A Sassy Milwaukee Guide

One of my best friends from high school (and study abroad!) lives in Milwaukee – or rather in a suburb of Milwaukee nowadays – but that meant I spent a lot of time visiting her and the adorable little city a lot over the last few years.

Last weekend, my friends and I went up for a night to go to Irish Fest. I think often Chicago gets this rap for being the best at street fests, but I argue that Milwaukee does it way better than we do! The Summerfest grounds aren’t just used for the two-week music festival (which is awesome btw – it’s like a much cleaner and less chaotic Lolla), it’s also then a site for multiple other festivals through the summer! Irish Fest takes place on the same festival grounds right on the lake and it’s a ton of family-filled fun. Tickets are only $20. It’s never too crowded. The food is great (curry chips!). And the music is amazing – and often the bands play multiple days while at the fest so if you can only go one day you’ll probably be able to see all the bands you want!

Below is the itinerary I followed on my recent trip this summer to Milwaukee. There is so much to see and do there and I will probably do a follow-up guide of some of my fave things to do for a whole weekend, but if you’re looking for just an overnight trip and want to see some cool things here is the guide for you:

Hotels

  • Saint Kate: For our latest trip to Milwaukee, we wanted a hotel that was closer to downtown and my friend had recently heard great things about this new art gallery/hotel called Saint Kate. I am so glad we stayed here because this place is gorgeous and so cool. The lobby and second floor are one part hotel one part art installation. So many cool pieces. To keep the artistic theme going, each room comes with a ukulele, a record player, and a roll of paper and coloring pencils so your artsy side can come alive. The rooms themselves are also very artsy! The tiles in the bathroom are art in themselves. The rooms have a very whimsical steampunk vibe and the beds are comfyyyyyy. We loved our stay here and highly recommend it.

Restaurants

  • Crossroad Collective: A food hall in Milwaukee’s East Side neighborhood. They have many food stalls, but our fave was the Egg & Flour Pasta Bar. Enough so that we took our leftovers back to the hotel with us! They make their pastas IN A WHEEL OF A CHEESE like they do in Italy so we were sold right away. I also tried the Falafel Guys’s hummus and falafel (some of the best falafel I’ve ever had), and my friends all got ice cream from Scratch which they all adored.
  • Toast: We went here for Brunch and sat outside on the patio. It’s a really cute, no frills place with straight forward good brunch food with a Mexican spin. I loved my breakfast sandwich. They make their own donuts in house. I have to say I wasn’t a fan, so skip those!
  • Giggly Champagne Bar: I mean if there is a champagne bar, you best believe I am gonna go there! This one happened to be in our hotel and they have an AWESOME happy hour until 7pm where glasses of wine are only $5, so def hit this up even if you aren’t staying at the hotel.

Shopping

  • Waxwing: This is such a cute little Midwestern local good shop. Lots of cute gifts that are specifically focused on the Midwest/Great Lakes area.
  • Beans & Barley: A specialty goods store and restaurant. Kind of reminds me of Treasure Island but with gifts and a little deli. We didn’t eat here, but I’ve heard good things.

Walls

  • Selena Mural: In the Walker’s Point neighborhood is an awesome mural of the Mexican-American Madonna, Selena Quintanilla by Marco Ramirez. I somehow managed to match it completely by accident! It’s across the street from Fuel Cafe for those trying to find it.
  • Black Cat Alley: An award-winning outdoor art gallery on the East Side (right by Crossroad Collective). There are 17 murals – an amazing opportunity for outfit shots!

The itinerary for this trip was created with the help of Visit Milwaukee. This was not a complimentary trip and all opinions are my own. 

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