Published on January 14th, 2012 | by thevyne


Stay-Do-Eat: Milwaukee

By Kailei R.

We’re kicking off a new travel series called “Stay-Do-Eat” where we help you plan your next trip to fun, interesting, and sometimes unexpected places. First up: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I know what you’re thinking “why on Earth would I got to Milwaukee for a getaway….on purpose?” I thought the same! A few months ago I went to Milwaukee on a short day and a half trip. The original intent was to check out the art museum and a friend who plays for the Milwaukee Symphony. But while there, I found some real gems that I would totally recommend and return to. Here are some places to check out while you’re there:


Check in at: The Iron Horse Hotel

If the Hard Rock Hotel combined with the Ace Hotel, the result would be The Iron Horse. Situated not too far away from the Harley-Davidson museum, there is definitely a biker vibe, but not too overwhelming that non-bikers will be turned off. What I loved about it was the sexy, lofty rooms. With large showers with frosted glass facing the bedroom, this is a hotel you’ll want to go to with your honey, not your girls. But there’s a reason that Conde Nast rated it one of the top boutique hotels in the country, so you’ll have to see for yourself. Be sure to grab some food at the Smyth or a drink at the Branded bar. Oh yeah, the Branded Bar has quite the party scene, so if you’re looking for a quiet get-away, this may not be your place.


See Art at: Milwaukee Art Museum

Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the architecture of this museum is just breathtaking. Since it’s located right on Lake Michigan, on a clear day you’ll think you’re in California. The quality of the collections is impressive and will make you forget you were in a small city’s art museum.

Have a drink at: The Hamilton Lounge

The Hamilton Lounge is the place to go either before or after dinner for a cocktail. If you can appreciate good-tasting, hand crafted cocktails with layers of flavors (many made with Bittercube bitters), you will enjoy this place. From the outside it is unassuming but inside it looks like a swanky, vintage hotel lobby. The night I went there was live jazz music and we were able to enjoy our cocktails while sitting on some comfy, buttery leather couches. A great low-key spot.



Brunch at: Comet Café

When I walked in this place I felt like I was in Seattle, Williamsburg in Brooklyn or San Francisco. It definitely has a hipster-artsy feel to it. After eating brunch there it was clear why there was such a long wait and also why this place has won so many awards. If you’re looking for a fancy brunch place, this is not your place, but if you want great tasting, well-prepared food, this is the place to go. Oh, and let me just add that the Bloody Marys have bacon (yes, BACON!) and come with beer as a chaser (I personally passed on the beer, but it was a different touch).


Kil@wat is located in the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. The New American food was tasty, the view was nice, and the service was great. Make sure to try the truffled mac and cheese and the TREEtini where a tree is planted for every cocktail you purchase (find out other places around the country where you can find the TREEtini here

Smyth at the Iron Horse Hotel

Though I did not personally eat there, I wish I had since I heard many great things about Smyth restaurant in the Iron Horse Hotel. Despite the hotel’s edgy feel, the Smyth would meet any foodie’s standards. Milwaukee may be known for its breweries, but the Smyth has quite the wine list and was even recognized with Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. The scallops come highly recommended as well as the Passion Fruit White Chocolate Mousse, Hazelnut Cookie, and Plum Sorbet dessert.


Have you been to Milwaukee? Tell us any of your favorite spots!

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