I landed in Milwaukee on Halloween night along with its first snow of the year—unusually early for the city. The historic architecture composed of the “cream bricks” and slanted roofs created an almost Charles Dickens vibe. As I woke up in the morning to a view of the city, I could see its history as well as its innovative ideas for modern tourism, synced perfectly under the glistening light layer of snow. I knew immediately the city had grit, beauty and personality and I was excited to explore.

Where to Stay and Meet

view of tall building across water
Milwaukee Art
Museum on Lake Michigan

I had the pleasure of staying at the newest hotel in Milwaukee, The Trade, Autograph Collection. The edgy modern feel of the new downtown hotel seamlessly incorporates the classic Milwaukee elements into its aesthetic. The hotel is the newest in the city and is directly across the street from Fiserv Forum, the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee is currently expanding Wisconsin Center massively with the “North Building” addition. I had the privilege to tour the construction site of the new building, which, upon its completion, will join Wisconsin Center to create Baird Center. The Grand Opening Gala will take place on Thursday, May 16th with the headline entertainment from multiple award-winning singer and actress Idina Menzel!

Read More about Milwaukee and the upcoming Baird Center here.

What to Eat

Though the weather may have been crisp, the skies and Lake Michigan were crystal blue, making dining in the solarium of Bacchus – A Bartolotta Restaurant a bright culinary experience. After opening their first flagship restaurant Ristorante Bartolotta Dal 1993 in 2020, the Bartolotta family has become the region’s iconic culinary brand with 17 restaurants offering fine dining bistros as well as quick-casual spots and everything in between. If you do choose Bacchus, order the sunflower cake for dessert!

Read MoreMidwest/Milwaukee: Bikes, Bucks and Breweries

Things to Do

Harley Davidson Museum

One of the pride and joys of Milwaukee is the Harley-Davidson Museum. With a history in Milwaukee dating back to 1903, groups can enjoy the various event spaces and guided tours from the knowledgeable staff. The displayed bikes are lined up in chronological order that guests follow as they wind down the floors of the museum. I was even fortunate enough to get a picture sitting on a one-of-a-kind Hog!

This article appears in the January 2024 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.