Milwaukee!!! Whoo hoo!

Being sarcastic, but only mildly.

Going to Milwaukee in May for a 4-day conference. Wondering what to do while I am there. Museums, good restaurants, etc.

I looked for a Milwaukee guidebook, and found a Milwaukee/Madison city guide, Wisconsin guides, and “Midwest” guides that include Wisconsin.

Usually I take it as a bad sign if the major travel guide publishers don’t find it necessary to publish a guide specifically about the place I need to go, but I KNOW there are fun and interesting things to do everywhere. Looks like I need a Milwaukee native or two to steer me in the right direction.

What’s to do in Milwaukee? Are there any Happy Days/Laverne and Shirley sites (not joking!)?

I like museums, good food of all varieties and price ranges, architecture, BEER.

I will have one colleague there with me who I don’t know very well, and we will not have a car. We’re staying at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center on W. Wisconsin Avenue. http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/MKEMHHF-Hilton-Milwaukee-City-Center-Wisconsin/index.do

Karl Ratzsch’s is an excellent German restaurant, not too far away from your hotel.

The Safe House is a campy bar and restaurant with a 1960s spy theme (and likely hasn’t been significantly remodeled since that time). Not for everybody, but I think it’s pretty fun. Also fairly close to your hotel.

You’re within walking distance from the river. There are cruises you can do that stop at 3-4 breweries.

The Harley Davidson Museum is less than a mile from your hotel.

I would avoid that only because unless you go with someone who knows where it is you’ll waste a ton of time trying to find it. The only (public) entrance is down an alley and then a though a door with a different name on it…and the food’s not so great either. Don’t get me wrong. If you’re hanging out with people that have been there before, know where to park, know where the door to get in is, know the password etc. it’s a fun experience. But you might not feel that way after you drive around in circles for 30 minutes and give up.

The HD museum OTOH, I’ve heard great things about. I’m hoping to get there some time this summer. The Milwaukee Public Museum is great way to kill 2 hours as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum. You can check their websites (might need to wait until you get closer to the date) to see what exhibitions will be going on while you’re in town.

All within a ~20 minute walk or 10 minute cab ride:

-The Lakefront Brewery tour is good if you’ve got a free Friday or Saturday afternoon. If you go Friday, they’ve got a good fish fry in the evening, too.

-Eisner Museum of Advertising. I’ve never gone as it’s one of those things you know about, but never really take initiative to see.

-Milwaukee Art Museum. It’s open til about 5pm most days, but into the evening on Thursdays.

-Grohmann Museum @ Milwaukee School of Engineering- I saw its Man at Work exhibit last fall, and it was pretty interesting. The college is near some good restaurants and nightlife, too, if you want to go out afterward.

-Lakefront State Park, near the Art Museum. There’s not a whole lot there, just a walking/riding path, but it gives great views of the city.

-Bars. There are lots and lots of bars in Milwaukee.

-Milwaukee Brewers. I think Miller Park is overrated, but the tailgating outside it is great. You might want to see if anyone at the conference is organizing something for a group outing.

-Bradford Beach if it happens to be warm. Just for the people watching, really.

-Grand Avenue Mall. See a real live ghosttown!

Heh, that’s for sure. I remember when it grand opened back in 82’. The place was gorgeous, occupancy at 100%, awesome shops, and people from the burbs came in droves. I loved going there.
Now it’s just a sad shell of something from the past.

Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility, our downtown prison. Send me your full name, date of birth, and dates and times you’d be available for a tour, and I’ll see what I can set up. Warning. I can probably get you in, but getting you out might be more problematic. :wink:

Kopp’s custard, several locations throughout the area.

Stop at an Alterra coffee shop for about the only decent espresso I’ve ever found in the city. A thousand times better than Starbuck’s, Caribou, or Seattle’s Best.

Contact the Marquette University Library to see what part of the Tolkien manuscript collection might be available for your perusal. Looking at JRRT’s spidery handwriting covering page after page, alongside of his own drawings, is really trippy.

Three Brothers serbian restaurant on the near south side, for genuine bureks and other slavic cuisine.

Check out George Webb’s restaurant (many locations) to taste their ‘chicken flavored’ noodle soup and tell the time on their twin clocks.

The Domes. AKA The Domes

Albanese’s on Keefe. Great mom and pop italian-american cuisine.

Balistreri’s in the heart of Tosa. Get the fried eggplant strips and their pizza. http://www.balistreris.com/

I thought The Eisner Museum closed, or was going to close, or moved all their exhibits to the internet. Did they not do that? Or not do it yet?

As for the Grohmann museum, that’s another one that I’ve been wanting to go to. In fact, not that long ago I was talking to Shot From Guns about it in another thread. It’s only like $5 to get in I think. I drive past it almost every day. I always have to glance at the bronze statues up on top, they’re pretty cool. I watched them put put them up there, one at at time. My question is, do the MSOE students take classes over there? I always see them streaming in and out of the doors when I drive past it.

It’s been a while since I was there, but there’s a chocolate shop that was amazing. Looking at a map, it might have been Northern Chocolate Company.
The only other surviving memory of that trip was a visit to Pegasus Games in Madison. Fun place.

That sounds kinda cool.

One of my favorite places. I was the (foursquare) Mayor of the 76th location for a while last summer.

Just the other day, I was talking to one of my customers about the bureks we sell and she shamed me for never having been to Three Brothers.

I gotta stop hijacking this thread…but I always like talking about Milwaukee (and surrounding area).

Is that place run by the County Sheriffs? I think my BIL works (worked?) there.

I second the art museum. It really is a work of architectural art.

The first director of that museum was my neighbor. We actually ended up with some of his artwork. It’s good that he went into management…

Nope, State Dept. of Corrections. You’re thinking of the County Jail, right around the corner from it.

Ambrosia Chocolate Factory. Made famous by Milwaukee’s very own Jeffery Dahmer.

Renaissance books is the quirkiest bookstore I’ve ever been in.

Spookiest, too.

Worth the trip.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_Books

My parents bought their current house (back in 1995) from the curator of MPM, Barry Rosen.

Where is that, never heard of it.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2010/02/15/story10.html

I’ll be damned. I never heard about the closing. The Eisner website isn’t updated, but I didn’t find anything about it officially being closed, either. I’m guessing I missed the boat on that. C’est la vie.

You’re correct about the Grohmann. It was $5, and there’s many works in there. I thought when we finished touring the 1st floor, I’d just go check out the 2nd and 3rd floors to see what was up there, but it turned out to be 3 floors of art. It gets a bit repetitive after a while, but that can be said about many museums. We went to the top of the building, and you get great views of downtown and those bronze statues. It’s definitely worth the trip since you live here.

Ambrosia used to be downtown, back when Dahmer worked there – my sister was a temp worker there, and noticed the “creepy guy” who’d sit by himself in the lunch room. He was arrested a few weeks later. That plant closed a number of years ago, and was replaced by a plant somewhere out in the suburbs. AFAIK, it’s closed to the public (I got to tour it once, as ADM, which now owns Ambrosia, was my client).

While I asked for restaurants in Milwaukee back in 2002, there was a great list.