Sunday, September 02, 2007

Milwaukee as Vacation Spot

Having just been to Milwaukee, I am again thinking that it is a perfect place for a charter trip. Years ago, I started making a list of the wonderful places to see and things to do and when the list was very long, my husband said, "Stop. Nobody is going to Milwaukee for three weeks!" Okay, so maybe not three weeks, but how about one week?

A centrally located hotel, relatively new, in the center of everything - or - the historically significant Pfister on the east side? That is the question. I think the Westin, within easy walking distance to the Milwaukee River and the fabulous Pabst Theater, as well as the Performing Arts Center and lots more. We can visit the Pfister for a special lunch and still enjoy the historic architecture and charm.

What to do first... perhaps an overview of the city from a Milwaukee River cruise with a short cruise onto Lake Michigan. What better way to appreciate the beautiful skyline as it runs along the shore of the Lake?
Then lunch at a riverside restaurant. The afternoon might include a visit to the beautiful Milwaukee
art museum designed by Santiago Calatrava.

What's a vacation without time for a nap? After the museum, there is still time for a rest before dinner at the wonderful Karl Ratzsch restaurant. The best in German food from Sauerbraten to Weinerschnitzel. After some good Rhein wine and seven layer torte for dessert, probably time to head back to the hotel.
Given good weather, day two will be casual. The bus leaves for the Boerner Botanical Garden and the fabulous display of peonies in bloom. This peaceful spot offers lots of room to walk or sit, as one wishes.
A box lunch, eaten at the surrounding park, will fortify the group for a trip to the antique airplane museum in Hales Corners.
On the way back to the hotel, serious plantaholics can be dropped off at the Mitchell Domes - a three dome display of indoor horticulture.
Dinner will be open as long as the group returns in time for an entertainment event at either the Milwaukee Performing Arts Center or the Pabst Theatre - depending on their schedules.
Day three provides time to shop and eat at the wonderfully renovated Third Ward. This district was once home to factories and warehouses which have now been converted to upscale stores, condominiums, and restaurants. An afternoon architectural tour, including a drive along the lakefront, gives weary feet a rest and ends in Miller Valley for a brewery tour. In the evening, visitors can choose a small theatre venue or a sporting event, or a quiet night at the hotel.
How long will visitors stay in Milwaukee? I don't know, but there is plenty to do and see and I think people who never get past Chicago are missing the boat.