Amber Flanagan's grandparents moved to Milwaukee from Mississippi in the 1960s, bringing with them their culinary heritage and their firm belief in the importance of good eating. Today, Amber carries on their passion for gastronomical traditions by leading walking food tours of the Silver City District and the Historic Third Ward. Milwaukee’s history as a hub for immigrants from all over the world is reflected in the city's diverse ecosystem of restaurants: tours may bounce between Vietnamese, Peruvian, Thai, and Mexican cuisines on their journey. Some restaurant outings incorporate cooking demonstrations, which could otherwise only be glimpsed after donning an elaborate busboy disguise.
An array of bottles line shelves and tables and pack boxes, filling the Wine Cellar of Wisconsin with its namesake beverage. Frequent specials are highlighted weekly, including recommendations from the staff. Additionally, evening wine tastings encourage visitors to sample and learn about various varietals. Although the store primarily carries wine, it also stocks a number of craft beers from the likes of New Glarus Brewing, Bell's Brewing, and Ale Asylum.
More than a century ago in Sicily, a man named Michael Vetrano began making wine?a hobby much appreciated by the friends and family who sipped his creations. Today, great grandson Bill Vetrano continues the family tradition at Vetro Winery. Bill and his team transform Wisconsin grapes into dry, semi-dry, and sweet reds and whites. During visits to the tasting room, guests can pair sips with bites of chocolate and cheese, take in sweeping views of the woods and marshland, or try their hand on a pair of vintage pinball machines. Indulging in these wine tastings also benefits the community at large, as the Vetrano family donates funds to support the Special Olympics.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Sure, riding a seven-seat conference bike with six other folks is a lot less work than pedaling one by yourself, but that's not the only benefit to traveling in a group. The extra companionship may also make you feel a little braver while you explore the dark and depraved underside of Milwaukee's past. Led by raconteur Shlomo Levin, Milwaukee Seven Seat Bike Tours brings its guests within screaming range of some of the East side's most notorious locales, delighting them with spine-tingling tales of ghastly deeds and unspeakable acts. Passengers all pedal the circular bike together while passing parks that contain mysterious human remains and shadowy street corners where countless cans of beer were left... only half-drunk. Guests can enjoy water and soft drinks on the tour, which are served free of charge.
Downtown Cedarburg resembles a charming hamlet, what with its buildings of brick, stone, and cross-timber frames dating back to the mid-19th century. But these picturesque residences, mills, bridges, and other historic structures belie dark happenings that some feel have left specters behind. Cedarburg native Lauren Goecks and fellow guide Allison Glysch unveil these local legends through Ghost Tours of Cedarburg, leading both ghost tours and paranormal investigations throughout the historic downtown area. Cloaked in theatrical costumes and carrying lanterns to light the way, Lauren and Tim guide guests to 10 reportedly haunted locations, each connected to events such as a blacksmith's murder, the 1918 flu outbreak, and a prostitution ring. They also periodically gain access to historic buildings for small-group paranormal investigations with devices such as K-2 meters.