I LOVE MY CITY! Milwaukee is my favorite city that I have lived in (thus far.) This place is full of interesting places, amazing things to do, and wonderful people to meet. Towards the end of this summer, I decided to combine two of my favorite things: being active and going on an adventure. This is the story of my self-made Milwaukee bike tour.
The first place that my adventure buddy (my boyfriend, Alex) and I biked to was the well-known: Bradford Beach. On most gorgeous summer days, you will see the beachy sands of Lake Michigan lined from end to end (literally) with people throwing frisbees, getting some rays with a cold one, and, of course, playing beach volleyball. Since I have lived here, I have made a lot of great memories on this beach: from my first 4th of July in Milwaukee to reading one of my all time favorite books soakin’ up the sun. Spending time at this beach is like a right of passage for many young Milwaukeans, so this had to be our first stop.
As we made our way down the edge of Lake Michigan, we were able to take in some quaint views mixed with the urban architecture of the city in the background. This one of my favorite parts about Milwaukee: even in the city, you can get to a spot where you can truly feel like you’re not just a spec in the bustle, but somewhere you can also take a deep breath and come back to homeostasis as God intended.
This picture is one of my favorite views of the Milwaukee skyline. No, it is not nearly as tall as the Chicago skyline or even come close to the proportion of New York City, but for a small town country girl gone “big city”, this is just the view for me. Our fantastic city is growing with each new creation. Here, you can see the US Bank building, the brand new Northwestern Mutual building (my favorite in the city) and all the way on the left is one of the most incredible architectural landmarks in the city and even in the country: the Milwaukee Art Museum.
This incredible architectural masterpiece was created by three different architects: Eero Saarinen, David Kahler, and Santiago Calatrava. Together, they created a beautiful compliment to the lake. This picture doesn’t do it justice, as the inside of this building will also leave you in awe of the awesome thought and precision that went into manifesting such a structure as this. I am grateful to have the chance to be in proximity to such a great example of architectural genius.
As we biked our way from the beach, we headed down to Walkers Point, an up and coming area filled with quirky new breweries and eateries everywhere you look. At one of the recent, and one of the many, festivals that occurs in the neighborhood, Alex and I discovered a vendor for Twisted Path Distillery. Like a good bargain hunter: I found a Groupon.
To be honest, we ended up at one of the sketchiest looking places that we had been to in the city. Tucked in the corner of what looked like an abandoned loading dock, we were buzzed in under a little, blue light and then escorted into the oasis that is the Dock 18 lounge. There, with in the industrial cave, we were greeted with smiles, good handshakes, and a some the best made spirits that the city has to offer (if I do say so myself). From there, Twisted Path’s founder and owner, Brian, took us on one of the best tours I’ve gotten in the city, and I have been on A LOT of tours. It ended up being only Alex and I on the tour, so we were able to ask questions about the distillery’s creation as we went and have a more personal experience as we learned about the science and art that is distillation.
After biking so many miles across the great city of Milwaukee and having some delicious tastes of some of the best gin that I have ever had (thank you, Twisted Path Distillery), we had to make our way to our favorite Mexican place in town: La Casa De Alberto. Here, you can get great quality food and tasty margaritas for the paper plate price. I swear Alex and I didn’t stop talking about the el pastor tacos from this place for months after our first time. This time Alex got the mole and couldn’t stop talking about that either! The diverse population of Milwaukee’s people makes the charm of the city even more sparkly to me. God bless the cooks in that kitchen for they make my tummy very happy.
Getting back on our bikes post-gorging session at La Casa was definitely one of the hardest recoveries I’ve had on one of our bike trips yet, but we were ready to see more of the sights! Here is a picture of what the Bucks arena looked like as we biked by that day. Starting to take some shape and looking like a very large, retro diner, in my opinion. Who knew that the 60’s would start coming back in the shape of high-tech sports arena?
When you didn’t think that we could do anything else food related after a good shoveling of Mexican food, we made our way to Usingers, one of the most famous sausage joints in the city. Here, you will be greeted by the creepy, little elves in the windows, in the displays, and even painted on the walls.
In Wisconsin we know four things: football, cheese, beer, and sausage. And especially, with that kind of “friendly” greeting, how could this not be some of the best sausage you’d ever eat? So, we bought some summer sausage and were on our way.
After a long day on our bikes, we were more than happy to get home, shower, and relax. It was an incredible day that amounted to around 6-7 miles of biking, great drinks, delicious food, cool sights, and even better company (what can I say, I’m smitten.)
My self-made bike tour was a great way for me to explore Milwaukee on a budget! I got to see a lot of what my city has to offer, from the beach to big buildings. Sometimes, all you need to have a day of exploration is an open mind, a bike, and a best friend to come along for the ride.
So, here’s to getting moving and getting on to your next adventure!