Hotel at a Glance: Hilton Milwaukee City Center
This classic art-deco hotel has enjoyed a prime location in downtown Milwaukee for more than 80 years. Set on the edge of the theater district, its neighbors include the Milwaukee Public Museum, where you can tour a slew of re-created international villages; the award-winning Milwaukee Art Museum; and the Pabst Theater, an indoor concert venue whose upcoming performers include Dennis Miller and Mumford & Sons. The AAA Four Diamond–rated hotel offers a few show stealers of its own, including spacious, contemporary guest rooms and upscale dining spots.
- Must-try dishes: lobster mac ‘n’ cheese or a veal porterhouse chop with rosemary butter at the hotel’s Milwaukee Chophouse
- 23 beers on tap: at Miller Time Pub and Grill, located on the ground floor
- Great Lake: You can sail, kayak, or kitesurf on Lake Michigan, located a short walk from the hotel.
- Picture-worthy landmark: A bronze statue of The Fonz from Happy Days (which was set in Milwaukee) stands along the riverfront a few blocks away.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Breweries, Sports, and Art along Lake Michigan
Located along Lake Michigan, about 90 miles north of Chicago, Milwaukee is a proudly unpretentious city with working-class roots. The city has been synonymous with brewing since the mid-1800s, when Miller, Pabst, and Schlitz dominated the landscape. Visit the Flemish-style Pabst Mansion, beer baron Frederick Pabst’s 1890 estate, to see just how profitable the beer business was. The mansion has 14 fireplaces, an opulent dining room, and several hidden compartments.
Today there’s a new microbrew-inspired scene, with several smaller brewers opening their doors for tours and freshly brewed beer. One of the city’s best tours is at Lakefront Brewery on North Commerce Street. Here, witty tour guides take guests through the beer-brewing process, encouraging them to enjoy samples of Lakefront’s india pale ale and organic coffee stout along the way.
There are also noticeable cultural undercurrents in Milwaukee. Set along the downtown lakefront, the Milwaukee Art Museum is beloved for its futuristic, sailboat-like architecture by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Inside, you can browse 30,000 works of art, ranging from 15th-century antiques to Georgia O'Keeffe paintings. For a city of its size, Milwaukee offers several sports and recreation opportunities, including Brewers baseball and Bucks basketball games. Fans start tailgating outside of Miller Park before each Brewers home game hours before the first pitch. The stadium’s sixth-inning Sausage Race has been called one of sports’ best traditions.
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