city of milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI

Lat: 43° 1.699   Long: 087° 53.268

Quick Reference:

  • Port Type: City
  • Monitors VHF: 9
  • Charts: NOS 14904 14924
  • Customs: Yes
  • Coast Guard
  • Transient Docking
  • Anchorage
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Potable Water
  • Pump Out
  • Washrooms
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Repair Services
  • Provisions
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital/Clinic
  • Banks/ATM
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Shopping
  • Internet
  • Amenities
  Important Numbers

Area Code414
Police(414) 933-4444
Hospital(414) 227-6500
Pharmacy(414) 273-5426


Port Distance (nm) Port Distance (nm)
Baileys Harbor, WI 127 N Mackinac City, MI 221 NE
Chicago, IL 71 S Frankfort, MI 128 NE
Michigan City, IN 98 SE Benton Harbor, MI 93 SE


The city of Milwaukee was first settled in 1785 when a trading post was built at the junction of the three rivers that enter lake Michigan. From that humble beginning, a major city has grown that to many became synonomous with the brewing industry. Along the way, it became a magnet for immigrants flocking into the United States, especially Germany and central Europe. Their imprint on the city's cultural landscape is clearly evident to this day. The city of Milwaukee is home to many corporate head offices, financial and healthcare organizations. Millions have been spent improving its waterfront and cruising sailors can enjoy a large, well-protected and beautiful harbor. There are many events that take place throughout the summer which will add immeasurably to your experience when you visit this sailor-friendly city.


Generally speaking, the approaches to the city of Milwaukee are clear. The usual cautions about not hugging the coastline apply. You will see several charted underwater cribs to the north of the harbor and, to the south, there is a shoal that extends approximately 1.25 nm offshore. The shoal is marked with a Fl GREEN buoy and bell, marked G "1".

The harbor is composed of a large outer harbor and an inner harbor formed where the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic and Menomenee Rivers merge. The outer harbor is very large and is formed by 4 very long seawalls extending over 3 nm. The outer harbor is home to a large public marina, 2 yacht/sailing clubs and the large Milwaukee Sailing Center. The inner harbor is entered through the river mouth and here you will find several large marinas.

There are 3 entrances to Milwaukee Harbor - North, East and South. The East entrance is the main entrance band and gives you direct entry into the river mouth and to the inner harbor. It is marked with a Fl RED light visible approximately 14 mi/12 nm in good weather and a horn The horn can be activated by keying your microphone 5 times on VHF 79. Once inside the main entrance, the river mouth is .5 nm ahead. The McKinley Harbor is 1.2 nm north and the South Shore Park is 1.6 nm south.

The North entrance to the outer harbor is marked with Fl RED and Fl GREEN lights, visible offshore approximately 4 mi/3.5 nm and 7 mi/6 nm respectively. This entrance is about 1 nm north of the main East entrance. Passing through it, the entrance to McKinley Harbor is immediately on your starboard. The entrance to the river and inner harbor lies 1.2 nm SW and the South Shore Park entrance is 2.6 nm SW.

The South entrance to the outer harbor is marked with a Fl RED light and Fl. GREEN light, both visible offshore 4 mi/3.5 nm each. It lies 1.1 nm south of the main East entrance. Once inside, the entrance to South State Park harbor is about .4 nm to your port. The entrance to the river mouth and inner harbor is 1.25 nm NW and McKinley Harbor is 2.4 nm N


McKinley Marina   (414) 273-5224   VHF 9, 16
McKinley Marina is located at the north end of the outer harbor. There are 655 slips with a number available for transient sailors. There ia a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. Water, power and internet connections are available dockside. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities available. The grounds have recreational areas and picnic areas with BBQ grills. There is a ship's store on-site. There ia also a trolley that you can take right into the downtown.

Milwaukee Yacht Club   (414) 271-4455   VHF 9, 16, 71
Founded in 1871, MYC is the oldest yacht club on Lake Michigan. It is located within McKinley Harbor, at the NW end. There are approximately 5 dozen slips and room is available for visiting sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. The clubhouse has restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. The clubhouse also features a dining room while their boathouse has a grill and bar along with pool and spa.

South Shore Yacht Club   (414) 481-2331   VHF 9, 16
SSYC is located in the South Shore Park Harbor. It is the largest yacht club in Wisconsin with 230 slips. There are about a dozen slips set aside for transient sailors. SSYC is home to the Queen's Cup race. This is one of the oldest cup races in the world. The cup was crafted in England in 1847. 2013 will see its 75th anniversary of continuous competition. The cup itself was first presented as a prize 160 years ago. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. The clubhouse has restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. There is a very good dining room and bar. Internet access is available.

Harborside Yacht Center   (414) 273-0711   
Harborside Yacht Center has recently been acquired by CenterPointe Yacht Services. It is located in the inner harbor. After clearing the entrance, Harborside/CenterPointe will be immediately in front of you on your port bow. CenterPointe is a large marina services firm with facilities in Kenosha to the south and Door County to the north. They have a number of slips with several set aside for visiting sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. Water and power are available dockside. With 65 staff, this is a full-service marina able to carry out a wide range of maintenance and repair services. They carry an extensive parts inventory. There restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. There is a ship's store on-site. There is no internet access.


Harborside Yacht Center (See above)

Skipper Bud's is a full service marina There are no slips available. They have a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. They are able to carry out a wide range of engine, mechanical and electrical repairs. as well as fiberglass and wood repairs. They are located approximately 1.3 nm up the Kinnickinnic River on your port side.

Southwind Marine is located further up the Kinnickinnic River and is accessed via a 20 ft/ 6 m wide lift and launch well. They can carry out a wide range of repairs including engine, mecanical and electrical maintenance, fiberglass, sail and canvas repairs and woodworking.

Crammer Marine is located approximately 1.5 nm up the Menomee River

There are numerous other specialty marine services available up and down the rivers. Staff at the yacht clubs and/or harbors can likely give you a number of suggestions.

Roundy's Supermarkets is located a few blocks from McKinley Harbor. Groppi's Food Market is close to the South Shore Park Harbor.It carried not only a good selection of foods but also has a very popular bar/cafe as well.

A number of major banks are represented across the downtown. The closest to McKinley Harbor is Northern Trust. M & I Bank is the closest to South Shore Park Harbor.


Cathedral Square Urgent Care Center (414) 227-6500 is the closest medical center to McKinley Harbor. It is part of the Columbia-St Mary hospital network and is located about 6 blocks from the harbor. St. Lukes Medical Center (414) 649-6000 is located directly west of South Shore Park Harbor, about 4 mi/6.5 km away.

Walgreens (414) 273-5426 is the closest pharmacy to McKinley Harbor. There is also a Walgreens (414) 482-3515 that is the closest to the South Shore Park Harbor.


As with any major city, the city of Milwaukee has many restaurants and pubs to suit all tastes and budgets. Here are a few, mostly close to the waterfront, to consider.

Harbor House is located immediately north of McKinley Harbor near Discovery World. It has a terrific view of Lake Michigan and serves a wide variety of seafood.

Coast Restaurant is also north of McKinley Harbor. It is an up-scale restaurant featuring a good menu in a relaxed environment. They have excellent views of Lake Michigan and a very nice outdoor patio.

Cafe La Scala is a well-known Italian cafe/restaurant featuring authentic Italian menu items.

Milwaukee Sail Loft is a seafood restaurant located on the Milwaukee River, immediately inside the entrance to the inner harbor. The environment is relaxed and casual with riverfront views.

Pastiche is a small French bistro with an excellent menue and a terrific wine list (including some of my favorite Spanish wines). A not-to-miss dining experience.

Downtown, along the 'Riverwalk', you will find more interesting restaurants to try. The Safe House is a very unique, spy-themed restaurant/pub that has been featured in national media. The Water Street Brewery is a popular a micro-brewery pub. Karl Ratzsch's is a long-time local favorite and authentic German restaurant.


The city of Milwaukee has invested millions of dollars into developing Riverwalk - a 3 mi/5 km pedestrial walkway along the Milwaukee River. It is a mecca for restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues. This award-winning project should be on every visitor's 'to experience' list.

Discovery World is a 120,000-square foot facility that includes interactive science, technology and freshwater exhibits, learning labs, theaters, television and audio studios, and fresh and saltwater aquariums. Its a great place to visit, especially if you have kids on board.

June and July sees the popular Summerfest music festival. Other festivals in June and July include South Shore Folies, Festa Italiana, Africal World Festival and Irish Fest. And, can any visit to Milwaukee be complete without visiting Miller Brewing Company? Tour can be arranged by calling the company. For more ideas of what to do when you visit, this city of Milwaukee tourism and visitor's site will give you lots of ideas on getting the most of your visit.

Return from Milwaukee to Lake Michigan

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