CITY GUIDE: Milwaukee

Today’s CITY GUIDE is brought to you by Amy Sahl of Milwaukee! Enjoy!

Two years ago, I moved from Minnesota to be closer to a boy, and while that didn’t work, I quickly found a new love: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee has a deeply rooted history, but it’s much more than a blue-collar city that drinks a lot of beer and loves cheese (although our micro breweries are some of the best in the country and cheese, well, it’s delicious). Over the past decade, Milwaukee has taken great developmental strides to recreate “a great city on a great lake.”

Here are some of my favorite faces, places, and spaces:

Start out your day at Downtown Books – Bought and Sold, one of the best, used bookstores I’ve ever visited. The supply and variety are endless and $20 will easily get you three or four of your favorites. After grabbing a book or two, I usually head to one of the many unique coffee shops in the area: Alterra at the Lake, Rochambo (my favorite- no lie, the coffee is always perfect temperature and you’ll definitely want to try the Milky Way), or Hi Fi. If you prefer brunch to coffee, stop by Café Centraal and get some of their house-made sugar donuts- so yummy.

Milwaukee-ans tend to hibernate in the winter, but come summer and the city literally erupts with things to do. There is a festival celebrating cultural heritages every weekend, outdoor music and movies nearly every evening, and plenty of other opportunities to get out and about (not to mention, many of the events are complimentary): rent bikes along the lakefront, or join a volleyball game at Bradford Beach, explore the unique architecture downtown or visit the Bronze Fonze on the River Walk.

From clothing to paper goods, the Third Ward neighborhood is the best for unique, boutique shopping. I never have a problem spending a good chunk of change at: Broadway Paper (check out their collection of post cards), Five Hearts, and the Home Market.

End your day eating dinner at Hinterland or grabbing a drink at the Garage (don’t be surprised by the canopy of tree branches). You also can’t visit Milwaukee and not catch a flick at the Oriental Theater or grabbing some frozen custard (yes, it’s so much better than ice cream). The Oriental Theater plays both indie and mainstream shows, but has kept intact it’s 1920’s ambiance with red carpets and piano man whom plays before the show. For frozen custard, try Gilles or Kopps.

Huge thanks to Amy Sahl for writing this lovely city guide for her city Milwaukee! Be sure to read her blog and follow her on Twitter! And contact me if you want to share a guide for YOUR city!

Featured image by tracktwentynine.

March 29, 2012