If your new assignment has brought you deep into the Midwest to Milwaukee, you may be wondering how you’re going to spend your time off (and survive the cold). While the answer to the latter is simple – lots of layers, warm blankets, working heating, and staying inside when the temps go negative – finding the best things to do on your nice-weather days off may still be a puzzle. Here are tips from a Milwaukee native on how to spend your day off in and around Milwaukee.
Enjoy brunch at Cafe Benelux
The name of this restaurant, derived from the combination of Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxemburg, is just the beginning of its coolness. In warm weather, there’s probably no better place to be than the Cafe Benelux rooftop dining area, bedecked in stunning decor and complete with 360 views of the historic Third Ward. Everything on the menu is a hit, but their burgers, French toast, chicken & waffles, and frites are all beloved and exceptional.
Stroll through the Third Ward
Speaking of Third Ward views, this neighborhood of Milwaukee is inarguably the best in the city, and perfect for a walk and window shopping on a warm day. Take a leisurely walk through the historic streets, take in the river views, stop in high-end shops and make some purchases if the mood strikes. And at some point, stroll some of the well-known RiverWalk and enjoy the various sights the city has to offer.
Grab a picnic lunch from the Public Market
One of the most delicious places in the city, the Milwaukee Public Market (once again located in the fantastic Third Ward) is a must-stop destination whenever you get hungry. The long building is packed with a huge variety of food vendors and mini-restaurants, including an Italian deli (everything they make is delish), Mexican bar and grill, olive oil peddler, produce stand, cheese shop, bakeries, a fish monger, and plenty more. Walk around every vendor first, then swing back to your favorites and pick up a variety of packable foods and drinks to take with you.
Bring your picnic lunch for a walk by the lake
On a sunny or warm day, the Milwaukee lakefront is absolutely the place to be. Much of the lakefront is adorned with a paved walking trail, so you can easily stroll for quite a while, watching sailboats and birds on the lake while you select the perfect spot to sit and relax with your picnic lunch. If you’re feeling more active, rent a bike or paddle boat (for the inland pond), have a run, or join a game of beach volleyball at one of the beaches. A cone from Northpoint Custard is also probably in order – it’s a Wisconsin staple, after all.
Enjoy art and beautiful architecture
While you’re already on the lakefront, stopping at an art museum is always a good bet. The Milwaukee Art Museum is a world-renowned building in itself, and even just stopping inside to see the views from the picturesque Calatrava is worth the time. But if you’re an art lover, be sure to explore the rest of the sprawling museum. If you prefer stunning European architecture and landscaping, Villa Terrace is a better art museum selection. Located just a ways up the lakefront (in a fantastic neighborhood to explore on foot), this breathtaking building is most known for its sweeping, massive back lawn, perfectly landscaped with countless flowers, plants, and a falling water feature.
Grab a burger and drink at SafeHouse
Undoubtedly Milwaukee’s coolest and quirkiest bar, this hole in the wall spot is actually a bit hard to find. The reason is simple–it was a genuine speakeasy during Prohibition, and still maintains the various quirks and secrets that came with that purpose. The entrance can be found in an alley off Front St., right along the river. In the entryway, a staff member will ask for the password–but don’t worry if you don’t know it; they’ll just make an embarrassing request for you to enter (think hula hooping or doing a little skit). Once inside, the place is a maze of fun surprises and things to see. Ask any bartender about the different features of the spy-themed building, enjoy some delicious cocktails and surprisingly good burgers, and be sure to use the secret exit on your way out.
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New mission alert! Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day tomorrow at SafeHouse Milwaukee. We're counting on you, agents. 🍔 😎 #nationalcheeseburgerday #delicious #downtownmilwaukee #mke #foodie #greatrestaurant #spy #travel #adventure #exploremke #password #secretagent
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