By: Rachel Ryan

MILWAUKEE — National Geographic has named Milwaukee one of the best destinations to travel in 2023 as a part of its annual “Best of the World” list.

The city is one of only five destinations named within the United States and one of 25 others.

“Milwaukee has every reason to be proud of this designation,” said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson. “There is a lot to love in our city, and we should never lose sight of the fact that Milwaukee is a truly great place.”

“It is truly an honor to have Milwaukee named one of the best places to go in the world for 2023, especially in a publication as a world-renowned as National Geographic,” added President and CEO of the Wisconsin Center District Marty Brooks.

Milwaukee Art Museum. (Spectrum News 1/Rachel Ryan)

All locations on the list are selected by National Geographic Traveler editors, experts and expedition leaders. That list features travel destinations and experiences grouped by five categories: Family, Adventure, Culture, Nature and Community.

Milwaukee fell under the Community category, with the magazine describing it as “a blue-collar, back-thumping energy with a close-knit creative community that’s turning heads beyond the Great Lakes.”

The article also calls the Wisconsin community “a vibrant Great Lakes city that celebrates its cultural community as much as its breweries.”

“Milwaukee is home to many hidden gems that don’t get enough attention. Whether it is our museums, sports teams, breweries, restaurants, summer festivals, beaches, or Milwaukee County Parks System, we truly have something for everyone,” said County Executive David Crowley.

National Geographic highlights several prominent locations in Milwaukee, including the Harley-Davidson Museum, the “buzzy” Deer District, Bronzeville, the Riverwalk, the Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee Public Market, the Milwaukee Art Museum and several other locations.

Milwaukee Public Market in the Historic Third Ward. (Spectrum News 1/Brooke Brighton)

VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith said that this accolade will generate conversations about the city in board rooms and social settings for years to come.

Crowley added it will also likely draw more events and travelers to Milwaukee, something the city is already looking toward as the site of the 2024 Republican National Convention.

The recognition is also an opportunity to remind people they can be the city’s ambassadors, said VISIT Milwaukee.

“Let us use this recognition to remember what we all know: Milwaukee is a dynamic melting pot of culture full of world-class amenities, stunning natural beauty, and even better people,” said Dr. Eve M. Hall, chair of VISIT Milwaukee’s Board of Directors and president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Urban League. “Whether in our personal or professional lives, we should be shouting this from the rooftops every day and inviting others to experience what makes our community so wonderful.”

Fireworks fly outside Fiserv Forum after the Milwaukee Bucks win the 2021 Championship.