The riverwalk runs either on the east, west, or along both sides of the Milwaukee River from North Humbolt Street on the north end to East Erie Street in the 3rd Ward. Some short sections will force you to walk a half block off the riverfront to use the regular sidewalks or cross one of the draw bridges in order to continue your walk on the opposite side but a person can walk the 3 mile stretch while using the riverwalk for about 95% of the time. From the northern most end to Juneau it runs for the most part on the west side of the river. Plans are in place to complete the two short sections which are parts of residential developments to bring this figure to 100%.
For a pub crawl I'd suggest starting at the Lakefront Brewery for a free tour. You can't beat free beer and the laid back atmospher there. As you head south along the west side of the river, cross at Cherry Street. This will take you just a block off the RiverWalk but to a cluster of bars on and around Water Street starting with AJ Bombers. After exploring this area, head back across the river at the Juneau Ave bridge and walk the 1/2 block off the Riverwalk to North Old World 3rd Street. The two blocks from Juneau south to State Street are full of taverns and restaurants and attractions like Usingers Famous Sausage and the Wisconsn Cheese Mart. After checking this area out head back east the 1/2 block to the riverwalk and continue south. The riverwalk is runs complete along both sides of the river from this point south all the way to the where I-794 crosses above and there are many more things to see and along the river including several large patio restraunts including Rock Bottom Brewery. If you are on the west side of the river make sure to cross at E Michigan St to as the west side ends 1 block south of E Michigan. Continue south along the east side of the river under I-794 into the 3rd Ward. The first attraction is the Milwaukee Public Market. Lots of neat stuff to see and good things to eat and drink there. Continue south along the Rivewalk to several other bars and restaurant including the Milwaukee Ale House. The Riverwalk continues several blocks south to the end of N Erie St past large riverfront warehouses converted to condos. The area is full of specialty shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants. The west side of the river is also being developed the same way and there is more to see and do there.
By the end of this walk you should have had your fair share of food, drink, shopping,people watching and excersize and all within a block of the Riverwalk. When I visit Milwaukee I like to stay downtown because the Riverwalk is a great north/south corridor for the pedestrian to go from the heart of downtown north to the lower east side or south from the heart of downtown to the 3rd Ward. You can't beat the people watching, dinning, and shopping.
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