Guide for a Relaxing Weekend in Milwaukee, WI

Today I’m going to share with you a guide for a relaxing weekend in Milwaukee, WI – where to stay, what to see and do and of course recommendations on where to eat. This would also make an amazing “babymoon” trip itinerary for any fellow expecting mamas out there.

Guide for a relaxing weekend in Milwaukee WI, Milwaukee weekend guideI often get asked by family and friends who are planning to visit Milwaukee what my recommendations are for things to do, where to stay, and what to eat. Since Milwaukee is the city I live in, I didn’t really have any recommendations on where to stay, until now, because I hadn’t stayed anywhere besides my house lol. I can now highly recommend one of the most wonderful place to stay: The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel. 

The Journeyman hotel in Milwaukee, where to stay in Milwaukee WIWhere to stay: The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel Milwaukee

Over the last year, I kept hearing things about a new hotel being built in the historic Third Ward in Milwaukee. Well, that hotel just so happens to be The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel, which opened in 2016. It is gorgeous! The hotel is a 158 room boutique hotel which has an amazing restaurant on the ground floor (more on that in the ‘where to eat’ section below) and a gorgeous rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city.

Before even going, I loved that the Journeyman Hotel is proudly pet friendly, which meant that we could bring our little angel, Clover. Upon checking in, the hotel wrote her name on a little chalk board and told us where she was all welcome (basically everywhere in the hotel! She was even welcome at their happy hour or morning coffee!)

The room was simply stunning. There’s no other way to describe it. Designed with comfort, luxury, relaxation and travelers in mind, the room had everything one could want: views, beautiful Milwaukee themed artwork, super comfortable bed, and a bathroom that will forever give me design envy. There was even this really cool bag that one could ‘borrow or buy’ made by a local artisan.

Summerfest artwork in the Journeyman Hotel

Are you ready to see the bathroom that I want to live in? Just look at that beautiful bathtub!!!! In the middle is a baby bump picture of me – I’m now 32 weeks!!

The Journeyman also had the best room service ever – you guys – I’m talking the worlds best cheese board and these strawberries and fudge sauce with a marshmallow-like dipping sauce. Pretty much the best menu items evvvvverrrrr.

Room service The Journeyman Hotel in MilwaukeeWhere to eat:

There is so much great food in Milwaukee, that’s for sure. I love the restaurant scene in this city. For this relaxing weekend, we ate at places convenient/close to where we were staying and where our activities were.

Best cheese plate in MilwaukeeThe Outsider Even if you’re not staying at the Journeyman hotel, you want to make a stop at this beautiful rooftop bar, that’s for sure. The Outsider features an impressive cocktail and beer list, as well as a small bites menu.

The Outsider rooftop bar in MilwaukeeThe funny thing is that I’ve never been much of a drinker, but ever since becoming pregnant, I love smelling cocktails. It’s super weird, I know lol. I’m always envious of the delicious smelling cocktails my hubby gets. I sheepishly asked for a ‘mocktail’ and the server said “not a problem” and came back with THE MOST DELICIOUS drink ever. It was a concoction that was so good, that I ordered a second one lol.

It was fresh and fruity and sweet, but not overly sweet. I was very impressed. We ordered a little snack which was the perfect little bites of food to tide us over until dinner.

Cafe Benelux– Named after the Benelux region (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg), Cafe Benelux features region favorites, as well as a large menu and serves food from breakfast through midnight, every night of the week. It’s a brunch favorite.

Cafe Benelux in milwaukee

We ordered all the brunch foods: a waffle, a breakfast burger, and these delicious little beignets!

Brunch at Cafe BeneluxTre RivaliTre Rivali is located on the ground floor of the Journeyman hotel, but is not to be dismissed as a ‘hotel restaurant’ – it is a restaurant true destination that should be sought out.

I’ve been there for dinner on several occasions, and it has never disappointed. This time was no different. Tre Rivali’s menu plays host to the coastline countries with a wholesome Mediterranean menu that draws culinary inspiration from Italy, France, Spain, and Greece, to Morocco, Turkey, and Israel.

Tre Rivali restaurant in The Journeyman Hotel

They have super amazing wood fire pizzas (which are actually served at The Journeyman Hotel during the happy hour), and I had this burrata squash hazelnut salad that I have been dying to recreate!

Pizza at Tre RivaliAlso not to be missed is brunch at Tre Rivali. Usually it is impossible to find a seat at a restaurant for Sunday brunch at a reasonable hour in Milwaukee. However, we were delighted to find that there was ample seating. And the food – again, totally delicious.

Brunch at Tre Rivali in MilwaukeeThe Milwaukee Public Market– The Milwaukee Public Market holds a special place in my heart. It’s where my husband and I had our wedding 5 years ago (we were one of the first weddings there!) and it’s where I had my cookbook signing party.

Milwaukee Public MarketThe Milwaukee Public Market is an indoor market where the focus is on Wisconsin products (think cheese, frozen custard, coffee) and has amazing vendors ranging from Thai to Mexican and everything in-between.

Mexican food at the Milwaukee Public MarketRumpus Room This is a restaurant we have been going to since it opened (aka – I’ve been there many times!) The menu offers plates inspired by a love for quality, regionally sourced ingredients. My favorite thing on their menu is the Pork Schnitzel – it’s a breaded boneless pork loin with arugula, shaved mushrooms, a fried egg (which I had to ruin because I’m preggo and cannot eat a sunny side up egg), and Foenegreek gouda and I legit order it every time we go there because it’s just so perfect. The Rumpus Room is really conveniently located across the street from the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts Theater so it’s perfect for dinner before a show.

Rumpus Room MilwaukeeThings to do:

Milwaukee has many many things to do! If you’re looking for relaxing activities, here are my recommendations:

FLOAT MilwaukeeHave you ever heard of sensory deprecation ‘float’ tanks? They’re tanks of Epsom salt water (so you float) and are in rooms that can be completely pitch black and quiet – hence the sensory deprivation. The rooms are kept really warm (95 degrees). Floatation tanks are designed to create a condition which is ideal for the relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind and body. I had done a ‘float’ before, but didn’t hear the part of the instructions where the lights in the room could go off. So essentially it felt like I was just in a bath tub tank with a lid. This time though, it was much more relaxing, and instead of a ‘tank’ I got to try a pool. Being pregnant it was also a different experience. I had read that you could hear your baby’s heartbeat, while I didn’t hear the heartbeat, when the baby kicked, it did create a ripple of water which was really cute. My husband did say he had an “existential experience” where he felt like he was in space lol, so it really is different for everyone. Have you ever floated?

Float MilwaukeeNeroli Salon & Spa I’ve been to a lot of different salon and spas in my day, and I have to tell you, Neroli is at the very top of my list, my list of best spas of all time! It’s an Aveda salon and spa and each service was simply outstanding. My hubby and I got pedicures – he had never had a pedicure, so it was really fun to get them done together, mine included this glorious cooling treatment which was applied with a paintbrush. I had a prenatal massage which was so incredible, and he got a facial and then haircut and beard trim. He had never had a facial (I have never had one) and I about died laughing when he was telling me how they kept putting scrubs and lotions on his face, it was too cute, and now I really want to get one (I’ll be scheduling an appointment at Neroli asap!)

Spa day at Neroli Salon and Spa in MilwaukeeThe Milwaukee Repertory Theater The Milwaukee Repertory Theater is nationally recognized as one of the top regional theaters in the country. We have been several times, and I love seeing different shows in the beautiful theater. We saw a production of The Glass Menagerie (the play that put Tennessee Walker on the map). We arrived early and there just so happened to be a discussion of the play beforehand, so we learned so much about the history of the author and about the production before the show, which I found super interesting.

The Milwaukee Rep - The Glass MenagerieThe next time you’re looking for a relaxing weekend, I’d highly recommend spending a weekend in Milwaukee!

Sweetphi babymoon vacationThis post is brought to you by my partnership with Visit MilwaukeeA big thank you to Visit Milwaukee for coordinating this weekend. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone. Thank you for reading and supporting the brands I partner with which make the SweetPhi blog possible. 

I’d love to hear from you – what is the most relaxing vacation you’ve been on?

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Showing 40 comments
  • Sues
    Reply

    Who knew Milwaukee had so much awesomeness!! Seriously though, my husband and I have been considering a trip at some point (I have cousins there), so I am bookmarking all of your recommendations away for the future 🙂

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Milwaukee is sooooo amazing, seriously, I love this city!!! I think you and your hubby would love visiting, thank you so much for bookmarking 🙂

  • Rachel Zimmerman
    Reply

    Our family trip to San Diego was the best, most relaxing vacation I’ve had.

  • Michael Landy
    Reply

    A relaxing vacation is number one on my bucket list. Had plenty of vacations but do not remember any of them to be relaxing.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I hear you Michael, it’s almost like one has to ‘plan’ for it to be relaxing lol

  • Jeffrey
    Reply

    When we go on vacation there isn’t much relaxing, I love to see the sights and keep busy. We recently went to NYC for 3 days and if I told you how much we did you would think we didn’t sleep the whole time we were there!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hahaha, I can totally be like that too – planning and seeing so much stuff, it’s like when I want to go on a relaxing vacation I have to ‘plan’ for it to be that way lol.

  • Heather
    Reply

    My husband and I went to Hawaii a couple Christmases ago. It was so nice to not have to deal with the stress of all the family get-togethers we have at Christmas (we have at least 6 between the 2 of us). By far our most relaxing vacation.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Oh my goodness, that sounds totally amazing, and SO relaxing! Plus I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii – totally adding that to my list asap 🙂

  • Mary W
    Reply

    We stayed at a Kimpton Hotel in Savannah, Georgia called The Brice. Great location, friendly staff and best of all – pet friendly. Dogs are definitely welcomed. They even have bikes you can borrow to ride around the historic district.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I love Kimpton hotels! I stayed at one in Portland, and one here in Milwaukee – the Journeyman, and they are so amazing with being pet friendly and the bikes! Totally going to have to add The Brice to my list!

  • patricia caradonna
    Reply

    Our family is going to Alaska in this summer. I can’t wait. My son is getting married in July and this is their honeymoon before the wedding. Couldn’t get the church booked before this trip.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      You are going to have such an amazing time in Alaska – that is where my husband and I went for our honeymoon, and it was absolutely amazing!

  • Susan P.
    Reply

    My most relaxing vacation has been a 2 week vacation my sister and I took touring the Pacific Northwest, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, BC.

    • Jana
      Reply

      Susan – I’m headed to Vancouver and Portland in a few weeks for my honeymoon. What are your “must-dos”? 🙂

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Wow, that sounds like such a great trip!! I’ve been to the Pacific Northwest (Northern CA, Portland, and Seattle and along the coast) and always feel so relaxed there with the amazing scenery and all the beautiful trees 🙂

  • Jana
    Reply

    My most relaxing trip was to The Royal resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, this past January with my fiance’s family. I’m not a “beach person” so I honestly wasn’t super excited about the trip before going. It was amazing!!! Beautiful weather, all inclusive with great food, awesome slippers and a relaxing hammock on the balcony. We got massages and did hydrotherapy at the spa. I can’t wait to go back!!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Oh my goodness Jana, you sound like me! I’m not a beach person – I love the mountains and hiking a little more – but after reading your comment, I think I need a trip to Mexico, stat!

  • Flora Shore
    Reply

    Years ago my husband and I spent a week at a resort on the west coast of Cosra Rica. Along with the usual resort activities and relaxation a monkey who lived there decided was his best friend! He would sit in my lap facing me and hug me making sure he could touch bare skin. He would push up the sleeves of my coverup so that he could rub my bare arm.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hahah, that is so cute that a monkey befriended you on the trip – sounds like a lovely vacation!

  • Cassie
    Reply

    My most relaxing vacation was spent up in the New Hampshire White Mountains with my husband ( then boyfriend). The weather was perfect and we just hung out!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      That sounds exactly like my kind of vacation, mountains and hanging out, so fun!

  • Monica
    Reply

    Going up north, and fishing on a quiet lake is my favorite relaxing vacation.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      We love going up north and relaxing too, so I totally know how amazing that can be 🙂

  • Vanessa
    Reply

    My most relaxing vacation was when I went to Cabo with my family. Drinks, sand, and sun. What more could you want?

  • Erik
    Reply

    Most relaxing vacation was this past February, when we took our first trip to Mexico. We stayed at the Grand Fiesta Americana in Cancun. I’m not usually one to sit and do nothing, I like to have plans made months ahead of time, but from the pools to the food to the service to the scenery, it was heaven.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      That sounds like heaven to me right about now! I’ve never been to a resort in Mexico, but I’m thinking I need to go check one out asap 🙂

  • Amy S.
    Reply

    My most relaxing vacation was, believe it or not, a Disney cruise with my family. The spa, relaxing dinners, ocean air — it was wonderful!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Awww, that does sound like so much fun and relaxing!

  • Rebecca S.
    Reply

    We’ve taken a couple of fun, relaxing, romantic long weekend vacations to Seattle, WA. What a great city!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I love Seattle! My hubby and I went there on vacation a few years ago and we loved the food scene and all the beautiful nature!

  • dawne
    Reply

    A trip to Hawaii almost 3 years ago and I want to go back as in yesterday lol

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hahaha, I hear you about wanting to go back somewhere relaxing. Hawaii is definitely on my list of places to visit 🙂

  • Rust
    Reply

    That float chamber sounds interesting! Never heard of it before, I bet I would like it. My most relaxing vacation is the one I just returned from: a weeks long visit with my daughter in her little cabin by the side of a rushing mountain stream deep in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington state. We did a whole lot of nothing, basically ….cooking, talking, enjoying the breathtaking scenery of nature that surrounds her place. Super relaxing!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      They have ‘float’ chambers/tanks popping up all over, so I’m sure there’s one hear you, you should give it a try, it’s definitely an interesting experience. Your vacation in the Cascade mountains sounds absolutely amazing and relaxing, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Ashley Clark
    Reply

    This looks so fun! My most relaxing vacation was in Venice, Italy. I took a boat taxi and my friend said he could see the weight of my life being immediately lifted. Something about the salty air and getting lost through the little streets that brings peace and adventure in a great combination! Thank you for sharing your adventure:)

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Oh my goodness, that sounds like such a magical experience, thank you for sharing!

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