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Weekend Trip in July!!

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Chicago, Illinois
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Weekend Trip in July!!

Hi there,

My boyfriend and I are planning on taking in three full days(Friday, Saturday, Sunday) in Milwaukee towards the end of July. We are in our mid twenties and are budget conscience. This will be our first visit and I was hoping someone would have some advice as far as mapping out how to spend the three days. We're staying at the Best Western Woodsview Inn and we will have our car available. I have compiled a list of things we would ideally like to see/do but I am open to suggestion! Here's my list so far:

-Check out Festa Italiana at Maier Festival Park

-County Zoo(Any place for free parking?)

-Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

-Milwaukee Public Market

-Great Lakes Distillery

-Cathedral Square Park(East Town Market on Saturday)

-We would love to spend some time at a state forest, Any preference? (Kettle Moraine State Forest, Haven Woods State Forest?)

-Very interested in food recommendations(One nicer dinner, maybe a couple inexpensive lunch spots, a unique bakery?)

Thank you so much in advance for your input! Looking forward to hearing back!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

Any particular reason you chose that hotel? It's not the worst, but it's usually only recommended on here for people going to Brewers games, since it's really the only hotel walkable to Miller Park. Just curious. It does have free parking, though, so I suppose that's a plus...

I would make the Public Market your choice for a lunch (or two), as it is affordable and would offer many different options.

You can park on the streets outside of the zoo for free, but you're taking your chances that there won't be spots available, or that you will walk a mile, particularly if the weather is nice. But it's worth a shot - I'd take it.

You have a good list. You might also be interested in a tour and/or fish fry at Lakefront Brewery. Or drive along Lincoln Memorial Drive up to the Northpoint Custard stand, and get a burger for lunch by the lake.

Bong Recreation Area is along your route from Chicago, so that could be another option for a park/nature to check out.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

Well we were able to get our hotel stay free at the best western so that's why we went with that one.

Thank you for all the great advice!

Milwaukee
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3. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

Since you said the end of July I just wanted to point out that Festa Italiana runs July 18th thru the 20th.

Havens Woods State Forest is a nice park for being in the city, but it is nothing compared to the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Of course the woods can get buggy in July, so I don't know what you had in mind to do. There are beaches at Pike Lake and Ottawa Lake.

One spot in the Kettle Moraine that might be closest to Milwaukee is Lapham Peak. There is a tower you can climb for a scenic view. That area is south of Delafield off I-94 about 25 miles west of Milwaukee. It is surrounded by suburban growth, so if you want a more isolated forest feel you would have to go north or south. The northern Kettle Moraine in Washington and Sheboygan counties is my favorite, but you would have to devote at least half a day to get there have a look around and drive back. There is a $10 charge at state parks for a daily sticker for out of state vehicles.

You may be able to find free parking on the street for the East Town Market north or east of Cathedral Square. If you go to the Public Market on Sunday there is no charge to park at meters on the street.

There is a cheap, casual Mexican restaurant called Conejitos across the street from the Great Lakes Distillery.

Wisconsin
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4. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

For a sweet treat on your trip-try Leon's Frozen Custard. They have awesome custard and since it is summer...

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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5. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

Here are a couple of random thoughts:

1. The art museum - I'm sure you're aware but I wanted to mention because they also have excellent food (lunch) and is walk able to/from the festival grounds..i.e. park only once.

2. Harley museum - this is pretty interesting as their causal restaurant also has great sliders.

3. The Estabrook beer garden - this is just a short drive north of downtown (you can take the lake) and has a really beautiful setting right on the Milwaukee River. (you can google it) They also sell hot dogs/pretzels. Probably liveliest on weekend afternoons/evenings when they usually have some type of live music (think accordions).

If you take National Ave all the way down to 1st street you'll find yourself among several of the best restaurants in town: Crazy Water, La Merinda, AP Bar & kitchen, Blue Jacket, Braise....check the menu's and see what looks good to you. Make reservations if you can.

The market is great for lunch or early dinner and if you like like seafood St. Paul's Fish (SE corner) is a must!

The patio bar at the Iron Horse Hotel (across from the Distillery) can be a nice place to get a drink on a busy summer night and you can check the hotel out.

Lapham Peak would be a good state forest option but I concur that it will eat up at least half a day so maybe do on way home? Have fun!

WI
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6. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

yes park for free on the street alongside the zoo, off Hwy. 100 and Bluemound. You do have several blocks of walking till you get to the zoo from the parking. We've always parked there and always found a spot. Keep in mind we come just before zoo opening so that has always seemed to ensure us a spot and is a good time to go. You can pack your own food and bring it or walk back to your car and grab lunch.

Lapham Peak mentioned above I was thinking of as well. The bonus to that is Delafield is now "Langtown" in terms of it being the home of Lang cards and the buildings all have the brick facades now. The Delafield Brewhaus would be a good spot to lunch. In nearby Mukwonago there's Old World Wisconsin which is the best living history museum around with a ton of acreage and it's just a neat experience if you can swing it (check website for cost and see if it fits your budget this time around). oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org/

Not a forest but you may enjoy these:

On your way up near to Milwaukee you may enjoy Boerner Botanical Gardens:

…milwaukee.gov/BoernerBotanicalGard10113.htm

and Whitnall Park:

…milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/…Whitnall1.pdf

…milwaukee.gov/WehrNatureCenter10115.htm

these locations are all within the same general area a taste of country in the city.

Milwaukee one:

http://www.sanc.org/

You can't go wrong with the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Sprecher's and Lakefront Breweries for fun/interesting tours. A Fish fry on Friday is a popular one to take in.

I haven't been to Havenwoods yet so I can't comment on that one.

for a unique experience try: tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60097-d39…

http://www.organpiperpizza.com/ and for dessert up the road on 76th and Layton is Kopp's for great custard and a unique location/architecture you're sure to enjoy as you sit outdoors and take it in. It's fantastic.

or if not Organ Piper Pizza try El Best on 76th (near Kopp's) for Mexican. The atmosphere is very inviting and the food is great. I did hear their prices went up slightly recently. http://elbesomke.com/

(these locations above are in the neighborhood/near to Whitnall/Boerner/Wehr).

Too bad you weren't here the following week the fair is great too (July 31st start): http://www.wistatefair.com/ You'll enjoy Festa Italiana though.

The Domes are a great choice both economical and very interesting and doesn't take long to peruse either.

Edited: 11 June 2014, 18:06
WI
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for Wisconsin, Colorado Springs
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7. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

sorry for the typo that was El Beso not El Best though it's it's the best :-)

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

Thank you all for the detailed replies! We really appreciate it! All of your feedback has been so helpful.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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9. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

The go to bakery right now is Rocket Baby in Wauwatosa, though people also love Sciortinos on Brady Street.

You didn't state what type of cuisine, but MKE can hold their own in the restaurant scene, including Sanford, home of recent James Beard award winning chef Justin Aprahamiam, Hinterland (for a true foodie experience), Braise, and I'm hearing great things about Ardent. My insider secret is go to Harbor House for Happy Hour in the bar; same great views, less expensive food. Lake Park Bistro is also lovely. Be sure to make reservations at any of these places. My latest fave is Buckleys. Since you are near Tosa, also check out Jackson Grille, Maxie's or La Reve.

You also didn't state what your interest is at State Parks.... Hiking, biking, swimming? How about a walk around Lake Shore State Park right downtown, or a visit to Bradford Beach? Or rent bikes and take the Oak Leaf Trail south from South Shore Marina all the way to Seven Bridges. Lovely undeveloped beaches and stretches of woods through here. Or head 50 minutes north to Kohler Andrae State Park and check out the sand dunes.

Enjoy! And report back if you can!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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10. Re: Weekend Trip in July!!

How timely, just learned this bike shop rents bikes and they are right down the street from the trail!

southshorecyclery.com/products/rental-bikes-…