That was my exact reaction when I found out where the Women in Travel Summit is being held this year. It seemed like an odd choice; but after a little reflection, I realized that because Milwaukee seemed like an odd choice actually made it the perfect choice. I might never have chosen Milwaukee as a leisure destination, but the more I looked into what the city has to offer – I came to the realization that I’m probably going to like it there.
Milwaukee has a lot of the same features of other cities I’ve liked/loved:
- good coffee
- food places that have been around for more than a few years
- a good local sports culture
- some form of arts scene
- local breweries/distilleries
A few fast facts about Milwaukee:
It is NOT the capital city of Wisconsin – but it IS nearly twice the population of the smaller state capital of Madison.
The city was incorporated January 31, 1846
The streets that run east-west have names, while the streets that run north-south are numbered
Some sister cities include: Zadar, Croatia; uMhlathuze, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa; Carora, Venezuela; Galway, Ireland and Morogoro, Tanzania
Astronaut Jim Lovell (perhaps best known for his participation in Apollo 13) was raised in Milwaukee!
Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley were both set in Milwaukee
The first “modern” (using the QWERTY keyboard) typewriter was produced in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee was once (the mid-1800s) the leading distributor of wheat in the world; which made the city the epicenter of beer brewing leading into Prohibition.
Good to know:
Don’t forget to check the weather before you start packing!
How will you be getting in from the airport or bus/train station? Check out the Milwaukee County Transit System site for all fares and schedules.
If you’re visiting from another time zone, don’t forget to set your phone and watch to Central Standard Time!
Now to the really fun part…
When I’ve got a finite amount of time in cities, I make sure to plan ahead and map out everything I might want to see, do, and eat. I see what the deal is with the coffee scene (so I’ll know ahead of time if I should just beeline to Starbucks or get it for free at the hostel/hotel). I find mapping to be really helpful with orienting myself before I arrive and knowing where things are in relation to one another so I can plan my sight-seeing and meals based on the areas I’ll be exploring that day. I also find that it gets me really excited about my trip – not that I wouldn’t be excited anyway, but seeing all the cool things I’ll be able to experience really gets me amped up.
Like I said in the beginning, I had never given Milwaukee any real thought as a place to visit prior to signing up to go to WITS. Planning what I want to do and see while in the city has certainly turned my feelings from ambivalent to excitement.
Take a look at the map to see the (admittedly ambitious) list of places I want to try to see!
Map Key :
Blue – Key places for the Women in Travel Summit
Green – Pints of interest
Fuschia – Neighborhoods/streets to wander
Yellow – Brews and booze
Black – food! The shape of the icon may indicate the offerings (the one that looks like fireworks is veg)
Brown – coffee
- Have you ever been to Milwaukee? Did I miss any great spots on my map?
- What types of sights do you prioritize when mapping out an itinerary?
- Have you been anywhere where while the location wasn’t your choice, you ended up loving?