For my birthday this year, Jim and I decided to take a weekend trip to Milwaukee. We’ve lived in Wisconsin for almost 19 years and have made dozens of trips there for soccer games, visiting Bryan and Laura, flying out of General Mitchell Airport and just driving through on our way to Chicago. We’ve never gone down just as tourists–until this past weekend. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we had a fun weekend. We drove down the east side of Lake Winnebago and stopped in Cedarburg and had a nice lunch at Anvil Grille and Pub.
After lunch we drove on down to Milwaukee, checked into our hotel and went outside to enjoy the beautiful afternoon and evening. We walked along the Riverwalk to the Old Third Ward and stopped for happy hour at the Ale House. They have a nice happy hour and seating outside on the river. I had my first mojito of the season. It didn’t last long!
We walked back to the hotel and relaxed for a little while. Our room at the Hyatt looked out over the city and the river.
Dinner was at Cempazuchi, a Mexican restaurant on Brady Street that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, but I wouldn’t consider it any of those. The food was really good. Jim had a Cubano sandwich and I had tostadas. Very fresh and tasty!
Saturday morning we got up and walked down to the Public Market for coffee and a scone. After that we spent a few hours at the Art Museum. We easily could have spent the day there but it was so nice outside we cut our visit a little short. This is a beautiful building. The “sail” on top is hinged and opens out like wings.
This piece in the museum reminded me of a quilt. It’s just line drawings in squares.
After the museum we walked along Lake Michigan and had a late lunch at the Swingin’ Door. The food there was soooo good. The grilled chicken sandwich was probably the best one I’ve ever had. It came with grilled beets that were delicious. I’m going to have to buy some beets and try to grill them like that.
After lunch we drove up to the Basilica of St. Josephat. I didn’t know there was anything like this church in Milwaukee. It was just beautiful and reminded me of the cathedrals in Europe. It was almost time for mass so we didn’t spend much time there but will definitely return for a tour another time.
We returned to the lakeshore and walked along the ravine trail near Bradford Beach.
Dinner was with Bryan and Laura at Maxie’s Southern Comfort. This might be our new favorite place for dinner. Jim and Bryan both had the brisket, Laura had shrimp and grits and I had pecan-crusted trout and all were delicious. In Appleton we have lots of chain restaurants but not too many independent ones with unique menus. When we travel we really try to check out some different places than we can get at home. We can’t wait to go back to Maxie’s.
On Sunday we went back to Brady Street for pastries, bread and cheese at Sciortino’s Bakery and Glorioso’s Italian Market and then headed for the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Back in the day this is where the Schlitz brewery kept the horses that pulled their beer wagons. Now it is a beautiful nature preserve with several miles of hiking trails. We walked the trails inland and then walked down to Lake Michigan. It looked like you could walk for miles along the lake. It was such a pretty day and we really enjoyed hiking.
We stopped in at the Nature Center before we left and they had a presentation on snowy owls. This is a young male owl that lives at the center.
It was a really fun weekend and we managed to take in quite a few tourist-y attractions. I’m sure we’ll go back and do it again. Bryan and Laura will be there at least two more years so there will be opportunities to see even more of the city.