Day Trip: Milwaukee, WI

There are many cities in the U.S. that don’t get the credit that they deserve.  Between New York and Los Angeles lie a bounty of small cities that offer cultural experiences unique to their regions.  One among them is Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  As the state’s most populous city, Milwaukee and her triple-threat attractions (beer, cheese, and sausage) do not disappoint.

This year, Anne and I spent the Christmas season with her family outside of Chicago.  As the festivities died down and the whirlwind of crafting, wrapping presents, and eating slowed, we all decided to take a day trip to Milwaukee.  A recent article in the Travel section of The New York Times piqued Janet’s interest.

Milwaukee lies an hour and a half north of Chicago, along Lake Michigan.  Upon our arrival, some of us explored the Historic Third Ward neighborhood while others went to the Harley-Davidson Museum.  Some favorite spots in this neighborhood included: Colectivo Coffee Roasters, Hot Pop Gallery, and Milwaukee Public Market (the equivalent of Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia).

Our journey continued onward when we met up for a tour of Lakefront Brewery along the Milwaukee River.  It proved to be a fun and informative tour for all.  We tasted a white ale, an amber lager, a pumpkin lager, and a kolsch-style ale.  Lakefront Brewery was the second brewery in the nation to brew beer with pumpkin, and the first brewery since prohibition to brew a fruit beer.  Pretty neat!

Believe it or not, we ended the evening at Milwaukee Brat House.  Before even ordering brats, we enjoyed a giant soft pretzel that came in a pizza box.  Go big or go home, right?  It was amazing.  We should have stopped there, but alas…  Our day trip was capped off with Kopp’s Frozen Custard.  Despite feeling as though we might keel over, our trip to Milwaukee was a success!  The weather was beautiful, and the city broadened our (Lake Michigan) horizons.

Note: Click images to view in slideshow.  Images taken by Victoria Vitale and Janet Kenealy.

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