Usually the first day the kids are out of school for summer break, we celebrate in some way whether it be going to the beach, heading to the city or seeing a movie. This year, however, I celebrated the first day of summer break by myself! Why? Because I needed my own personal timeout.
I know I do not have to tell most of you that May is a crazy month. This May in particular was extra busy for us with a graduation and confirmation. And as much as I love all the celebration (I really do!), I am as equally excited to see the craze of the school year come to a close and the month of May safely put behind us. Yet when I look ahead at our summer schedule, it seems just as every bit as busy. That’s why I needed to hit the pause button and take a moment to recharge.
Well actually not a moment! More like twenty-four hours. And that twenty-four hours found me staying in downtown Milwaukee.
The Historic Third Ward Milwaukee
Even though I am in equal proximity to Chicago as I am to Milwaukee, I never really found a need to spend time in downtown Milwaukee. After all, I am a Chicago girl and Chicago is my city! Yet this winter my husband and I had an afternoon to kill when we dropped some kids off to a local ski resort and we headed to the Historic Third Ward district in Milwaukee for lunch. I instantly fell in love with the charming yet energetic vibe of the area! I knew if I loved it this much in winter, I would love it even more in summer! So this was the first place that came to mind then when I was looking for a quick solo getaway.
The Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee is the pulsating hub of the city with plenty to see and explore. It is home to art galleries and studios sitting in converted former warehouses. Upscale and trendy restaurants where patio and rooftop dining is popular. Indie boutiques selling fashion and homeware. A Public Market teaming with gourmet food, flowers, produce, cheese and fish vendors. And perhaps best, is that this historic area is situated right next to the gorgeous lakefront of Lake Michigan and the iconic Summerfest music grounds.
Best of The Historic Third Ward:
The Lakefront on foot or bike.
Where to Stay in Milwaukee
The foundation to any great getaway starts of course with where you stay. And as you know for me, I love the intimacy of a boutique hotel experience. Anytime I plan a trip, I always start off on the Kimpton website to see if they have a hotel in the area. Because Kimpton provides the best of both worlds: the personal touches of staying in a boutique hotel while providing the white glove treatment one wants in a full service hotel. Luckily I discovered that the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of the Historic Third Ward Milwaukee and just a few blocks away from the lakefront.
Kimpton Journeyman Hotel
Walking into the Journeyman, I instantly connected with the ambiance! The Journeyman Hotel exudes a chic but laid back charm where one finds ample seating in the main lobby outfitted with oversized leather sofas, vintage wool rugs and an intimate fireplace. It is the perfect backdrop for people watching, socializing or reading. In the evening, the sitting area offers a lively happy hour where guests can mingle with one another while sipping complimentary cocktails and noshing on appetizers from in house restaurant Tre Rivali.
If you are looking for a little bit more social action, the main lobby also boasts a pool table perfect for engaging in some friendly competition. Custom-designed PUBLIC bikes are also available to borrow-perfect for exploring the area or riding along the lakefront! You can even check out a complimentary backpack for your excursion (head to the Milwaukee Public Market to pack up all your picnic needs!)
Heading up to the rooms, I never am disappointed with what awaits me. Queen size beds with Frette linens, plush robes, a kitschy mini-bar and luxury amenities in the bathroom. Let’s talk about those bathroom amenities for a moment! DRYBAR styling products are available to all rooms upon request which include a blowdryer, flat iron and curling wand! Plus, all hotel guests receive a free hair treatment when booking a blowout at the DRYBAR, located around the corner from the hotel.
Yet perhaps the most alluring feature of this hotel, is the rooftop bar, “The Outsider”. Voted one of the best rooftop bars in the country, I can honestly say Chicago’s rooftops are a distant second to this. For one, it is expansive with plenty of lounging and sitting areas boasting sweeping views of the city. The indoor/outdoor rooftop restaurant and bar always has something going on-think shuffleboard tournaments-or something to do-a cart filled with nostalgic board games to play. A “9th floor” breeze keep things comfortable in the warmer months, while cooler temps lend to fire pits and blankets that make being outside just as cozy as in.
In addition the Journeyman Hotel also houses Tre Rivali, a cafe and restaurant offering six levels of dining service: a Café, a lively bar and lounge, a main dining room featuring a view of the wood-fired grill and oven, an intimate private dining room, a seasonal, sidewalk patio and of course room service, that I absolutely took advantage of late night!
I could not have imagined a better place to recharge for twenty four hours. A short drive from home yet far away enough to feel I was getting away. A manageable area to walk and explore on bike or foot during the day. Having a hotel that allowed myself to be on my own in a fun atmosphere yet still provide plenty of opportunities to be social should I want. And a chance to not have to worry about anyone other than myself even if only for a short bit of time!
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