Spend a Day in (Old) Milwaukee

It’s that time of the year again: you’re scrambling to find a friend’s house to decamp to for part of spring break, lest you get stuck at home without any of your high school friends to hang out with. Well, whether you have a couch to crash on or not, The Thrill‘s crack travel team has you covered. This is the first of five guides to cities around the United States that we’ll be rolling out this week. Safe travels!

Milwaukee, Wis., also known as Cream City, Brew City and the Dirty Ole Mill, holds a special place in my heart.  I have lived in the Milwaukee area almost my whole life, but I don’t think I understood how great a city it actually is until recently. If you happen to be in the Milwaukee area over break, here’s a lineup of places to visit: restaurants, museums, bars and much more.

Dirty Ole Mill never looked better.

Brunch: Altera Coffee on Lake Michigan or The Original Pancake House 

  • Like all Kenyon students, you love brunch, a strong cup of coffee and enjoying nature from a comfortable distance. Alterra Coffee has the best coffee in the Milwaukee area and superb views of the lake, and is just a great place to hang out.
  •  The Original Pancake House has by far the best pancakes in Milwaukee. And while you stuff a sixth pancake in your mouth, you might just see Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun. He is the celebrity of Milwaukee, unless a Packer is in town.

The Arts

  • The Milwaukee Art Museum is by far my favorite place in Milwaukee. If you are not the biggest fan of art, go just to see the building itself. It was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The permanent collection has its strengths and weaknesses, but the rotating main exhibit is usually top notch. Admission is $12 for students, but free for members. So if you know a member, try to mooch off of them.

  • The Milwaukee Public Museum is one of the cheesiest places you can go in Milwaukee, besides the cheese factory. Highlights include: Old Streets of Milwaukee, the dinosaurs, an interactive butterfly exhibit and my favorite, the Inuit igloo. The “exhibits” haven’t changed in the past 25 years, but the museum is still a great way to spend an afternoon.
Brewery Tours
Fact: It is a crime to visit Milwaukee and not go on a brewery tour.
  • For those who are under 21, Sprecher Brewery and LakeFront Brewery are the best ones for you.  The of-age crowd is limited to a few tastings, while those underage have an unlimited supply of root beer!
  • A trip to the Historic Pabst Brewery is a rite of passage for all Milwaukeans and hipsters.

Dinner: La Merenda

La Merenda is best-known for their ridiculously strong Caipirinhas, mysteriously attractive wait staff and exotic tapas. The food is incredible, reasonably priced and easy to share. If I could get a table, I would eat at La Merenda every night of the week.


Many restaurants have a pretty great selection of local and international beer on tap, but the coolest is Cafe Benelux. Not only is it a great place for bier, but Cafe Benelux also has a great brunch spread.

3 responses

  1. Pingback: A Day in Atlanta « The Thrill

  2. Pingback: Spend a Day in New York City « The Thrill

Share your thoughts on this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: