Over Memorial Day weekend, Mr. Photographer (aka Mr. P) and I drove to Milwaukee for a quick weekend getaway! Milwaukee is only a 1.5 hour drive away from Chicago, so we visit frequently when both of us need a break from the city. Everywhere you go, Milwaukee is just so quiet. It’s still a city, but so quiet and we both need that once in awhile!
I know you’re probably thinking, Milwaukee? Isn’t that just a small city in Wisconsin? Why would you go there? Well, let me tell you why we both love it and why we keep coming back! P.S. Scroll down all the way to the end for details on my outfit! I’m wearing my fun pom pom top three different ways! It was oddly hot during the day when we were there, so I ended up tying a knot with the bottom of my maxi dress so my legs could get some air. Then at night, it got chilly (ugh!) so I changed into my favorite pair of black jeans and brought a military jacket with me since we had planned to sit outside on the patio to enjoy our dinner.
Reason #1: Lakefront Brewery
Lets just say we’re both obsessed with going on tours at Lakefront Brewery. I think we’ve been on 10+ tours at this point and every time is a blast. Mr. P and I both love beers, and Lakefront Brewery beers are just so delicious! For $10, you can buy a tour ticket which includes 4 tokens and a 6 oz cup for samples. You trade the tokens in for samples of their many, many delicious & award winning beers. My favorite is the “Eye” PA and Mr. P’s is the Fixed Gear. Many hilarious and semi-inappropriate jokes later, we are at the end of the tour where everyone is singing to the theme song of Laverne & Shirley. Why you ask? Well, you’ll have to go on the tour to find out ;)! We usually visit during Spring-Fall months because Lakefront Brewery is located right by the Milwaukee River. So after the tour, we’ll have a couple of tokens left and sit outside in their outdoor seating area and sip beers, stare at the blue sky, and enjoy each other’s company. Of course if you’re feeling hungry, Lakefront Brewery does have food…lots and lots of delicious food, such as Mr. P’s favorite, fried cheese curd! Before leaving, trade in your plastic 6 oz cup for a Lakefront Brewery branded glass cup or $2 off their merchandise (tshirts, etc).
Reason #2: Food, food, food
So. Many. AMAZING. Restaurants! We love all the places we’ve been so I’m just going to list some recommendations below.
Wolf Peach – we’ve been here for both brunch and dinner and our meals were equally as amazing. Mr. P says he still dreams of their Chilaquiles to this day and is still trying to find a brunch spot in Chicago that can make it as good! Wolf Peach is right on the way to Lakefront Brewing (walking distance), so you could dine here before or after the Lakefront Brewery tour! I also love that Wolf Peach is located inside a cool house, and has a patio with a fantastic view of the city! Reservations on Resy.com recommended!
Rumpus Room – only a 2 min walk from the Intercontinental, where we typically stay. They have an outdoor seating area so you can enjoy the sunshine! Mr. P got a bourbon flight the last time we were there, but we usually get Spotted Cows (beers). Their Salmon burger is off the charts! Salmon burgers are a hit or miss, but this one, I highly recommend…definitely 2 thumbs way up. Reservations on Opentable recommended!
Odd Duck – Shareable plates with dishes for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores? Sign me up! I love restaurants that can accommodate the fact that I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t like cheese (but not vegan either!) and still offer delicious PLATES (plural) that I can enjoy. A table full of food for Mr. P (aka the omnivore) and I to enjoy and not a plate that we didn’t enjoy. The cocktails were also a big plus! Creative uses of ingredients that we didn’t expect and they were refreshing + delicious. Reservations by calling the restaurant directly recommended!
Ian’s Pizza – this is a LATE night must have snack for us. Ian’s Pizza not only has your typical thin crust cheese pizza but also a variety of interesting ones like the Macaroni and Cheese pizza, the potato tot on cheddar pizza, the buffalo chicken pizza etc. We’ll go get drinks at Water St. (5 min walk from the Intercontinental) and grab Ian’s on the way back to the hotel. Ian’s is conveniently located right next to all the bars on Water St.! Walk right in for pizza, no reservations needed, but prepare for a slight line…it moves fast!
The Knick – brunch in the Knickerbocker Hotel. For me, brunch is not supposed to be super fancy and is supposed to be a hearty meal with plenty of eggs and potatoes. The Knick is that spot for me in Milwaukee. Eggs and potatoes aside, they offer many many many other brunch options too! Also, they have a mean bloody mary! It’s HUGE! Reservations on Opentable recommended!
Reason #3: Milwaukee Public Market / the Third Ward
We just love the Milwaukee Public Market, which is located in the Third Ward, only a 10 min walk from the Intercontinental. We love strolling through the market and looking at what all the different vendors have to offer. We always, ALWAYS get hand-dipped chocolates at Kehr’s Candies, no matter how stuffed we are. Once in awhile if we’re in a seafood mood, we’ll get the lobster dinner (you can get it for lunch too but it’s called the “Lobster dinner”) at St. Paul Fish Company–such an amazing deal….huge, fresh lobster for only $15.95. I won’t lie though, I have no idea how to crack open the shell, so Mr. P has to do it or me 🙂
We love walking around the Third Ward and peeking inside all the stores in the area! There are also lots of restaurants right in area, and we’ll usually hop in to either Cafe Benelux or the Wicked Hop for a beer or Bloody Mary. Cafe Benelux and The Wicked Hop are also options for brunch and dinner!
Reason #4: Milwaukee Brewing Co.
If you are staying for more than a night, we suggest going on a brewery tour at the Milwaukee Brewing Co (MKE Brewing) the next day. Smaller craft brewer than Lakefront Brewery, but their beers are very tasty too! Their tours are a bit more “all you can drink.” They don’t limit you with tokens like Lakefront Brewery, but MKE Brewing does have a time limit. Definitely do NOT go without food in your belly because you will regret that decision. My favorite is the O-GII! Also, unlike Lakefront Brewery, MKE Brewing is located in the city center so not near the water, so sadly can’t sit outside on the patio to enjoy a beer.
Reason #5: Brady Street / Water Street
When’s the last time you’ve sat on the patio of a bar during the middle of the day on the weekend and it wasn’t packed to the brim? EXACTLY. Brady Street has a ton of bars and restaurants with nice patios that we love to hit up if we have time before or after the brewery tours (and if we’re not in need of a nap, HAH!).
We’ve only been to Water Street bars at night; it’s relatively quiet during the day, but definitely hoppin’ at night! Plus, as previously mentioned, Ian’s Pizza is right on Water Street, so grab a slice or two on your way back to the hotel post going out!
Where we stay: Intercontinental Milwaukee located at 139 E Kilbourn Ave. The Intercontinental is located right in the heart of the city, and is walking distance to the Milwaukee Public Market/the Third Ward, Water Street, etc. Also, it’s located right by the Milwaukee River, so we always enjoy taking the scenic route on the canal when we walk to the Third Ward area. We’ve also tried staying in Airbnbs in various areas throughout the city, but we both agree that none are as convenient as the Intercontinental.
Top: Shein – Bardot Print Lace up Pom-pom top // Maxi dress: Zappos – Culture Phit Riena Maxi dress // Jeans: Forever 21 – High Rise Skinny jeans (only $9.90!) and Topshop – Moto Black Joni Jeans // Sandals: Nordstrom – Hinge “Nolan Strappy Wedge Sandal” and Dillard – Sofft “Rio Leather Caged Sandal”
Thanks for reading! Hope I’ve persuaded you to visit Milwaukee! And P.S., if you’ve been to Milwaukee, let me know your favorite spots!