Okay, so my reasons for going were pretty flimsy:
- I'd never been;
- AirTran had a fare special; and
- That fare special coincided with another special that would earn me triple A+ Rewards points to maintain my Elite status.
Not only that, but there's a lot to do. If the only major brewer still in town (aside from the baseball team that crushed the Nationals 6-0 on Saturday evening) is Miller, there are a lot of microbreweries, like the Water Street Brewery where I had a local Weiss and enjoyed a hot bacon salad while witnessing the aforementioned Brewers-Nats slaughter. You'll also want to make time for dinner at Mader's Restaurant, widely regarded as being among the best German restaurants in America.
The next morning, I had coffee from a roaster in the Milwaukee Public Market--light brew with skim, my preferred way to drink the stuff whatever purists say about bold flavor--and wandered the surrounding area of the Historic Third Ward. I didn't make it down to Henry Maier Festival Park, but something is going on there every weekend during the summer; this time, it was Arab Fest. Definitely don't miss the Milwaukee Art Museum, which includes the lakefront Quadracci Pavilion designed by famed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
You might remember that Harley-Davidson comes from Milwaukee, and you'd be correct. Tours don't go through their operational plant these days, but the Harley-Davidson Museum is within easy distance of downtown. Miller's brewery also offers tours and free samples, which you'll learn are cold-filtered rather than heat-pasteurized like most other beers.
- Air: Milwaukee-General Mitchell International Airport (MKE); hub city for Midwest and AirTran.
- Rail: Milwaukee Intermodal Terminal, 433 W. St. Paul Ave (MKE); Hiawatha service 6-7 times daily between Milwaukee and Chicago; Empire Builder service to Chicago or Portland/Seattle.
- Note: The Amtrak station at Mitchell Airport is coded MKA by Amtrak.
- Bus: Milwaukee Intermodal Terminal, 433 W. St. Paul Ave; Greyhound service nationwide.
- Ferry: Lake Express to Muskegon.