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Where to go in Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee (or in between)?
March 5, 2006 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Chicago-Madison-Milwaukee Bachelor Party Roadtrip ideas...

In two weeks I'm flying to Chicago to join a bachelor party. The plan is to drive to Ho-Chunk casino near Madison and hit New Glarus Brewery and Capital Brewery on the way. On Friday it's a trip through Milwaukee to sample their brews on the way to Chicago for St. Patrick's day. Does anyone have recommendations for cool attractions or breweries to hit? This trip is supposed to re-create a road trip that several of us took in college.
posted by Frank Grimes to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Madison attractions previously discussed here.
posted by Frank Grimes at 3:54 PM on March 5, 2006


In MKE, there's Miller Brewery (3 free beers, the tour is free IIRC) as a matter of course. Then there's the Milwaukee Ale House, which does some of its own microbrews, has a nice view of the river, and generally speaking has some good food.

In between MKE and Chicago, there's the Jelly Belly factory, for the entertainingly absurd factory tour.

(And, since you're doing the bachelor party thing, there's also plenty of adult video stores on the road between the two cities.)
posted by anjamu at 4:02 PM on March 5, 2006


If you want more specific Milwaukee-centric info (restaurants, hotels, etc.) just let me know, as I can tell you plenty more.
posted by anjamu at 4:02 PM on March 5, 2006


In Milwaukee, you might want to tour Lakefront Brewery instead of or in addition to the Miller tour. If you haven't been there before, stop at the Safe House. If you aren't afraid of clowns, Milwaukee is the home of the Clown Hall of Fame. There's also a sewage museum in Milwaukee but I don't know it's any good.

If you're looking for a traditional, and slightly famous old school Milwaukee bar, there's Wolski's but if you take my parking spot to go there, I will be very disappointed.

If you're looking for a college-style section of Bars to hop. Hit Water Street and old world third around Juneau Avenue. If you want a little more "hip" (ever so slightly) bars, hit Brady Street from Farwell Avenue to Van Buren. If you want really "hipstery" bars, try Center Street East of 1st Street (The Riverhorse, Onopa, Quarters, Foundation)

If you want a really weird mix of people, hit up North Avenue bars from Oakland east to Prospect and stop in at Landmark Lanes (just south of North Avenue on Farwell Ave.). I have a theory that everyone ends up in the Landmark eventually.

What type of attractions are you looking for?
posted by drezdn at 4:15 PM on March 5, 2006


If it wouldn't deviate too far from your original road trip, I would suggest making a run to Green Bay and getting a tour of Lambeau. It's really the encompassment of everything Wisconsin.
posted by charmston at 4:28 PM on March 5, 2006


Safe House and Wolski's are definitely things you have to do. But remember, one has to CLOSE Wolski's, not just go there.
posted by anjamu at 4:42 PM on March 5, 2006


Also, considering that you're going to be in Milwaukee during Lent on a Friday, a trip to a Fish Fry would be De Rigeur. Serb Hall is said to have the best, though there are ones ranging from classy restaurants to corner bars.
posted by drezdn at 4:43 PM on March 5, 2006


Thanks for the suggestions so far, these look great! Keep them coming.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:12 PM on March 5, 2006


I've been out drinking in Milwaukee a few times and I really enjoyed going to Koz's Mini Bowl, a sort of local-ish bar on the South side with these odd 16 foot duckpin lanes and surly smoking sixteen year old pinboys who set em up so you can take 'em down.
posted by jessamyn at 6:47 PM on March 5, 2006


The first thing I thought of when I read Madison and bachelor party was Smut n' Eggs. Breakfast and porn! Okay, I never went there but it's worth checking out. (I don't think they have their own website otherwise I'd link.)
posted by jetskiaccidents at 7:40 PM on March 5, 2006


Adding my $0.02 worth on Milwaukee. Obviously on the standard list of party places that all out-of-towners go to is N. Water St. between State St and Knapp St. There are a few places there like McGillicuddy's, Rosie's, Water St Brewery, etc.

Other areas include the more upscale area of Jackson between Wisconsin Ave. and Kilbourn. There are some nicer clubs with dress codes and fine women. Typical places include Club Havana, Kennedy's, Taylor's, and Eve.

The third ward has quite a few good places on Broadway and also S. Water St. This area is bounded by St. Paul and Erie. This area can be kind of artsy, gay, and trendy. Typical places there include Palms, and the Ale House Brew-pub.

Personally if you want the Milwaukee experience I would go to Lakefront Brewery for a fish fry, Von-Triers on E. North and Farwell for beers/drinks, make a stop over at Landmark Lanes, and maybe head to Jackson for some clubbing.
posted by JJ86 at 6:01 AM on March 6, 2006


Sprecher Brewing Company in Milwaukee (okay, Glendale, but that's just north of the main city, and it's right off the highway). Their beer is good, but you can't beat the root beer. In high school, we would get a keg of root beer from there when we had a party. I kid you not.

Whenever the Chicago side of my family came up to visit the Milwaukee side, they would stop at the Brat Stop (as in brats-the-food, not bratty kids). And many would tell you to stop at Mars Cheese Castle.

Madison - hit State Street. I would start from the end nearest campus and work towards the Capital building. But it's been a few years since I've been there.

Chicago - as is always mentioned, check out Metromix to find out events and places to go.
posted by bibbit at 6:57 AM on March 6, 2006


Frank Grimes, could you tell us what you ended up going with?
posted by drezdn at 9:22 AM on March 7, 2006


I'll post a full report after I get back on the 19th. Thanks for all of the suggestions.
posted by Frank Grimes at 3:30 PM on March 8, 2006


FYI: It's snowing right now, and will through much of the day, which might mean parking would be harder in Milwaukee. When you're bar hopping, pick one neighborhood and stick with it. My suggestion for Saint Patty's day would be North Avenue between Oakland and Prospect. Then, at some point head to Champions.
posted by drezdn at 9:46 AM on March 16, 2006


Scratch that, aside from a little ice on the sidewalks, you're golden. Party on, Frank Grimes.
posted by drezdn at 10:55 PM on March 16, 2006


Thursday
Flew into Midway, met my group and beelined it to New Glarus Brewery in New Glarus, WI. Good beer, self-guided tour, paid tasting. Next stop, Capital Brewery in Middleton, WI. Quick tour from Kyle and a sample of their Eisphyre anniversary beer that had to be ~ 11% alcohol. One and done for me. Dinner and beers at The Great Dane in Madison. Great service from Britney. Ended the day at Ho-Chunk Casino in Baraboo, WI. Cheap rooms, but no comped meals or drinks and terrible service from the hotel and restaurant staff.

Friday
Breakfast at Cracker Barrel (since Ho-Chunk's service sucked so bad). Drove to Miller Brewing in Milwaukee. Watched the unintentionally hilarious video ("You couch is where Miller Time happens"), took the tour, and got green High Life in the tasting room. Then it was off to Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. 4 pints for $5 is a great deal. Caught the early St. Patrick's day revelers here. Dinner (corned beef and cabbage) at Milwaukee Ale House. At this point we were running late and had to skip the Jelly Belly tour and Mars Cheese Castle. We stayed at the Carleton Hotel in Oak Park and went to a couple of bars there for St. Pat's.

Saturday
Lunch at Gino's East in Chicago, some people went to Goose Island Brewing. Drinks at The Pint. A leprechaun named Dwayne was pouring shots on top of the bar.

It was a great trip, but a lot of driving. Thanks for all of the suggestions.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:35 PM on March 19, 2006


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