Where on earth even is Milwaukee? And what is in Milwaukee? That was kind of my reaction when I found out that BlogHouse this year was being hosted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Milwaukee was a place that I knew absolutely nothing about; in fact, I didn’t even know where it was on a map until I looked it up, but sometimes the most unexpected places surprise you, and this state for sure did! Here are just some of my highlights from my 4-day trip.
I arrived in Milwaukee on Thursday morning and met up with some of the fellow BlogHousers, Megan of Forks & Footprints, Barry of Wordly Nomads and the twins behind The Two Riveras. We headed to Sobelman’s Pub & Grill where they were known to have THE BEST Bloody Mary’s around. Despite me being Canadian and a Bloody Caesar fan, I still needed to try these. I ordered “The Masterpiece” that came with a mini slider burger and an assortment of other goodies on top. After some intense Bloody Mary’s and some deep-fried foods, we headed back to the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino where we were staying!
The Potawatomi was great! It towers over the rest of Milwaukee and its sleek, modern design and delicious restaurants made our stay awesome. As a budget traveler, I’m not used to ever staying in a hotel, so to have a room, and a king size bed to myself, I felt like a princess. After an afternoon of getting acquainted with the other bloggers and mentors, our evening started the trip off with a bang with an opening party in Potawatomi’s Presidential Suite!
The Presidential Suite was exactly what I’d expect a celebrities hotel stay would be like. With fireplaces, a massive patio, a bar, and a beautiful heart shaped tub that sat next to floor to ceiling windows that overlooked Milwaukee. Potawatomi and Visit Milwaukee hooked us up! We had a night tasting a bunch of delicious food from the many great restaurants inside the hotel, and drinking the classic and famous Old Fashioned drinks (bourbon or rye, bitters, sugar, water/soda), Milwaukee’s specialty.
Heading back to our rooms for a good nights sleep, we were surprised by our first of many Milwaukee gifts in our room, including the famous Sprecher gourmet sodas that were absolutely delicious. I’d recommend the Cream Soda!
The next morning we were up bright and early for a day filled of learning from our awesome mentors, the lovely people behind LL World Tour, Travel Yourself, Adventurous Kate, Art of Adventuring and Twenty-Something Travel. We had a well-deserved lunch at Potawatomi’s farm to table restaurant, Locavore. We started our lunch with a traditional Wisconsin Relish Tray, and ended with a Fritto Misto Fish Fry.
After another afternoon of informative sessions, all of us boarded a bus to head to the Harley Davidson Museum where we had a private, after hours tour from a great guide who enthusiastically shared the history of the most well known motorbike brand in the world.
Our bike tour was followed by a drive through Milwaukee where we passed some of the most well known beer points in this city filled with excellent beer and breweries. Along the way we stopped at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart where we tasted everything cheesy and delicious! From beer battered, deep-fried cheese curds, to grilled cheeses and other assortments of cheeses. Complimented by a local craft beer of course.
Our final stop on our tour was to Lakefront Brewery, a brewery that opened in the 80’s in a historical building from the 1900’s. Little did we know we were about to attend one of the funniest tours I’ve ever been on. Our tour guide had jokes after jokes that had us all in stiches through the entire thing. We tasted some excellent beers, and ended our night with a bang.
Saturday was our final full day of workshops and learning, which was nicely complimented with a visit to the Milwaukee Public Market for lunch where I tried a delicious salmon, bacon and spinach sandwich from St. Paul’s Fish Company, a recommendation from the Public Market’s PR guy, so naturally I had to give it a try.
After some more afternoon sessions, we wrapped up the great weekend with an “Industry Night” party at the Rumpus Room where we had a chance to network with each other and all the great sponsors from the weekend, and of course, try more great Milwaukee beer! We closed off the night with a visit to Lucille’s Piano Bar and ended the night after having a bit too many crazy jello shots and fishbowls.
My final day of my BlogHouse retreat was spent having lunch at Harbor House with some of my fellow bloggers, and then walking around the 3rd quarter, because finally the clouds parted and the sun came out! Overall this was a great weekend trip, I learned so much about Milwaukee and what makes it such a great city. Sometimes that places you’d least expect surprise you the most, and I couldn’t thank all the BlogHouse partners enough for making this visit unforgettable.
Thank you to FlipKey, Visit Milwaukee, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, Travel Wisconsin, The Bartolotta Restaurants, all the in-kind sponsors and of course, Navigate Media Group for inviting me to this years BlogHouse!
Lastly, don’t forget to check out some of my fellow BlogHouse graduates:
Mel Hattie @ Mel Hattie
Laura Leigh Goyer @ The Culinary Travel Guide
Jessica Dawdy @ Ways of Wanderers
Barry Best @ Wordly Nomads.
Yadira & Yaimani Rivera @ The Two Riveras
Amy Truong @ Generic Dreams
Erin Southerland @ Don’t Forget to Eat
Bethaney Davies @ Flashpacker Family
Adelina Wong @ Pack Me To
Megan Stetzel @ Forks and Footprints
Pola Henderson @ Jetting Around
P.S. I have some exciting changes coming to my blog in the next month after everything I learned from the great mentors at BlogHouse! Stay tuned 🙂
AlouiseJune 17, 2015 at 2:17 pm
Welcome to the BlogHouse family (I attended the Toronto one back in 2013). I actually really love to visit underrated cities like Milwaukee, the kind that aren’t on the generic top 5 US cities to visit list, because there’s always some unexpected surprise like a great brewery or restaurant to discover. Milwaukee seems like a pretty cool city to visit.
JoJune 17, 2015 at 3:33 pm
You’ve just put Milwaukee on my travel map – anywhere with food that good looking makes the list!
LaurenJune 18, 2015 at 9:57 am
It completely surprised me but it’s a great place to go for the beer & food alone! Yum!
Bethaney - Flashpacker FamilyJune 24, 2015 at 8:18 pm
So great to meet you Lauren and to share BlogHouse with you. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes that are coming for your brand & blog.
ValerieJuly 3, 2015 at 11:41 am
1. I see that Seattle Cider Co. can!! They have great stuff — good choice despite the dearth of amazing Midwest drinks to choose from 🙂
2. What is this BlogHouse thing? I feel like I’m SO out of the blogger world since I got my FT job again. 😛 How did you get an invite through them?
3. Glad you had a great trip — Milwaukee has been on my list since I met them at TBEX in Cancun last September.
ValerieJuly 3, 2015 at 11:43 am
Whoa — I went to the BlogHouse site, and I recognize basically every person who’s behind that company. They are some seriously business savvy travelers!