My recent trip to Wisconsin, where I was lucky enough to spend four whole weeks with my lovely American boyfriend, got off to a fantastic start in the state’s largest city.
On my previous visit to my boyfriend’s hometown of Green Bay, I had to fly to Chicago, take a coach to Milwaukee and then be picked up by my boyfriend and driven two hours back to Green Bay. I couldn’t just fly to Green Bay (even though they have their own airport) as the flight connections were ridiculously expensive. (I’m talking hundreds of pounds extra! No thank you!) This time around, I had the exact same issues with the flights. Skyscanner just didn’t want me to be able get to Green Bay cheaply. (How dare they!) However, I was able to fly to Milwaukee from Manchester via Atlanta for a reasonable price.
When initially discussing these flights, my boyfriend and I looked at each other (over Skype, of course, we are in a long distance relationship with an entire ocean between us) and we were both like, hey, why don’t we spend the weekend in Milwaukee first before heading back to Green Bay?!
And it was decided, there and then.
I didn’t see much of Milwaukee the last time around. It was dark when I arrived at the Intermodal coach station (it was nighttime, after all) and I was dead as a dodo. (That would be the jetlag!) Needless to say, this meant I was really looking forward to seeing what Milwaukee had to offer (in the daylight).
It turns out: a lot.
Here are my top three must do’s when visiting Milwaukee:
1) Take a walk along the riverfront downtown and swing by the Public Market.
Milwaukee is seriously pretty. Mainly because it’s on the edge of Lake Michigan. This serious prettiness was emphasised further during our weekend there by the fact that it had just snowed the day before. All the buildings, roads and parks were sprinkled with white – like a winter wonderland.
However pretty, the snow meant that we couldn’t walk too far or for too long without shivering ourselves silly as the temperature continued to drop significantly below freezing. (Brr!) However, as we were already staying downtown, we managed to make the trip along the river front to the Public Market. (And it was worth the journey, trust me!)
Milwaukee’s Public Market is a rather quirky, indoor set of stalls and vans offering food and drink from independent local merchants. The market’s official website describes it as ‘bursting with unique, high quality selections of artisan and ethnic products’ which I can definitely vouch for – everything looked and smelled amazing!
Unfortunately, as I was suffering from an extreme bout of jetlag at the time (which seemed to strike as soon as I’d stepped foot into the market), it meant that I couldn’t sample any of the delicious food and drinks on offer. (I was definitely upset by this at the time! And I still am to be honest.) But it’s not going to stop me from recommending visitors of the area – they should get themselves to the Public Market pronto and enjoy stuffing their faces! (I’m not jealous at all.)
2) Visit the Art Museum.
Milwaukee’s Art Museum is every art lover’s dream. It is one of the largest galleries in the USA with over 25,000 works of art.
As someone who loves and appreciates art, I was a little bit in heaven. Furthermore, it’s not just the art itself that is very impressive. You cannot help but look on in awe at the architecture of the building. It’s such an uniquely shaped building with a beautifully modern, light and airy interior.
I loved it. Plus, it has its own cafe offering food and bar offering drinks which means the total Milwaukee Art Museum experience makes for an exceptionally pleasant weekend afternoon.
3) Have brunch at Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro.
OMG, I still can’t get believe how incredible the brunch was that I had at this adorable French bistro. (It’s almost a month and a half later and I’m not over it!) Seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Bartolotta’s offer what’s called a ‘classic brunch’ which is four courses of yumminess. It starts with fresh croissants, then you can choose an appetiser, entree and dessert and wash it all down with a casual Mimosa, or two, at 10am on a Sunday. (Mimosas are the American version of Bucks Fizz for all you English folk reading!)
Both the presentation and taste of the food were stunning, along with the restaurant views. You see, this place is not only known for the food, but the fact that it’s perched right on the end of Lake Michigan.
On the particular day that we went, there was ice covering some of the lake which meant that the water was glistening and gleaming in the morning sun. It was also gorgeous two-tone blue in colour.
The whole experience took my breath away! An absolute must do.
And there you have my top three must do’s when visiting Milwaukee.
I really enjoyed our weekend there and I look forward to visiting the city again soon! I’m growing fonder and fonder of it by the minute.
(I hope this post was useful for anybody about to visit Milwaukee or planning to in the future! Please check out my previous post based on Wisconsin here. Also, look out for my upcoming post on Door County coming soon! Thanks for reading. K-xo)