Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tourist in Your Own City - Milwaukee

It's about summer vacation time for many, and I bet  people have thoughts cast toward far flung, warm places. All of this makes me think about what my own fair city has to offer to visitors. Though Milwaukee is neither far flung or warm (by most people's standards.)

So, if you're in the market for a fun, midwestern destination for your travel experiences here are some things that are great about Milwaukee.

The Brewers/Miller Park

The Brewers are not always good (sigh), but Miller Park is pretty sweet. There's a retractable roof so games don't ever get rained (or snowed!) out. The food options range from the usual stadium food (pretzels, hot dogs, margaritas, popcorn),  to amazing local barbecue (Smoke Shack!) and donuts (Holey Moley!)! I joke that I want to get a group together to do a food tour of Miller Park. We buy the cheapest tickets, and then just wander the stadium and try all of the great sounding food options. If the Brewers keep up this record that's going to be all that's worth going to the stadium for....and Hank and the Running Sausages of course! #dontwhackourweiner

Hank in his new mobile Dog House 2014-04-26 08-27.jpg
Via Wikipedia

Ethnic Festivals

Are you Irish? German? Greek? Polish? Italian? Mexican? Native American? There's a festival for that. Milwaukee is a city of many nations and that is shown in our festival season. If you want authentic Irish dancing, Polish pierogies, or the rockingest German polka band this side of Aachen; Milwaukee can provide that. Irish Fest is a personal favorite, because I can find good Irish books at a book booth and pet the huge Irish wolfhounds at the Celtic Canines section. If you want to save money some money for whiskey and tamales check the promotions schedule. Lots of times you can get in for free or heavily discounted!

The Third Ward

Looking for a walkable place full of places to wine and dine and shop? The Third Ward is my favorite destination for those activities. Head to Cafe Benelux for pomme frites and peruse an impressive beer list from your table on the rooftop patio. Pop over to Bangles and Bags  for jewelry and accessories all organized by color in the store! They always have cute stuff for really reasonable prices, I wish they were around when I was going to prom. Need fresh flowers, delicious smelling bread, seafood that's still wiggling or want to get in on a great cooking class? Thank goodness for the Milwaukee Public Market that has all of that and more!

Milwaukee Art Museum

I love art, and I feel fortunate that such a beautiful and well stocked art museum is so close to me! Part of the museum was designed by internationally renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. I heard (though now I can't find my source, so I could be wrong) that it was the first Calatrava in the United States. Though he has since designed a lot of the structures at the new World Trade Center site. The "wings" even open and close accompanied by music! There's Georgia O' Keefes, a huge picture of a happy dog, a favorite George Eames, and the standard "weird" modern art that I don't always understand. There's always interesting exhibits too, right now it's all fashion that's been featured in Ebony magazine over the years!

There's also brewery tours (if you do 3 in one day, you've completed the trifecta. It's not generally a good idea), distillery tour (want absinthe?), opera, ballet, ice skating where Olympians train, kayak on the river, boat cruises around the harbor, food tours, the pedal tavern, Summerfest, the State Fair, gallery night and about a billion other things. When the winter sucks your soul and social life away we go hard in summer :)

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