside the breakwater wall for about 90 minutes before taking a brief voyage up the Milwaukee river.

To see the city from the lake was a real treat, and a vantage we don’t often see except in photos. The Calatrava designed art museum’s wings were out, the skies were clear, and the lake was buzzing with birds, sailors, and occasional larger tour vessels. Here are some photos. Welcome back to the Giovannetti’s!

The Milwaukee skyline as seen from the harbor. The buildings are in the distance with Lake Michigan’s water in the foreground
The skyline from the water.
The Milwaukee harbor’s breakwater wall with fourteen birds sitting on it. Rocks are in front sitting out of the water, with a concrete-metal structure providing the stable wall.
Shorebirds gather on the breakwater wall.
The Calatrava Milwaukee Art Museum with its wings fully extended as seen from the harbor. Behind it is the Northwestern Mutual building and other Downtown Milwaukee structures.
The ever-impressive Milwaukee Art Museum as seen from the water.
Looking out at Lake Michigan through the opening in the breakwater wall. The Milwaukee Breakwater light is seen roughly at center.
The breakwater light indicating the harbor’s entrance and exit. We couldn’t pilot our boat beyond this light, but we could take in the lake’s open waters from this vantage.