September 10, 2012

Milwaukee, WI

There is only one RV park within the city limits of Milwaukee...that's right, only one. This park is located on the Wisconsin State Fair Grounds, and is pretty much a large parking lot with a little bit of grass. It's redeeming features included the fact that its only 6 miles from downtown and that a major bike path, the Hank Aaron Bike Trail, runs right through it on its way to downtown.

We spent three nights and two days in Milwaukee. Our first day in Milwaukee we walked along the Lake Michigan lakefront. We'd been to Milwaukee before and had walked the lakefront on our trip then, but I didn't remember the lake being so ocean-like. The water was bright blue and seemed to stretch infinitely into the horizon. The sand on the many lake beaches was wheat yellow and really reminded me of the sand we'd seen on the beaches in California. We happened to be on the lakefront the same day as the Milwaukee Kite Festival, so we swung by it on our way along the shore. The kite festival had some neat huge kites, but was by no means a rival to the Austin kite festival.

McKinley beach in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
McKinley Beach
Lake Michigan views from downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Lake Michigan
Views of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin from McKinley Marina
Views of Milwaukee from the McKinley Marina
At the Milwaukee Kite Festival in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
At the kite festival
At the Milwaukee Kite Festival in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Teamwork for this HUGE kite!
We walked by the famous Milwaukee Art Museum, famous for its movable wing-like brise soleil (which provides shade for the glass gallery). The 217 foot wings flap open when the museum opens in the morning, close and re-open at noon and then close shut when the museum wraps up for the day. We then continued along the lakeshore through the Lakeshore State Park. Around the bend from there the Milwaukee River breaks off from the bay of Lake Michigan and flows through downtown Milwaukee, separating the downtown into two parts. Here the walking path turns into the Riverwalk.

The Milwaukee Art Museum in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum wings in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Milwaukee Art Museum Wings
The Algoma Lighthouse in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Algoma Lighthouse
The Rockwell Automation clock Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Rockwell Automation clock, the largest four sided clock in the world! 
We followed the Riverwalk along the Milwaukee river and into the Historic Third Ward, where we grabbed some lunch at the Milwaukee Public Market. After that we continued our path along the river to the Old World 3rd Street, famous for its Germanic influenced breweries and sausage factory. We stumbled onto the Jazz in the Park series at the Cathedral Square and sat for a while listening to the lively New Orleans style jazz band in the sunshine.

Walking in the Historic Third Ward in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Walking around the Historic Third Ward
Milwaukee Public Market in Walking in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The Milwaukee Public Market
Riverwalk in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Walking on the Riverwalk
View of City Hall from the Riverwalk in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A view of City Hall from the Riverwalk
Old World 3rd street in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
On Old World 3rd
Then we finished out the night by driving up Lake Drive, an upscale residential street that runs along the Lake Michigan coast, where we saw many palatial lakeside homes and caught the sunset over the lake. It was a pretty way to unwind the day.

Sunset over Lake Michigan in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sunset over Lake Michigan
Sculpture in Atwater Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A neat sculpture in Atwater Park 
The following day Sky did some research online and found a pick-up soccer game in one of the lakeshore parks. We spent the rest of the day at a local Barnes and Noble reading and researching for our trip. I absolutely love the free Wi-Fi at B&N, and the bookshop/cafe atmosphere we find there.

Of course we couldn't leave town without going on a tour of the Miller Brewery, so Monday, before we checked out, we went down for the 11 o'clock tour. The tour is free, takes about one hour and you get very generous samples at the end. There was an interesting film in the beginning about the history of the brewery. This was followed by a narrated tour of the production lines, and we actually got to walk very close to the factory floor, so we got great up close views of the machinery and saw beer being made and bottled.

On the Miller Brewery tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Its Miller Time!
On the Miller Brewery tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The bottling machine
On the Miller Brewery tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Where beer is made
On the Miller Brewery tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Beer lover's heaven
Then we got to see the historic beer caves, and we got to meet the ghost of Frederick Miller, the founder. He stepped out of the wall mural (it was a clever light trick using a projector) to tell us about the good ol' days and to ask us what time it was (it's always Miller Time at the brewery!). The tour ended in the sampling room where we got three 6oz samples of Miller Lite, Miller High Life and Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. This was probably one of the best brewery tours we've ever been on, and I'd say we've been to a few.

On the Miller Brewery tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Inside the historic beer caves
Free beer samples on the Miller Brewery tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Huge samples!
 Maybe we'll make this our new home?

High Life Cruiser at the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The High Life Cruiser
To see more pictures of Milwaukee, click here.

Happy Miller Time!


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1 comment:

  1. Their are some other parks are also their rather than Hank Aaron Bike Trail.McKinley Marina & Lakeshore State Park are one of the best tourist place. We can enjoy our spare time in these parks.