First of all, thanks to all you forum readers who answered my questions before we went to Milwaukee!
DH had a conference at the Frontier Center. Lodging was at the Hyatt Regency downtown which is connected by skybridge to the Frontier Center. The hotel is conveniently located to lots of restaurants and things-to-do.
We arrived on Sunday around 4 p.m. Check in was quick, and then we were off in search of the Walgreens - which we soon found out closed at 5 p.m. and just missed it for picking up drinks and snacks. It's at the Shops of Grand Avenue, two blocks from the Hyatt. So we wandered around the riverfront area to see what was what. We met a Downtown Ambassador who gave us some restaurant recommendations. We ate dinner at Mo's Irish Pub which was good, and we took each other's picture with the Bronz Fonz.
Monday we had breakfast at George Webb just across from the Hyatt on 3rd. Cheap, good diner food. We met at the Plankington Statue by the TJ Maxx for a guided historical walk ( Downtown through the Eras - historicmilwaukee.org/ToursAndEvents/Regular… ) by the Historic Milwaukee organization. It was just the two of us and our guide, Marcy, a retired librarian. It was a 2-hour walk that ended at the Milwaukee Art Museum by Lake Michigan. Definitely worth the time and $10 per person. We skipped lunch in favor of an early dinner at Molly Cool's on the river.
Tuesday morning, we went to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart and checked out Usinger's for sausage, and then walked some more around downtown, including going into City Hall which is a beautiful building. We had lunch at Culver's in the Shops which was good for a hamburger place we don't have at home. We walked up to the Milwaukee Central Public Library on Wisconsin (at 9th) and they have a used book sale shop which was worth the time to go in. Tuesday night we had dinner at the Calderone Club across from the hotel - it was not a good experience - over-priced for the food and while it had not been busy on Sunday or Monday, apparently everyone in downtown Milwaukee wanted to eat there at the same time we did. We found the service to be slow and just did not enjoy a meal we had been looking forward to.
Wednesday we walked to the Milwaukee Public Market which was interesting to see and they had a variety of food selections. While we thought we'd have lunch there, we were early and decided to go back to have lunch at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart (delicious classic grilled cheese sandwich) before joining the Milwaukee Boat Line for their Lake and Harbor tour ( http://www.mkeboat.com/cruises/index.html ) that was narrated by someone from the Milwaukee Historic organization. This was a 1 1/2 hour tour down the Milwaukee River and out into Lake Michigan. Definitely worth doing. They have another one that is the River area but we wanted to go out into Lake Michigan so opted for this one. Between the two tours we did, we got a pretty good overview of the downtown area both visually and informatively. We stopped for a frozen custard from Culver's on our way back as we were told that was the only place in downtown Milwaukee to get frozen custard (but I hope you locals will point out where else we might've found some in the DT area so others who might read this will know). While DH was in class in the afternoon, I went to see the "mall" which ended up to be a disappointment as there wasn't much there.
We had planned to have dinner at Mader's on Wednesday night but the dinner menu was pricier than our budget allowed, so we thought we'd go for lunch another day, so instead we ended up eating dinner at the Water Street Brewery. What a treat that was! It was our favorite of all the places that we ate. After dinner, we went to the top of the Hyatt as their old restaurant area was accessible for a change and got some scenic views of downtown from high up.
Thursday morning we had breakfast at George Webb again, and then I went to Grohmann's Museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering ( http://www.msoe.edu/about_msoe/manatwork/ ) which was well worth the $5 and 1+ hour I spent there. On the way back, I took a detour to Usingers and bought our sausage we wanted to bring home with us. We skipped lunch in favor of an early dinner at Rudy's Mexican which is right next to the Water Street Brewery. We picked Rudy's because when we walked by, it looked and smelled delicious. It was a treat, too - good food, good service, good prices!
On Friday, DH's conference ended mid-day, so we got our cheese to bring home and then had lunch at Culver's again before going to the Milwaukee Public Museum. Oh my word - this was a definite highlight of the trip for us. We had a Visit Milwaukee card that came in DH's conference material that let us get 1/2 off the admission to the museum (and other places, too, but we didn't go to any of them) - ( http://www.visitmilwaukee.org/ ) so for $12.50 for the two of us, we spent a full 3+ hours exploring the museum. A definite "must do" recommendation from us! We popped back over to the library since it was right there as I wanted to see the Children's Wing which was beautiful.
Dinner on Friday night was back at the Water Street Brewery which was as good on Friday as it was on Wednesday. Pack up and get ready to fly out on Saturday morning.
The conference recommended using the Go Airport Connection ( http://www.mkelimo.com/ ) for shuttle service from and to the airport. We had a positive experience in each direction.
I'll be posting reviews of the hotel, restaurants and other things we did in the appropriate places here at tripadvisor.
Thanks for reading - and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!