Since its founding in 1974, the nonprofit organization Historic Milwaukee has tirelessly advocated for an awareness of historic preservation and promotion of Milwaukee's built environment. The organization lifts the veil on Milwaukee's buildings and the people of its past through neighborhood walking tours. Throughout the year, special tours take visitors on bike excursions and deeper explorations of more focused historical topics. To further engage history buffs, Historic Milwaukee also helms events ranging from a panel discussion series on city history to a citywide open house featuring more than 150 buildings.
Floor-to-ceiling wood panels frame School Yard Bar & Grill, an East Side hangout that doles out beer and burgers in equal measure. The menu features half-pound Wisconsin beef sandwiches named after prototypical high-school characters such as the Bully—cheddar, bacon, roasted-garlic mayo, and a fried egg—and the Principal, which is accompanied by swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, and a stern letter to your parents. Patrons can dig into these and other pub dishes, including wings, mozzarella sticks, and tacos, while drinking in views of overhead TVs and domestic drafts at the bar.
Downer Avenue Wine & Spirits' beverage buffs line their shelves with a legion of libations, helping customers cull the best selections for meals, gifts, and gatherings. Explore the vast selection of nearly 1,000 different wines ($4.99–$199.99)—with more than 200 bottles less than $10—in a trek more promising than an expedition for a mystical fount of gold merlot. The walk-in beer bunker boasts more than 200 frosty varieties of domestics, imports, and crafts, as well as a collection of microbrews from local hop houses, such as Sprecher and Lakefront ($4.99–$15.99/6). Sippers who enjoy their drinks on the rocks or in hollow stalactites can stock up on spirits from Downer Avenue's diverse batch of bottles, which includes Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka and an assortment of single malt scotches ($22.99–$349.99).
Milwaukee Bike & Skate Rental has been supplying lakefront adventurers with breezy modes of transportation for more than 20 years. Aboard your small surrey bike, you can feel free to wander along the waterfront, explore side paths, or rehearse future live-action Flintstones revivals. The small, pedal-powered surrey holds up to three adults and two small children and allows you and your entourage to cruise along the Milwaukee lakefront at your leisure, ringing the surrey’s attached bell to warn pedestrians of your approach as the fresh air flows through your hair. Though not covered in this deal, Milwaukee Bike & Skate Rental’s main station boasts a full snack bar with beverages, so you can stock up on sustenance or replenish your energy after a calorie-burning journey. This Groupon may be used for upgrades to different bicycles or more rental time—you are responsible for the difference in cost. Saddle up for a shaded swing by the water with Milwaukee Bike & Skate Rental.
Waves creeping onto a sandy shoreline. The sun dipping into the glassy horizon. The sound of laughter and clinking bottles. These are the sort of recollections Big Bay Brewing wants to evoke with each sip of its frosty beers. The master brewers use natural ingredients, such as proprietary yeast and real sugar, while concocting the tasty pours that comprise their menu of small-batch seasonal ales and year-round staples.
Big Bay Brewing's tasting room and retail center also prompts visitors to recall memories of relaxing vacations with its teakwood tables, crackling fireplace, and confused tourists standing around with maps. Those enamored with the tasting room—described by Shepherd Express as decorated with boathouse adornments and daubed in aquatic blues—can rent out part or all of the space for holiday parties, fundraisers, and other gatherings.