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Milwaukee for the Night

Remember in the last post how I described my time back and forth from the city, to the suburbs, to Milwaukee, then back to the city? You know- the confusing part? Well this post will be about the twenty-four hour trip my friend, Audra and I took to Milwaukee during the middle of our stay in the suburbs outside of Chicago. We were staying with her family and they only lived about an hour and a half from Milwaukee so we knew we had to make a mini trip out of it!

We got up Monday morning, packed our overnight bags, grabbed some coffee, and hit the road. As soon as we arrived in Milwaukee we decided to grab some lunch on the water at Milwaukee Sail Loft. I had the buffalo wings and sweet potato fries and they hit the spot! After lunch we decided to go to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

As soon as we got to the museum I was blown away. The first photo in this post is of the exterior and the two above this text are of the main interior once you walk inside. The building was designed by architect, Santiago Calatrava and it my have been my favorite work of art on the property- and that’s saying something since this museum is one of the largest in the country and is home to over 20,000 works of art.

Once we were done taking photos of the building itself (which I thought looked like a futuristic spaceship) we headed in to the temporary exhibit which featured artist Rashid Johnson’s work. His collection was eclectic to say the least, but my favorite would have to be the one you see above. It was a floor to ceiling installation of plants, lights, Shea butter, and random electronics. The coolest part about this installation was that during different periods throughout the day, a pianist would climb up and into this structure and play on the piano that is hidden behind all the plants. You can’t see this from the photo and I barely even noticed it in person! Unfortunately, the pianist wasn’t playing while we were there but I’m sure it’s quite the surprise if you walked in and noticed a man up above you in between all the plants playing music!

Above you can see some more of Rashid’s work. All of his canvas pieces were made from the same materials but each looked vastly different which I thought was quite impressive. This exhibit will be in place until September 17th so I would definitely take the time to stop in and check it out if you’re in the area.

We spent a couple of hours exploring the permanent museum collects and we still didn’t squeeze it all in! There was everything from modern art, to renaissance pieces, to sculptures, as well as interactive rooms. There was truly something for everyone.

After the museum we decided to use the hotel tonight app to find a place to stay. We ended up finding a great deal at one of the oldest hotels in town. We snagged a room at The Pfister for about a third of the original price!

You stepped into the hotel and it was as if you’d went back in time. It was elegant and beautiful and had stunning ceiling portraits and lighting fixtures. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel it’s certainly worth visiting and checking out it’s old time charm. It also has a bar and restaurant on the top floor that gives you a great view of the city!

After checking in we decided to head to Lakefront Brewery. The brewery itself was massive and located right on the water, so you could grab a beer and sit outside and enjoy the weather. While we were there it was a bit gloomy and cold, but that didn’t stop us! Since we visited on a week night, brewery tours were half off! For $4.50 each you get a tour of the facility, four beer samples (equivalent to two full beers) and a pint glass to take home! Our tour guide was hilarious and knew a ton about the company. The owners of Lakefront are actually the men responsible for getting gluten free beer classified as beer (as opposed to a complete separate beverage) and created the first gluten free beer on the market!

We didn’t eat there but they did have a menu consisting of your typical pub fare if you did want to stick around after the tour for a meal. After spending a couple hours at the brewery we decided to grab dinner at Balzac which was a short walk from the brewery. Balzac is a wine bar that serves small, sharable plates and we had a delicious meal! It was very dimly lit so I didn’t get any photos, but we had the roasted broccolini, steak frites, and scampi style shrimp.

The next morning before we drove back to Illinois, we stopped into Cafe Benelux to grab a quick breakfast. I had the oatmeal and a side of bacon and it was so, so good! The oatmeal was cooked to perfection and tasted like Christmas with the cinnamon and cashew topping! It was a super cozy spot and had beautiful dinnerware that I wanted to steal (which you can see above). They also had a rooftop area you could sit in, but it was a bit too cold for that. It would be a great place to grab lunch on a warmer day though!

After breakfast we walked across the street to the Milwaukee Public Market. It was home to many small gourmet shops which had spices, jams, wine, etc and also had a few places to grab a bite to eat. After we were done exploring we hopped in the car and headed home!

Since our trip fell during the beginning of the week the town was pretty quiet, but it was very beautiful and quite clean for a city as well! I only spent one night there so I’d be open to going back for a second visit. If any of you have any recommendations on things to do that I haven’t mentioned, I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

-V

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