Hotel at a Glance: Sybaris Mequon
Founded in 1974 by Chicagoan Ken Knudson as a retreat for married couples, the Sybaris hotel group has provided a romantic getaway for more than 50,000 couples per year at five locations across the midwest. Sybaris — Mequon opened in 1992, occupying a renovated 150-year-old farmhouse and 35-year-old motel less than 15 miles north of Milwaukee.
- Whirlpool suites come with a whirlpool tub, cozy fireplace, microwave, and refrigerator. Guests can also enjoy terrycloth robes and complimentary toiletries.
- Extra luxury: The Paradise pool suite has its own 16-foot heated pool, hot tub, and steam room.
- Distance to Lake Michigan: less than 6 miles
- Romance package includes a bottle of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a one-year Sybaris membership.
- Sybaris membership perks: You can make reservations at any Sybaris; you’ll also receive special discounts during your anniversary and birthday months.
Mequon, Wisconsin: Quiet Lakeside Town on the Outskirts of Milwaukee
Mequon is a rural community on the western shores of Lake Michigan, just 15 miles north of Milwaukee. It’s got plenty of green space: you can stroll through River Barn Park along the Milwaukee River or head to the Schlitz Audubon Center along Lake Michigan. Here, there are six miles of trails in the 185-acre expanse of wilderness, and you can climb a 60-foot observation tower for panoramic views.
Further south is Milwaukee, a proud and unpretentious city with working-class roots. The town has been synonymous with brewing since the mid-1800s, when Miller, Pabst, and Schlitz dominated the landscape. Visit the Flemish-style Pabst Mansion, the 1890 estate of beer baron Frederick Pabst, and you’ll 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. Lakefront Brewery on North Commerce Street has one of the city’s best tours. 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.