The Harley-Davidson Museum is one of the top tourist attractions in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Featuring a culture of freedom and rebellion with classic American design in a landmark building, the Harley-Davidson Museum is a 20-acre campus with an unrivaled collection of motorcycles and Harley-Davidson memorabilia.
About the Museum
Harley-Davidson has been preserving its history for well over a century and moved its archive collection to the museum in 2008. The archives were formally kept locked away from public view at the Harley-Davidson headquarters building in Milwaukee. Visitors can see pieces of the collection on display in the many exhibits at the museum from the hundreds of motorcycles on the third floor to thousands of objects such as toys, collectibles, motorcycle parts, clothing, accessories, and advertisements on the second floor. The collection is so extensive that the entirety cannot be displayed all at once, making the museum a popular attraction to come back to repeatedly.
The museum is open nearly every day of the year while seasonal hours do vary and are updated on the museum website. Visitors should expect to spend up to 4 hours at the museum which also offers free parking, a restaurant, and The Shop. Service dogs, strollers, and wheelchairs are all welcome in the museum which is fully handicap accessible.
Visitors can take self-guided tours of the museum that are included in admission or upgrade their tickets to include audio tours, behind-the-scenes tours, or guided tours that include highlights of the collection.
Group tours are available for community and educational groups. These tours are guided and are offered with the Highlights Tour and Behind-the-scenes tour. An Inside H-D all day experience tour is also available that bundles several experiences together. Groups tours require reservations at least 1 week in advance.
Harley-Davidson Museum can also be used for private rentals for birthday parties, team building, corporate events, weddings, and other private parties or social engagements.
There are 12 permanent exhibits and many temporary/special exhibits at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Visitors can go to the Harley-Davidson website for complete details on dates and details for special exhibits past and present.
Clubs & Competition- This exhibit highlights board track racing, hill climbs, club rides, and endurance events that culminated the camaraderie and competitive spirit that motorcycle culture is known for. Featured is a 13 foot tall replica of a board track with vintage Harley-Davidson racers.
Custom Culture- Bikes that have been custom created for some of history’s greatest legends and films from Elvis Presley to the many Hollywood movies are showcased in this gallery.
Design Lab- Visitors can discover what exactly goes into the engineering of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the Design Lab that displays design ideas from 1940 through the Willie G Product Development Center that is used today.
Engine Room- This gallery features interactive exhibits that showcases engine mechanics and signature style and design elements unique to Harley-Davidson.
Experience Gallery- Visitors are welcome to get hands, or legs, on in this gallery where they are encourage to sit on, try on, take pictures, and have a good time with the Harley-Davidson bikes.
The Harley-Davidson Journey Part 1- Many of the artifacts from the archive collection are found in this exhibit that details the first 50 years of Harley-Davidson history. Visitors can see the Serial Number One, the oldest Harley-Davidson motorcycle in known existence.
The Harley-Davidson Journey Part 2- The second half of Harley-Davidson’s history from 1950 to present is showcased in these galleries.
The Motorcycle Gallery 1903-1940- Tours of the museum begin in this gallery where motorcycles from the first 50 years of the company’s history are lined on the second floor of the museum for admiring.
The Motorcycle Gallery 1940-Present- Visitors can end their tours in these galleries that highlight the most recent motorcycles built by Harley-Davidson.
Tank Wall- The tank wall features some of the most iconic tanks designed by Harley-Davidson since 1903 that have been used in customization and special projects, as well as commissioned pieces from artists and celebrities.
Imagination Station- Kids enjoy the imagination station where they can dress up and rev up a knucklehead motorcycle, and enjoy other hands on activities especially designed for children.
Build-Bike- Visitors that have dreamed of designing their own Harley can do so in the Build A Bike station where interactive kiosks allow for parts swapping, customization and other super cool features before setting the bike lose on the Virtual Road.
Shopping and Dining
While visiting the 20-acre campus of the Harley-Davidson Museum make sure to stop in to MOTOR Bar and Restaurant. This restaurant serves American food in a Harley inspired setting with monthly specials and fun activities such as bags tournaments.
The Shop at the museum offers visitors a chance to purchase authentic Harley-Davidson memorabilia, art, and clothing; as well as reproductions and souvenirs, vintage items and much more. The Shop can also be shopped online.
400 West Canal Street, Milwaukee Wisconsin, 53201, website, Phone: 877-436-8738
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