Beer, Brats & Bikes In Milwaukee


After a fabulous four days in Chicago, we collected our hire car from the downtown Avis office (travel tip – you don’t need to rent a car in Chicago) and embarked on our Wisconsin roadtrip.  Our first stop was Milwaukee, a city whose name had captured my imagination (second only to Albuquerque) and where I’d always wanted to visit.  Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city, is a ninety minute drive North of Chicago.  Our airbnb host had recommended we stop off enroute at Apple Holler, a family farm with an apple orchard and plenty to entertain the kids.  After an hour of running around mazes and chasing goats, we continued the thirty minutes to Milwaukee’s city centre.


We spent two nights/three days in Milwaukee and this gave us sufficient time to see all the main sights and still have some downtime. The city centre is very easy to navigate by foot, especially along the beautiful RiverWalk. 

Where did we stay?

After four nights in a relatively small suites hotel (Homewood Suites Chicago), we were craving space. And that we got with our amazing airbnb rental, a gorgeous two bedroom loft apartment located just a few minutes walk from downtown.  
img_8369 The loft was beautifully decorated by the owner Jori, who came by on our last day to introduce herself.  This is one of the things I love about airbnb, the chance to interact with hosts and get the best tips on where to eat and what to do.  I was surprised just how vibrant and revitalised Milwaukee was – I had images in my head of deserted industrial buildings and a quiet city.  In fact in the area where our airbnb rental was, every other building seemed to house a coffee shop and tech start up!

What did we do in Milwaukee?

  • Having just finished Sons Of Anarchy, my husband and I were very excited to visit the Harley Davidson Museum (yes Milwaukee is home to the Harley).  The Museum houses an amazing collection of motorcycles and the history and exhibitions are very interesting. There is a small kids play area where they can pretend to ride a bike, colour and read books.
  • It’s Miller Time!  Milwaukee is also home to the MillerCoors Brewery, which offers free tours (check the website for times).  The one hour tour gives you access into several bottling/packaging areas and even better, free samples.
  • The two-mile RiverWalk stretches along the Milwaukee River and is a pleasant, stroller friendly way to see the city.  My favourite part of the RiverWalk was visiting ‘The Bronze Fonze’, a statue paying homage to the famed character from Happy Days (set in Milwaukee).
  • Located on Milwaukee’s picturesque waterfront is DiscoveryWorld, one of the best hands-on science museums for kids I have ever visited.  In fact I think this was our favourite museum of the trip and the exhibits are great fun, especially if you’ve ever fancied laying down on a bed of nails.  
    img_8444When you’ve finished with the science, there’s also an interesting Aquarium showcasing amongst others, life in the Great Lakes.
  • When researching our Wisconsin roadtrip, I found out the Wisconsin State Fair was going to be held in Milwaukee in early August. There was no way I was missing out on the excitement of an American state fair and it proved even better than expected!  From carnival rides and fried foods to tents showcasing Wisconsin livestock and produce, the State Fair was loved by all the family. It was also a great chance to experience some famous foods from the Wisconsin cheese curds (yum) to a Krispy Kreme burger…

Where did we eat?

  • The Milwaukee Public Market is a fun and vibrant place to dine. We chose St. Paul’s Fish Company to sample the ‘fish fry’ and other amazing seafood.  The area surrounding the Milwaukee Public Market (the Historic Third District) is a pretty place for a wander.
  • Milwaukee’s rich German history also makes it home of the sausage.  We headed down to the Milwaukee Brat House, a relaxed family friendly pub with an extensive sausage menu.
  • We also had lunch at Blue’s Egg, a diner with rave reviews on Tripadvisor (try the hash browns)
  • There are so many good coffee joints in Milwaukee including the delicious Colectivo Coffee.
  • For those with a sweet tooth (aka my husband) I had heard the done thing to do in Wisconsin is eat frozen custard.  We headed to the famous Kopp’s, founded in 1950 and discovered just why Milwaukian’s love their custard.


1 comment

  1. MummyTravels

    We have friends who live in Milwaukee and would love to visit them some time- lovely introduction. And I don’t know how I had no idea Happy Days was set there.

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