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Friday, December 12, 2014

Beyond Laverne and Shirley: A Guide to Visiting Milwaukee, WI

Although I haven't watched much of Laverne and Shirley, I do remember a few episodes on Nick At Night when I was a kid (the series ended in 1983 - six years before I was born). I remember having a bit of fascination with Shotz Brewery and thought it was neat. I never pictured myself visiting as a child, but I probably thought it would be a fun trip someday.

I went to Green Bay, WI for the first time in 2011. On my trip back to Philadelphia, I had a layover in Milwaukee. It was supposed to be an hour layover, but with the storms that summer, it turned into a 5 hour layover (I finally got home at 2 AM instead of 8 PM) and I had the opportunity to explore the Milwaukee Airport. The Milwaukee Airport is neat - it has an aviation museum, an arcade, plenty of restaurants and things to do - more so than the Philadelphia airport. Here are the pictures I took of the aviation museum in 2011:

I knew after my trip to Green Bay that I wanted to move to Green Bay in the next 6-8 years (from that point in 2011) and wanted to go back to see more in 2012. I planned a five day trip for Green Bay, but I also wanted to see Milwaukee. I wanted to see more of Wisconsin, to get an idea of what Wisconsin in general would be like (just in case Green Bay did't pan out... I could see other parts of the state) and so I thought Milwaukee would be a good starting point. I remember dad joking: "Ah, you can see where Laverne and Shirley called home! Maybe you can tour Shotz Brewery" and he laughed and laughed.

The way I had the trip planned was I would fly into Milwaukee and spend a night. I then would take the Greyhound from Milwaukee to Green Bay and spend five days in Green Bay. On Friday, August 17 I would take the Greyhound from Green Bay back to Milwaukee and spend two days in Milwaukee. There was a lot to do in Milwaukee and I was surprised. This is what I did while I was in Milwaukee:

The first night I was there, when I first arrived in Milwaukee on Sunday, August 12, was the last day of the Wisconsin State Fair. The Wisconsin State Fair runs every August from the 1st to whatever the 2nd Sunday in August is. I LOVED that State Fair. I loved seeing the goats (one of my favorite animals) and other animals. There were games, their famous cream puffs (they're HUGE), corn dogs, live bands playing throughout the venue and just so many other things to do during this fair. I would definitely recommend the Wisconsin State Fair if you're in Milwaukee during the first and second weeks of August.

The HUGE cream puff!

First time having a corn dog. Wasn't too bad.

Brewers game at Miller Park. I'm a Brewers fan (I am also a Detroit Tigers fan... I know, it's a funny combination) and ironically the way it worked out while I was there, they played the Philadelphia Phillies. Wisconsonites thought it was funny I was traveling from Philadelphia, I was a Brewers fan and not a Philadelphia fan (I explained to everyone I loathe the Philly sports teams). During the game, Miller Park serves food that is popular in the opposing team's home town. Since I am from Philadelphia, I didn't get the cheesesteak. I would like to go back when they play another team and try those dishes. I think that's pretty cool. Miller Park is also a beautiful stadium. I wish I got pictures of it from the outside. Just breathtaking. It's also clean. They also have 5 sausages that are entertainment during the Seven Inning Stretch. These five sausages, which are people dressed in costumes as Chorizo, a bratwurst and other sausages of other cultures, run around the field. It's a relay race and people can win. It's fun as well as singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Baseball is just a light hearted sport to watch.

You can drive there, of course. However, since I don't drive, public transit is easily accessable. When I was leaving for the game, the bus driver told me of a bar that he goes to that provides free transit to Miller Park if you buy a drink. It's called Steny's Tavern and Grill. I bought a Jack and coke, so they brought me to the game free of charge. I believe other bars offer that service as well during Brewers games.

Miller Brewery Tour. Although the site doesn't have pricing information, I remember paying a little something for the tour. It wasn't too expensive, probably around $10. During this tour you learn the history of Miller, tour the factory and then can go to a beer garden where you can taste beer if you're over 21 or root beer if you're under 21 and don't like beer. I'm not a big beer fan, but I did like the berry beer they had that day. For more information: Milwaukee Brewery Tour.

Milwaukee Zoo. I LOVED the Milwaukee Zoo. When I was there, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was hosting an event called a la carte where they had live entertainment and food in addition to seeing animals. Since I don't live in Milwaukee, I had to pay $14.50; but if you're a Milwaukee resident you only pay $9.50. You can find more information here: Milwaukee County Zoo.

I did a midnight cruise on Lake Michigan while I was there through a tour group. It was okay, though it would have been better with other people since it was clubbing. I did meet a nice family that was there and talked with them. I loved seeing Lake Michigan at night - breath taking.

Other things Milwaukee has to offer:
Pabst Mansion
Pabst Theatre
Milwaukee Museum of Art
Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear
Harley Davidson Museum
Kettle Moraine State Forest
Milwaukee Public Museum
Historic Third Ward

The food of Milwaukee is eclectic - there's so much to choose from. I had a varity of foods through my hotel restaurant, Steny's, Wisconsin State Fair, and a pizza place downtown. Whatever your palate, you'll find something you like in Milwaukee! The public transit is also great. It's reliable and the drivers are very helpful. It's $2 to ride.


  1. 1983 was the year I graduated from high school! I've been to the Milwaukee Zoo.

    1. My mom graduated high school in 1982 and my dad high school in 1973.They both remember that show well! :D

      I loved the Milwaukee Zoo. I love zoos in general, though. :D