Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County and it is the county seat. It lies in southeast Wisconsin along Interstate 94/43 on the banks of the Milwaukee River. The city also is on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Milwaukee's name comes from the Native American expression, Milliocki, meaning "gathering place by the waters." French explorers, missionaries and fur traders began stopping at the Milwaukee site in the late 1600s.
The population estimate for 1998 was 578,364. Milwaukee is home to Harley-Davidson and Miller Brewing Company, among other major firms. The city reflects diversity in its neighborhoods and more than 20 festivals. Annually, the city hosts the world's largest music festival, Summerfest, on the lakefront. The city also is home to opera companies, a symphony, ballet company and a variety of professional dance and theater companies. Group tours ranging from architecture to breweries are available.
Milwaukee is part of the Milwaukee-Waukesha, Wisconsin metro area.